Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Wedding of Lisa Hélène Meiland and Andrew James Martin

Lisa Hélène and her father arriving at St. James Church.
New York bridal designer, Lisa Hélène Meiland, was married to Andrew James Martin in Firenze, Italy at a wedding extravaganza held from May 22 through 25. Three hundred international guests flew in to attend the nuptials.

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Martin on the way to the reception.
Lisa Hélène Meiland and her sister, Lara Meiland-Shaw, cofounded the Madison Avenue atelier, Lara Hélène Bridal Atelier where they cater to New York’s social and fashion elite brides.

The wedding festivities started with a Mykonos-inspired rooftop dinner at the Ferragamo-owned hotel, Hotel Continentale, on Thursday. The dinner ambience featured billowing white curtains, sofas and cushions and a background of music. The view of the Ponte Vecchio from the rooftop was spectacular.

Following dinner, the guests danced the night away at Angels, a disco and bar that Andrew’s parents had rented out for the evening. Music-loving guests, Paul O’Regan and James Archer, “spun disks” alongside the house DJs.

On Friday, the guests either went on shopping tours at the designer outlets or visited the famed vineyard Vignamaggio where the Kenneth Brannaugh/Emma Thompson movie "Much Ado About Nothing" was filmed.
Jamie Poulton, David de Rothschild, Sebastian Lee, and Khaled Said anticipate the couple's arrival.
Friday evening, the guests donned masks and headed up to the "limonaia," or greenhouse, in the beautiful grounds of the Museo Stibbert for a Modern Venetian Masquerade. The park features an Egyptian temple, a pond and a beautiful Greek temple that served as "playgrounds" for the masked guests. The party featured the sounds of DJ Mateeo Cassano who regularly spins in St. Moritz, Milan and Forte dei Marmi, Florence and Milan’s version of the Hamptons.

During the day on Saturday, guests were treated to guided tours of the Uffizi, avoiding the queues and other tourists to take in the great masters of the massive collection.

On Saturday, the 6:30 pm marriage ceremony kicked off with a Gospel choir singing at St. James Church where David Bowie and Iman also tied the knot!
The matron of honor, Lara Meiland-Shaw. Exchanging vows.
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Martin.
Lisa’s wedding gown was of her own design. She wore a Lara Hélène silk mikado couture gown covered in hundreds of silk organza and silk charmeuse flowers, each petal cut out by hand and hand stitched onto the dress and lightly dusted with varying Swarovski crystals. The gown took three months to create with more than 1000 hours of embroidery. The gown was created here in New York by Lara Hélène Bridal Atelier.

The bride’s sister, Lara, and her mother, Hanne Meiland, also wore evening gowns designs by Lara Hélène as did many of the guests. Lara Meiland-Shaw was the matron of honor along with 14 bridesmaids and 2 bridesmen: Alexandra Wilson, Louisa Schneider, Margaret Katz, Mariah Chase, Susan Moffat, Elizabeth Meigher, Laura Metzger, Melissa Neulander, Sara Law, Alison Newman, Gaelle Lassaigne, Sanaz Ameri, Anne Cecilie Aarfing, Diane Said, Simon Joory and Eric Lentini

The bride’s party was escorted down the aisle by 15 groomsmen and 3 groomsladies: David de Rothschild, James Archer, Gheeve Changizi, Anton Kaszubowski, Sebastian Lee, Khaled Said, Charles Muirhead, Jamie Poulton, Claude Shaw, Ben Elliot, Alejandro Santo Domingo, Gregory Cohen, Patnie Woo, Annabel Rivkin, Annelie Whitfield and Natasha Caine. The best man was Andrew Winterton.
Clockwise from top left: Carolina Gonzalez-Bunster; Ben Elliot, Charles Muirhead, and Sebastian Lee; Ally and Frederick Kahn; Charlotte Tilbury.
Clockwise from above: Jenny and Ryan Prince with Tara Bernard Archer; Cindy Jamieson and Nicole Hanley; Mauricio and Michaela Arditti.
Rose petals. Khaled Said, Andrew Martin, and Ben Elliot.
Sarah Woodhead and Zani Gugelmann. Gaelle Lassaigne, Elizabeth Meigher, and Lara Meiland-Shaw.
St. James Church. The wedding programs.
James Archer and Natasha Caine. The bride signing the marriage certificate.
The parents of the groom, Barbara and James Martin. The parents of the bride, Daniel and Hanne Meiland.
The bride and her father walking down the aisle.
The newlyweds exiting the church.
The groom with his best man, Andrew Winterton. The couple on the way to their car.
After the ceremony, the guests followed Lisa and Andrew in their vintage Bentley to Palazzo Corsini, a 17th century baroque palace that was once owned by the Medici family and decorated by artists including Anton Domenico Gabbiani, Alessandro Gherardini and Pier Dandini.

The beautifully restored frescoes and ornate gilding of the palace were a unique backdrop for the 300 beautiful guests. Greeting the revelers were flag throwers and drummers from the medieval Palio horse race held every year in Siena. An Italian feast was served in the Salone del Trono followed by an extraordinary wedding cake that was created in front of the guests.
A close-up of the Palio performers.
The 3-foot diameter cake was based on the classic Italian Millefoglie (or “thousand layers”) and alternated layers of cream and crepes with a dusting of powdered sugar and violet flowers to match the room’s decor.

After dessert, guests were asked to follow Lisa and Andrew to the disco rooms and the dancing and conversations on the outdoor terrace on the banks of the Arno river continued until the early hours of the morning.
The dinner reception in the Salone del Trono.
On Sunday before they headed back home, the guests enjoyed a recovery picnic in the Tuscan hills at the beautiful Castello il Palagio. Blankets and pillows were strewn about for the guests to recline on (and nap!) after their hectic four-day schedule. Backgammon boards and rustic Italian food provided both mental stimulation and much-needed stamina.

Guests tossed rice at the happy couple as they rushed to the car that would whisk them back to Florence and on to their honeymoon in South Africa and Mauritius.
Andrew and his brother-in-law, Claude Shaw. Jessica and James Adams with Susan Moffat.
Dennis and Coralie Paul. Alejandro Santo Domingo and Andrew Winterton.
Ika Green and Jamie Poulton. Marianna Kulukundis and Katrina Pavlos.
Luca del Bono, Leo Fenwick, and Tom Parker-Bowles. Natalia and Sebastian Echavarria.
The best man, Andrew Winterton, giving a toast. The father of the bride, Daniel Meiland, giving a toast. The groom making his toast.
The bride and groom in front of the Salone del Trono.
Nina Powell and Jacquetta Wheeler. Paola Said, Khaled, and Diane Said.
Philippe Aba and Caroline Shaw. Sara Faber and Paul O'Regan.
Clockwise from top left: Tessa Mills and Chester King; Vania Leles and Karima Burman; More wedding guests.
The cutting of the cake. The first dance.
The guests enjoying the Palio Performance from the terrace at Palazzo Corsini.
The Performance by the medieval Palio flag throwers and drummers.
Lauren Santo Domingo and Zani Gugelmann. Lauren Santo Domingo.
Cecilia De Sola. Lauren Remington Platt. Krista Schulz.
The wedding party posing on the terrace at Palazzo Corsini.

Photographs by Gianni Ugolini.
CLICK here to subscribe to our mailing list.