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. With multiple events and outfit changes, the pressure was on to bring it in the fashion stakes. Here’s the inside scoop on how Alessandra selected ‘The Dress’ as well as her supporting looks.
I’ve mentioned this before but I must’ve tried on, no exaggeration, 100 wedding dresses. People describe a “when you know, you know” feeling when you discover the one but I didn’t have that so much. I knew I loved my dress the first time I tried it on, I certainly thought it was very special and beautiful, but that didn’t stop me from continuing with many more bridal appointments to make sure there wasn’t something even better out there! The journey was more of a process of elimination for me.
I think what’s challenging when you’re planning a wedding is that, in most cases, it’s something you’ve never done before! I had never tried on a wedding dress before I got engaged. Therefore I had no frame of reference, no experience to lean on in terms of what I would like, what would be comfortable, what my options were etc.
If you want to hear all the details about how I ended up choosing a pre-loved wedding gown, and why I believe circular fashion is integral to a more sustainable wedding industry, check out my wedding day feature here.
I think I always knew I wanted a classic silhouette, off-the-shoulder sleeves, and was always drawn to images of very elegant brides wearing their hair in a simple chignon. However you really don’t know what style is going to work until you try and let me tell you… I tried them all!
Ultimately I did end up with an interpretation of my original vision, but one that I tailored to feel more appropriate for the rustic setting and overall creative direction of the wedding. I wore a very classically cut gown, but the fabrication was soft and whimsical with hundreds of silk appliquéd flowers cascading down the front and and along the train. I wore an up-do with a chignon, but introduced a braid and a baby’s-breath crown to make it feel romantic and relaxed. A lot of my creative choices were really driven by the setting and venue, and this is something I really recommend people do when they’re planning their big day.
The decision making process is a difficult thing to describe. Going to bridal appointments and getting to try on beautiful gowns was certainly fun and exciting and special. But without sounding too obvious, there’s also a reality to it that you don’t see in the fairytales. That being: the pressure of making one of the biggest sartorial decisions of your life and parting with a lot of cold hard cash in the process! Just keep going and have faith that in the end you will get there.
THE SUPPORT NETWORK
I went to bridal appointments with a few close friends and also arranged for my mum to see me in the dress while I visited her on a work trip in Milan. I think I would’ve gone mad if I didn’t have them as a sounding board along the way. It helps that one of my friends is a professional stylist and the other a very talented art director. When they first saw me in the dress I eventually ended up buying I got such a reaction! They all knew it was the dress for me long before I was willing to admit it.
I always knew I wanted to wear a veil. It’s the one time in your life that it’s socially acceptable to wear one (gutted, or I would wear one every day!! Joking.. kinda). I tried a few options but in the end I chose a single tier veil because I personally didn’t want anything over my face. It was three meters long and added the ‘Oomph’ I was looking for without distracting from the detail of the dress.
With shoes all i can say is: comfort comfort comfort. Especially if you’re wearing a floor-length gown and no one can see them anyway.
My earrings were my wedding present from Adam. They were a big surprise and the evening he gave them to me I think I was actually more shocked and emotional than when he proposed! It’s also kind of crazy how perfectly they went with my dress given he had never seen it.
THE EVENING LOOK
I always planned on changing into a second look after the dinner. I wanted something that I could move and dance in freely and I didn’t want my dress to get damaged or stained by taking it onto a wild dance floor (something to consider if you’re planning on reselling your dress)! I looked around for ages and in the end I selected a super fun hand-beaded jumpsuit, it felt so freeing to change into something like that and just dance the night away!
Hot tip 1: If you’re planning on an outfit change think very carefully before changing your shoes unless you’re going comfier and more spacious. Your feet will be sore and they can swell after a long day in heels so changing into shoes that are higher or less comfortable at the end of the night will be torture!
Hot tip 2: Use your outfit change as a moment to have your make up touched up and potentially made a little more enhanced for nighttime and flash photography.
THE SECOND DAY OUTFIT
We got married in Sicily surrounded by luscious lemon trees, colourful ceramics and fiery pink bougainvillea. I wanted my clothing outside of my bridal look to be vibrant and colourful to match this energy so it never even crossed my mind that I would wear white to any of the events outside of the actual wedding day. For the pool party I had fallen in love with a Dolce and Gabbana print from a collection that had come out several years prior to my wedding. The issue was sourcing it as the print had sold out everywhere and was discontinued. I spent six months searching and eventually found the top and the skirt (in different places) and managed to pull the look together. The crazy thing is after all that hard work I only wore the outfit for about 30 minutes and then spent the rest of the time dancing round like a lunatic in a random old bikini… kill me now!
ADVICE FOR BRIDES
Don’t lose faith and don’t compromise. It is possible to find what you want. I got my dream dress within budget and sourced my favourite Dolce and Gabbana outfit despite it being discontinued. Where there’s a will there’s a way.
FAVOURITE PHOTO (OF THE DRESS)
It’s actually a little video of the first moment my Mum and Dad saw me in my dress. It was captured on an iPhone and I’ve included a still from the video below. It’s just such a special memory and the way everything comes together in that picture really gives me this feeling of wow.. even though at times I felt so overwhelmed and unsure, I somehow managed to pull off a bridal look that really reflects who I am. Hopefully I will still feel that way in the years to come!
Photography: Chris & Ruth Photography
Wedding Dress: Mira Zwillinger
Wedding Earrings: David Morris
Wedding Veil: Etsy
Pool Party Set: Dolce & Gabbana
Pool Party Earrings: Christie Nicolaides
Related Article: Inside Alessandra Frame’s Black Tie Wedding In Sicily