Giulia Raffaello is an Italian living in Berlin, Germany. Ever since she was a child, she’s always dreamt of living abroad, because of her passion for learning about new cultures. She is also a YouTuber and makes content around her intercultural relationship with her Indian husband Shreyans Jain! Since she started her content creation journey two years ago, she’s seen tremendous growth and interest in their story; often receiving messages from couples in intercultural relationships who tell her that her intercultural relationship inspires them to carry on despite cultural and bureaucratic challenges.
G+ S had their wedding ceremony in Italy this year. Although Shrey and Giulia have met each other’s families plenty of times, their families, unfortunately, had never met each other! So their wedding was the first time their parents and grandparents met one other which was an incredibly emotional and moving experience.
Nature was a core element for this couple’s big day with a rustic feel plus some chic elements that would be in harmony with the environment. This day was designed by Alessio Minotto, a well-established Event and Floral Designer, and his business partner Roberto Astarita, who was the Wedding Planner and Coordinator. Now let’s take a look at this gorgeous wedding photographed by Wild Heart Photo & Film, shall we?
An Italian Dream
Wow oh wow is this gown beautiful! The bride picked a princess bridal gown from Aire by Rosa Clara, with lace and tulle. Fun fact: Rosa Clara has always been the bride’s favorite wedding designer!! With the help of a tailor, Giulia designed these voluminous sleeves to add that flowy, dreamy, and angelic feeling!
Shrey picked a blue cobalt suit crafted in Italy by Lanieri. The fabrics were from Ermenegildo Zegna. Shrey decided to personalize the interior of the jacket with their names as a special memory…so sweet!
The Magical Venue
The location the couple picked was Le Risare (literally “the fields of rice” in Italian) a traditional Venetian eighteenth-century villa, a place of history and art, immersed in an estate of over 100 hectares!
Designer Alessio really found the right balance between rustic and chic. The couple didn’t want the design to be either too much countryside, nor too formal chic. When creating the right atmosphere he kept in mind 2 important aspects: the chosen location (history, style, setting, materials, fabrics, …) and the couple (how they met, background, religion, style, taste, …). Alessio mixed this to truly make his and the couple’s sensibility arise.
When it comes to the flower design, G + S wanted strong elements of green, white, and pastels. They decided to mix fresh cut flowers (garden roses, hydrangeas, peonies…) as well as dried flowers (raffia, straw, ear of corn…)
The Bilingual Ceremony
Shrey was raised Hindu while Giulia was raised Catholic. Instead of going for a Church ceremony which would not have allowed as much flexibility, the couple decided to create their own ceremony so it could be representative of their journey and values as a couple. The ceremony was bilingual, held both in Italian and English, to ensure everyone could understand it.
“We asked one of our best friends to be the celebrant. He was the one who convinced me to go on that first date with Shrey and the first to meet him and in a way, “Approve” of him. I wouldn’t have gone on that first date with Shrey, so it was only natural that he would be the celebrant.”
“For the ceremony, we really wanted to make a statement while remaining down to earth. Alessio and Roberto proposed to use a magnificent huge door present in the ancient Barchessa as background. They framed it with 2 big raffia panels on which he created a ribbon of flowers and greenery.”
G+S wanted the wedding to be inspired as much as possible by the Italian tradition. They wanted to give Shrey’s family and friends the complete Italian wedding experience! Since they do plan to have an Indian Wedding one day, they preferred to not mix and match too much, but they did include some Indian elements in their wedding to emphasize their intercultural relationship.
They did it! These two are married!!
Their Love Story
Shrey and Giulia both moved to Berlin in the summer of 2015, but only met each other a year later in 2016. They met online on a dating app and although they had an 85% match rate on the app, it was still quite a coincidence how they ended up connecting! It just so happened that Shrey’s profile picture on the app at that time was a picture he took in Venice, which is right next to Giulia’s hometown Padua. When she read Shrey’s profile, she immediately felt drawn to it, and as soon as he sent the first message, their love story began!
Their proposal was a simple and intimate one, as it happened during the lockdown (they would have both preferred it that way actually). Shrey cooked Giulia’s favorite dish, parmigiana di melanzane (which was on their wedding menu!), and created a photo book that had their entire story in chronological order, from their first picture together, to their first trip abroad together, the first time they met each other’s families, and so on.
“We wanted to have our wedding ceremony in Italy as soon as possible, but the pandemic kept getting in our way. We were supposed to have our wedding ceremony in Italy in September 2021, but had to postpone it since international travel restrictions were still in place. For us, it was essential and non-negotiable to have both of our families present at the wedding, and so we had to wait for the right moment.
The moment finally arrived in the summer of 2022. Italy’s borders were finally open to Indian tourists, and we could finally have our dream day with all of our friends and families from around the world being there with us.”
This delicate bridal headband was the perfect accessory for the bride’s sleeked-back look.
The Harmonious Reception
For the reception, Alessio mixed round covered tables and a rectangular wooden one aligned underneath the porch to create movement and harmony. Soft compote centerpieces for the round tables in clay vessels, and a series of long centerpieces in iron vessels mixed with aromatic plants in clay pots were placed on the rectangular tables.
The entire design was eco-friendly, as all the flowers were recycled, the vessels were reused and the ceremony structure was retransformed for another couple. To the extent it was possible, the creative team aimed to source everything locally!
For the wedding favors, the couple selected handmade candles from the Italian brand Pernici. They picked Neroli and Jasmine as the scents, as a good mix of Indian and Italian fragrances. The candles were personalized with their wedding design and label and then packaged to be given to all the guests.
“What was incredibly special was that we had both our grandparents present at the wedding. Both Shrey’s grandparents and my grandparents are over 80 years old, and have not been very well, so it was a miracle that they could travel all the way from India to be there. I will always cherish the fact that our grandparents were alive and could participate in our wedding.”
An Emotional Second Dress Surprise
During the reception, as a surprise for the bride’s grandmother, she changed into the wedding dress that her very own mother wore on her wedding day! It was a really emotional moment as the dress was designed by Giulia’s grandmother over 40 years ago with original YSL fabrics! Her grandmother was so shocked and emotional when she laid eyes on her granddaughter in that dress. …Understandably so!!
“We would often make jokes about the cultural shocks we faced in our relationship early on. One day Shrey had the idea to create a video about it. We did that and posted it on Youtube just for fun and to share with our friends and families. To our surprise, the video immediately went viral!! Now, 4 years later, we have more than 300k subscribers on Youtube with more than 138 million views, 80k+ followers on Instagram, 240k+ on TikTok, with a dedicated community consisting of intercultural couples from around the world.”
“We are proud to say that when we started sharing our Indian – European intercultural love story, we were among the first intercultural couples on Youtube. Now, lots of couples have taken inspiration from us and that makes us extremely happy.”
Thank you to Giulia and Shreyans for sharing with us their gorgeous Italian wedding! We are inspired by your story and hope you both have some of the happiest and healthiest years together to come!
photography: Wild Heart Photo & Film // venue name: Le Risare, Padua, Veneto, Italy // event design: Alessio Minotto // planning: Roberto Astarita // wedding dress: Feminin Brautmode x Aire Barcelona // wedding dress boutique: Feminin Brautmode // bride's shoes: Isabella Calzature // bride's ring: Goldhaus // groom attire: Lanieri // groom's ring: Goldhaus // videography: Wedding Soul Alex Bonaldo // catering: Alfonso Muzzi // lighting: Technosound // Wedding Favors: Pernici // Sustainable Bridal Jewellery: Vrai