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This Couple Decided to Get Married in Italy After Seeing Shiv Roy’s Wedding on Succession

By Cathleen Freedman | Photography by 

Giuseppe Giovanelli

|Planning by 

Wedding Events Italy

Sasha Rassoli and Christopher Nelson swiped and struck a match on Tinder in 2015, “which felt oh so romantic back then,” Sasha jokes. After a few “questionable” Tinder dates with others on the app, neither took their matches seriously. They spent weeks texting utter nonsense—he’d send tarp-covered construction site photos, and she’d reply trying to convince him that she’s an artist with her terrible amateur sketches. What they didn’t realize was actually happening, though, was that they had met their forever partner in—as Sasha says it—”bullshitting.”

Eventually, they took their meandering conversations off the app and into real life and dated for five years. Two days before her birthday in November of 2020, Chris told Sasha that he convinced Viader Vineyards & Winery to do a private tasting for them in exchange for a content deal. As they walked among the grapevines, Chris completely surprised Sasha by getting down on one knee with what he called a “loaner ring” that she’s fairly certain he purchased on Amazon. “We’d always talked about how I’d like to design a custom ring together, so he held off on initiating that process for after we got engaged so as to maintain an element of surprise, which worked!” she says. The couple spent the next year working with a jeweler to source a blush pink Padparadscha sapphire and designed a unique ring together.

While the couple had never traveled to Italy before, that did not stop Sasha from envisioning their wedding day somewhere in the rolling hills of Tuscany. Considering the pandemic travel lull, a destination wedding just seemed right. “We love to travel, and after not being able to do so with the pandemic, a destination wedding really felt right for us,” she says. “We were watching Succession one night, and it was the episode where everyone is arriving at this gorgeous estate in England for Shiv’s wedding. It was then that we knew we wanted to do something similar, picking a venue that would allow most of our guests to stay there with us for a weekend and celebrate with our loved ones all weekend long.”

Through The Venue Report, they found Castello di Montalto, a millennium-old charming castle nestled in the Chianti region. They worked with Wedding Events Italy to cultivate a timeless aesthetic that would match the old-world charm of the castle.

In the meantime, the two married in an intimate California courthouse ceremony on August 22, 2022, followed by a dinner at The Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden in Corona del Mar. It was particularly meaningful to have this time with their grandparents and two dogs—Talah and Panbeh, which mean “gold” and “cotton ball” in Farsi—who wouldn’t be able to make the long journey to Tuscany.

“I was never the type of person who envisioned their wedding as a little girl, and I really never gave much thought previously about what I’d want to wear,” Sasha says. A quick Pinterest perusal let her know she either wanted a ball gown or a slip dress—two very different styles. After several boutique visits, she finally found “the one” with a Mikado satin ball gown by Pronovias. “I quite literally felt like a princess,” she confesses. She and Elle Garretson designed an ivory mesh veil to match. It remained hooked underneath Sasha’s knotted bun on the big day. Ferial Mosharaf arranged Sasha’s hair while she got ready in a Maria Lamadrid dressing gown and robe.

For Sasha’s reception outfit, she changed into her dream slip dress by Galia Lahav and Vera Wang heels. She also swapped her ceremony earrings for the same pair her great-grandmother and grandmother wore to their weddings decades earlier.

The couple kicked off their wedding weekend in Italy by welcoming their family and friends to the castle for an evening of pizzas and Tuscan wines under the stars. On September 3, 2022, guests gathered for the ceremony, surrounded by florist Magnolia’s arrangments. Sasha’s mother walked to the altar where the groom waited in a custom Indochino suit. “Being that I’m a first-generation Iranian, it was important for me to incorporate elements of Persian customs within our wedding,” Sasha notes. “So we came up with a creative solution for a blended Persian-American ceremony.”

The couple’s best friend officiated the American parts of the ceremony. Then, the couple’s mothers and sisters held up a beaded toor over the couple as Sasha’s brother narrated the Persian portion of the ceremony. Chris’s mom rubbed sugar cones over the toor, a custom performed by happily married women to shower the couple’s life with sweetness. One of Chris’s sisters passed a needle through the toor to signify the bonding of the families. The Persian ceremony finished with an exchange of the newlyweds’ honey-dipped fingers—”because you can never have enough sweetness in your life,” Sasha explains. Afterward, they shared traditional Western vows—just as the sun began to celestially shine down on them.

After the ceremony, everyone enjoyed aperitivos with spritzes and traditional Tuscan canapes. The couple shared a first dance to Billie Holiday’s “I’ll Be Seeing You” and then opened the dance floor to their guests. “As you can imagine, eating is a central part of Italian culture, so we wanted to give our guests a break from all the food before dinner!” Sasha recalls. Il Sorris Ricevimenti‘s three-course meal followed, starting with saffron risotto, gnochetti with trabaccolaro ragu, and spicy peposo—all paired with an endless supply of Tuscan wines. Heartwarming toasts by Sasha’s mom and Chris’s father accompanied the feast.

The newlyweds sliced into a traditional millefoglie cake served with Moscato, digestivos, and espresso. “After we cut the cake, our maître d’ handed us a saber and a bottle of Champagne,” she remembers. “Chris got a quick lesson on the how-to and sabered the Champagne like a pro, which kicked off the rest of the dancing for the evening.”

Sasha still smiles when thinking about the moment she assumed their photographer, Giuseppe Giovanelli, and videographers, Three Seconds Film, left. “I thought, ‘Okay, now the party can really start!'” Thankfully, Giuseppe lingered longer than she realized and shot some priceless moments.

The dancing lasted until two in the morning, and once it ended, Sasha requested the DJ play her go-to karaoke song, “Un-Break My Heart” by Toni Braxton. The couple recounted staying up until the early morning hours singing and laughing with friends, creating unforgettable memories.