The Italian wedding of Nikki Fryer & Mike Caines

22 Jan 2015

The Italian wedding of Nikki Fryer & Mike Caines

From a surprise proposal in California to a romantic destination wedding on the shores of Lake Como Nikki and Mike’s wedding was everything they dreamed of and more

Please tell us your love story, where and when did you meet? Was it love at first sight?

I went to school and gymnastics with Mike’s sister as children and always thought Mike as a bit of a 'silly boy', then years later, when working in a local pub I saw him again and thought, in the words of Wayne’s World, 'It will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine…’

Who proposed to whom and how, and did you have any idea that it was going to happen or was it a complete surprise?

We had gone to California for Mike’s birthday. Unbeknown to me he had planned three potential locations to propose, but before we even made it out of the UK, at security in Heathrow, Mike got his bag searched – after pleading with the security to ‘please don’t bust the plan’, we made it to California and the first two locations were scrapped, Pacific Highway (as the road was consumed with fog), Alcatraz (being inside the fake Clint Eastwood style head just ‘didn’t work’). Two days into our holiday both of us were taken down with a chest infection and on the morning of the proposal Mike went to the pharmacy to get some medicine. We hopped on a city cruise bus, it was freezing cold (despite the time of year) and as we arrived at the Golden Gate Bridge, Mike instructed me to get off. I followed him to the beautiful look out spot where suddenly there was just us and an old guy in the background. Suddenly Mike was on one knee, and as his voice changed from strong to a bag of nerves, I became the luckiest girl in the world.......

What venue did you choose and why? Did you want something traditional, historic or something more fun and quirky?

The venue was Villa Cipressi Hotel, Varenna, Italy - It was always a dream and this one time we found a location that was just made for us! Traditional was not on our list, but we love to travel so a beautiful location was of upmost importance and the villa was just amazing, we fell in love all over again, such a special place.

Did you jointly arrange the wedding, or did you become a bridezilla? How much say did you both have in the planning?

I wouldn’t say I was a bridezilla organising the wedding, just a girl with a plan and Mike was happy to hear the updates and let me fall into a planning frenzy (I just love it). By nature I project manage and my first meeting with Massi and Luci I arrived with my RAIDS log and plan, which Massi in his Italian way said, “I can arrange this in a week.... “. Clearly there were a few more discussions to be had.

Did you have a theme? What was it and how did you decide what to go with? What influenced your decisions?

Our theme was romance, family, beautiful backdrops which only meant one thing, a villa over looking Lake Como and the amazing mountainous backdrop

Tell us about the bride and groom outfits? Did you source these locally? Did you pour through magazines and websites? Did you go with your original choice, or change your mind completely about what you wanted?

We just wanted simple and classic, and with the help of our family and close friends we found just that. The groom looked outstanding (as always) what more can I say. Everyone advised us to go with light clothing, but Mike wanted to do the proper morning suit, it was a once in a lifetime so why not go large, that was his thoughts and it was perfect - although a little hot in 30 degree heat.

How easy was it to arrange your special day, did you find everything you needed locally? Were there some items more difficult to source than others?

It was perfect and so easy, we had a list of our requirements, two amazing wedding planners and two even more amazing photographers who are now pretty much part of the family, what more could you ask for!

Was the day how you imagined, would you have done anything differently? Do you think leading up to the day was stressful? Should you have used a wedding planner to help you plan?

I have such high expectations and just love plan things and was so worried that it wouldn’t be what we imagined but it was and more. We talk about that week/day all the time to keep the memories fresh

What’s the funniest thing which happened at your wedding?

The day we arrived there was torrential rain and the coach driver couldn’t take us any further so seeing 50 guests soaking wet passing kids and cases up the hill had its comedy value.

What advice would you give to other brides?

Choose Belle Momenti to photograph your destination wedding as the memories they capture will last a lifetime. Not only are they the best at what they do but their experience of destinations is just phenomenal. We were just lucky to have the best wedding planners who introduced us to the best couple ever, Villa Cipressi, Massi and Luci, and Belle Momenti - Andre and Suzanne are what made our day, the best of all our dreams.

Where did you go on your Honeymoon and what made you choose where you went?

Mexico for the sun, but looking back now as beautiful as Mexico was, nothing will ever beat our week in Varenna with our closest family and friends.


Photographey: Belle Momenti Photography,

Venue & Ceremony: Villa Cipress Hotel, Varenna, Lake Como, Italy,

Dress & Accessories: Essence of Australia,

Hair: Nikki Davies (my own hairdresser)

Nails: Kirsty Jackson

Bridesmaids’ dresses: Monsoon Bridal

Cake: We swapped a cake for our favourite champagne -  Bille-carte Salmon Rose

Organisation: Europewedding,



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