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My gorgeous bride Anita Patel booked me back in Aug 2019 for her destination wedding to take place in Aug 2020 at the famous Italian Amalfi Coast in Ravello. And then Covid-19 happened, and the rest is known to you all. Anita herself suffered an extremely personal tragic loss in losing her dad who sadly passed away due to covid. Inevitably, the wedding was postponed. Most of the weddings booked for 2020 were either cancelled or rescheduled. Both couples and the wedding industry went through a tough and challenging time. Like many others, Anita's wedding was rescheduled for Aug 2021, and we were hoping the situation would be settled by then.
Aug 2021 came along and things were still hanging in the air. We were anxiously keeping an eye on the news hoping that Italy would be moved to the green list of countries for travel so no one involved in the booking would need to quarantine. There were seven suppliers booked in to fly from the UK to Italy for this wedding. And then, just when everything looked quite promising, and we were getting excited to get all packed up, Italy announced a mandatory quarantine for the British traveller in the light of the Delta variant, which was roughly a week before the wedding. It was devastating news for us all. As for myself, I had kept the key weekend dates in the peak wedding season reserved for Anita despite getting numerous enquiries for other weddings for the exact dates in the UK. But for me, commitment to a booked client mattered more than anything despite the fact I was unsure even closer to the time if her aug wedding would even go ahead, which would mean a significant loss of business. And the wedding couldn't go ahead. Still, I do not regret my decision for not cancelling on Anita one bit.
I had five destination weddings booked for 2020, and all the brides apart from Anita decided to give up on the idea of having an exotic dream wedding abroad and ended up having something low key at home. I suggested the same to her as this was a more realistic and less expensive option for her, but she was adamant about making her dream wedding a reality no matter what. In the face of all odds, this perseverance and relentless efforts paid off when her wedding in Sep 2021 (scheduled for the third time) was finally given the green light.
Italy was still on the amber list, but both countries had relaxed rules for fully vaccinated travellers. There was still an endless list of tests and locator forms that Anita had to arrange for everyone involved. She had a wedding planner in Italy, but most of the UK side of things were managed by her, including the endless logistics changes due to the Covid situation.
So finally, the day arrived, and I boarded the British Airways flights from Heathrow Terminal 5 to Naples on 10th Sep alongside most of Anita's immediate family. From Naples, Ravello was a further an hour and a half drive away. We all undertook this beautiful picturesque journey in a special bus arranged to transfer us. And upon arrival in Ravello, Anita was there along with fiance Ronak to greet and take us to a special dinner to treat everyone to the best pizza in the town. She was dressed in a long pastel dress adorned with a stunning Gucci belt, and even without any makeup, she looked like a dream. Her face was glowing with happiness, and the sense of pride and achievement was oozing out of her smile. Her long hair was down and straight, flowing naturally as the wind blew! I was so happy for her and couldn't wait to get her ready!
The next day was the welcome dinner for the entire bridal party of 50 guests. Anita wore a floral lilac-pink knee-length dress and wanted to have hair down and soft smokey eyes. So I decided to create something precisely along these lines, and the results were mind-blowing to the point that Anita later told me that when her fiancé saw her walking in, he had literal tears in his eyes.
The Hindu wedding & reception took place on 12th Sep, and Anita was looking to walk straight into her reception after the Hindu ceremony, so there was absolutely no time for a hair and makeup change. We had some detailed discussions over a video consultation back home on creating her look. Her brief was bronzy eyes with a nude pink lip and glowing sun-kissed skin to go with her wedding theme. She wanted something totally different for the hair, so instead of going for a usual up-do or a half-up, she decided to have a long textured messy plait, one of my favourite hairstyles to create. My unconventional bride was also not going to have a dupatta set on the hair, so the hair would be on display the whole time and needed to be spot on. We managed to source some tiny fresh flower buds to decorate the plait. I took my time creating this picture-perfect hairstyle as I knew the makeup was more straightforward and would be achieved quicker. The only thing with the makeup was that it needed to be very long-lasting, despite the heat and no touch-ups before the reception. So I used all the tricks under my belt to create a heat proof makeup look given my years of experience working with destination wedding brides. Later on, Anita told me her hair and makeup didn't budge all night, and this was such a lovely testament to all my hard work.
The event took place in the stunning Villa Eva — an enchanting wedding venue in the heart of Ravello. Below is the picture of the bridal room i where i got Anita ready for her indian wedding!
Doesn't she look like a dream bride in an effortless soft smokey eye paired with a nude pink lip and a very romantic long textured plait hairstyle?
Getting an Indian Bride ready for her wedding is not just about hair and makeup, dressing or draping the dupatta is an equally important task. As Anita didn't want her dupatta set on the head in the traditional style, i went for an elegant & modern drape of the chuni around her lehenga which allowed her to move around comfortably and yet looked stunning at the same time.
Anita wore a Canada based Indian designer Mani Jassal for both her wedding & reception. I was pretty impressed with the minimalist style and the exquisite mirror work on the lehenga.
If you are looking for a very modern South Asian bridal wear, then do check this brand. They offer a range of stunning bustiers (to go with sarees or lehengas) that can later be paired with your western clothes. In my opinion, it's essential to be able to use your bridal outfit more than once, especially if it can be styled in a more modern way.
My bride's beautiful jewellery was by UK based Indian brand Red dot Jewels that specialise in great quality ethnic indian bridal jewellery.
Ravello, the shining jewel of the Amalfi Coast, is a destination that is not for the faint of heart. Set upon a rocky cliff overlooks the shimmering sea, this quaint town that neighbours Positano is the perfect place to marvel at the world's most picturesque coastline. This stunning Amalfi Coast town is known for its jaw-dropping views and ornate garden villas.
From villas to lush groves and vineyards, Ravello is truly a slice of heaven on earth. Away from the hustle and bustle of Italy's larger cities like Florence and Rome, one can spend hours roaming the expansive gardens that overlook the serene blue sea and the coastline.
After a stroll through Ravello's picturesque Villas, I spent most of my time at the town's main square- Piazza Vescovado. This is an excellent place to people-watch and grab a bite to eat or drink, and you can even get some shopping done at the Piazza. Locally made ceramics, canvas paintings, handmade jewellery and fabric handbags make for great souvenirs from Ravello. The main square offers gorgeous views of the mountains surrounding the region and a backdrop to the ocean.
Pizza, pizza, pizza these are the words that spring to mind when it comes to the food choices in Ravello. This place is pizza heaven, and you will find all sorts, sizes, shapes (yes, some don't even look remotely like pizza yet they are) and filling for pizza. Then, of course, locals, like all Italians, are crazy about cheese, and boy o boy, Mozzarella is on the top of every menu item! Local bakery and gelato shops are pretty buzzing places and worth trying too.
But for me a great cup of authentic cappuccino is all that matters in the world!
All in all, I had a tremendous experience of working with Anita in Ravello, and this booking turned out to be one of my very favourite Indian destination wedding experiences. And i left Italy with the fond memories of this beautiful asian wedding which i will cherish for years to come! And hopefully with the things settling down regarding travelling rules, i will be able to carry on creating beautiful hair and makeup looks for my destination brides.
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