Autumn is actually here isn’t it? I’ve bought a new coat and everything.
Well, if the colder climate is getting you down then you can escape to the Sorrento W-day of Kayleigh and Dave.
Ever been to Sorrento? I have, LOVED it. And the sun shone the whole time, just as it seems to be over this timelessly elegant affair. And photographer Guy Collier manages to capture so many moments, from Dave’s experience in an Italian Barbers to the reactions of every single passer by and the bride and groom take to the streets for their portraits.
This is summer Romance with a capital R.
And Kayleigh’s write up is very funny – her Nan stole her Jimmy Choo’s during the reception…
The Perfect Place
Dave and I had our wedding at the Villa Antiche Mura in Sorrento on 25th May 2012. We chose to get married abroad as we are huge fans of holidays and the sun (who isn’t?) and so it was the perfect excuse to have the week off work before the wedding in the sun with all of our family and friends. It meant the days leading up to the wedding were uber chilled and it felt like the wedding lasted longer than just the one day. Choosing to get married abroad also made our wedding quite intimate as we only invited our close family and friends.
Having a destination wedding also gave us an excuse to go on holiday during our engagement. We spent a week in Sorrento in September 2010, visiting lots of different venues. As soon as we got to Villa Antiche Mura we knew couldn’t get married anywhere else. It was perfect. The Villa is located on the cliff edge overlooking the bay of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius, the views really are breath taking. We loved the idea of having our ceremony and our dinner out on the terraces, in the sun overlooking the sea. It also helped that Michele, the owner, was fantastic. He was happy for Dave and me to do as much of the organising and preparation or as little as we wanted to. We could source our own suppliers or we could use all of his contacts. We chose to go with all of his suppliers since it meant we didn’t have to spend ages researching the different options and worrying about the logistics of everything on the day.
After visiting several bridal shops in the Berkshire area I was still struggling to find ‘the one’. I made an appointment to visit Village Brides in Reading where I tried on a few dresses. I knew I wanted a fishtail dress with a ruffle skirt but unfortunately the only skirt they had with any ruffles on wasn’t the style of dress I was looking for. I described to Julia at Village Brides what I was looking for and she said she was in the process of designing her next collection (Julia designs her own bridal range, Rosa Couture) and if I showed her what I was looking for she would have it made and put into her new collection.
It was a really strange feeling walking away from the dress shop knowing I had potentially found ‘my dress’ but not knowing what it really looked like. Over the next couple of days I collected various images of dresses I liked and cropped and cut and paste all the images into one document and sent it over to Julia. Julia then had a sketch produced of the dress, it was beautiful and exactly what I had been looking for. It was also a bit of a bargain too considering I was having the dress I wanted designed and made for me. I had to wait a three months for it to be produced and the wait was more than a little nerve wracking but when I finally got to see it I honestly don’t think it could have been more perfect. Julia was also really happy with it too, so much so it’s now part of her new collection and is available to buy as ‘Kayleigh’.
All That Glitters
I chose a plain cathedral length veil to go with the dress that I purchased from Etsy. I chose to not have a tiara or hair accessories as I knew I would probably not be able to wear either again and it gave me the opportunity to ‘go a bit more bling’ with the jewellery. I chose white gold and cubic zirconia earrings and a matching bracelet both from Etsy also.
Shoes are ‘my thing’. I literally could write a million words about shoes (don’t worry I’m going to try and keep this short). I can manage nearly all day in most heels and as Dave is taller than me I knew I could go as high as I could manage, without falling over. I wanted something I would wear again and since it was a special occasion I liked the idea of having a bit of sparkle too (regardless of if you could see them or not under the dress). I chose Clue by Jimmy Choo. They stayed on until about 10pm at which point my Nan stole them from me and put them on. Yes. Really.
RMW Inspired Lashes
I chose to do my own make up as I was a bit apprehensive about finding somebody in Italy who would give me the natural look I wanted and I also wasn’t going to have the opportunity to be able to have a trial beforehand. The idea of buying a bunch of new products that I could use after the wedding was also hugely appealing. I went to Bobbi Brown and had a trial with one of the nice assistants there; I was pleased with the look and felt confident that I could recreate it so I bought nearly everything that had been used. I also decided to wear false eyelashes on the day.
My best friend Emma and I had a practice beforehand using the tutorial on RMW which meant on the day she was able to apply them like a pro. Although I was confident at doing my own make up on the day there was no way on earth I was going to be able to do my hair and asked Michele to book me in with the hairdresser he has booked for past weddings. I emailed a couple of photos over to Michele beforehand of the style I was looking for who passed them to the hairdresser. The hairdresser did a great job, I was really pleased with how she did it and it only took her twenty minutes!
Sharp And Shiny
Dave bought his suit from T.M Lewin. He chose a navy three piece suit which he wore with a fitted white shirt and white satin tie (that matched the sash on my dress). He also treated himself to some shiny shoes from Dune. I bought him some silver cufflinks to wear on the day that had the map coordinates of Sorrento engraved on them and a watch as a wedding present. He looked sharp and incredibly handsome.
White On White
We chose white Roses and white Ranunculses for the bridesmaid bouquets and button holes and I had the same in my bouquet with the addition of white peonies. The table centrepieces were also white roses. We didn’t actually speak to a florist, we just sent Michele photos of the style we were looking for and he passed those on to the florist.
Nude And Navy
Dave hired navy three piece suits for his best man, his usher, his dad and my dad from Black Tie in Crowthorne. We bought them all white shirts and hired green ties that matched the colour of the bridesmaid dresses. The three bridesmaid dresses were all bought from Karen Millen. I wanted to get them all dresses that they would enjoy wearing and would be able to wear again. I decided to team them with nude heels from New Look.
My mum showed us Guy Collier’s website as soon as we got engaged as she used to work with him a few years ago and had followed his work. As soon as we saw his website we were blown away by his talent and knew we wanted his style of photography to capture our day. We did look at photographers in Sorrento and the surrounding area but none of them compared to the quality of Guy’s photos. We met with Guy to find out if he was happy to travel to Sorrento to photograph our wedding and thankfully he was.
The photos were probably one of the parts of the wedding we were most looking forward to as we couldn’t wait to have our own set of photos like all the other couples we had seen on his website. On the day Guy was fantastic; friendly, calming, and unobtrusive, everything we had hoped for and more. Guy suggested that we go back into the town to get a few shots of us walking around the streets and the main Piazza; these photos have turned out to be our favourite shots. It also meant we had time together to chat about the morning we’d had and take it all in. We got a great reception from everyone as we walked around the streets. Everybody congratulated us and clapped as we walked by. We honestly, could not have asked for anything more from a photographer.
Friends, family and even complete strangers have all complimented us on our stunning photographs. We will treasure our photographs for the rest of our lives and really cannot thank Guy enough.
Chocolate And Vanilla
Our cake was a three tier chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream and it was served up as desert after dinner. We sent Michele a few photographs of cake styles we liked to give him an idea of what we wanted and he sourced somebody to make it. It looked fantastic on the day and tasted so yummy. It was a shame our guests were leaving in a couple of days as they were unable to take any of it home like maybe they would have if we had got married in the UK.
You Got The Love
Instead of sourcing musicians ourselves we asked Michele to book a guitar and mandolin player. They welcomed our guests into the venue and continue to play for the ceremony and the aperitif. We put together an iPad playlist of music from Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra that we played during the dinner.
We decided to not hire a DJ for the evening and put together a playlist on our iPad instead. We felt using the iPad playlist would make the evening music a bit more personal to us and it also meant that we had complete control over the music for the evening. Our first dance was also played from the iPad. We chose Florence and the Machine ‘You got the love’ as it was the song that was playing when Dave proposed to me.
We chose to give our friends and family vouchers to use at the bar in the evening rather than giving them traditional favours and as the wedding was outside we also bought all the ladies a pashmina to use in the evening and we bought a box of Cohibas for the guys (and some of the women too) to enjoy in the evening. We gave the children a soft toy rabbit to remember the day by.
We also placed paper fans on the ceremony chairs for our guests to use during the day which turned out to be very useful in the Italian sunshine!
A Confident Choice
Michele made organising our wedding incredibly easy. It also meant that we were able to enjoy being engaged. We really would not have had the day we did without the help from him and his amazing team. Nothing was too much trouble for Michele and I sent many a long email to him with a million questions to which I would always get a super-fast reply with all the answers and information I was looking for. This meant we remained confident with our decision to have our wedding at Villa Antiche Mura. We wouldn’t hesitate in recommending the Villa to anybody interested in having a destination wedding.
Michele is also the Manager of the Hotel Antiche Mura which we would also recommend to anybody visiting Sorrento; all the staff are fantastic and incredibly friendly and helpful.
Prioritise The Important Parts
From the very beginning we knew there was no point in stressing and getting too hung up on the small details. Getting married abroad meant that nearly everything was out of our control and if we spent too much time trying to make sure everything was EXACTLY how we wanted we would more than likely end up stressed, exhausted and potentially disappointed if our expectations were not met.
It’s important to prioritise the parts of the day that really matter and make the day more enjoyable and memorable for you and your guests. Although our wedding day was ‘our day’ we were very aware that our family and friends had made a huge effort to share our day with us so it was important to us to make sure they enjoyed the day as much as we did. I would also say don’t pay too much attention to weather forecast until at least 2 days before as it is unlikely to be 100% accurate and will only stress you out if you see something you don’t want to!
Venue – Villa Antiche Mura
Brides Gown – Rosa Couture
Veil and Jewellery – Etsy
Brides Shoes – Clue by Jimmy Choo
Groom’s Suit – T.M Lewin
Maids Dresses – Karen Millen
Photography – Guy Collier
Did you spot Piers Brosnan?
And fancy having a dress named after you – how very swish.
Big Italian Love