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Emm Kuo Founder Emmaline Ranzman’s Wedding in Florence Blended Chinese and Jewish Traditions

By Elle Cashin | Photography by 

Gianluca Adovasio

|Planning by 

Savvy Event Studio

Emmaline Ranzman, the founder of luxury accessories label Emm Kuo, first met David Weinberg on Bumble, and their love has stood the test of time, a pandemic, and a postponed wedding. In October 2022, however—two years to the day after officially tying the knot in a rooftop micro-wedding—the couple finally got their dream Italian wedding, with their nine-month-old daughter by their sides.

I’ve always loved Florence and have been going there for work for many years, so I know the city well,” Emmaline says. “It’s the home of the Renaissance, with the most amazing historic art and architecture, and delicious Tuscan food.” The Four Seasons embodied everything she loves about the city. “It has these beautiful gardens and rich history. My aesthetic was inspired by the beautiful pastel colors of the paintings and decor of Florence. I wanted our wedding design to complement the hotel property, the painted frescos, marble statuary, and lush gardens. However, I also wanted a touch of light and modernity.”

Emmaline enlisted Savvy Event Studio to help plan a weekend-long event that embraced the city’s culture. It began with a Florentine Renaissance-themed welcome party (which doubled as a 40th birthday party for the bride!); the theme for the wedding day, meanwhile, was “La Dolce Vita,” the sweet life. Gianluca Adovasio photographed the nuptials, with Ligui de Gregario on videography; Jasmin Ryan of Linden Illustration created a unique watercolor wedding crest that set the tone on an invitation suite and pretty paper materials. “The wedding was a blend of Chinese tradition with Jewish customs in a stunning Tuscan setting,” Emmaline says. 

Working in fashion—and, in fact, coming straight to Florence from Paris Fashion Week—it makes sense that Emmaline curated a stellar trousseau, including three distinct looks for the wedding day. “I first saw a version of my Oscar de la Renta dress in 2019 and fell in love with it at first sight,” she says. “It was the first wedding dress I tried on, and I knew this was it. Because I wanted a one-of-a-kind dress, a version of the ‘Fern’ was custom-made for me. We added detachable off-the-shoulder sleeves and micro-crystals hand-sewn on the body and border of the dress and veil.” She originally purchased the gown for her 2020 wedding. “It was ordered in 2019, sat in storage, and wasn’t finished until 2022 due to Covid and the delay of our wedding ceremony. Putting on the finished wedding dress in 2022 was like being reunited with a dear old friend.”

Emmaline’s second look was one of many odes to her heritage throughout the wedding. “In Chinese culture, brides typically wear red for their wedding; the color represents love and good luck, so I wanted to wear red for my reception dress,” she shares. The bride worked with a Chinese designer based in Hong Kong on a red duchess silk gown with a detachable bow and train.

For her final look, “I knew I wanted something short that I could dance in,” Emmaline says. She returned to Oscar de la Renta, first trying on a mini dress in bridal white, then ultimately opting for the original version in vivid color. “I knew it was the perfect choice, and it would match my color scheme and the La Dolce Vita theme.”

Then, of course, there were the handbags. Pieces from Emmaline’s label, Emm Kuo, have graced the likes of Taylor Swift and Gigi Hadid. “I originally custom-designed evening clutches for my wedding, my bridesmaids, and my mom; I also created custom leather totes for all our guests,” she says. The showpiece was the Boboli clutch: “I had my artisans inlay our initials in 18-karat plated gold.” Her earrings were by Taiwanese designer Cindy Chao—the same ones she wore for her original micro-wedding—and for beauty, she turned to yet another trusted partner. “I’ve worked with Grace Yen on several photoshoots for my brand in the past, and she’s also done my makeup for many events in New York,” Emmaline says. “She really understands my face and skin. We did several foundation wear tests and makeup trials, and I can’t imagine having anyone else do my makeup for my wedding.”

The groom wore a bespoke tuxedo with a white dinner jacket by Martin Greenfield; bridesmaids wore Johanna Ortiz dresses and carried a variation of the Emm Kuo Brancuse bag.

On October 8, 2022, “our ceremony started with the cantor bringing a sense of spirituality by presenting music with traditional blessings,” Emmaline says. The whole scene was a vision: A lush chuppah on the lawn overlooked the Duomo in the background, and floral artist Vincenzo Dascanio brought in the luminosity Emmaline desired through a custom mirrored aisle that reflected the sky above. “I felt completely calm, with an overall feeling of joy and happiness,” the bride remembers. “My favorite part was exchanging our self-written vows to each other, and walking down the aisle at the end with our daughter.”

After a cocktail hour in the Four Seasons lobby, the reception was held in the hotel’s Convent Ballroom, an ancient church transformed into an event space. We started the night with our first dance, to ‘Perfect Symphony’ by Ed Sheeran and Andrea Bocelli,” Emmaline says. “Our baby girl danced with us toward the last part of the song.” Accompanying them was Inspiration Live, a 15-piece live band from France that previously performed at George and Amal Clooney’s wedding. And that was just the start of the epic entertainment: “We had an opera singer from Teatro Alla Scala in Milan, and everything from Cirque du Soleil-type acrobats to singers and dancers. My goal was to have everyone dancing and partying from the very beginning to the end.”

That’s exactly what they did. Following dinner from the hotel’s Michelin-starred Il Palagio and traditional Italian millefoglie, guests let loose. “Our reception ended at 2:00 a.m., and we had an after-party in our hotel suite upstairs,” Emmaline says. “Our wedding was a dream come true after so long. I wanted the weekend to be a nonstop celebration.”