I think I'm in love, no let me rephrase that, I am definitely definitely one hundred percent head over heels in LOVE with this wedding. For one there's the stunning Italian setting, then there's the peach colour scheme and florals, not to mention the fabulous embellished bridesmaids gowns, and everything about bride Laura's look. Have you seen her up do yet? Pinning fingers at the ready! It is literally a destination wedding of dreams, and making it all the more special are the wonderful captures by RMW fav Chris Barber Photography. I strongly suggest a comfy chair, a cuppa and a moment of solace to soak it all up.


Laura the Bride: Our beautiful Italian wedding took place on 10th June in Santa Maria Di Castellabate (Cilento Coast). The wedding was planned by the amazing Julie & Emillie McKenzie, of My Secret Italy. My Secret Italy sorted EVERYTHING; ceremony venue, reception venue, food, decorating the venues, liaising with local suppliers such as the florist, organising our legal documentation, supporting our guests to find flights and accommodation, transfers for the guests getting to and from the airport, wedding day transfers, the wedding car and generally making our dream into a reality.


My maiden name was Watkins and my nickname was Watters. So when I found out there was a wedding designer called Watters I couldn’t believe it! A bridal shop near to where I lived, Dress Me Pretty, stocked Watters so when the time came for dress shopping I booked an appointment. The first dress I saw when I walked in the door hit me straight away and I fell in love. It wasn’t white. It looked slightly grey, with a grey velvet belt and a beautiful beaded bodice. I never ever thought I would like a strapless dress but I loved it. We checked the label – and it was a Watters dress. I tried that dress on along with a number of others (and went to a couple of different bridal shops too) but I couldn’t get that first Watters dress out of my head. I ordered the dress from Dress Me Pretty, my alterations were done by Kerry Arnold Ltd, a local seamstress recommended by the bridal shop. Kerry was amazing, she made my dress fit perfectly and made little changes that made it individual to me.

The Venue

Our reception was in a restaurant called Il Calesse up in the village of Castellabate; about a 15 minute drive from Santa Maria Di Castellabate. When I described my vision for our wedding: rustic, leafy with old beautiful buildings Julie showed me a picture of Il Calesse and I was instantly sold. I couldn’t have dreamed up a more beautiful venue myself! Beautiful trees lined the restaurant and there was a panoramic view of the Santa Maria.

Colour Scheme/Décor

We wanted to keep the décor fairly simple – with the beautiful location we had we really didn’t need an awful lot of decorations. Our colour scheme was blushes/peaches/golds/whites. The colour came out in the flowers and bridesmaid dresses but for decorations themselves we stuck to mainly white. I bought different size white paper lanterns with little lights (from eBay) to go inside to be put in the trees of Il Calesse. We had small H & L carnival lights at the reception. A ‘welcome to the wedding sign’ was decorated by a local florist and also used as our ‘guest book’ for guests to write us messages on. We have that sign up in our lounge now. Our wedding planner also decorated the venue with candles and fairy lights so it really looked like a twinkly magical courtyard at night.


My wedding planner arranged all the floristry with a local supplier. I stipulated that I wanted Peonies and David Austen Juliette Roses as they are two of my favourite flowers. I asked for the flowers to be whites/blushes and pale peach to complement our dresses. I don’t really like ‘structured’ or ‘circular’ bouquets. I wanted the flowers to be relaxed and the florist got it spot on.

Wedding Party

We were pretty relaxed about the outfits of the groomsmen and bridesmaids. As long as their outfits went with the theme – we were happy, and we didn’t want them all wearing the same thing. The groomsmen all went for different variations of a pale blue suit. We didn’t have any ties. In the evening, they took off their jackets and went for an unbuttoned shirt look. The bridesmaids were just asked to go for a dress within the blushes/peaches/golds/whites theme and I also asked them to make sure their dresses were embellished, for that little bit of extra sparkle!! We had a group chat for sharing images of dresses and in the end they all got their dresses from ASOS. And I am sure you will agree… they all looked GORGE!


Our ceremony took place at 5.00pm in a beautiful tower overlooking the beach of Santa Maria Di Castellabate: Torre Perrotti We had Harry’s uncle give a little talk at the beginning of the ceremony, filled with sentiments of Me, Harry and our relationship. We wanted to keep the ceremony pretty short, so after that we went straight into the legal proceedings. Everything is read in Italian and then translated into English. The Italian vows are beautiful, they speak of family values and looking after one another. After the ceremony there was a drinks reception held in the courtyard of Torre Perrotti where the guitar and mandolin players entertained our guests. They created such a great atmosphere, all our guests commented on how much they loved them and everyone enjoyed singing along to classics like ‘THAT’s AMORE!’


We had the guitar and mandolin player for about 2 hours. They met with Harry and the Groomsmen playing classical Italian music from the Godfather which Harry loved, whilst walking from their hotel to a local bar; where he met all of our guests. Together they walked to the ceremony venue. Then, they came and met me at my hotel and accompanies me and the bridesmaids as we walked to the ceremony. Santa Maria is such a small town it is easy for everyone to walk. By 7pm we were heading up to Castellabate for the reception. We opted to go for our own playlists for evening entertainment rather than a live band. Our playlist during dinner consisted of old Italian/American crooners such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Andy Williams mixed with chilled out jazz classic such as, Dream A Little Dream Of Me – Ella Fitzgerald, What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong. We had it played a little louder than background music so that people could hear it and many were singing along to the songs. It was perfect for such a beautiful Italian setting. There was a dance floor area set up in front of the dinner tables for us to use after dinner. We had planned the music to take us through the ages so we started with a few more upbeat crooner songs, moving on to 80s and 90s classics like George Michael and Spice Girls, then we moved on to more modern songs. Everyone was on the dancefloor all night! Food Our wedding planner liaised with the chefs at Il Calesse and gave us a few options to choose from for our menu. Everyone was given a big plate of Antipasto, then for starter we gave our guests a choice of Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli or Prawn Pacherri Pasta, for main either Beef with Mozzarella or Seabass and Dessert was Limoncello Tiramisu or Almond Cake. Everyone loved the food but most people were full after the starters, there was so much!


Chris Barber – what a guy! He captured our day so beautifully, and was really good at making us feel relaxed. He blends in so well with your day and it is like he is one of your guests. I absolutely love the action shots Chris gets… like my face of total shock during the speeches. Videographer We had Hollie & Sammie of HS Media film our day. So far we have a 2 minute preview video and we LOVE it. Having a video really adds another layer of memories to your day – because it captures moving moments that you might otherwise forget. For example, our first dance song has the lyrics ‘I know exactly just how many kisses fit between your eyes’ and HS filmed me pointing to Harry’s eyes and counting during this.
Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

Dress Designer: Watters | Bridal Boutique: Dress Me Pretty | Alterations: Kerry Arnold | Bridal Shoes: Miss KG by Kurt Geiger | Grooms Suit: Reiss - Harry B | Shirt: Reiss | Grooms Shoes: Aldo | Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS | Wedding Planner: My Secret Italy | Vennue: Torre Perrotti | Il Calesse | Videography: HS Film Photo

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