My husband and I had been together for almost five years before we got engaged. We’d met through a mutual friend in Dubai, where I’ve lived for about 15 years now. We moved in together just before the pandemic. In December 2022, he surprised me with a trip to the Seychelles. On the
Kyle proposed with a pear-shaped diamond on a white gold band. The diamond had been in his family for many years. I worked on the setting with a jeweller called Atelier Spitaleri. My wedding band, which is made up of rounded and marquise diamonds, is also a family ring.
We got engaged on 1st December 2022 and were married in June 2023, so didn't have a long engagement. I’d saved lots of Pinterest pictures growing up, but I don't think our wedding turned out anything like I’d imagined. Once we’d confirmed the venue by the end of January and brought our wedding planners Spossiamovi on board, everything gained momentum. In many ways I think the short lead time was a positive thing – I can be indecisive, but this meant I had to make choices and stick to them.
We had family coming in from India, New York, Dubai and London, so we needed the wedding to happen somewhere that was a direct flight for everyone – which is how we settled on Rome. My husband's family own restaurants and there is one in the city, which is where we hosted the welcome night dinner. For the venue itself, I found Villa Miani online and confirmed it by the end of January, then we planned a trip to go visit it in February. It was a completely blank canvas, but there are so many different rooms and spaces you can use, and the grounds are stunning. It's on one of the seven hills that look over Rome and only a 20-minute drive from the city centre. They also had a selection of preferred suppliers – some of which we used, others we didn’t.
The Décor & Flowers
We took care of the décor and flower design ourselves with the help of our florist. I actually changed my mind about the tablescapes quite close to the wedding because I found these incredible Ginori plates. At first, I wanted an entirely white wedding, but the building is very white and, with the green gardens around it, I thought it would be nice to add some colour. For the flowers, we worked with Sartoria Floreale – we ended up doing a lot of hydrangeas, orchids and some roses, all very classic but still colourful and full of life. We then added lots of candles and glassware to the tables. The effect was so magical once it was dark.
I thought dress shopping was the part I thought I'd love the most, but I actually liked it the least. As I said, I can be indecisive and there were so many different routes to go, so many options. The more I looked at inspiration, the more confused I became, and the more dresses I tried, the worse it got. Dresses have long lead times and early on I bought a dress that was going to take six months to make, so it would only arrive a few weeks before the wedding. About three months later, I panicked that I didn't like it and I needed to start looking again. That’s when I came across Esposa Privé in Dubai, which stocked a dress by a designer called Eva Lendel. It was a two-parter, so the overskirt came off. We slightly changed it by taking off the sleeve and adding embellishment to the bodice. We also made the veil from scratch, which had small sequins on it that looked like water droplets. My earrings were a gift from my husband's great uncle. They're very large pearls surrounded by diamonds. My husband wore a suit by Ralph Lauren Purple Label and his shoes were Gucci.
Much later – about midnight – I changed into my party look, which was actually my mum’s wedding dress which we’d made into a minidress. Savannah Creations also embroidered a little badge into the back that has mine and my parents’ wedding date on it. I'm going to wear this dress again. It was so fun, so comfortable – and I wore it with Common Projects trainers (I wore Manolos for the main event) which I think everyone was very jealous of by the end of the night!
The Hair & Make Up
When I’d gone over to Rome in February, my wedding planner had booked some trials for me. I went with a lovely lady called Arianna Saura, who did both my hair and make-up on the day. My make-up was very simple and glow-y – which was perfect – and I knew I just wanted a low bun with the veil. In terms of a bridal party, my husband had his brother as his best man, and I had my brother as my maid of honour! It was just the four of us.
We held our ceremony in the grounds – they call it the secret garden. We were married by my husband's uncle on his mother's side, who'd done it a few times before. Partway through the ceremony, a rainbow appeared. It had been raining all day and we were so stressed – we actually pushed the wedding by an hour – but it stopped raining, the sun came out and there was a rainbow. I hadn't seen one since the day Kyle proposed, so it felt like fate.
We’d been for a tasting in February, which was so much fun. We chose lots of different canapés and then for our cocktail hour we served a big buffet with cheeses and antipasti, meats and cold cuts. Some of the guests thought that was the meal because there was so much food! But then we had a seated dinner. The cacio e pepe was the most incredible pasta I've had in my life. We also had aubergine parmigiana – it was very Roman. Our cake is a funny story too. I didn’t see it until maybe 15 minutes before it was brought out. It was a lot bigger than I’d imagined and the flavour (strawberry) was completely different to what I’d asked for. It really didn’t matter though – it was delicious!
We used ALR Music to source all our music and entertainment. We had a two-piece play during the ceremony, then a four-piece for cocktail hour. We played background music during dinner. Then, due to the rain, we had to change our plans. The band was meant to be outside, with a DJ inside afterwards. We ended up having to set the band up inside, which I was a bit upset about at first – but it was great. The band was called Superfly and they were epic. They had everyone on their feet.
One of the most special moments of our wedding, for me, was the dance I did with my dad. He’d bought us 20 dance lessons that I ended up splitting with my husband – not because we wanted everything to be choreographed, but just because we didn’t want it to be boring! My dad and I danced to Frank Sinatra’s ‘The Way You Look Tonight’, and he just had the biggest grin on his face the whole time. After the band was done playing, DJ Charles performed until about 2am before we moved onto a nightclub. It was a long night!
The Photographer & Videographer
Our photographer was David Bastianoni. He was optioned from our wedding planners, but I knew he’d shot the Italian influencer Chiara Ferragni's wedding – and I loved his work. Our videographer was Waterfall Visuals. They created a 25-minute video of the entire two days, and then they also sent us a one-minute clip for Instagram.
The Day Before & After
We hosted our welcome dinner at Zuma. The day after our wedding, we saw our family again and ended up going on a tour of the Vatican. Our wedding spanned a Wednesday and a Thursday, so a lot of people stayed on to experience Rome, which was nice as we ended up seeing lots of people over the weekend.
Advice For Other Couples
If you're doing a destination wedding and people are coming in early, I say try to see them as soon as possible, even in smaller groups. We met up with friends the night before the welcome dinner – just for whoever was in town – and it took so much pressure off having to spend time with everyone on the main day. Also, don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of a shorter engagement. We made every decision we had to within six months – as long as you have a venue and a wedding planner that’s organised, it is possible.