Anja and Anis
Town Hall of Capri
San Michele Hotel in Anacapri, Capri photos by Umberto D’Aniello (Capri, Italy)
How and when did you meet?
We met at school youth club! We went out for a year or so then had a baby! Our son, Rian, is now 16. We split up for seven years and got back together two and a half years ago. We haven’t looked back since.
Where, when and how did he (or you!) propose?
We went to the Amalfi coast last year for 10 days and spent two days in Capri. On the second day we climbed Mount Tiberious at sunset and paused to watch it and take photo’s. We’d just been up to listen to some lovely music coming out of a tiny church on the top of the mountain and a priest and a couple of Italian’s were walking down the hill as we were taking photo’s. Anis asked the priest if he wouldn’t mind taking a picture of us. The priest then (weirdly) asked whether we were married – it turned out he was from London and did a ceremony in Capri once a year. To that Anis replied ‘Well, I was just about to propose, will you be my witness?’. Anis got down on one knee, pulled a ring in a box out from his pocket (how he’d managed to conceal it all day in his swimming gear I don’t know!. I was obviously stunned, as were the two Italian’s with the priest. I said yes! They invited us to have a drink at their villa to celebrate the occasion and I played their Steinway piano for them (it hadn’t been played since the Uncle’s wife died some time ago). We have become firm friends and the events that night and the people we subsequently met through them led us into making our decision to get married in Capri this year, almost a year to the day of the proposal.
Did you have hen and stag celebrations?
Anis went to Newquay with about 20 friends, surfing, boogie boarding, partying etc. and stayed in a nice hotel. I rented a luxury country cottage in Wiltshire with pool/tennis courts etc. with about 20 friends and had a huge party!
Did your groom help you with the wedding planning?
I did most of the planning, but we also found an English wedding co-ordinator who lives on the island of Capri and did all the paperwork. Anis organised his best men and ushers and their outfits.
Did you use confetti to plan your wedding? If so, how did the website help you?
I used the confetti forum quite a lot for advice from other brides which was extremely helpful. I also looked at the fashion pages and the countdown timeline for ideas.
Do you have a confetti web page?
Yes, although I only wrote the date of my wedding on it!
Did you buy any confetti products for your wedding? If so, did you visit a store, buy online or by mail order?
I bought our table place cards, sparkly pink & purple stars to go inside our invitations, disposable camera’s and a ‘Just Married’ pink bikini from the London store.
Tell us about your outfit, and where you bought it.
My dress was the infamous ‘Madrid’ by Alan Hannah. I bought it from a little boutique in Islington, London. Alan Hannah’s wife is Italian and I thought it was the perfect dress for an Italian wedding.
Did you have bridesmaids? If so, who did you choose and what did they wear?
I decided to have just one bridesmaid, my sister. She wore a lovely green 50’s style ‘Dessy’ dress bought from a store in Watford. It matched the green in my dress and flowers.
Who did your groom choose for his best man and ushers, and what did they wear?
Anis had two best men – both old friends from school. We both chose the usher’s as I have two best boy ‘mates’. We had six in total. Our son Rian was chief usher, my brother, then three friends. The groom wore an amazing ivory suit and the ushers wore black suits with ivory ties/waistcoats and shoes. All had pink buttonholes. With dark glasses they looked like extra’s from ‘The Godfather’!
Did you have a civil or religious ceremony?
We had a civil ceremony.
Where did you hold your ceremony?
In the Town Hall of Capri, in the main Piazza – the ‘Capri Commune’.
Where did you hold your reception?
We had a champagne reception on the terrace of the San Michele Hotel in Anacapri followed by a five-course dinner around the swimming pool at the back of the hotel outside.
Did you have any special wedding transport?
Yes we hired two old style open-topped white Fiat stretch taxi’s which are a feature on Capri. We dressed it up with white ribbons etc.
How many guests did you invite to your wedding, and did you have a separate evening guest list?
We invited 70 guests to Capri and 60 managed to travel all the way over! We were overwhelmed at the amazing effort everyone made to come to Italy. We’re planning on having a separate dinner in Leeds (our home town) for those family and friends that couldn’t make it to Italy.
Did your reception have a particular theme in terms of colour or style?
The general theme was hot pink, green and ivory – to match my dress!
How did you incorporate this in to your table settings?
The hotel provided large candles that lined the swimming pool. The tables were decorated with floating candles in assorted colours and lots of pink and ivory rose petals strewn all over the tables.
Did you give your guests favours?
Yes, we made up a CD for everyone to take home with 20 tracks of memorable tunes that have meant things to us over the years. Inside it was a picture of Capri, a poem which Anis had written and a ‘thanks to’ on the back. The CD has since been played to death in everyone’s household and is now everyone’s memory of our wedding.
Describe your flowers (bouquets and table decorations). Who was your florist?
We luckily have an amazing friend who is a florist. She ordered my pink stargazer Lilly’s from Croyden flower market, picked them up the day before and flew to Naples with all the flowers for the table decorations, the two large decorations in the town hall and the buttonholes in iced boxes. We then kept them in a cool place and they were perfect for the next day. She made up my bouquet the morning of the wedding. My sisters bouquet was provided by the wedding co-ordinator in Capri.
What did you choose to have on your menu? Did you have an outside caterer or did your venue handle the catering?
The hotel gave us some options for our menu. For the champagne reception we had canapés consisting of Anacapri mini pizza’s, a mix of salt pastries and mussels gratinated. For the reception dinner we started with lobster/seafood platter, followed by various types of pasta/typical caprese ravioli, main course was local fish (rather like sea bass) with matchstick fried zucchini and salad, boiled potatoes with parsley and a vegetarian option. We finished with fresh strawberry mousse and coffee with petite fours.
What did you choose for your wedding cake?
The wedding cake was a traditional sponge cake made with lemons and cream. Lemons are ripe on Capri – there are lemon groves all over the place so we thought it was appropriate!
Did you have any entertainment during the day or evening?
We had a lovely Italian guitarist who played whilst everyone was walking into the town hall, including a separate song when I walked in. He was part of a five-piece band and they all played during the reception dinner. The type of music varied from Neopolitan Italian ballads, to Volare, O Sole Mio etc… they are a traditional folk band and it worked really well with our lively crowd. The band even wrote us a song which they played at the beginning. After the dinner and speeches had finished, we all moved inside to a bar built into the rocks underneath the hotel that was surrounded by windows. As the hotel is on top of a mountain, you could see all the twinkly boats in the harbour and the stars and the moon – it was a full moon that night too! Our first dance was ‘I Found Lovin’ by The Fatback Band.
Did you have a gift list? If so, who did you have your list with?
We had two gift lists – one with John Lewis and the other for honeymoon vouchers.
Where did you spend your first night and honeymoon? Who did you book your honeymoon with?
We are going to South Africa for our honeymoon in December. We have a three-day safari planned at Madikwe river lodge, followed by two weeks travelling from Port Elizabeth down the Garden Route to Cape town stopping off at various places along the way.
What was your most memorable moment of the day?
The ceremony. It was so romantic! Although the service was in Italian, the Lord Mayor was so gushing with his service (we had an interpretor) and gave us presents at the end of the ceremony. The priest I mentioned on the proposal night gave us a hand painted picture of the scene at sunset on Mount Tiberious, painted by the uncle of one of the Italians that we met that night. We then had two very emotive speeches from close friends.
Is there anything you would do differently, or any advice you would give to other brides?
There is nothing I would do differently. It was the most magical day of my life. The only advice I would give to other brides is not to get too drunk (which luckily I didn’t !) so that you can enjoy every second. I would so love to do it all again….