Our wedding day was based around family and friends. It was everything I could have imagined and more.
A day spent with loved ones celebrating love, family, commitment and faith. Some of my most memorable moments were the ones waking up to the sight and sound of the ocean, gifts awaiting the bridal party and groomsmen, gowns laid out...suits and dresses hanging. All surrounded by the people that mean the most to me.
The memories of brunch, provided by the Delish Sisters, who were doing our catering. Then having my hair done by my hair dresser Jamie...who went out of her way to help me on the wedding day. My make-up by Lindsay Nixon, my agent....it was amazing being on the other end of the brush. I am make-up artist myself that does weddings every Saturday for many beautiful brides on their special day, so it was such a treat having my make-up done by such a talented artist. Lindsay had gifted the make-up for the wedding party and it was such a treat.
Another highlight was getting dressed, topped of with Julia Ferrandi my dress designer spoiling me by offering to help dress me on the day. Having her along with my Mama and bridesmaids, Nicola, Juliet, Bianca and Janine meant that I was all sorted.
There is nothing more memorable than the moments spent with my Mama fluffing the veil and train, eyes welling with tears of excitement and anticipation. Only to be even more overwhelmed when my big brother, Attilla walked in, suited up and dapper, but face full of emotion.
One of the hardest quests was finding a gift fit enough to give the one person I truly admire and look up to, the person who took care of me in every operation, life lesson, obstacle, he had my back...my brother, lovingly known by me as “Spilla” and he calls me his “Fishta” instead of sister. I eventual came across a unique time piece...a pocket watch, with it inscribed: “Time after time, A shoulder to lean on, a loving touch, that’s why a Fishta loves a Spilla so much.”
My brother then chauffeured all the girls to the wedding, somehow managing to create a sense of calm.
Waiting outside the church as I was about 15 minutes early, gave me a moment for reflection. A moment to take it all in. Gareth and I were about to get married at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Durban North. I have grown up in that church and been a parishioner since I was 3 years of age. The joyous elation that washed over me as I walked down the aisle heading towards the man that was to be my husband, a marriage to the man that I was going to share in this sacred, and blessed covenant with. This must have been the ultimate memory, all this been witnessed by Our family and friends and blessed by my Priest Father Des who has literally watch me grow up and been apart of every significant spiritual journey. The celebration and hugs followed there after taking us to our reception at Maroupi Wedding Venue in Ballito where food was in abundance, glasses were charged, the sounds of cheer and laughter filled the venue.
My absolute favorite was having the amazing voice of Bilo singing the most beautiful melodies whilst guest mingled and ate. We literally could not help but sing along and wave our glasses in unison to the rhythm of the song. This was followed by moving speeches and uplifting laughs all lead by our MC Carlo, my Italian family. Our first dance was a epic memory as Bilo sang “Le Vie En Rose” the Louise Armstrong version...and seriously blew me away with the rasp sound in his voice. Gareth took my hand and swung me around almost effortlessly, the smile and pride on his face lifted me up, my husband was so confidently dancing with me, his new wife. As the final chorus was sung Gareth dipped me one last and glorious time as cannons filled with gold confetti soared over the guest and rained down on us in celebration. The day ended in dancing in the fallen gold confetti with the incredible DJ Dave from Top Jocks leading us in some of the greatest hits.
Having been brought up surrounded by my Italian family...it was only fitting that we went on a familymoon and not a honeymoon. In fact my immediate family had never before traveled overseas on a family holiday. So naturally as we do, it became a family occasion. And what an amazing one!
We decided to go to the South of Italy for honeymoon. But when we started to plan it felt strange not to include La Familia. Luckily Gareth was the first to crack, asking if we should invite the family. So what started off just being my Mama and brother and his girlfriend, my one bridesmaid Bianca, later turned into my Italian cousin Sergio and his lovely lady Shelley, my brothers best friend (my brother from another mother) Lloyd and his girlfriend Zhané.
In true Italian style we met over dinners to plan out the journey. After months of planing what was about to transpire was an epic adventure touring Italy, incredible architecture, steeped in history, vibrant people, and sumptuous food, oh! the food!...If it wasn’t for all the walking we did I would definitely have packed on the pounds. But the Italians know just how to do it...eat eat eat and walk it all off on the way to your next gelato!
We started in Rome where the history and city life is just moving. We then traveled down to Naples and Sorrento where we stayed in a beautiful Villa over looking Mount Vesuvius. There we could pick,almost raisin sweet grapes directly off the vines. We cooked in what must have been the most quintessential Italian kitchen. We took a boat to Capri and braved the windy roads of the Amalfi Coast.
Lastly we ended our holiday in Mondello, Palermo in Sicily. Where we stayed in a home that was roughly 150 years old. It had bottle green shutters, massive windows and every room had unique and exquisite hand painted floor tiles. There was gorgeous balconies overlooking the Mediterranean sea which was just across the road. A perfect way to end the busyness of the holiday. Sun tan lotion, sea and sand...of course their was Sicily famous cannolis and arancini just to top it all off.
My wedding style was to have something out of my fairy-tale dream. Something whimsical and enchanted. Twirling lace that seemed to have grown like roots and branches over my body. Julia Ferrandi captures my ideas so beautiful in the dress she designed and made for me. She also completed the look by custom designing each of the bridesmaids dresses, all to suit their individual personalities but unified by the same colored fabric. She also designed my Mama’s dress. Being a make-up artist it was a treat to have had my make-up done by Lindsay Nixon who truly waved her magic wand of shimmer. She did rust and burgundy toned eye shadow to compliment and enhance my green eyes. Lindsay added a gorgeous glow to my skin and a soft lip. Jamie-Lee Hay did my hair in a faux bob style. I love my hair in a bob but didn’t want the ends of my hair to show, so I decided to grow my hair out a little to have it in a old Hollywood inspired faux bob. My shoes and accessory where beautiful but simple as I just wanted it to softly compliment the dress. But my true accessory was definitely my bouquet by Carolyn Hall of Adore weddings. She managed to create something out of a fantasy. The brief was to have the flowers look as though they were growing, cascading out in mocha and penny gum green tones.
We were married at the church I grew up in, at Our Lady of Fatima in Durban North. This was the most important part of our day. We then booked a venue that was close to the church. We had our reception at Maroupi Wedding Venue in Ballito. Maroupi has a beautiful venue surrounded by sugar cane fields and grand old trees. We stayed at a house in Sheffield Beach on the beach where all the bridal party and grooms party could stay so we could celebrate and get ready together.
For beauty and skin care I had facials leading up to the wedding. Fitness wise, I did functional fitness training with Richard at Trident Fitness as well as Pilates with Debbie at Biocore.
Our Photography was done by Bron from Vanilla Photography. Her photos captured the soft romantic light. She also captured moments, facial expressions & joy. Bron is an incredibly talented photographer and an even more incredible person.
Our videographer was Dane Forman. Another person we just loved having apart of our dream team. Dane put together a moving trailer, made up of perfect snip-bits of our special day. Along with that we got a full video of our ceremony, speeches and first dance as well as other moments that we will truly cherish.
The canapés, harvest table and dessert was all done by the incredible Rebecca and Kate of the Delish Sisters. The food was one of the most incredible memories of the day. Food is such a big part of our family and the wedding day emulated that so perfectly. Every bite was moreish. The set up of the food was so inviting it beckoned you to keep coming back again and again.
Each function takes on a life of its own and we, at Settings, help the process by supplying decor items, linen, crockery, cutlery and glasses, or tables & chairs to suit the th...