“We had a classic meet-cute at a lively club in Soho. Just as I was preparing to depart for the night, fate intervened as Leigh made his entrance,” Katie Alliotts remembers of the moment she first met her future husband, Leigh Brandt. “A spark instantly ignited between us, altering the course of my evening entirely… We danced the night away; our chemistry undeniable.” 

Katie and Leigh share a deep passion for travel and an appreciation for discovering new cuisines and cultures, and from the early days in their relationship, they dreamed of embarking on their first international adventure together in Italy. As they wanted to choose a location neither had experienced before, they planned a romantic trip to Puglia, where Leigh surprised Katie with an unforgettable proposal in front of a 3,000-year-old olive tree in a stunning grove. 

Immediately, they knew they wanted to get married in the region known for its centuries-old towns and picturesque Mediterranean coastline. “We wasted no time and secured the venue the day after Leigh’s proposal,” Katie shares of their decision to exchange vows at a luxury resort in the Puglian countryside, which inspired their dream wedding style. “Our vision for the wedding design was to harmonize with the natural surroundings, rather than compete with it,” she adds. 

In fact, upon arrival, guests received welcome baskets filled with items that honored the pair’s affection for Puglia, including a bottle of wine from a local vineyard and olive oil from the proposal site, to set the tone for the Italian wedding weekend. 

Before the sun set on the exquisite limestone walls of the five-star property overlooking the sea, friends and family found their seats in the round, so everyone had a perfect view of the vow exchange, which took place beneath a stunning floral structure. 

“Every aspect of the weekend – from the dancing, the infectious laughter, and the delicious cuisine – was symbolic of who we are as individuals and the essence of Leigh and me as a couple.”

“We designed a chuppah that boasted a distinctive shape, commanding scale, and an abundance of texture, with a touch of vibrant color,” confirms the bride, who was gorgeous in a strapless ball gown with a modern skirt. To personalize the Jewish ceremony, the pair made sure to get to know their rabbi well beforehand and chose to sip tequila in lieu of wine for “our own fun little twist,” the bride smiles. 

Once Katie and Leigh were pronounced husband and wife, the celebration continued outdoors, with their intimate guest list seated at one of two long tables. “We adopted a sophisticated and timeless approach to the design,” the bride describes of the décor, which showcased tailored table linens sourced from the states, as well as tabletop elements imported from Milan, Rome, and Florence. 

“Our floral arrangements took a chic and curated approach,” she adds. “My business partner Allan and I, along with our team members from our company Cerka Creative, worked in collaboration with the local floral designer Botlea to bring this minimal yet sophisticated floral vision to fruition. Every detail was meticulously considered, from the hand-picked vases to the candlesticks that Leigh and I personally transported from New York.” 

Not wanting the night to end, loved ones were thrilled to attend a lively after-party, for which the bride changed into a sparkling long-sleeve minidress with fun feather details. “We aimed to create a lively club atmosphere,” describes Katie of the fête in the alfresco space, which was transformed with unique lighting, shimmering disco balls, and an epic firework display. 

“Every aspect of the weekend – from the dancing, the infectious laughter, and the delicious cuisine – was symbolic of who we are as individuals and the essence of Leigh and me as a couple,” she affirms of their destination-wedding weekend in their favorite place with their favorite people.