An Italian themed wedding in Palermo, Sicily
22 Sep 2021
Held in August 2019, Nicolette Bolide and Anthony Woodroffe's Sicily wedding paid further tribute to Nicolette's roots with an Italian theme
How did you meet?
Tony and I met at work. We both work in operating theatres. We would speak every now and then and one day, he asked me out for coffee. We ended up spending the whole day and evening in Chester, and from then on we just knew that one day we would get married.
Tell us about the proposal.
It was perfect! Every year all my family go to Sicily, to visit our Italian family. This particular year was Tony’s first time. One night, my aunt Giana invited us to her home for dinner. My family cooked up a huge feast, a typical Italian meal, a buffet full of fresh fish, meat and seafood. Tony chose to propose there, on the roof terrace in front of 30 family members. We had dinner, and my grandad Mario was giving a speech in Italian to the family when Tony interjected and got down on one knee, which I later found out was all part of his proposal plan.
My grandad and parents were in on the whole thing, from carrying and hiding my engagement ring through the airport and journey to Sicily, to the night itself where they’d organised cakes, Italian desserts and champagne to celebrate.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
We went for a classic Italian theme with a romantic and vintage feel, featuring muted pinks, nudes and white.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
We chose a beautiful 15th century Italian villa called Villa Tasca. We wanted something a little different, not overly modern and something with a vintage feel, and when we saw Villa Tasca, it was exactly what we wanted.
There are 20 acres of lush botanical gardens, which are incredibly romantic, so we decided to hold the ceremony outside, tucked under the trees. The wedding meal was also outside, in front of the villa, under fairy lights.
The villa and grounds are located in the heart of the city, but they are completely hidden away so you wouldn’t even know it was there. This made it an even bigger surprise for our wedding guests, who had absolutely no idea where we were getting married. We wanted to keep some mystery.
How did you know you’d found ‘the’ dress?
I tried on a few dresses while I was In Italy, but didn’t find the one. Then when I returned home, my sister and I decided to go and try on some styles. I had already had a dress in mind, but then I completely unexpectedly found the dress. It was the second dress of 12 that I’d tried on that day, and we knew instantly that it was the dress. I just fell in love with it. I tried on a few different designers, but the dress I fell in love with was by Allure Bridals.
Who were the bridesmaids and what did they wear?
My bridesmaids were my sister, Mariella Bolide, and four of my closest friends: Maria Smale, Jo Green, Jess Warr and Suzy Storey. The dresses they wore were by Adrianna Papell. Each dress was selected by myself and each of my bridesmaids. I wanted them to look and feel amazing.
What did the mother of the bride wear?
My mum found her dress in one of her favourite boutiques in Palermo, Sicily. She chose a beautiful black figure-hugging dress, and she looked absolutely incredible.
What did you choose for the suits?
For the groom, groomsmen and my dad, we went for classic black tuxedo, white shirt and bow tie. We sourced the suits from Platt's in Crewe. They all looked amazing.
Tell us about your floral arrangements
I found my amazing florist on Instagram. I created a mood board of different arrangements I liked, colour schemes, the flowers, the candles, tea lights and the vase styles and sent them to her, and left it in her hands. We also wanted a floral arch for the wedding ceremony. We chose pink and white roses and peonies. We had small flower arrangements in vases on the tables and scattered rose petals on the tables and aisle. Above the dining area, we had fairy lights and an outdoor chandelier.
Tell us about the details of the day
We created our own photobooth area, where we placed a Polaroid camera, photobooth props and a book for everyone to write a message.
The villa didn’t have a bar, so we had to get creative. We imported numerous bottles of different flavour gins and liquor to make our own bar. We ordered barrels of beer and a beer tap, and we had a waiter in a tuxedo serving the drinks. The villa has its own vineyard, so the wine was part of the meal package, which was delicious.
For wedding favours, we kept the Italian theme and gave everyone individual miniature bottles of Crema de Limoncello.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
I was pretty nervous throughout the morning, but when I put on my dress those nerves just melted away. I saw my dad at the bottom of the stairs waiting to escort me down the aisle, and that was it, I was completely ready.
I felt utterly blessed and felt so much love seeing all my friends and family sat there as part of our special day. I felt so excited and ready to marry Tony, I literally couldn’t wait to see his face as I walked down the aisle... especially as I was about 20-30 minutes late.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
As a surprise for my husband. I asked my sister to give a reading from his favourite book, an excerpt from The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman. He often quotes this book, even on the day he proposed, so I felt it was quite fitting for such a special moment.
We also wrote our own vows, which I was also able to tie in with the reading. I loved writing my own vows, it made the ceremony that bit more personal and special.
What was your most memorable moment?
His face when I walked down the aisle, he was so happy when he saw me and his smile made me fall in love with him all over again. Also during his speech, when he called me his wife – I’ll never forget hearing those words for the first time.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Probably the language barrier, and co-ordinating times to include my grandfather in the planning as he was translating everything for me.
What was the most important investment for you?
For us, everything had its own investment importance for different reasons. The villa and location, the food and our honeymoon. The biggest investment was our videography and photography, as it’s the thing you're left with once the day is done. It’s something you can look at and relive those moments, and rekindle those feelings.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
All This Time by One Republic
Did you have any evening entertainment?
We had an amazing five-piece band called Quintet Sound, who were brilliant and got everyone up dancing.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
We had a beautiful three-tiered white Italian cake created by Tatiana Melfa. It was sponge with a lemon crème, and it tasted delicious.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
I wouldn’t change anything, but I would go back and take a moment. I feel the day goes so fast and you take each minute for granted. I would love to go back and experience everything again, especially my father-daughter dance as I felt it was rushed.
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
Not to stress on the day, because everything will be in hand. Just sit back and enjoy the day.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
For our honeymoon, we decided to go on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure and spend a week on safari in Maasai Mara, Africa and then a week on the beach in the Seychelles. We had the most incredible time.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Enjoy every single moment, from booking everything, to the day itself. Don’t stress, take a moment together and take a step back, look at everything and everyone around you and just take it all in.
Steal their style:
Venue & catering: Villa Tasca
Photography & videography: Nick and Maria at Studio 1208
Dress: Allure Bridals, from J&J Designs
Shoes: Emmy London
Bridal hair & make-up: Irina Farfallina
Bridesmaids' dresses: Adrianna Papell
Bridesmaids' hair & make-up: Maria Luisa Daidone
Suits: Platt's Formal Hire
Flowers: Frascati Fiori
Cake: Tatiana Melfa
Wedding band: Quintet Sound
Click here for more >> destination wedding inspiration