Yolande notes that a crucial element of her and Johnny’s relationship is their shared Christian faith, and so they wanted the ceremony to be “spiritual and to truly celebrate the covenant of marriage.” The string quartet, Time 2 Quartet, learned the sheet music to “Remembrance” by Hillsong Worship, at the couple’s request, and both Yolande and Johnny walked down the aisle to it, each accompanied by their parents. “We were so blessed to have our pastor, Apostle Mrs. Lyanne Koffi, from the Lord’s Garden Ministries in Ghana officiate our wedding,” the bride says. “She flew all the way from Ghana to deliver a wonderful and entertaining sermon inclusive of witty finance references and merger puns. She blessed our union and oversaw our communion.”
The couple wrote and recited their own vows. “I was elated and emotional during our ceremony. Johnny, who hardly wears his heart on his sleeve, spoke vows that were deep, vulnerable, expressive, and moving—cue the waterworks from me,” Yolande says. “My vows were admittedly much less impressive—it was a tough act to follow—but it was ‘me’: funny, heartfelt, and a little self-deprecating. I had no doubt I had found my partner for life, and I felt deeply loved and at peace.”
After the ceremony, guests made their way to the aperitivo with the backdrop of a beautiful sunset, where hors d’oeuvres from the land and sea were served along with Aperol spritzes, prosecco, and Masseria Amastuola wines. Meanwhile, the newlyweds drove to the olive groves and vineyard in a vintage car. There, they had a photo shoot with their photographers Nastia and Maks. “With the sunlight slowly fading, Johnny and I could take a breath, soak in our emotions, and spend time with each other before returning to our guests,” Yolande says.
The wedding dinner was formal but intimate with long rectangular tables, white natural flora, a plethora of candles, and black velvet accents. An olfactory element was incorporated with Jo Malone candles in pomegranate noir. The couple curated a playlist of their favorite love songs in English and Twi (a Ghanaian language) to bring the event to life.
Friends gave poignant, witty, and funny speeches that bordered on roasts, eliciting peals of laughter. Dinner was a laid-back, four-course meal, including a ricotta, stracciatella, and pistachio ravioli in creamy tomato sauce; veal with datterino tomato confit, arugula pesto, and a potato rose; and to finish, tiramisu with pistachio sponge cake. Each course was paired with Amastuola’s distinct wines. “Everything was delicious,” Yolande says. “We were stuffed afterwards and looked forward to burning calories on the dancefloor.”
Following the dinner, the bride changed into her second look, and the newylweds made an entrance before their romantic first dance to Sabrina Claudio’s “Frozen.” “We had not practiced a set choreography but certainly improvised a handful of dips and spins,” Yolande says. “I muttered a few times, ‘Yikes—don’t drop me,’ but our guests were none the wiser.”
Ghanaian and Italian traditions were incorporated throughout the evening to surprise and delight guests. There was a firework display set to “A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay, a champagne tower, live food making, a Ghanaian DJ—DJ Kobe, who flew in from London to play a mix of hip-hop, wedding classics, and Afrobeats—as well as a classic millefoglie Italian wedding cake, and a napkin waving.
The after-party went on till 2 a.m. with guests—fueled by late-night panzerotti (an Apulian favorite) and a cocktail bar—letting loose and jamming to Afrobeats. “The party was legendary!” Yolande says. The following day guests recovered poolside at the Masseria with cocktails—spritzes were a crowd pleaser, fresh oven-baked pizza, pucce sandwiches, gelato, and leftover wedding cake. DJ Kobe had the perfect poolside playlist, and everyone danced under the pristine, cerulean blue Apulian sky.