Ash and Leo dreamed of a romantic wedding in Sicily, with spectacular views of both the Isola Bella nature reserve and of the historic walled city of Taormina. They had exactly that and so much more. There is no denying that Sicily is simply beautiful and it provided us with the perfect location for their destination wedding.

Sicily Wedding – Welcoming the Guests

Ash and Leo having flown in from New York with their puppy, Kingsley, were joined by family and friends from all over the world including Russia, the Caribbean, Europe and the US. They asked me to plan, design and co-ordinate not only the wedding, but also a welcome party at an iconic Arancini bar and a rehearsal dinner in a local Taormina hotspot. These events – as always – served to introduce and connect all of the guests and bring them together as one united family.

The Ceremony

Of course, the highlight was the wedding itself, which took place at Villa Mon Repos where we had exclusive use for the entire day. Ash and Leo were legally married at City Hall in New York, which gave us the opportunity to plan a more personal, romantic and bespoke wedding ceremony, written for them by wedding celebrant Katie Keen of True Blue Ceremonies, and officiated on the day by their good friend, Andrew. The ceremony told their love story – they had met just one year previously and had not been apart for even one night ever since – included personal vows which both had kept secret from one another until the day itself. It concluded with a traditional West African broom ceremony at the end, which involved sweeping the floor and then jumping over the broom.

Sicily Wedding Styling and Design

I worked very closely with Ash via lots of video calls, emails and a planning meeting in New York to design and style the day using colours and flowers that spoke to Ash. I love the fact that Ash embraced a bold colour scheme – so appropriate given that they got married in October. We worked with a local florist, Sebastiano of Michelangelo Finocchiaro who completely understood and delivered on Ash’s brief and vision on the day.

Details, details, details…

I think for both Ash and myself, our absolute favourite design feature was the seating plan. When planning a wedding overseas, it’s always part of my remit to myself to come up with something creative for the table plan which is both a design feature yet practical in terms of transportation. On this occasion, I came up with the idea of using vases of flowers, one for each table, into which we propped cards onto which had been calligraphed the names of the guests seated at that table.

All stationery for this wedding, including the invitations, vow booklets, seating plan cards and table stationery was supplied by Jen Che Designs

Ash and Leo, your wedding was an absolute pleasure to plan, thank you!

If you are a UK- or US-based English speaking couple who would like to work with a UK-based, English speaking planner who specialises in Italian destination weddings, do get in touch.  You can reach me here or via telephone at + 44 20 3930 9459 or via email at michelle@elegantebymichellej.com

Photographer Anna & Alex

Videographer Ivory Films