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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Feiping Chang’s Wedding in Capri by Diana Sorensen @ Sugokuii Events

As featured on Vogue
Orginal Feature:
Photo: Aaron Delesie
Event Planner: Sugokuii Events, Diana Sorensen

Feiping Chang, an Instagram fashion star and the founder of the lifestyle website, and financier Lincoln Li’s wedding was over three days in June. It all started with a welcome dinner at the well-known restaurant Da Paolino in Capri, Italy, on the 15th. An all-day seaside party at Conca del Sogno in Nerano commenced the next morning, and then the main event was on the final day of the meticulously planned destination wedding weekend. But before the stunning Amalfi Coast setting had been decided upon, the multiple custom Giambattista Valli dresses commissioned and designed, and the hashtag populated with more than 500 posts, there was a meet cute in Myanmar.

All of our stationery and menus were designed and illustrated by Melbourne-based artist Betsy Weir of Lemontree Calligraphy & Illustration. I wanted everything to capture the colorful and whimsical spirit of Capri.

The straw gift totes were sourced from Sicily by my planner, and we had a local grandmother in Naples embroider each one with unique sayings or nicknames that were personal to our guests. The bags contained a monogrammed beach tote for the men, an illustrated booklet of our favorite spots in Capri, a fan in the same lemon-print design from our invitation suite, a linen beach towel, a pair of Revé by René sunglasses produced especially for the wedding, and of course, more lemons.

We kick-started the festivities with the rehearsal dinner at Da Paolino Restaurant, famous for its canopy of lemon trees. My dress was custom designed by one of my best friends, Harris Chan of Moiselle, and the fabric was hand-painted with lemons and lemon flowers with Lincoln’s name and mine entwined.

Our planner, Diana Sorensen of Sugokuii Events, created this fun lemon fruit stand which functioned as the table placement display as well as a fun photo booth. The lemon stand was custom designed with many details to resemble ones typically seen in the Amalfi Coast. Guests found their names and seats on tambourines, limoncello bottles, vintage signage, hand-painted Amalfi plates and fruit baskets, with our wedding hashtag on top illuminated using festive southern Italian luminarie.

We chose Da Paolino for our rehearsal dinner as it feels so quintessentially Capri and is the perfect welcome for our guests, many of whom flew in all the way from Hong Kong or Australia. We covered the trunks of the lemon trees with bougainvillea and hung yellow hand-blown glass bulbs that looked beautiful against the lemons and greenery.

In line with the theme of the rehearsal night, each guest had their own antique Capri tile with their name calligraphed that they could bring home as a memento.

My ceremony dress was custom Giambattista Valli haute couture. The dress was brought straight from his Paris atelier to Capri and took four men to hand-carry it on two luggage carts up to the villa

This is one of my favorite shots from the wedding. The flowers in the main entry of the villa covered the walls and lined up the stairs through the hallway. We wanted the flowers to feel like they had been growing wildly inside the villa for years. It’s a lot of flowers and a lot of dress, but somehow, complemented each other perfectly.

This was us on the way up to the mountaintop to our ceremony venue—Villa Lysis, a historical monument with a deeply romantic story. As the villa is usually only accessible by foot, we were given special permission by the local government office to utilize traditional luggage carts that we completely transformed with built-in sofas and canopies to take our guests up. Along the way, local Scialapopolo folk groups in traditional costumes were stationed at various areas—some were playing music, others were greeting our guests on the carts with trays of limoncello—and we decorated most of the shops and restaurants along the way up with special signage in order to make the ride up as personalized and fun as possible. The entire upper part of the island was cheering for us and all 140 guests as we headed up, and I’ll never forget the hospitality and warmth of the people of Capri!

The ceremony took place in the gardens of Villa Lysis, facing the sea with an incredible view of Capri. We didn’t want a typical setup with a ceremony arch. Instead, we wrapped the tree trunks of all the surrounding trees in white peonies and this naturally “framed” the view for our ceremony.

We draped the facade of the villa in white and lilac delphinium. We wanted it to feel luscious yet natural to the environment, and enhance the already spectacular architecture and enchanting environment.

This is the rooftop of the villa, which just two weeks earlier had never been used before and was quite worn down (the villa was built in 1905 by a French count). We retiled the entire floor and added a white pergola covered in an assortment of pastel florals in order to create a beautiful wild garden feel. Velvet upholstered sofas in pale rose were placed around the perimeter of the rooftop (which guests danced on later in the evening). We used white chairs on the other side, which balanced everything out really well. The tables were also custom built with a brass edge framing each side to tie into our tablescape, and flowers cascaded all along the tables and onto the floor.

This was my dream tablescape, it felt romantic, whimsical, and paid homage to Italian craftsmanship. The pink chargers were from Laboratorio Paravicini and had our initials painted onto them. The white plates are from a Roman ceramic studio and each had different textures and rims that complemented each other. The bread plates were rose quartz slabs that we had cut to size and painted gold on the edges. Instead of place cards, we had a local pastry chef in Capri create these incredibly intricate edible flowers and leaves made from sugar.

During the reception on the rooftop, the ground floor of the villa was transformed into a dessert room filled with every imaginable southern Italian dessert created by Capri Palace. There was an abundance of fresh cannoli, babà, torta Caprese, and so much more—this was definitely one of the most popular spots for our guests during the night!

The song for our first dance was “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” by Elvin Bishop, performed by our friend Geoffrey Chuang. Towards the end of his performance, confetti canons went off and covered the entire space in a flurry of white and gold as we danced into the night.

Monday, October 9, 2017 Bumble Founder Whitney Wolfe’s Whirlwind Wedding Was a True Celebration of Southern Italy

Produced by Sugokuii Events, creatively headed by Diana Sorensen, featured on, Oct. 5, 2017 


Bumble Founder Whitney Wolfe and Michael Herd’s Wedding in Positano

Whitney Wolfe, the founder and CEO of Bumble, has made matchmaking her business. Her dating app is 20-million-users strong and well known for its feminist approach to the online courting process—when two heterosexual users are matched, a connection can only be made if the woman makes the first move. (The company has since expanded its reach with the launch of Bumble BFF in March of 2016 and Bumble Bizz earlier this week.)

Whitney Wolfe, the founder and CEO of Bumble, has made matchmaking her business. Her dating app is 20-million-users strong and well known for its feminist approach to the online courting process—when two heterosexual users are matched, a connection can only be made if the woman makes the first move. (The company has since expanded its reach with the launch of Bumble BFF in March of 2016 and Bumble Bizz earlier this week.)
As fate would have it, for the entrepreneur and her now husband, Michael Herd (who’s a restaurateur as well as in the oil-and-gas business) sparks first flew IRL as opposed to virtually, but their love story still started with Whitney unabashedly taking the lead.
It was just before Christmas in 2013, and the two were on vacation in Aspen with their respective families when a mutual friend introduced them one afternoon. The next day, that same friend and Whitney came barreling down the slopes only to find Michael having a long, leisurely lunch on what was a very optimal ski day. “I sat down next to him and was giving him a hard time about wasting such amazing conditions,” remembers Whitney. “Michael admitted he didn’t know how to ski, and being from Utah and having grown up skiing, I was perplexed as to why someone who couldn’t ski would be on a ski vacation.” He quickly suggested she teach him how.
“I was up for the challenge and excited to slyly show off my skills,” Whitney says. “So up the gondola we went. I spent every minute of that long ride boasting about my expertise. He said that he was nervous and suggested that I go slow so he could keep up. When we got off, he picked up my skis and got me clicked in. I thought, Hmm, that’s weird, that’s kind of a pro move, but then quickly started down the hill. I went as fast as I could and thought he was long behind me. Next thing I know, he passes me backward. When we got to the bottom, he clicked off my skis, handed them over, and said, ‘Y’all have a good day!’ My life has never been the same since!”
After leaving Colorado, the two spent hours on the phone, but didn’t see each other again until the end of January. They started dating officially on Valentine’s Day, and a proposal came in June two years later.
 Sugokuii Events, produced by Marco Caputo 
 DAY 1 - Welcome Dinner in Capri

 DAY 2 - Rehearsal Dinner on the Amalfi coast

 DAY 3 - Wedding Reception in Positano

                    DAY 4 - boozy Brunch by the sea

Monday, April 17, 2017

Harpers Bazaar feature of Capri Wedding By Sugokuii Events // Diana Sorensen

Reposted from Harpers Bazaar

Photos by Aaron Delesie

Event Design & Production and Planning by Diana Sorensen from Sugokuii Events -

After a meet-cute in Ibiza at a party at Sid's villa with a view of the ocean, it was pretty much love at first sight, recalls Sofija. "We felt a deep connection right away and couldn't stop talking. Sid actually told me on the first day I met him that I was going to be the mother of his children and we would marry–it all turned out to be true!" Sid's predictions came to light during a vacation on the Amalfi Coast in August of 2015, which Sofija identified as the turning point in their relationship, and where she realized she was falling even more in love with Sid, and with Capri. Based between London, Ibiza and Hamburg, it was a toss-up where Sid would propose. He invited Sofija's friends from Hamburg to London for what he promised would be a surprise birthday celebration, but what turned out to be a "double party full of tears and excitement." Sid surprised Sofija with her friends, the ultimate birthday party and a proposal with a ring he had designed for her in India with Joaillier Privé. Above Image by Pepe Russo.

 With his family in India and busy schedules considered, the couple set out to plan their dream wedding in Southern Italy–in two months. Both in hospitality and obsessed with all things celebratory, culinary and luxury service oriented, the two were focused on creating the ultimate Capri experience for their guests. The couple reached out to Italian-based planner Diana Sorensen to help them plan a three-day celebration in a matter of weeks complete with a forest ceremony, a quintessentially Capri reception and bespoke everything. Sorensen of Sugokuii Events turned to her design roots, all things Italian and designers like Dolce & Gabbana, who have such a strong Capri influence, for inspiration.

Sorensen credits the couple's laid-back Ibiza vibes and how deeply in love they were with each other, with Capri and with their family and friends when speaking about the easy and exciting time she had planning their wedding weekend. "Capri is almost tropical, it's a fun island and not too uptight," she explained. "Sid and Sofija wanted something non-traditional and whimsical," like a ceremony in a fairytale forest setting and a lounge-like reception at the famous lemon tree restaurant, Da Paolino. Their weekend of events felt like the perfect marriage of posh and polish with the influence of Southern Italy, sprinkled with touches of Sid's Indian roots. A Mumbai-based stationer crafted their suite, using Indian motifs paired with Southern Italian tile designs and a hybrid of customary color palettes. The welcome basket, a straw bag by Micaela Spadoni, was filled with little pieces of Capri for each guest to enjoy throughout their stay: lemon cookies by local Pasticceria Buonocore, Sofia Prosecco by Coppola wines in honor of the bride's name, lemon scented candles by Carthusia, fresh lemons and chilies, charm bracelets from Russo Capri, homemade nutella from Napoli and cheeky notes, like a taxi coupon for guests to use as paid transportation to the ceremony and an Italian lottery ticket that guests had 'won' in being able to experience one of Italy's most luxurious locales.

 When looking for a wedding dress, "the McQueen designs were the closest to my spirit," remembers the bride. "Sid always wanted me to wear Alexander McQueen for our wedding day, as it is also a favorite designer of his. I made an appointment with the head of design to discuss what I imagined my dress to be and they understood very quickly–I wanted an elegant and timeless dress with open shoulders. They made some beautiful sketches and we started almost immediately. They did an amazing job in such a short period of time! After all, we moved the date of the wedding last minute from September to July, and consequently only had 6 weeks to design the perfect dress!" Sofija paired the gown with flat René Caovilla sandals, an Alexander McQueen veil and earrings by Sabbadini Gioielli. Sid wore a custom made Kiton suit, made in their ateliers in Napoli and Capri. For her bridesmaids, Sofija turned to friend (and bridesmaid) Millane Fernandez; together, they chose a sage green fabric embroidered with leaves that was inspired by the forest setting.

 The night before the wedding included an Indian-Italian inspired rehearsal dinner on a mountain top, which guests could only reach by chair-lift. "The ceremony took place in a forest setting in Anacapri, an incredibly beautiful, unspoiled, private and tranquil location not known by many visitors, but familiar to locals. It has this unique combination of being woodsy while overlooking the sea, so it truly has the best of both worlds," Sofija explained. Guests walked through an archway of bougainvillea spelling "Amoré" as they entered the forest. "We didn't want anything too traditional; we consequently didn't have an arch or your typical ceremony setup," said the bride. The ceremony was presented in the round, with a flower field of delphiniums planted to frame the small gathering of friends and family. "We added a whimsical aspect to the ceremony by having guests clutch balloons, which were released into the air at the end of their vows by all of our guests." Instead of ceremony programs, a book of poems by Pablo Neruda (a writer and poet who once called Capri home) was placed on each guest's seat along with a printed fan. Before the ceremony, guests were greeted with fresh limonata with rosemary and a table of fresh floral crowns to done as they witnessed the couple's vows. "We walked down the aisle to Cesaria Evoro's Sodade & Petit Pays which we love and sounded so magical in the setting and reminded us of when we met in Ibiza." After their vows and the balloon release, the couple were escorted to a flower-adorned vintage car by a procession of close friends and musicians to be driven to their reception.

From the start, the couple sought to establish a supper-club feel for their reception, full of good food and an easy-yet-polished ambiance. Guests entered the reception and plucked their names from an escort card fruit stand, full of illustrations of the bride and groom and topped with their hashtag in lights, which served as a backdrop for photos as the night wore on. "We really wanted to celebrate Capri–and all things Capri–and there couldn't be a better place to do that for us than Da Paolino," said Sofija. The dining institution set the tone for the genuinely Italian experience. "We were not looking to have an over the top wedding, we were looking for something that really represented us," she remembered fondly. The reception was an all-night party beneath the lemon trees; fun but stylish, with a focus on fun and local details. Tablescapes included bespoke plates adorned with illustrations, floral embroidered napkins with the name of each guest in lieu of place cards and straw placemats in floral shapes.


Da Paolino was transformed by florists Capri Flor to accompany the lemon trees already in the space–using greenery, bougainvillea and bright florals. Custom circular sofas created an easy vibe, so much so that guests took to the dance floor mid-way through dinner. The menu, which the couple fine-tuned through multiple visits and tastings in the Amalfi, included a Caprese salad with a burrata from Puglia and three varieties of pasta, including a Cacio e Pepe served in hollowed-out, individually-sized Parmigiano rounds. For dessert, an abundant dessert bar was displayed along with a wedding cake adorned in Capri tile patterns, bougainvillea and lemons made of sugar. For the after party bites, pizzaioli from Napoli were brought in to make pizza in a custom designed tiled booth–they take pizza so seriously that water was brought in from Napoli specifically to make the dough

 Late night dancing was irresistible when a Sicilian band from Palermo and a DJ took to their stations, and the bride changed into a cocktail dress by Hamburg-based brand Aikon Couture, paired with Giuseppe Zanotti sandals for the late-night festivities. In speaking about Sofija and Sid, planner Diana Sorensen could not stress enough the true, undeniable love one felt between the two of them, and that their friends felt towards them. The couple remember their wedding similarly, after capping off the weekend with a seaside post-nuptial brunch at Ristorante Il Riccio, "The energy was incredible, the people, the locations and the setting–you truly felt the love everywhere."