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This Couple Exchanged Vows Surrounded by Ancient Olive Trees at Masseria Torre Maizza

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Pablo Laguía

|Planning by 

Exclusively Italy Weddings

Nicholas Loh was classmates with Theodora Elesa Liu’s twin brother, and he would come over to their home during primary school. “We lost touch when my brother and I went to the U.K. for boarding school for high school, but we connected again when we were studying in the U.S. for university,” Theodora explains. “Nick came to do a breakdance performance from Tufts University at Brown University, where Theo was studying, and the rest is history.”

After a decade together, Nick proposed during a small boat trip around Lake Garda, followed by a romantic celebratory dinner at Lido 84. Wanting to continue their love story in Italy, the engaged duo loved Masseria Torre Maizza’s sprawling bougainvillea and romantic essence for their wedding.

“We wanted to create the opportunity to travel with close friends and family to explore parts of coastal Italy we haven’t been before. Puglia was a perfect blend of culture, scenery and food,” Theodora says of their destination summer nuptials. To bring their vision to life, the couple looked to Laura Frappa of Exclusively Italy Weddings. Pablo Laguía and Giulio Cantarella were behind the lenses, capturing digital still and moving moments.

The theme for their welcome dinner was Mediterranean Chic, so Theodora paired her Dolce & Gabbana look with her grandmother’s ruby and diamond earrings. “We also wanted to showcase the Apulian theme, so we had eight different food stalls adorned with hanging garlands serving local delicacies, a granita truck, and a personalized Apulian light arch displaying our names,” the bride shares. “[We also] had a four-piece band that danced on chairs and had everyone dancing with their personalized tambourines.”

On September 3, 2023, Theodora got ready with makeup artist Jen Ho and put on her Oscar de la Renta Spring 2022 silk taffeta dress with floral appliqués for the ceremony and accessorized with pearl and diamond earrings that her mom had made for her. Her second look (including earrings) was a custom design by Hong Kong designer Barney Cheng. “I wanted something more sparkly for my first dance, and he embroidered fireworks pattern and ‘Theodora & Nicholas per sempre’ on it,” the bride shares. Theodora ended the night in her party look—a knee-length silk white dress with sneakers.

Bridesmaids complemented Theodora in pink Birdy Grey dresses, while the groom and his party sported suits from Prologue.

On the golf course, surrounded by ancient olive trees, Theodora and Nick were married in an emotional ceremony by their childhood friend, Justin Chow. “Nick and I both cried when giving our vows,” the bride recalls. “But we also had a few jokes to make it a bit more lighthearted.”

At the tented reception, guests—including legendary actress Michelle Yeoh—celebrated the newlyweds with a four-course meal that highlighted Puglia’s traditional dishes and concluded with a delicious berry millefoglie. Florals by Anthea Studio lined the tables and hung overhead, creating a romantic, whimsical atmosphere.

Circus Music by Avi Amiel, a seven-piece band from Paris, kept the dance floor lively all night. Theodora and Nick had their first dance to “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli. And one of the bride’s favorite moments of the night was when Nick and his groomsmen gave a surprise performance of “Perfect.” “Nick also ended the song by singing the last part in Italian,” Theodora beams. And the day finished with a bang, as fireworks burst in the Italian night sky.