Following a traditional wedding in Ghana, Ariadne and Daniel traveled to Italy to host a gorgeous destination white wedding!
The day began with preparations at the Villa Cora in Florence, transitioned to the majestic Ognissanti church for their ceremony, and ended with a reception at the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel.
Ariadne purposely chose “places that have their own story and command their own vibe” so she could add simple touches, like flowers, to make the space theirs. They also tied cultural elements into their wedding – especially with their attire! Ariadne showcased her African culture with four different outfits (3 of which were bespoke and made in Ghana or made by an African designer) and their guests wore traditional Ghanaian fabrics.
- Full Name of Couple: Ariadne Olayemi Snowden & Daniel Christopher Hesse-Tetteh
- Location of Wedding: Four Seasons Hotel Florence Florence, Italy
- Wedding Date: 1st November 2019
- Photographed by: David Bastianoni
- Wedding flowers: Orchid, ranunculus, and mixed roses, all in white with burgundy accents.
- Favorite item on menu: Wedding cake (carrot cake).
- Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: The couple did not have bridesmaids and groomsmen; they believed the most important jobs could be done by their Maid-of-Honour and Best Man.
- First dance song: “Get You” by Daniel Caesar and Kali Uchis.
How they met…
Ariadne and Daniel’s love story began in the courtyard of their local school in Ghana.
At the time, Ariadne was 12-years-old and had just moved to the area. It didn’t take long for her to notice Daniel. The senior girls she admired so much all grew giddy and flustered whenever the older 17 year old made an appearance after school to pick up his younger brothers.
Coincidently, Ariadne became best friends with Daniel’s second youngest brother, Jr. To her surprise, one morning Jr. told her that Daniel said he’d marry her when she grew up. She was shocked!
She recalls: “Here was the most sought after guy in my new little world, 5 years older than me, not even in my school, telling his brother he will marry me.” And so, being young and unafraid, Ariadne asked for Daniel’s number and started their lifelong conversation with a simple text: “Jr told me you want to marry me. Why do you want to marry me?” To this day, Daniel claims “it is the bravado in that little 12-year-old girl that captured him!”
Following years of friendship and an official beautiful 3 years together, Daniel surprised Ariadne with a meaningful proposal.
After picking her up from her house for lunch, Daniel stopped the car in front of Ariadne’s old school. Initially, he made the stop seem irrelevant, so she kept scrolling on Instagram. But after a minute or so, Daniel asked her to “please get out of the car” and come to him.
So she did, and found Daniel down on one knee in front of the school wall where he said he first noticed her. Heart pounding and eyes glistening with tears, Ariadne exclaimed “Yes!” She remembers it as “one of their most beautiful moments together” and although simple, she would not have had it any other way!
When she knew he was “the one”…
While Ariadne says there was never one defining moment that made her realize Daniel was “the one,” she confidently admits “he has always been “the one” and I have been fortunate to always know this.”
Throughout her life, he was consistently there for her. At age 14, he helped her decide which school to attend. Daniel was also always available to talk with her and support her through countless crucial moments in her life.
She couldn’t imagine spending her life with anyone else!
Overall, Ariadne would describe her wedding style as simplistic with nods to the romantic and traditional vibes of Italy.
For each event she purposely “chose places that had their own decor and flair so [she] could just spruce it up a little with a few flowers.”
For her wedding dress, she worked with “Pistis – a Ghanaian couple who originally studied science at University” to create a custom bespoke gown. The end result was a gorgeous high-neck off-white lace dress, with lace long sleeves, a low back, and a detachable train for the reception!
Ariadne adds that her favorite wedding accessory was her shoes! She found the low-heeled glittery sliver shoes randomly on sale for 75% off and they were the last pair in her size (obviously a moment of fate!).
Daniel looked equally handsome in a sleek black suite with a Turnbull & Assire black bowtie, Crockett & Jones shoes, and a stylish Rolex watch.
Ariadne’s favorite memory is the speeches people gave at their wedding. She says, “Not one in specific but all [of them].”
Although they had a traditional wedding ceremony in Ghana before coming to Italy to have a destination white wedding, the couple incorporated their culture in subtle ways.
Their destination wedding was a 4-day affair, with the first event named “Firenze Akwaaba” which translates to “Welcome to Firenze” in their language. This day served as a welcome dinner for their guests and as a way to introduce everyone.
On their actual wedding day, they gave their guests souvenirs of Ghanaian chocolate and for their last Thanksgiving event, their guests wore traditional Ghanaian fabrics.
Ariadne adds: “I…wanted to showcase the talent we have in Africa, so my 3 out of my 4 outfits were bespoke and made in Ghana or made by an African designer.”
Advice for other engaged couples…
The best wedding advice Ariadne received was to maintain “communication with your fiancé and [to have] patience.”
She admits that planning a wedding is a whirlwind and while a beautiful time in her life, it was also the worst at moments.
At the more challenging moments, she says her stress was “just because of family dynamics and trying to make sure everyone is happy – the normal wedding stresses that come with large families, etc. (I am so glad I only had to do it once!).”
Ariadne adds that “Being able to speak honestly and openly with Daniel about everything is what kept me sane and productive. I think it is important that each person remembers the other has never been in the position before (even if you’ve been married before your haven’t been marrying this person before) so one needs to communicate clearly whilst the other maintains patience so a conducive “safe space” is maintained.”
Looking for more destination white wedding inspiration?
- Photography: David Bastianoni @davidbastianoni
- Bride’s dress: Pistis
- Bride’s headpiece/ veil: Pistis
- Bride’s shoes: Dolce & Gabbana
- Cakes/desserts: Four Seasons Hotel Firenze
- Catering: Four Seasons Hotel Firenze
- Ceremony venue: Ognissanti’s Church
- Event decor/design: Bianco Bouquet
- Entertainment: Kaleydo
- Event planner: Bianco Bouquet @biancobouquetweddings
- Florals: Il Giardino delle Fate @giardinodellefateflowerdesign
- Groom’s attire: Crockett & Jones (shoes) – Turnbull & Assire (bowtie) – Rolex (watch)
- Hair: CI-Beauty
- Lighting: Kaleydo
- Linens: Preludio Noleggi
- Makeup: Dee Beauté
- Photography: David Bastianoni
- Reception venue: Four Seasons Hotel Firenze
- Rentals: Preludio Noleggi
- Stationery: Bianco Bouquet
- Videography: Altreluci
- Vintage Car (Bentley S1) – Noleggio Auto Cerimonia