Randy and Elena Berkhardt first crossed paths on a night out in Amsterdam. “We first met in one of Amsterdam’s most infamous queer bars, De Trut,” Randy explains. “De Trut is a grungy, darkly lit, underground queer bar completely run by volunteers. It’s only open on Sundays, and it’s absolutely amazing.”
When Randy and Elena finally struck up a conversation, sparks flew. The two describe their first shared moments as “electric and instantly something.” When the night slowed down, Randy gave Elena a note with her number on it—which she still has to this day.
Three years later, Randy proposed at the botanical gardens in Amsterdam, and they began planning their destination wedding. “I guess you could say, we wanted queer romance,” Randy shares of their wedding vision. “We looked at three venues in Italy but as soon as we saw the Villa Medicea di Lilliano and met the team, we knew it was the right fit. The venue is stunning and the team made us feel like family. Only a few minutes into our site walkthrough did Elena start crying. We couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else.”
The weekend aesthetic highlighted the hills of Florence on a bright afternoon—familial, intimate, and natural. Reneille Velez of Gian Events planned everything to perfection, and La Vélo Fotografia was there to capture every moment behind the lens. Pink Ink Studio designed the stationery for the fall wedding.
“I wanted to wear something that felt authentic to who I am,” Randy notes of her ceremony look. “[I] was absolutely certain after dress shopping that I didn’t want to wear a dress. I wanted something that celebrated my reserve and sense of style. I love a good heavy-weight, high-waisted pant.” She decided on pleated white trousers by Saint Laurent with a Valentino top. “It’s a stunning shirt—an homage to my mother actually. Growing up I knew my mom was a fierce business woman and she embodied the tailored shirt and power suit look. I draw strength from that image and was cloaked in it that day.” Randy accessorized with white Christian Louboutin pumps, a Rolex Datejust, and her mother’s jewelry.
Elena stunned in a Dolce & Gabbana floral jacquard martini suit with Hugo Boss shoes. A Cartier Tank watch served as a classic timepiece to elevate the final look.
On October 1, 2022, Elena and Randy met before a collection of Le Petit Jardin florals in the Lower Garden. A close friend officiated the ceremony beautifully, and everyone held space for lost loved ones. The readings, Rupi Kaur’s “I Do Not Want to Have You” and bell hook’s “All About Love” had everyone emotional.
The brides shared their vows—ones they wrote on the morning of the wedding—and jumped the broom to conclude the ceremony. “I was never more ready to do something in my entire life,” Randy says of the wedding. Elena chimes in saying, “I felt like it was the most important day of my life, and it was so emotional.” They sealed it all with a kiss and walked down the aisle as guests cheered. “Our first kiss was beautiful, but our second kiss was electric,” Randy shares.
Following the ceremony, everyone indulged in a cocktail hour on the Upper Lawn featuring Tuscan sausage and squid salad before heading to a fairy light-filled reception space. Guests gathered for a seated dinner surrounded by gold accents and pastel florals. Loved ones gave toasts as everyone dined on a menu by Desinare accompanied by wine pairings from the estate.
The deejay brought everyone onto the dance floor, and the revelry began. Guests danced the night away celebrating the newlyweds. A bottle of Champagne made its way through the space—a cool girls’ guest book— before fireworks sparked in the sky.
Elena and Randy asked the deejay for one last song as the night came to a close. The couple danced to “The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes—a nod to Elena’s favorite film, Dirty Dancing.
As for a favorite moment, the brides enjoyed celebrating their love with those from all corners of their lives. . .and the fireworks, of course. The next morning, everyone relived the festivities during a farewell brunch at the 25hours Hotel. Afterward, Randy and Elena took off for their honeymoon and spent the following week lounging around the beaches of Sicily.