Real Bride • Kate
WEDDING DATE… 29 August 2016
WHEN AND HOW WE MET
I was living in London when Anthony and I met. We had been working at the same company for a year and had never crossed paths. One day out of the blue he sent me an article to review, and when I went around to his desk to chat about it, the short version is that the rest is history! (though Anthony prefers telling the long version). A very short time after, we moved to my hometown of Melbourne, Australia and not long after that Anthony proposed on a surprise trip to Hamilton island. We hadn’t been together long, but when you know, you know!
CEREMONY + RECEPTION: Vincigliata Castle, Fiesole, Tuscany
OUR WEDDING LOCATION
Deciding on a location for the wedding was quite tricky, given that our loved ones were scattered across two vast and distant continents! Three weeks after Antony and I met we had travelled to Sardinia in Italy and fell in love there, so we decided that Italy was a perfect, neutral (though not exactly halfway) place to have our dream wedding. We wanted it to be somewhere romantic and relatively easy to get to, and after much deliberation we decided on Florence in Tuscany. With so many stunning and unique places to choose from in the region, we were really waiting for that light bulb moment with our venue. Scrolling through the options we stopped on an image so picturesque it looked like a painting! An ivy covered castle in the Tuscan hills, with a flower garden, an open-topped courtyard for a reception under the stars and sweeping views across Florence – we had booked it before we had seen it in person.
CELEBRANT: Martina Desideri, Italy Weddings
Italy has so much charm and beauty, we just wanted to build on what was already happening naturally. We were aiming for the style to be romantic, elegant and classic, but being in the countryside to also have a slight rustic feel. We had a vision that our planner and florist worked with us to bring to life, but with the castle’s stone walls, colourful garden and creeping greenery, it really didn’t need a lot of decoration. The gardens and terrace were styled with white bamboo chairs, wicker garden furniture, antique-style lanterns and wooden boxes full of white blooms and greenery. For the reception, the courtyard really did most of the talking, but we enhanced it with a lot of soft candle lighting, simple beige textured linens, touches of antique gold and lush florals and fruits.
THE BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN
To let go and not worry about anything on the day, and just enjoy the time with our loved ones! Easier said than done but really worth it. And everyone told us to try to have a few moments to ourselves on the day to drink it all in, which was great.
WHAT WAS YOUR NON NEGOTIABLE FOR THE DAY?
For us the venue was the key element we really wanted to get right, and everything else could be negotiated. We were also very keen on having black tie as the dress code, even though this meant that our guests had to lug their finery over to Italy with them. It was totally worth it! The photos look great and it felt like a scene out of Casino Royale. Our other splurge was a “Tuscan Trio” (guitar, violin and piano accordion) to play traditional tunes during the post-ceremony drinks in the garden. This set such an amazing mood and made us all feel like we were in real Italy! It ended up being one of our favourite moments of the day.
Having our wedding overseas meant I was lucky enough to have two hen days; one in Melbourne before we left and one in London! The Melbourne one was a really fun and relaxed day with a small group of my closest friends at Madame Brussels, followed by dinner at The Smith.
The London one was a bit crazier, where my UK-based maid of honour had me in an op-shop wedding dress, racing all over town doing a range of activities, like cake decorating, games and drinks, finished off with dinner at the Chiltern Firehouse and dancing at the Cuckoo Club. I felt so lucky to have such gorgeous friends wanting to spoil me and organise such beautiful occasions in my honour!
PHOTOGRAPHY: Ed Peers
We spotted some of Ed’s amazing work on the ItalyWeddings website, which had actually been from a wedding held at our chosen venue. We immediately fell in love with Ed’s style; un-posed with stunning lighting and an incredible way of capturing surroundings and moments. I emailed him then and there, basically begging him to be our photographer! He is not only incredibly talented, but a relaxed, fun guy who made the day so easy and stress free. We really enjoyed having him there, and truthfully, hardly noticed him!
WEDDING PLANNER: Italy Weddings, Tuscany
Ben and Martina at ItalyWeddings were amazing from start to finish. Nothing was ever too difficult and it was a really easy and calm process; not to mention they are just lovely people. They turned what we expected to be a challenging undertaking into a fun experience, and the day went like absolute clockwork and everyone had a ball.
VIDEO: Jared Kettle and Jacob Williams at Humdrum Films
As soon as we saw Humdrum’s work, we knew they were our guys. Anthony and I were of the opinion that if we were going to have a videographer, we wanted one that would blow us away or not have one at all. Three months before the big day we hadn’t booked anyone, but one day we were scrolling through Facebook and came across the friend of a friend’s Humdrum wedding preview. We watched it, and even though we hardly knew these people and hadn’t been at the wedding, Anthony and I were both in floods of tears! We made our choice then and there that we wanted Humdrum, but at three months out we weren’t getting our hopes up. But it just so happened that they would already be in Europe at that time and were available on our date, so we were very lucky!
ODB was always going to be my first port of call; I’d seen various ODB dresses over the months and knew it was the place for me. Like many brides, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted (long sleeved lace), until I tried it on. It looked horrible!! Kyha is a school friend, so when she said “Get that off and try that one on”, pointing to a very girly looking nude dress with flowers all over it (not me at all!), I reluctantly put it on and I was instantly in love. In the six months after I first tried it I did the usual Melbourne dress circuit just to make sure, but I always came back to that one. It was called Florence, and that was where we ended up getting married, so it was just meant to be!
HAIR: Angie Dimitriou
Our make-up was done by a fabulous local Italian make-up artist, but the hair was an exciting story! My wonderful Melbourne hairdresser, Angie Dimitriou, and I were chatting over wine and foils one night in the salon a few months before the wedding. She mentioned that she would be in Greece in August, so I said “Why don’t you come to Italy and do my hair and come to the wedding?” A few weeks and several excited phone calls later and it was all booked in! We couldn’t believe it had worked out so well, and having Angie there ended up being one of the things that made the day even more special.
SHOES: Manolo Blahnik
I’m a shoe gal, so I was looking for something really unique and special to finish off my wedding outfit. Early on, Anthony had told me he wanted to buy my wedding shoes for me so he could contribute to my wedding day ensemble. One day we were walking down Collins Street and saw the most incredible pair of Manolos in a window; baby blue glittered fabric pumps with the signature buckle. Very Cinderella! They went perfectly with my dress fabric and we both loved them, so we bought them then and there.
We had five bridesmaids and six groomsmen, which is way more than we ever thought we would have, but it really ended up being a case of the more the merrier! The girls were mostly based all over the UK with only one in Melbourne, so I decided on a creamy, nude colour scheme and told them to all go pick their own dress that they loved. I was never a fan of the matching bridesmaid dresses and really wanted all my girls to feel comfortable and gorgeous in their outfits. It turned out better than I could have ever imagined! They all looked beautiful and somehow, even though they were sourced from all over (Zimmermann, Adrianna Papell, Phase Eight), all the dresses complemented one another and suited each bridesmaid perfectly.
Like the bridesmaids, the groomsmen were scattered all across Australia and Europe, so it was going to be tricky to achieve a consistent look with their tuxedos. In the end we hired them all from Moss Bros in London using each guy’s measurements, which worked out really well in the end. Even though it was scorching hot that day, they all looked very dapper!
FLOWERS: Marisa Camuso, Le Petit Jardin, Tuscany
I had a really particular idea of what I wanted and Marisa nailed the brief. Because of the old-world beauty of the venue and its lush garden, we didn’t need a lot in the way of flowers, but what there was I wanted to be simple and romantic, in white blooms with a lot of greenery. Being in Tuscany I also wanted the styling to complement the surrounding natural beauty, so the table centrepieces had an array of seasonal white blooms and local fruits, like figs, berries and grapes, with a sprig of rosemary from Marisa’s garden on every napkin.
YOUR ADVICE FOR FUTURE BRIDES
As a bride and groom, you end up shaping elements of your big day around other people and trying to make everyone happy! My advice is to stay true to yourselves and what you want, and everyone else will come around. The best weddings are those where the couple incorporate elements of their own unique personalities into the day, so if you want food trucks but your parents want a sit down meal, stick with the food trucks and they will eventually understand and see that what you want is best for you and your dream wedding day.