A Custom Gown and Runway Ferragamo Look Set the Vibe for This Lake Como Wedding
A Custom Gown and Runway Ferragamo Look Set the Vibe for This Lake Como Wedding

A Custom Gown and Runway Ferragamo Look Set the Vibe for This Lake Como Wedding

Welcome to Who What Wear Weddings, the destination for style-minded weddings. Expect insightful tips straight from the newlyweds, shoppable elements, and plenty of must-save imagery as we share the nuptials of our favorite fashion people getting married. For upcoming features, share your submissions here.

"It all started on Instagram," explains Uber Chief of Staff Brady Stephens as she recalls how she and her husband Thabiti Stephens, a chief strategy officer at Steve Harvey Global, ended up on their first date. They also happened to attend college right across the street from each other in Atlanta, Georgia. "Me at Spelman College and him at the men's school, Morehouse College," Stephens explains. "We're college sweethearts, really."

Once engaged, the couple began planning a destination wedding in Lake Como to celebrate with 100 of their closest friends and family. From the beginning, fashion was important to the couple. The bride had four looks throughout the wedding weekend, including a custom wedding dress and lace cape for the reception that she collaborated to design virtually. The groom worked with a stylist to select an outfit straight from Maximilian Davis's S/S 23 runway collection for Ferragamo. The bridesmaids' looks, too, were carefully considered and the result of vintage sourcing on behalf of the bride.

The couple's wedding took place at a villa on Lake Como, infusing the glamour of the Italian Riviera, their love of fashion, and intimate moments honoring the bride's late parents. Scroll on to read more about how the weekend unfolded with words from the bride, including more on the couple's looks and all of the details behind the destination wedding.

"We wanted a welcome party to get guests acclimated and set the party tone for the weekend."

"My husband and I arrived by river boat."

"I began looking for my pre-wedding look by scrolling through Cannes Film Festival looks. I knew I wanted to go for Hollywood glam and landed on this beautiful canary dress from Hamda Al Fahim."

The couple departing for the welcome party.

"I paired the dress with Aquazzura sandals and my late mother's Lagos jewelry that I admired as a little girl."

"A boat met guests in Varenna, where their beautiful processional led them to a private ferry with prosecco and cigars."

"We went with the iconic area of Lido di Bellagio so our guests could see another part of the lake."

WWW Weddings tip: "Make a guest vibe guide. For our welcome event, the vibe was 'Riviera chic.'"

The couple with guests at the welcome party.

"My dress was the first dress I tried on. [After finding J'Aton Couture on Instagram], I traveled to L.A. with my best friends, and on dress shopping day … in the window was a dress from [the designer that] arrived only hours before. I was the first to try it on and knew [it] was the one."

"We kicked things off with breakfast in the garden and prosecco for the wedding prep. It was so much fun—I had people stopping by the whole time, my friends swimming in the lake outside of our suite."

WWW Weddings tip: "Not everyone is trained on skin tone and textured hair. I searched high and low in Europe and South Africa, and a friend from London sent me to the best duo from the UK. My advice would be to secure the glam squad early, talk to them to make sure [they're aligned with] your vibe, and request photos from their portfolios."

"I have been committed to the bold red aesthetic ever since I saw it on the 'Molly's Wedding' episode of Issa Rae's Insecure. The costumer, Shiona Turini, styled the bridesmaids individually and boldly in red, so I did too."

WWW Weddings tip: "To mix bridesmaid looks that are cohesive, start with one and build from there. I knew I wanted designer looks, which meant using the consignment [store] The RealReal. For months, I used keywords such as 'red gown' to create filters, then ordered one dress after the other until they were all complementary but spoke to the beauty of each of my bridesmaids."

"My husband was styled by our friend celebrity stylist Elly Karamoh. He wore a Ferragamo look that had just debuted at fashion week by designer and Creative Director Maximillian Davis."

"I would be remiss to mention that the dress-shopping experience came with a lot of anxiety after losing my mom, but it was almost kismet that the universe made the process so flawless."

"We had a very nontraditional wedding ceremony and weekend for that matter. We kept speeches light, had one of our dear friends as our celebrant, [and] had my husband's father read a poem about love."

Custom invitations and stationary for the wedding.

WWW Weddings tip: "A DM to a past bride from some planner pages was the most surefire way to vet [vendor] quality."

"I had a veil custom-made to give the dress a cathedral [look] and then paired the look with timeless slingbacks from one of my favorite shoe designers, Amina Muaddi, and, of course, my mother's David Yurman jewelry."

"My favorite component of my ceremony was honoring my mother and father, who have passed away. We had candles burning the entire time [and] two seats left open for them, and my bridesmaids placed one singular rose on my mother's seat as they walked to the alter. Finding a way to honor my parents was key, and I think I accomplished it well."

Moments after the couple was married.

Guests celebrating the newlyweds.

The couple on their wedding day.

"[For our venue, we were looking for] a place that could hold 100 [people, as] there aren't many villas on the lake; a place where guests could stay within walking distance; a place that could transition seamlessly from ceremony to aperitivo to dinner to dancing; and unforgettable culinary expertise."

The couple before the reception.

"All things design started from picking a color. From there, I pushed for the use of anthurium and other complementary red florals."

The bride and groom with guests. 

WWW Weddings tip: Be specific with your dress code. "[For the reception, we requested] black tie with explicit language mentioning blue and black tuxedos."

The couple celebrating with guests post-ceremony. 

"I sketched my cape [for the second look], and designer Valdrin Sahiti made it happen. I paired the look with a simple slip dress and Saint Laurent glasses."

WWW Weddings tip: When designing custom looks, allow enough time for development and alterations. "I had two custom looks and was happy I started nine months before the wedding."

"Outside of the six-course menu, cake cutting and being surrounded by my sorority, who sang our precious sweetheart song, were my favorite elements of the reception."

"I personally loved my last look, my New Arrivals jumper. When I got this on, I knew it was time to dance and just party."

Photographer: Bottega 53 Studio

Videographer: Alberto D'aria

Hairstylist: Deborah Lola

Makeup Artist: Mana Mumin Artistry

Wedding Planner: Ti Amo Ti Sposo

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