Leandra Masino and Dean Di Sipio were roughly 16 years of age when they were introduced at a mutual friend’s birthday party. That first encounter marked the beginning of an unconventional love story.
“On-again, off-again, we finally managed to get our act together in our early-thirties,” Leandra shares. “Coffee for us has been intertwined in our relationship from the beginning. We would often go on coffee dates, and every morning Dean brews a pot of Italian coffee on the stovetop. This simple daily routine has become a special tradition that holds immense sentimental value for us both, so he felt it only fitting to propose on the morning of my 33rd birthday in our kitchen, with our beloved pooch Ruben and a freshly brewed pot of coffee.”
“ON-AGAIN, OFF-AGAIN, WE FINALLY MANAGED TO GET OUR ACT TOGETHER IN OUR EARLY-THIRTIES.”
Leandra and Dean were eager to get married fairly soon after their engagement and set their wedding date for the following March. Despite a tight schedule, the wedding planning experience was relatively stress-free; and both enjoyed piecing together a contemporary Italian wedding at Ormond Collective in Melbourne, Australia.
“Planning began with securing the reception venue, Ormond Collective,” describes Leandra. “Built in 1891, its striking Art Deco decor had been beautifully preserved and captured the vibe of a refined nostalgia. It was absolutely perfect and really appealed to our personal style and our wedding aesthetic of combining a traditional, classic style with a contemporary, lively vibe.”
“Luckily for me, the first dress I tried on was the one,” she adds. “Designed and created by one of Australia's leading couture designers, Leah Da Gloria, it had a unique style with an Art Deco feel and was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Travelling to Sydney for fittings was a special part of the experience, seeing the dress come to life.”
The couple’s contemporary Italian wedding took place during a long weekend, and Melbourne’s temperamental weather graced them with a warm and sunny day. Scheduling a first look photography and video session prior to the church ceremony also turned out to be the best decision, as the bride and groom were able to spend some quality time together before seeing their wedding guests.
“We opted not to have a bridal party and instead chose our respective siblings to partake in wedding formalities,” says Leandra. “It was incredibly rewarding to see all of our hard work and months of planning come to fruition exactly how we had envisioned it. We wanted everyone to have the best experience, so we treated our guests to little surprises along the way with coffee and biscotti’s being served shortly after the ceremony, and we also made sure the evening ended on a high note with espresso martinis.
A highlight of the day was walking into the main hall and being introduced as husband and wife. Testament to our band and MC who read the room perfectly, creating such an amazing vibe from the moment we walked in. We didn’t expect the guests’ reactions – everyone was up on their feet cheering, sparking on an incredible celebration.”
The next day, the newlyweds hosted an intimate “recovery party” for their wedding guests and later retreated to Byron Bay for a mini getaway. Their European honeymoon was postponed due to COVID-19, but Leandra and Dean remain grateful and happy to have been able to celebrate their wedding prior to the pandemic.
Cinematography: Videoboutique Melbourne, Australia