Natalie & Mario
A FAIRYTALE DAY FILLED WITH ROMANCE AND FUN
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAMES GRIST PHOTOGRAPHY
Natalie and Mario met through mutual friends, and, after tapas and a film, the feelings were definitely mutual. “We had huge grins on our faces and butterflies dancing in our bellies, and we’ve not been apart since!” gushes Natalie. “Mario proposed to me in the beautiful Cambridge Botanic Gardens. It was a perfect sunny day and we were visiting my 95-year-old Grandma who I adore. He had planned the whole day so that she got be with us when he proposed and he’d even written her a letter that explained it all. As she read it out, Mario got down on one knee and my eyes filled with tears – I immediately said yes!”
The bride’s perfect dress was everything she had always imagined. “It was ‘Prinia’ by Sophia Tolli and I found it at Mia Rose, based in Petts Wood, Kent. It was elegant, pretty, feminine and made me feel like a Disney princess for the day.
“With layer upon layer of tulle and cascading sparkles, it was just like the picture of my future wedding dress I’d drawn years ago!”
Natalie accessorised with ‘Lara’ by Carvela peep toe shoes, gifted by her mother-in-law; crystal drop earrings found on Etsy, and a cathedral-length veil borrowed from her sister. Her cousin, Maria Vasiliou from Kings Hair at Home created her half-up, half-down bouffant hairstyle. “I did my own makeup being a mobile beauty therapist myself (Aurora’s Beauty), using Dior and Bobbie Brown products.”
“My husband wore a gorgeous chambray three-piece suit from Reiss, a Burto pink tie and Aldo brown leather shoes. He looked so handsome and smart and a little teary eyed – just perfect,” Natalie smiles.
Natalie’s two sisters were at her side for her big aisle moment.
They wore soft lilac Grecian-style ASOS dresses with a delicate sparkly belt and their hair was softly pinned to the side in waves.
I chose the gowns a year in advance and I just knew they would look stunning on my sisters – floaty and feminine, romantic and elegant.”
The couple tied the knot in the Twelve Apostles Greek Orthodox Church in Hertfordshire. “Our ceremony featured the Greek traditions like blessing the rings, joining of the crowns – we each wore flower crowns for this – to symbolise the joining of our two souls as King and Queen to each other.”
Inspired by romantic fairytales, Mario and Natalie created a wonderland of English and Greek touches. “After our Greek ceremony we went to Sopwell House, our reception venue, where we were greeted with a Pimm’s reception and Salvatore playing the piano. Our photographer James made us feel so relaxed throughout. I felt like I was in my own fairytale – I had the flowers, the dress, the prince!” The couple’s table plan was a relaxed affair, with guests choosing any seat from their allocated table. “I hung tags onto a lilac blossom tree made by my father for the table plan. For the tables we added cream ornate candle lanterns, glass candleholders and arrangements of peonies, freesias, roses, stocks and gysophila arrangements balanced on top.
“Seeing my flowers on the day literally brought my dream wedding to life. Our florist Jackie created an English rose garden effect that were pretty and smelt beautiful.”
Rose buds, peonies, sweet peas and forget-me-nots for my something blue went together beautifully.”
The couple turned to the Daphne Rose Cakery for their three-tier ivory lace effect wedding cake, with some of Jackie’s flowers added too for a floral waterfall of colour. “It tasted as good as it looked too with salted caramel, lemon and rose layers!” Natalie enthuses.
Their wedding favours were labours of love as the couple made their own scented candles to gift to guests.
“We had them burning on the tables in the venue too so that people would associate the fragrance with our wedding and when they light the candles at home it would bring the memories back.”The Roving Artist was also on hand to create special silhouettes of guests as something different to take home, too. And the real party started when Midas Touch, the well-known Greek band, took to the floor to keep the night alive. “We loved them! Dancing to their last song, ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ was an absolute highlight of the day.”
Natalie and Mario jetted off to Bali for their honeymoon, booked with Kuoni. “We chose The Viceroy in Ubud, Bali because we wanted to go somewhere out of the ordinary. We spent four nights here in honeymoon paradise, even visiting an elephant sanctuary and monkey forest. We had the time of our lives. The remainder of our honeymoon was spent beside the beach at Seminyak where we swam with dolphins!” A stop off at Singapore made the return journey just as memorable for the newlyweds.
This bride’s top budgeting tip comes in the form of flowers: “we only put flowers on every other table to get the pretty effect for half the price.”
CEREMONY Twelve Apostles Church, Hertfordshire
RECEPTION VENUE Sopwell House Hotel, St Albans
DRESS Sophia Tolli at Mia Rose, Kent
BRIDESMAID DRESSES ASOS
GROOM Reiss and Aldo
CAKE Daphne Rose Cakery
ENTERTAINMENT Midas Touch
VIDEOGRAPHER Richard Knight, White Dress Films