Alessandra Frame, founder of The Collectibles and contributing fashion editor at The Wedding Edition, married commodities trader Adam Frame in Italy in 2019 where the couple hosted three days of celebrations in breathtaking surroundings. The couple kicked off the festivities with welcome drinks on a rooftop overlooking the baroque city of Noto, and ended with a vibrant pool party where guests enjoyed recovery cocktails and Sicilian fare. Here’s Alessandra Frame’s Black Tie Wedding….
The best part of our day was….
It’s almost impossible to choose a single moment! Getting ready with my bridesmaids, walking down the aisle.. it’s hard to put into words how special these moments feel. If I really have to choose it would be the dinner portion of the evening. We made our entrance to the song Volare (the Gypsy Kings version) and the room just exploded into whoops and cheers! People were standing on their chairs and waving their napkins, the atmosphere was incredible. The speeches were filled with happy tears and laughter and people were getting up and dancing before the final course had even been served. The energy and love in the air that night is something that will stay with us forever!
We choose to get married at…
We chose to get married in Italy because it’s a very special place for me (I’m half Italian so I spent a lot of time there in my childhood and also lived there during my university years). Adam loves Italy and was keen for us to get married there as we had a lot of guests travelling internationally so we wanted to serve up a fabulous location people could get excited about! We found a venue in Sicily that ticked every box in terms of what we wanted to achieve and flew over to check it out. Not only did the venue surpass all expectations but so did the surrounding region with its exceptional food, stunning beaches and the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site of Noto (where our guests would stay). It was the first and only venue we ever visited!
I knew I found ‘The One’ when….
I must have tried on at least 100 dresses, which I’m aware makes me sound like a bit of a lunatic! In my defence it’s one of the biggest sartorial decisions you will ever make and I wanted to be sure I had explored all my options. On what can only be described as my wedding dress journey, I kept coming up against the same issues: huge production lead times and a bit of a disconnect between price and quality. The gowns that felt truly fairytale-like had price points starting in the five figures, meanwhile the gowns that were more affordable sometimes felt lacking in wow-factor. The dress I eventually fell in love with was going to cost more than a small car (not including veil and alterations) and I just didn’t feel like I could justify spending that much money on something I was only going to wear once!
One night feeling desperate, glass of wine in hand, I went down an internet rabbit hole and struck gold. A bride in Hong Kong who’d just had a lavish wedding in Paris was reselling my dream dress for half price and she had my exact bust, waist, hip measurements! I messaged her immediately and a few weeks later the dress was delivered to my front door in immaculate condition. I made a few alterations: I lowered the back and had some sleeves made and voilà! I was ready to get married.
I love the idea that my dress has had multiple lives.. It has been to Paris, Hong Kong, New York (for specialist dry cleaning), London & Sicily! I had never even considered buying a second hand wedding dress but the experience completely opened my eyes to the world of bridal resale and the relevance of the circular fashion economy when it comes to weddings: the ultimate ‘wear once’ industry. My experience allowed me to wear my dream designer dress, without losing sleep over how much money I had spent. It also became the inspiration behind my business The Collectibles and I wrote about the benefits of buying a second hand wedding dress here.
The style of our wedding was…
Traditional Sicilian ceramics, fiery bougainvillaea contrasting against ancient stone, locally grown flowers and lemons strewn across tables. I wanted the florals and decor to feel like a beautiful extension of our surroundings. In terms of dress code, we agreed the wedding should be black tie from the offset as we thought the contrast of cascading gowns and dinner suits against the rustic surroundings would look incredible.. and it did!
The most enjoyable moments of planning were…
Travelling to Sicily for the food and wine tasting! We flew out a few months before the wedding to finalise details and the trip honestly felt like a dream. Our excitement levels were off the charts in the anticipation that soon we would be back in this incredible place with all of our loved ones! We stayed at the stunning Sevenrooms Villadorata, a hotel I couldn’t recommend more highly to anyone visiting the area. Our amazing wedding planner Andrea met us at the airport and had everything covered from my hair trial with the inimitable Toni Pellegrino, to a food and wine tasting at our venue that lasted all afternoon. It was around the time we were sampling cakes at 150 year old Antica Pasticceria Corsino I awoke from my food coma and remembered I had a dress to fit into!
The hardest part of planning was…
Planning a wedding is no joke and at times the stress can get real. You are required to make a number of really big decisions about things you may never have even thought about before. There are so many things to consider and so many options for everything that it can feel very overwhelming. And I say that without having had a global pandemic to contend with!
I would say the best thing we did to make the planning process easier was hire our incredible wedding planner Andrea and her team. Even though I speak Italian, planning a wedding in another country is seriously challenging and hiring a planner allowed us to focus on the meaningful details whilst someone else took on the logistical legwork. We couldn’t have done it without her.
The best accounts to follow on Instagram for big-day inspo are…
I would also recommend following hashtags like #weddingdress and #tablescape and liking lots of wedding focused content that you find inspiring – make the algorithm work for you!
My top three tips for any couple would be…
- Sometimes weddings can take on a life of their own and it can be easy to get swept up in everything you’re supposedly “meant” to do. If staged group photos aren’t your vibe, tell your photographer no. If you don’t care to toss the bouquet, cut this out of the program. Your wedding day will be over in a flash so don’t waste precious time doing things that aren’t important to you.
- It’s tempting to have a big fashion ‘moment’ but I would caution brides-to-be against creating a look that is too trend-driven (any other millennials triggered by their mothers’ wedding perms?) Stay true to your personal style and consider a look that’s appropriate for the location.
- Try not to let the nerves get to you! It’s easy to lose sleep about all the things that could go wrong but the reality is things will go wrong and they will just make for a funny story in the future! Relax into enjoying the moment and remember that all of your guests love you and are there to have a fabulous time.
Wedding Venue: Dimora Delle Balze
Welcome Drinks Venue: Gagliardi Boutique Hotel
Flower girl & page boy: Etsy
Photographer: Chris & Ruth Photography
Wedding Planner: Italian Weddings & Events – Andrea Naar Alba
Florist: Intrecci di fiore e d’arte
Cake: Millefoglie covered in wild strawberries from Antica Pasticceria Corsino
Wedding rings: Cartier
Makeup: Sarah Bedingfield Shutt
Hair: Toni Pellegrino
Bridesmaid gifts: Net-a-Porter
Gift list: Prezola
Wedding website: Appy Couple