Start Slideshow View Grid Start Slideshow 45

A Full Rainstorm Only Made This Russian Wedding in Italy More Special

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Joel & Justyna

Carisma Nabor, wedding videographer and owner of Carisma Films, met Mark Nabor during their last semester at the University of Virginia at a birthday party. “My roommate (who is Russian) introduced me to Mark saying that he is also Russian—his facial expression when I introduced myself to him in Russian was priceless! That was the start of it all; we spent the rest of the party talking in a corner,” Carisma says.

After two-and-a-half years, he proposed during a trip to Rome. “We had just purchased a condo, and since I really wanted photos for the new space, Mark had booked an early morning photo session at the Trevi Fountain. Midway through the photoshoot he proposed,” she says.

While they were looking for an Airbnb for a family trip to Italy, they came across Castello di Tassara and discovered that it also hosted weddings, so they decided to book it for their #BeMyNabor celebration. It was also a great meeting point for her U.S. family and his in Russia. To help plan everything, they hired Miia Events & Flowers.

For her dress, Carisma really wanted to wear something that complemented the rustic feel of her venue. She landed on a Marchesa gown with floral appliqués and a detachable cape. “For hair and makeup, I wanted to again play off of a classical Italian style and allure and used Monica Bellucci as a source of inspiration,” the bride says.

On the morning of the ceremony, storm clouds were beginning to roll in. “Our entire processional, walked down the aisle to Ludovico Einaudi’s “Nuvole Bianche” (which is super ironic because the clouds were turning far from white!). At the pause in the song, and right before I walked out, the first sound of church bells from next door rang, which all of our guests described as epic,” Carisma says. “As someone who films weddings for a living, I was afraid I’d be numb to the emotional part of my own—but it was 1000% there. I was the first to say our personal vows and had already started tearing up before starting,” she continues.

After the ceremony, the newlyweds guided everyone down the hill for a group photo, but the rain was coming in full force. Guests moved under a huge umbrella and then to the partly-covered cocktail hour, but by then, the showers were moving sideways and it had started to hail. Everyone made a mad dash to the castle, where towels and blow dryers were passed around to the completely soaked party. “The most insane part of this was that EVERYONE had a smile on their face. Not one person was upset or frustrated but were all smiling and laughing in enjoyment. I feel like rain is every bride’s biggest fear for their wedding day, but it made our day into something so much more unforgettable,” Carisma says.

With some help from the guests, the reception space was moved inside to the barn, and after the rain stopped, a double rainbow appeared. “Everyone went outside for photos—still wet but also still smiling from ear to ear,” the bride says.

They started the party with the Korovai, the traditional Russian, ornately decorated bread that the couple breaks. Whoever ends up with the biggest piece is considered to be the head of the household—Carisma broke it clean in half.

After the delicious seated dinner, everyone moved outside for the first, father-daughter, and mother-son dances and dessert under the stars. The newlyweds’ first dance was choreographed to “Nel blu dipinto di blu” by Malika Ayane and “Volare” by Gipsy Kings.

“‘That’s Amore’ by Dean Martin started playing at the end of the night,” Carisma says. “We all formed a line and danced back into the barn.”