When Gabriella Campagna got engaged to Mario Milana, she knew immediately where she wanted to have her wedding. “We wanted to get married at my grandparents’ country house in Cali, Colombia,” she shares. “It’s called La Mañanita, which means ‘The Little Morning.’ It was a very special and magical place for us to visit growing up, and I always imagined doing it there.” The logistics proved to be a little tricky, though. After all, the bride is an actress born and raised in New York, while the groom is an Italian furniture designer originally from Milan. “We knew it wouldn’t be easy to get everyone down there,” laments Gabriella. “But thankfully, in the end, those who made it loved discovering Cali.”
The couple, who met through a friend in New York, dated for four years before getting engaged in Milan. “He designed the engagement ring in collaboration with Milanese jeweler Villa,” she shares. “The stone was his mother’s.” Even though they both wanted a small, intimate wedding, Gabriella’s large Colombian extended family meant a big wedding was in order. “We had 250 guests and more than half of them were from my mother’s side of my family,” she says with a laugh. “But I wouldn’t have had it any other way.” Planning from afar was a group family effort between the bride; her mother; and their wedding planner, Diane Eder, a close relative based in Cali.
In late January, guests from all over the world traveled to the small city in Colombia for the big occasion, and the family hosted several events throughout the weekend. Thursday night, there was a welcome party with a live Cuban band, followed by salsa dancing. On Friday, guests were transported an hour into the mountains for an afternoon lunch that turned into another party lasting well into the night. And then Saturday afternoon the bride and groom tied the knot at her beloved Mañanita. “It was honestly the happiest day of my life,” she says. “I was overwhelmed by the love of friends and family that surrounded us.”