Sally & Claudio
Timelessly classical styling imbued with royal blue…
PHOTOGRAPHY BY SHAN FISHER,
It’s safe to say that Sally and Claudio didn’t get engaged in the conventional way, but we’ll let them tell you the full story. “After five years together we had decided that we wanted to get married but didn’t want a lot of fuss, so we set about booking everything. Claudio then surprised me with a trip to Dublin for my birthday where a selection of rings awaited, so we came back officially engaged after all! We let everyone know by hand delivering our save the dates – having everything already booked meant we could just enjoy the happy time.”
Sally sought out her dream dress in Fairytale Brides, White field, although she didn’t expect it to be her dream at the time.
“My dress was everything I hated… until I tried it on.”
Suddenly this big, sparkly, fussy dress felt perfect and made me feel so beautiful.” The Justin Alexander tulle ballgown featured beading, embroidery and corded lace coupled with an illusion neckline and chapel-length train.
After saving them for a special occasion for several years, Sally’s Karen Millen
blue heels finally had their chance to shine. “They covered my something blue perfectly, with my something borrowed a pearl bracelet from my mother.” Claudio turned to Jonathan Daniels for his traditional tail suit. “He looked so amazing and just a little relieved that I had arrived,” the bride laughs.
Sally opted for just one bridesmaid, asking her best friend Nikki to take on the role. “Nikki’s dress was made by a fantastic designer in Manchester, Alison Jane. She listened to our list of things we knew we didn’t want and designed a dress that looked fabulous and Nikki felt fantastic wearing.” Quintessential, based in Ramsay, took care of the bridal party’s hair styling and the bridesmaid’s makeup, having also previously hosted Sally’s hen do pamper session. Yasmin Whitelaw from Lime Studio created Sally’s stunning makeup look. “I don’t wear makeup normally so I was very apprehensive of wearing it for our wedding, but having a trial allowed me to see how I felt and how it lasted.”
The couple’s religious ceremony took place at St Bridget’s Church and featured a reading from 1 Corinthians as well as a lot of giggles from the bride. “I was told off for giggling too much!” Sally laughs. “Fourtissimo, our string quartet, were fantastic, even arranging a special piece of music especially for Claudio which really added to the magic. Harpist Erika Kelly then took over for the drinks reception.
After the vows had been exchanged, the couple and their guests headed to the Colonnade Suite at The Vanilla Marina, Douglas, where the team from Sefton Hotel cooked up a storm. “The food was so highly praised by our guests – a significant achievement given that four of them were trained chefs themselves!
One of the best pieces of advice we received was to skip the starters; the guests had canapés beforehand instead, giving us much more time to mingle and socialise.”
To round off their wedding breakfast, Sally and Claudio gave a short and sweet speech together.
After approaching an events company but not feeling that they understood what the couple envisioned, Sarah from Taylor Made stepped in to make their wedding dreams reality. “We wanted simple, romantic decorations – nothing fussy – using a mixture of things we already owned and pieces Sarah supplied to complement the floral arrangements. Sarah brought the room together perfectly with just the right atmosphere.”
Silver tea light holders, ivory rose petals and lanterns all featured in the reception scheme.
SHOP blue decor details for your wedding reception
“Our church flowers were a gift from Edna Clarke, a family friend. Heidi from the Flower Studio created our buttonholes, bouquets, arrangements outside the church and at the reception in a simple but perfect style, exactly what we wanted.” The cake, another gift from a friend, Heather, included fruit cake, lemon drizzle and Victoria sponge to both follow tradition and incorporate the bride and groom’s favourite flavours. The stationery was supplied by Bubbly Creations – “they were fantastic from start to finish and the invitations were just beautiful.
Have a co-ordinator with you on your wedding day – it was one of my biggest stresses leading up to the day that something would be missed, but Sarah from Taylor Made ensured everything happened with a discrete but efficient manner. She even got 100 guests ready with sparklers for our send off at the end of the night! We’d also recommend that you don’t get hung up on what everyone else says. As soon as you’re engaged, people will start sharing their opinions on how your day should be.
“Decide what is important to you as a couple and don’t bother with the rest, it reduces drama!”
We were very lucky to have a supportive wedding team of family and friends around us who went above and beyond to make our day magical.”
CEREMONY St Bridget’s Church
RECEPTION VENUE The Villa Marina, Douglas
DRESS Justin Alexander at Fairytale Brides, White field
BRIDESMAID DRESSES Bespoke from Alison Jane, Manchester
GROOM Jonathan Daniels
SHOES Karen Millen
HAIR Quintessential, Ramsey
MAKEUP Yasmin Whitelaw, Lime Studio
CATERING Sefton Hotel
DÉCOR AND CO-ORDINATION Taylor Made
FLOWERS The Flower Studio
STATIONERY Bubbly Creations
ENTERTAINMENT Fourtissimo, Erika Kelly and Matt Fletcher Entertainment