Patrizia Galeota, 37, a beauty PR consultant and founder of SensiChic candles, married investment banker Enzo Ruggieri, 36, in Puglia, Italy, on 25th August 2012
For our Italian summer wedding, the theme
I was aiming for was ‘Modern Vintage Chic With A Quintessential that vibe, but still look grand enough for a church ceremony.
I saw The One
I remember it so
English Twist,’ with antique crockery and flowers in teapots, and my candles poured into little teacups. So the dress had to follow
The Brides page that caught Patrizia’s eye…
Clearly! I was working at The Body Shop press office at the time, eating a salad at my desk. I was flicking through a mountain of magazines to check out the beauty pages for brand coverage, and thought, ‘Actually, I am going to take a moment and look through Brides for some inspiration.’ And there it was. Until this point, nothing had seemed as stunning as that dress: if it had been a film, dramatic music would have played to set the scene. I knew that even ifI looked at other dresses.
Bride Finds Everything She Wanted In Her Dream Dress on Honeymoon Travel Photo Gallery
I would always go back to what I considered to be already mine.
Why I loved it It was by Alan Hannah, in a design called Melita: a gorgeous one-shoulder ivory silk gown with a silk chiffon skirt, fitted bodice and lace-up corset back, costing £1,295. It had a beautiful floral detail on the bust, extra embellishment on the hip, and flowers that climbed up the back of the corset. It was so elegant, with a hint of British flair, and the beaded flowers made it so distinctive – it was a real wow-factor dress.
Tracking it down My closest stockist was Teokath of London (teokath.co.uk), the bridal boutique in Wimbledon. I immediately called my sisters (one of whom was based in Tunisia) and sister-in-law (in Italy) to organise dates so that we could all go together. I also booked fittings with Pronovias and Harrods, and left Teokath of London to last. Why? My gut feeling was telling me that I had already found THE dress, but I wanted the experience of trying on lots of styles in the company of both .
MOTHER OF THE BRIDE MARY’S OF ENFIELD 27 HIGH STREET, HODDESDON, HERTFORDSHIRE EN11 8SX 01992466066
A bright, spacious 2500sq ft showroom with 8 personal dressing rooms and more than 900 outfits awaits you at Mary’s of Enfield.
Knowledgeable staff are on hand to guide you through your choices, while your guests are comfortably seated. An expert in-house seamstress is in-store daily to ensure a perfect fit. Premier stockists of Condici, John Charles, Veni Infantino, Irresistible, Ian Stuart and many more. Sizes 8-26.
GILL HARVEY AT ELIZA JANE HOWELL 15 CONNAUGHT STREET LONDON W2 2AY
020 7436 2882
The Gill Harvey Collection is a truly different range of occasionwear and beautiful dresses that will take you anywhere in style.
Gill Harvey won the Bridal Buyer ‘Best Mother-of-the-Bride Collection’ 2014.
Available from our London shop and selected stockists nationwide.
LALAGE BEAUMONT58 BEAUCHAMP PLACE, KNIGHTSBRIDGE, LONDON SW3 1NZ
020 7584 9977
Lalage Beaumont specialises in smart clothes for special occasions and in particular mother-of-the-bride. Understated and elegant the outfits and co-ordinating hats are made in England from the finest European fabrics and available as either ready-to-wear or made-to-measure. Friendly and helpful advice awaits you at her boutique in Knightsbridge (no appointment needed).
FAVOURBROOK WOMEN 16 PALL MALL, LONDON SW1Y 5LU
Favourbrook prides itself on creating stunningly individual outfits to suit any wedding; only making a limited number of outfits in each fabric, to ensure exclusivity. Theresa and Sophie will expertly guide and advise you on an outfit from the ready- to-wear collection or, for a more individual look, you can create an outfit from Favourbrook’s made-to-order service.
Condici is the premier mother- of-the-bride label in the UK and Ireland, and we are experts in dressing stylish mums.
Our reputation is built on more than 35 years of experience and we are renowned for our sophisticated style, quality and fit to ensure that every woman feels glamorous, unique and confident for one of the most important days of her life.
Bride aside, all eyes will be onyou Fashion my sisters and sister-in-law. Deep down, I knew that once I’d tried on the Melita gown, I wouldn’t want to try anything else!
Meeting my dress
Just seeing the Melita for the first time ‘in real life’ gave me butterflies and a wave of true excitement. The moment I slipped it on, I almost forgot about all the others I’d tried on… it was The One, without a doubt. There was also a flutter of relief, as I’d built it up so much. Luckily it totally lived up to my expectations. We celebrated with a glass of Champagne in the boutique before my measurements were taken and my personal details handed over to the store manager to secure the most exciting purchase to date.
The design journey
The dress was ordered straight away in my size, then I had two fittings with minor adjustments, which cost £105, to tighten the shoulder strap and other small tweaks. I had my final fitting with my mother and mother-in-law (from Italy). It was such a special moment – we were all in tears. It was perfection!
Four months later I collected the final design. It was a scorcher of a day and I drove to the boutique with the radio on full blast because I was so excited! It was really happening, I was collecting my dress for the biggest day of my life.
I stored it at my parents’ house in a garment bag and I had my final fitting with my mother and mother¬in-law. We were all in tears. It was perfection!’
my main worry was how it would travel as ‘hand luggage’ to Italy, especially when it wasn’t a direct flight. Thankfully the airline crew were amazing and managed to store it in a cupboard on its own. On arrival, all the dress needed was a steamy bathroom to remove minimal creases.
I got in touch with a friend who owns the fabulous Lovely’s Vintage Emporium (lovelysvintageemporium. com). We found an exquisite handmade marcasite hair comb with an intricate floral spray. My jewellery had to be simple due to the dress being so elaborate on the top, so I opted for diamond stud earrings and a solitaire diamond pendant specially created by Simone Venezia (veneziaorafo.it), the same jeweller who made my engagement ring and our wedding bands.
When it came to shoes, I chose ‘Clover’ by Harriet Wilde (harrietwilde.com), a classic medium-heel peep-toe crafted in Italian silk satin, with a floral chiffon shoe clip for a more bespoke touch. I went lingerie shopping with my mother to Rigby & Peller (rigbyandpeller.com) – the service was impeccable. After showing the sales assistant a photo of my dress, I was then measured for size, and she brought out a handful of stunning strapless pieces with matching briefs.
The big day arrives
I genuinely felt like an absolute princess. Both my sisters and mother helped me to get into the dress and my middle sister, Alessandra, fastened up the corset. Meanwhile, my photographer cheekily left the video camera running at the far end of the hotel suite to capture this intimate moment. My hairdresser arranged my chiffon veil, and suddenly I was ready. The nerves really kicked in! In the south of Italy, it’s customary for the women of both families to visit the bride before she arrives in church – so, many close friends and family were in the hotel lobby with glasses of fizz awaiting my arrival, I felt like royalty! Then, when I stepped into the church and walked down the aisle, I heard ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ of admiration and saw tears of joy in my mother-in¬law’s eyes. Enzo was smiling like a Cheshire cat, and he greeted me with a kiss on the cheek and said, ‘You look absolutely stunning!’ And despite it being 40°C that day, I felt wonderful.
My advice for other brides
Make the time to sit down and pore over the pages of Brides – you’ll discover so many gowns that you might otherwise have missed and your dream dress could be in here too!
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