Fashion, Lifestyle

My wedding day and what I learned as a bride

17th February, 2015

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Luke and I got married on the 28th June, 2012 in Taormina in Sicily and it was truly one of the best days of my life. I always dreamt of getting married in Taormina as I’ve been going there with my family since I was a little girl, not to mention the fact I’ve holidayed there a few times with Luke over the years so it holds a special place in my heart.

We invited 80 of our close family and friends and everyone flew out a few days beforehand for pre-wedding festivities. This gave everyone the opportunity to get to know one another plus it meant that we had the chance to spend time with people before our wedding day.

The highlight of the day was definitely exchanging vows with Luke in front of our family and friends. It’s a lifelong promise and saying it in front of your loved ones is just a really special moment.

Planning a wedding (especially one in another country!) had its ups and downs and I definitely picked up a lesson or two along the way. Here are a few tips I’ve passed on to friends who are walking down the aisle plus some of my favourite snaps from my wedding album…

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The ceremony

We wanted quite a traditional wedding so we decided to get married in a church. There are so many beautiful churches in Taormina, and we looked at all the ones in town and decided on San Giuseppe church. It was just gorgeous plus it was the place where my brother and his wife got married so we wanted to keep up the tradition. During the ceremony we had a harp playing in the church and a singer called Alfio who sang Ave Maria. He was amazing and really added to the atmosphere.

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The reception

The Grand Hotel Timeo is one of my favourite hotels in the world. It’s got a beautiful outdoor area (which also looks out onto a volcano!) and it provided the perfect picturesque location for our reception.

We made up our own dinner menu by mixing and matching different things from the restaurant menu and also going with local Italian wines. We wanted it to be a really traditional Italian menu.

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My dress and shoes

I knew I wanted something really simple and classic that would last the test of time. I didn’t really know whether I was going to buy something or get it made but I was over in New York and I started shopping with my mum and dad and I went into Vera Wang just for the whole experience of trying on a dress. I knew it was going to be very hot when we were getting married so I wanted something really light so I tried on a slinky silk and tulle dress which I loved. I kept on shopping for five more days but ended up going with the first dress I tried on. Funny how that happens!

I was searching high and low for shoes until I saw a pair of Alexander McQueen heels on Net-a-Porter. My dress was simple so I wanted a bit of sparkle on my shoes and the nude bejewelled McQueen heels were perfect.

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The flowers

I kept it simple and opted for a white colour palette and all my favourite flowers. We had a mixture of orchids, white roses, peonies and calla lilies for my bouquet, the bridesmaid’s bouquets and the centrepieces at the reception.

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My top wedding tips

Have visual references for everything (especially for a destination wedding)

I had a wedding planner in Italy who was amazing at organising everything but there was a language barrier so I tried to make everything really simple to execute by having visual references.

For example I figured out what flowers I wanted on the table setting so I had them made up by a local florist and did a mock-up of how I wanted them arranged on the table runner for the reception, took a photo and just had it copied. Same with my bouquet and the bridesmaid’s bouquets.

I had a Kikki-K wedding book that I stuck in every picture that I liked so it was great because my wedding planner could see exactly what I wanted.

Pick a spot that’s used to hosting weddings

Getting married overseas has its logistical difficulties so we wanted to keep it quite simple. Getting married in a church and having a reception at a hotel just eliminated having to organise things like caterers and all those logistical details. Unless you’re going there on multiple trips the easiest thing to do is get married in a venue that has done many weddings before.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

I told myself that people have different aesthetics so if I saw something on the day that wasn’t quite what I’d asked for, to not worry about it. For example my wedding planner and I had slightly different interpretations of the “smallest wedding cake possible”! There’s no point stressing out about it; you just gotta go with it.

Make sure your bridesmaids are comfortable

I had some bridesmaids who wanted to wear towering high heels and others that can’t even walk in high heels so I had them all in the same peep toe heels for the photos but I gave them some fold-up nude ballet flats that they could choose to change into after walking down the aisle. If your bridesmaids are comfortable then they’re going to have a really great time.

Have a list of photos you want taken

Make a checklist of all the photos you want on the day and meet up with your photographer beforehand to talk through it. They don’t necessarily know what particular pics you want so talking through the photos you need is a good way to ensure you’re not missing anything when you get your albums back.

Find the comfiest wedding shoes possible

You’ll be in your shoes the entire day so make sure you go for something that’s comfy and make sure you’ve worn them in beforehand. There’s nothing worse than hobbling around in pain on your wedding day when you’re supposed to be mingling, dancing and having fun.

Get a wedding video if you can

I nearly didn’t get a wedding video and I’m so glad I did because I probably look at it more than my album of photos. We have an edited video of about 15 minutes and it was really nice to see what people were doing on the day. If the budget allows, definitely try and get some video on your day to remember it all. For me it’s even more special than my photos.

Have a special outfit for when you’re getting ready

I wish someone had told me this! I regret not having something nice to wear when I was getting my hair and makeup done. I look back on the photos and think why am I not wearing a nice gown or a dress? I was literally in an American Apparel shorts and singlet and thongs because that’s what I would normally wear getting ready for the races or something!

Take a moment with your partner

After the ceremony we took a moment just to take in the day. It’s such a big milestone in your life so it’s important to have some time together because the day does go so quickly.

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44Photography: Morlotti Studio

 

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21 Comments

  • Reply Aimee 17th February, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful images of your wedding day! It looks the prefect day and a beautiful setting for a wedding… And your dress is breathtaking so simple but beautiful

    Aimee
    http://cappuccinointheclouds.co

  • Reply Lyndal 17th February, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks so much for posting these! I am getting married in July in Acireale (just south of Taormina) and have been trying to liaise with the florist who would love to put about 20 arrangements inside the church, the churches are so beautiful they don’t need to be overrun with flowers! I hope I can convince them less is more :)

  • Reply Kirsty 18th February, 2015 at 12:40 am

    Gorgeous photos and words. We are getting married in November and were tossing up having a videographer… but after reading your post have just booked! Mau also need to buy that dressing gown I saw on BHLDN…

    Thank you!

  • Reply Lauren 21st February, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Thanks for sharing your top tips!! I’m getting married in September so your post was perfect for me!! Love all your photos, Just stunning!!

  • Reply KERIA 23rd February, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    What a lovely wedding! Thanks for sharing your tips! Loved your dress and the bridesmaids dresses, kindly share the bridesmaids dress designer details..thanks!

    • Reply Kate Waterhouse 23rd February, 2015 at 8:26 pm

      Hi Keria, the bridesmaids dresses are by Carla Zampatti. Hope that helps!

      • Reply Keria 1st March, 2015 at 8:49 pm

        Thanks Kate!

  • Reply Catarina Menezes 28th February, 2015 at 1:22 am

    Hello Kate!
    I will get married in Taormina in Sept!
    Please help with the hairdresser and makeup, what professional did yours?
    You already help me choosing the photographer… now I need advice about hair and makeup in Taormina! Thank you!!!!

    • Reply Kate Waterhouse 23rd April, 2015 at 8:19 pm

      HI Catarina, congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I actually had a friend in Europe who was a hair and makeup artist so she did mine. But most of the major hotels offer beauty/hair salon services so I would try them. (especially if you are arriving a few days prior, I would organise a few trails). Let me know how you go! xx

  • Reply Shirin 10th April, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Dear Kate,

    Nice to meet you! I’m getting married on June 18th, same church and same venue as yours! and actually this is how I found you, I googled Timeo the other day and your beautiful wedding came up. I am Iranian and my “husband to be” is half Italian/American, we are also having around 80-100 guests coming from all over the place! we currently live in Torino so prob my planning is going a but easier than what you experienced. anyway, first of all it was a pleasure to see your amazing blog and know you by total accident, secondly I thought since I truly appreciate your style and already can trust your judgement :), and we are having the exact same venue etc would be good if you can give me few last minute tips. I am going to Taormina in couple weeks for the final touches. Looking forward to receive an email from you soon :)

    Thank you so much !
    Best,

    Shirin I

    • Reply Kate Waterhouse 23rd April, 2015 at 8:07 pm

      happy to give you any advise! I will email you now xx

    • Reply Catarina Menezes 18th May, 2015 at 6:37 pm

      Hello!
      I am getting married in Taormina in September!
      In the same place also!
      I would love to have some tips from you!
      Can I have your email?

      Thank you

  • Reply Catarina Menezes 18th May, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Hello Kate,
    My Taormina wedding is coming! It it in Sept!
    Thank you for being my inspiration! Can you let me know the musician that you had… are they from Sicily? Did you had a DJ for the Party? Please, if possible, can you please let me know their contacts? I am having so much trouble choosing the best musician for the church and for the Party! Thank you! Kind Regards from you Brazilian fan! Catarina

  • Reply Donatella Zorzi 20th July, 2015 at 12:14 am

    Hi Kate

    I’ve just come back from my wedding in Taormina. I too had my ceremony at San Giuseppe. We had our reception on the beach at a hotel. We did however have many cocktails at the Grand Timeo. It was only when I was in Sicily did my wedding mention that you had your wedding in Taormina. My parents are Sicilian ang I spent my childhood holidays there but it was a real surprise that you knew of that place because not
    many people have heard of it. Really enjoyed reading your blog and seeing your pics has brought up beautiful memories of our day (btw I got married on the 22 June)
    Ps how amazing was it walking down that aisle and seeing that alter in front of you? I think my husband and I are have a pic identical to you and your husband have!
    Baci xx

  • Reply Kasey 10th October, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    Hi Kate,
    I am getting married in November and I have a silk wedding dress. At my last fitting I bent over to put on my shoes and had major creases around the hip area. Just wondering if you had any tips to keep your dress as crease free as possible on the big day?

  • Reply Valentina 29th May, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Hi Kate! Who Where your wedding planners? I want to gent married in Taormina, Im looking for a reliable planner! Your wedding was beautiful!

    Thanks in advance!

  • Reply Gemma Flannery 28th June, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Hi Kate

    So good to read this, I am planning a wedding in Taormina for next year and would like to know a few things of how I can plan it, I am going to try to do as much as possible without a planner as I speak italian and I am on a budget, as although english I live in australia, so even coming back is a big expense for me! Do you have the contacts of a photographer and someone for the cake at all?
    Did you hire cars also, I am exploring options at the moment and its all loose as I need to secure the venue first, but contacts for a few things like these of the locals would be a god send!!!
    We are thinking the town hall as my partner is not catholic but the church does look stunning!
    Amazing photos too!

  • Reply Mel 15th July, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Hi Kate
    Just saw your pics. Gorgeous. Have to say though, Luke was the star for me. What a great sort!!! Lucky girl

  • Reply Mary 1st October, 2016 at 3:53 am

    Hi Kate, I came across your pictures when googling the dress-what a beauiful wedding day ye had. A ittle secret-I have picked out the same dress for my wedding next year! Funny coincidence my fiancee and I holidayed in Taormina in May2016 and we were there on the date that is our wedding day in 2017! A fab place. Our wedding is here in Ireland. Weird quation maybe…. but I am nervous about the dress regarding underwear; any tips?!

  • Reply christine 13th May, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Hey Kate,
    Your wedding was gorgeous! I am so inspired. We are planning out wedding in Taormina for September, i’d love to know who your florist was? Thanks x

  • Reply Nikon Nik 11th July, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    Great tips about having only the essential people, loving it on your body vs. the hanger and especially about bringing your own strapless bra! (even if they have “loaners” at the bridal salon, they aren’t always the right size, and it’s a little icky to use a shared one, anyway) It makes all the difference in how you see the dress!

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