A food-filled destination wedding in Sorrento, Italy

16 Jul 2019

Authentic Italian food and drink played a big part in Kimberley Wickins and John Bateman's wedding in the picturesque town of Sorrento 

How did you meet?

On a night out in Birmingham. I was newly single and out with friends and John was celebrating the end of a football season with his team mates. We exchanged numbers and started to text from then.


Tell us about the proposal

It happened in Liverpool at the docks. We had love locks made and were putting them on, when John asked someone to take a picture of us with our love locks and then surprised me by asking me to marry him. Liverpool is a special place to us, as it is where we had our first weekend away together as a couple.



What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?

Rose gold colour scheme and tables were themed on places we had been together, for example: Mexico, Liverpool, Dublin etc.


What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?

John wanted to have somewhere that was exclusive to our wedding party. As Castore’s in Sorrento offers this and we had heard good things, we chose that venue. We liked what the reviews said that the team really cared about you and wanted you to have the best day. 

The Cloisters was where we had our ceremony and although this was not exclusive, I knew I wanted to get married there as it was just so romantic and unique in the pictures.



When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress? 

I went shopping with my Mum initially just to browse potential shops that me and the bridesmaids could go to. However, my mum and I saw the dress and were both wowed by it. When I tried it on, I knew it was the one. It was so different to what I would have expected to go for, but I knew this was my chance to wear something I wouldn’t have chosen. I thought I would go for something very simple, plain and sleek, but this was a heavy dress with lots of embellishment.


What did the bridesmaids wear?

They wore multiway dresses from Kate's Dresses in Birmingham. I had two maids of honour, my sister-in-law and my best friend, and three bridesmaids who were my closest friends.


What did the mother of the bride wear?

A bright pink dress and bright pink hat.


Where did you find your suits?

Slater Menswear in Birmingham – the lady in the shop was excellent and really helped to find something suitable.



Did you hire a wedding planner? How did they help?

Yes, our wedding planner was Ionian Weddings. They helped to organise the main parts of the day.


Tell us about your floral arrangements.

We chose white and cream roses.


Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.

  • Our favours were made by John’s friend – almonds in a lace bag (a traditional Italian favour)
  • Our table plan was made by one of the bridesmaids; she is really creative and studied fashion at university
  • We organised fireworks and sparklers for the evening as a surprise for our guests and a Limoncello cart in the day to give our guests free prosecco and limoncello slushes after the wedding vows
  • For the children we made party packs – sweets, colouring books etc.
  • We put money behind the bar at the venue so that people did not have to pay for their drinks and we upgraded the food menu to the premium option.
  • We hired minibuses to take our guests to and from the reception venue, as it was not in the centre of Sorrento
  • About half an hour before the minibuses arrived to take people home, we had pizzas for everyone to snack on. These went down a treat as a late night snack


How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

Actually nervous, for the first time in all of the wedding preparation. It all started to feel real.


How did you make the ceremony personal to you?

The maid of honours read out a small passage about love. We had a harp playing throughout the ceremony. Des'ree's I'm Kissing You from Romeo and Juliet played as I walked down the aisle – that song has personal meaning for me. We also chose John Legend's All of Me and Ed Sheeran's Perfect. 

We kept the day nice and relaxed with lots of food and drink. We also let our guests do what they wanted to do. For example, we had heard some people say they banned guests from using phones, taking photos or wearing sunglasses but that is just not something we could do. We wanted our guests to enjoy their day as much as we did... so no rules.


What was your most memorable moment?

Waiting to walk down the aisle. I can still remember that feeling of anticipation and I felt like a princess with my hair and make-up completed.


What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?

As it was all abroad and we didn’t go out and see the venues, we placed a lot of faith in the companies that things would look like the pictures we saw online. As it happened, things looked even better in real life than they did in the photographs.


What was the most important investment for you?

The food and drink. Decorations are a nice touch but I think food and drink is key and is what people will remember. The venues were so beautiful anyway.


What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?

Roses Are Red by Mac Band featuring The McCampbell Brothers. We just love the song and wanted something upbeat. The lyrics are appropriate too.


Did you have any evening entertainment?

Yes, a DJ and we picked the songs.



Tell us about your wedding cake

We chose a naked cake.


If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?

My brother passed away in March and I would have loved for him to have still been around to be able to see such a special day for me. Things have been tough in the family and it would have been good for him to have shared such a happy day with us. My 'something blue' was a blue necklace with his ashes in, so I wore that around my neck and it did feel like he was with me on the day.


Did anything go wrong on the day?

My mum fell ill and had to leave, so my dad took her back to the hotel. It was difficult for me to not have them there to share in the rest of the day, but I know that things are not always going to go the way that you planned.


Was there anything you wish you’d known before?

Just not to have any worries or doubts as the planners both were so easy going and willing to go the extra mile. They just helped things to go so smoothly.



Where did you go on honeymoon?

We have booked to go to Thailand in the New Year.


Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?

Relax. Think about the important things and don’t get carried away. You don’t need to have everything that’s offered to you to make it a special day.


Steal their style: 

Photography: Adamo Morgese, Adam's Brides
Hair and make-up: Joanna Falanga
Bridesmaids' dresses: Kate’s Dresses
Wedding planner: Ionian Weddings
Venue, catering and DJ: Castore’s

Click here for more >> destination wedding inspiration

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