I do so love an Italy wedding overlooking the sea and Sorrento is absolutely magical. WWW readers Lucy and Nikki tied the knot at Villa Antiche Mura, an Art Deco venue right on the coast on Saturday 17th September 2016. Keeping to a simple palette of whites with some sparkle at the reception, and it turned out to be a wonderfully stylish day.
Lucy used her event know-how to include some beautiful touches such as the white post box for cards and the gorgeous laser cut guest book and place names. I just love the little lanterns hanging from the vines and the abundance of fairy lights sends a shiver down my spine. Planning a wedding from another country is no mean feat and with the help of an excellent venue manager, Lucy did such a fantastic job. Of course, it’s not all hard work visiting Sorrento for organisational trips!
Doesn’t Lucy look just fabulous in her altered Pronovias “Plisa” gown? Nikki wanted a bespoke suit and I think you’ll agree that the result is a rather dapper groom, complete with his Hugo Boss shoes.
Thank you so much Frances Sales for capturing their day so beautifully and sharing these images with us.
THE PROPOSAL | Nikki proposed on 17th November 2014 at Dormy House in Broadway. We’d booked a couple of nights as a treat for my birthday later that month, or so I thought. Nikki booked me a surprise facial but I got an even bigger surprise on my return as he had written ‘Marry Me?’ on the bed in red rose petals.
THE VISION | We both love Italy. We try to go to a different Italian city every year and as it’s so romantic we’d always talked about getting married there. When Nikki proposed, it seemed the obvious choice so we never considered having any celebrations in the UK. Nikki loved the idea of getting married with a view of the sea so Sorrento was ideal. The vision was Italian elegance – formal attire, sun shining, great food and lots of it!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We chose the date of our 10-year anniversary to seal the deal, so we had 22 months to plan. I’m very organised and found the planning quite easy. We didn’t want a civil ceremony and it’s not possible to get married in a church in Sorrento. That’s when I found Jo Daye at Accent Events, Jo is a native to Italy and a true professional in her field. I told her we wanted an Italian priest to marry us at one of the beautiful villas we had our eye on. Jo set to work and found us the Pastor of the Waldesian church in Salerno who could marry us in Sorrento. We visited Sorrento for the first time in June 2015 to view venues and fell in love instantly. We visited again in March 2016 to meet suppliers, taste the food/wine, and finalise the details at the venue, not that we needed an excuse to return!
BUDGET | £24,000 (excluding honeymoon)
THE VENUE | Villa Antiche Mura is a gorgeous Art Deco building with manicured gardens, citrus fruit groves, two big sea view terraces and offered exclusive use of the property and grounds for the whole day. The Manager, Michele, exceeded our expectations. He took care of every detail and gave us lots of options to create the most perfect day, never failing to answer my high volume of emails with the upmost attention to detail. We exchanged our vows on the white terrace overlooking the bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius, followed by champagne cocktails and canapes during the photographs. We hosted our 5-course traditional Italian wedding breakfast on the red terrace as the sun set.
FINDING THE DRESS | I found it more difficult than I expected to choose a wedding dress. It took a while to get that ‘bridal’ feeling and the dresses that I liked in pictures felt all wrong when I tried them on. I almost chose a dress from the first bridal shop we went to but thankfully somebody took a sneaky picture and I realised it wasn’t right. As soon as I started trying on Pronovias gowns I knew I’d found what I was looking for.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I chose the Pronovias gown ‘Plisa’ from Noble and Wright Atelier in Leicester. Although I loved the dress there was still parts I wanted to change. I had it altered to remove most of the huge train, rearrange the lace applique on the sheer back and add extra sparkle! I added a waist length veil, crystal drop earrings and a crystal bracelet. I took two pairs of bridal shoes, Badgeley Mischka court shoes for the ceremony and a sparkly barely there style for the evening. Unfortunately, by the time the DJ had started I was wearing my great aunt’s slippers!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | It was important to me that Nikki had a bespoke suit since I was lucky enough to be having a customised dress! We visited Yusuf Menswear in Edgbaston, Birmingham as I’d read they were the best for men’s tailoring and have been a respected family business for 50 years. Nikki chose a navy wool cloth that we had made into a two-piece suit to go with a white shirt, light grey tie and brown leather Hugo Boss shoes.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We incorporated a couple of bible readings into our ceremony, in keeping with the tone of a religious service. We deliberated over music for a while before we made our minds up. We originally wanted a harp for the ceremony but later read that harp acoustics don’t travel well outdoors. We settled on a violin and guitar for the ceremony, a fun Neapolitan duo for cocktails, a fabulous wedding singer to perform during dinner and a DJ to get everybody dancing!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | We opted to not have a bridal party to keep the tone of the day relaxed and simple. Our family and friends were very supportive and respected our wishes without being offended. We loved that the day was just about us and that all 50 guests were equal with no responsibility other than to have a great time.
THE FLOWERS | I sourced a local florist for the bridal and venue flowers and we met Giuseppe a couple of times before the wedding. To keep the theme looking classic and clean, we chose an assorted mix of seasonal white flowers (varieties of roses, dahlias, hydrangeas) with olive leaves and eucalyptus for foliage. Although out of season, Giuseppe managed to source white peonies for my bridal bouquet too.
THE CAKE | A very large Millefoglie (Mille-feuille) was our Italian alternative to a traditional wedding cake and consisted of layers of puff pastry and chantilly cream topped with hundreds of summer berries. To our surprise the chef brought out all the ingredients and expertly assembled the cake for everybody to watch! Delish.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | I found Frances Sales online and fell in love with her work, especially the photographs from a wedding she had previously worked on in Tuscany. Her images told a story whilst capturing the beauty of the location which is exactly what we wanted. Frances bought a colleague, Charlotte Bryer-Ash, so we had the benefit of two photographers’ perspectives on the day which was amazing. Both Frances and Charlotte faded into the background and captured the best of everything from start to finish. The end result blew us away!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | My business, Inspired Events, specialises in luxury wedding/event design and décor so this was the easiest part of planning for me! I chose decorations and colours that would enhance the venue rather than divert attention. I hired in gold chiavari chairs, chose lots of fairy lighting for the reception terrace and took an extra suitcase of linens and finishing touches for the tables.
THE HONEYMOON | We waited until January 2017 to go on our honeymoon and escape the cold UK winter. We wanted both beach and adventure so we booked a multi-centre trip to cover all bases. First stop was Las Vegas for 3 nights, then on to Hollywood, Los Angeles for 3 nights and finally 8 nights at the Secrets Maroma in Riviera Maya to relax after all the fun of travelling.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | We decided to not have speeches and that Nikki would just do a brief speech to cover the all-important thanking of parents, family, etc. Nikki went one better and delivered a perfect speech. It had everybody laughing and crying in all the right places and blew me away. I had planned every other aspect of the wedding so it was amazing to see something that I wasn’t involved in!
We all danced together to ‘That’s Amore’ at the end of the night and it felt very special. Everybody was still singing it weeks later!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | When wedding planning it’s easy to lose sight that you’re the most important part of your wedding day, so try to remember that when making vital decisions. Don’t be afraid to break traditions and set trends too!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Frances Sales
Ceremony Co-ordination | Accent Events
Venue | Villa Antiche Mura
Hotel | Bellevue Syrene
Bridal Gown | Pronovias at Noble and Wright Atelier
Bridal Shoes | Badgeley Mischka at JS Couture
Bridal Accessories | Liberty in Love
Groom Suit | Yusuf Menswear
Décor | Inspired Events
Chair Hire | Allestimenti Le Rose
Florist | Fiori Sorrento
Music | Amalfi Coast Music
Honeymoon | Kuoni
Thank you so much Lucy and Nikki for sharing your dreamy Italian day. Rachel x