Gucci Special Projects Manager Elizabeth Paladeau and Huw Richards first met at the wine bar, Turks & Frogs, in the West Village, and from there, began dating for the next seven years. A few weeks before Elizabeth’s birthday in 2021, Huw invited her on a walk along the beach with their dog Astrid. They had done this stroll near their beloved house in the Hamptons many times before, so she was surprised to discover this familiar territory suddenly adorned with flowers. That’s when Huw got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.
The peripatetic couple delved into the wedding planning process knowing they wanted a destination event. “Huw and I love to travel and both grew up as expats,” Elizabeth shares. “We wanted our wedding to feel like an extended version of the trip we went on to celebrate my birthday and our engagement, which ultimately led back to the Amalfi Coast.”
They were additionally inspired by the mod atmosphere of mid-century beach clubs à la Slim Aarons and Sophia Loren, which was evident in their save the dates and invitations. Using the Beach Club Arienzo in Positano was an obvious choice for the day-after celebration. “The iconic orange and white umbrellas speak for themselves,” Elizabeth notes. Their planner, Jung Lee of FÊTE NY, introduced them to the Sorrento private villa they selected for the ceremony. “It was restored and renovated by Lord Waldorf Astor in the early 1900s on a promenade surrounded by the sea and lush, expansive gardens,” she describes. “We wanted an intimate wedding celebration that felt more like an elaborate dinner party.” They enlisted Shawn Connell to document the picturesque milieus.
Each of the three events had distinct aesthetics, which allowed the bride to try different styles for her weekend wardrobe. “Since I work in the [fashion] industry, it was important to me that what I wore reflected both my personality and style as well as the overall vibe of the celebrations,” she notes. For the welcome dinner at Conca del Sogno, she complemented the dramatic seaside backdrop with a mermaid-inspired Gucci gown. “I considered using it as my wedding dress but ultimately decided I wanted to have a white gown moment,” Elizabeth mentions. “In Italy, it is also considered good luck to wear green the night before your wedding!”
She searched high and low for that white ivory dress and finally found a nontraditional Vera Wang gown. The moment she tried it on, she could envision herself in the Italian villa with the material billowing around her, especially with the 25-foot-long train elongation she asked for. Her expansive and serpentine ceremony gown was a stark contrast with her after-party mini dress. In the short “garden fairy ballerina” Oscar de la Renta number, she could really flit on the dance floor.
In the months leading up to the wedding, Elizabeth turned to esthetician Cynthia Rivas for facials. Additionally, “I knew my long-time glam team and friends, Colby Smith and Netty Jordan, would know how to make me look like an enhanced version of myself,” she notes about her wedding day beauty. Elizabeth accounted for an additional outfit change that evening—a slip dress made by her friend Beau Watson—for further late-night dancing and pizza, of course.
The ceremony on September 17, 2022, took place in front of the villa. The driveway was converted into an aisle with thousands of flowers and greenery all around. “We had originally picked a different location for the ceremony, but because of the length of my train, had to pivot on-site,” Elizabeth explains. “Jung came up with the idea to have me exit the villa onto the aisle and it turned out so beautifully.” Huw waited at the altar in a custom suit by Watson Ellis.
The newlyweds stepped out into the garden and saw Jung and her team’s transformation of the dance floor, which took Elizabeth’s breath away. She and Huw shared a first dance to “Adore” by Amy Shark and enjoyed the Quattro Passi–catered meal and cake. DJ Charlie Weaver kept the crowd dancing all night long.
Elizabeth and Huw joined their guests for a post-wedding beach day. It started with a boat tour of the Amalfi Coast and ended with a trip to the Arienzo Beach Club in Positano. The groom sported Orlebar Brown, while the bride looked retro-chic in a sparkling Chanel runway look and later changed into a Tropic of C bikini for a plunge in the water. She confides, “Swimming out into the sea and looking around in the water and seeing all of our loved ones is a truly surreal experience I will never forget.”