This afternoon we’re off to Italy to indulge in Emma and Philipp’s luxurious black tie affair in Calabria courtesy of David Jenkins Photography. If you’re a fan of the classically elegant wedding then this one is for you…the same applies if you’re a bit of a fan of Italy as there’s some fairly stunning shots of the coast in the gallery at the end.
Emma’s beautiful Suzanne Neville frock looks as if it has been made for her, all structured corset and swooshy train…the perfect accompaniment to the tuxedo clad boys and the gorgeous all-white floral arrangements.
Somehow during the heat of Summer everyone looks deliciously fresh and smart and ready to kick some wedding ass. Awesome!
￼By the time I had got to Ellie and her girls I felt a bit disillusioned with finding “the dress” – I was extremely lucky to coincide my appointment on the day that Suzanne Neville was having a designer day at Ellie Sanderson’s. Iarrived and straight away felt looked after; champagne in hand, lovely set up, quick chat about my ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’, meeting Suzanne herself and then onto looking at the dresses. I tried on a few dresses and then came along ‘Victoriana’ a beautiful dress with fabulous structured corset – I fell in love straight away.
It was an all around thumbs up and “the dress” had been found. With Suzanne we had discussed a couple of alterations on the softening of the sweetheart neckline and much to my delight whilst I was up on the mini podium the pop you on in front of the mirror, Suzanne had sketched me in my dress, a keepsake I will treasure not every bride has a sketch of themselves in their dress done by such an amazing designer – It was truly a fantastic experience and made so special by Ellie Sanderson and Suzanne Neville.
The look was completed with an organza trimmed Suzanne Neville veil which was my ‘something borrowed from one of my best friends, a gorgeous Jenny Packam hair comb, midnight blue sparkly Jimmy Choo shoes and sparkly belt to pop on for the party.
Philipp and his groomsmen wore black tie suits from Moss Bros. He looks so handsome in a tux and wears it so well. We decided quite early on in the planning we wanted a Black Tie wedding as it looks so smart and great for the pictures.
I grew up in the Capo Vaticano area and absolutely love it – It has a lot of personal sentimental meaning for Philipp and I as it was the first place we went on our first holiday together a mere 8 and half years ago.The area has everything going for it – great food, amazing beaches, fantastic weather and I really wanted to share this with all our friends. I am very lucky my dad owns a small restaurant, wine bar and grounds on the top of the cliffs of Capo Vaticano, the venue has a fantastic view towards Sicily and the Eolian Island, Stromboli puffing away in the background and it is the single most romantic place on earth.
The lighthouse next door throws a beam of light every now and again, you can hear the waves crashing up against the cliff side and the twinkling lights of Sicily set a truly special backdrop for an amazing venue. We organised the whole place ourselves, we did renovation work, gardening, decorating and it really came together – the space really lends itself to weddings as the grounds are set over three tiers, so it flowed naturally. Because the enormous amount of interest on the venue following people seeing pictures we now offer the venue for weddings.
The decor was all set up by us and I wanted it to be elegant to match the black tie dress code but rustic to match the character of Calabria. We bought lots of woven baskets to put flowers in as well as lots of lanterns and candles set off by fairy lights in the trees and hanging glass boulles with flowers in, flowing organza and lots of flowers. We decided to do something different and special with the tableau by arranging the glass boulles to hang with flowers and hang from ribbons the table arrangements – this looked amazing and was very pretty twinkling away and formed a great decorative piece.
The decor had a very romantic and elegant feel, it lent itself well to the location and married up the elegant and rustic very well. On the tables the favours were finished off with a pretty royal blue bow which threw in a touch of colour without it being overbearing; the blue also mirrored the invitations and the bridesmaid dresses.
I found a local super talented florist – Gianni – who did a tremendous job; he mainly used white orchids, white roses, peonies and hydrangeas. He decorated the church inside and outside creating hanging flower balls lining the aisle, large lanterns with beautiful arrangements at the entrance and on the alter. He transformed the church into a romantic and beautiful setting. For the centrepieces he used white candelabras and dressed them with Ivy and beautiful white flowers.
The six bridesmaids wore beautiful Henkaa dresses, they each wore differently and we added diamante brooches of different shapes and sizes to add a bit of sparkle to the outfits. The looked absolutely amazing and the royal blue looked elegant and timeless, and injected a bit of colour into the wedding.
The flower girl and page boy were my two youngest siblings – it was a real family affair being able to include all my siblings into the festivities; two of my sisters were bridesmaids and the two youngest (who are twins) were flower girl and page boy. She wore a very pretty satin and tulle dress from John Lewis and he wore a mini tux from My Tuxedo.
The ceremony was held in the beautiful Cathedral of Tropea, which is the town in which I was born in. Tropea is a beautiful historic and scenic town which is only a 10min drive from the venue and it was perfect to combine the traditional Catholic Ceremony in our day. We organised a violinist and Organ player and Opera singer in the church, the songs they performed where beautifully in keeping with the church setting.
During the antipasti buffet we arranged for a fantastic local Jazz group to play whilst everyone had food and drinks before the seated affair; and finally the party DJs were three of our friends who played until 5am and kept the dancefloor filled the whole time. It was an amazing party, which I will cherish for the rest of my life!!!
The menu catered by Lo Schiavo was not for the faint hearted, being a wedding set in Italy food was very important! We started off with welcome cocktails (peach bellinis and negronis) and canapés.
Then onto the table for the 3 course meal – lobster risotto (which was to die for!), scallop stuffed ravioli with a tomato salsa and oven baked local lined caught fish with seasonal vegetables.
This was all topped off by a magnificent dessert buffet which included 30 different types of sweet treats, granitas and patisserie items as well as our wedding cake which was a wild strawberries and chantilly cream cake which was absolutely delicious.
I have always been of the view that photos on your wedding day are one of the most important thing and I went with the best photographer I could find, who came highly recommended from a photographer friend of mine so I decided that must have been a good sign and I couldn’t be happier with my choice. The pictures tell the wonderful story of our day and the beauty of the area and setting. David Jenkins managed to capture moments I had no idea he was there for, he was very discreet and is hugely talented and I adore his style, the colours, the feel, the composition and I could not recommend him highly enough!!