A Ritva Westenius bride for an Italian Garden-themed wedding at Home in London, UK

Today’s bride, Katie, is just the cutest, and what amazing fashion choices – a W-day gown from Ritva Westenius (she chose it as she was after something pure,  spiritual and simple to reflect the chuppah), dusty pink Manolo Blahnik‘s, and then fired up her look with a sparkly belt, headpiece and earrings for the evening party. So so chic!

The venue is very special too. It’s Katie’s childhood home and it set the scene for a truly intimate and meaningful day. The symbolism of their Jewish wedding was so important to these two, and they honoured a traditional Jewish wedding ritual that I’ve seen only a few times on the pages of Smashing The Glass: they spent the entire week before the wedding apart. They didn’t speak, they didn’t even text! In Katie’s words, this made the day so much more special, and it really did remind them of what the day is all about. Katie’s brother, Ben, spoke under the chuppah, and I love what Katie says about their chuppah design too:

We felt the beauty of the chuppah should come from what is happening underneath rather than what it looks like. We wanted it to be pure and spiritual allowing our guests to focus on the ceremony rather than the chuppah structure itself.

Another detail that was evidently very important to these two was their Italian garden theme. They both spend a lot of time in Tuscany and love that part of the world and they wanted to bring Italiana into every corner of their wedding! They brought their ideas to life with the help of Ben Krieger from Outrage Events, and an incredible Italian feast by Food Story including spaghetti meatballs, tiramisu, and of limoncello! The beautiful themed stationery, designed by one of our much-loved Smashing Suppliers,  Emily & Jo, was even printed in Italian, and home-made olive oil favours alongside oodles of fresh herbs and lemons were placed on every table. You could literally see, touch, taste and smell Italy!

The stunning photography is by another of our hugely talented Smashing Suppliers, David Pullum Photography. And there’s also a fabulous film by Atmotion too.

So all that leaves me to say is… Cin Cin. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

How we met

Katie, the Bride: We met through a friend and started talking on Facebook in that classic way 😉

Choosing to get married in the home where I grew up

We got married at my parents house where I grew up and a house that is close to both of our hearts. We bypassed the glitzy London hotels for a venue with meaning and intimacy. We both spend a lot of time in Tuscany and love that part of the world, so we wanted to bring Tuscany to London! Having the wedding at home meant we could completely customise it, letting our imaginations come to life.

Memories from Tuscany

The theme was Italian Garden to represent many a summers evening we had shared together in Tuscany. Even though the wedding was black tie, we wanted to bring a warm and relaxed feel to the evening. We used Ben Krieger from Outrage Events to help design the marquee. He brought all the ideas to life! We also used Harts marquees who were amazing and the marquee withstood Storm Katie!!

Garden-themed wedding stationery

The invitations were designed by Emily & Jo and reflected our garden theme. We didn’t want to be too formal or traditional so went for something floral and in an open card design. All the information was kept to one piece of paper making it easy for our guests.

They  were also handwritten by Nicola Smallwood who also did the wax seals for the envelopes which were teal coloured with an embossed K&D. We also created a paperless RSVP, this meant we could see the replies straight away and was a much greener way to getting replies! We used RSVPify..

Menus… in Italian!

We also had our menu on floral backgrounds to match the invites. These were tied with hessian string and the same K&D wax seal that was on our invitations envelopes. The menus were in Italian. We also placed bottles of limoncello on the tables during dessert.


Hair + Make-up

For my hair I wore it up in a low bun. I felt having it up was more elegant and kept it off my face during the hot Israeli dancing. For my hair I used Lisa Atherton from Atherton Cox. My very good friend and amazing make-up artist Natasha Klipp made me look the best I have ever looked on my big day. The makeup was soft and dewy. She added some sparkle to my eyes later in the evening for more of a party look.

A Ritva Westenius wedding dress

The dress was designed by Ritva Westenius. I wanted something pure, spiritual and simple to reflect the chuppah. I didn’t want the dress to detract from the ceremony or any part of the day itself. I was told that your guests should see you first and not the dress. Later in the evening I added a sparkly belt, headpiece and earrings to make it more of a party look.

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My veil was covered in petals to bring the garden theme to life. The petals cascaded down the veil and were more dense on the train. We also added some petals to the train of the dress to keep the detail after the veil was removed.

I wore white roses in my hair for the ceremony, again to represent the simplicity and purity of the chuppah. I changed into a crystal and pearl headband later in the evening. This was designed bespoke to match my belt of the dress. This was designed by Ruth Dickinson.


My shoes were dusty pink Manolo Blahnik. I am lover of pink so wanted to add this little detail under the dress. I made sure I kept them on all night!

The handsome groom

The groom wore a navy and black suit jacket from Pal Zileri with black trousers and a silk bow tie which he learnt to tie himself!


I went against matching dresses for the bridesmaids as I felt it was too formal and old fashioned for our theme. I wanted them to feel comfortable in their own dresses. The result was a garden, bohemian relaxed vibe and they all looked beautiful!

Our ceremony

My brother spoke at the chuppah making it personal and very special. We decided to use a traditional Tallis on four white poles. These were held up by our brothers and close friends which was very meaningful. It represented our home with our friends and family supporting us. We felt the beauty of the chuppah should come from what is happening underneath rather than what it looks like. Again we wanted it to be pure and spiritual allowing our guests to focus on the ceremony rather than the chuppah structure itself.

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We used The Flower Shop based in Bushey who really understood our Italian theme and brought it to life! We had hanging baby’s breath balls from the ceiling and the tables were low flowers and herbs. We had white and pink roses and herbs baskets wrapped in hessian. The flowers were in terracotta and stone pots. We also had lemons in glass jars and lots of candles. We added little touches like homemade olive oil with personalised labels and bread baskets with Italian napkins to bring the theme to life.

Our wonderful photographer….

We had David Pullum who was fantastic. We didn’t even notice his presence during the party which is a sign of a good photographer!

… and videographer

We are thrilled with our video that arrived about a month ago from Atmotion. We have an hour and half highlight video which is so great to show friends and family. Atmotion really captured the emotion and also the craziness of our party! They are some really clever scenes and they also included the real music the band played in the background which looks and sounds amazing. They have also edited the ceremony in the most beautiful way, with our brother’s speech playing over the chuppah scene – it is so very special.

Fabulous Italian Food

We used Food Story for catering who were incredible. The menu was specially designed to suit our Italian garden theme.  From the cocktails, to the canapés which included dishes such as arancini balls and mini spaghetti meatballs to the dreamy tiramisu dessert. It was truly perfect. And totally different!

The couple on stage

We had Sensation Band who were sensational! We didn’t want a big show on a big stage and instead they felt part of the wedding itself creating one enormous party!

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Speeches… including a speech by the bride

I made a speech on the day and would definitely advise other brides to do the same if they want to! It was great to be able to thank people on my behalf and address my husband in front of the guests. My younger brother was the toast master for the night and it really made it feel like a family affair.

Advice to brides and groom currently planning their wedding

Me and my husband spent the week apart before the wedding. And when I say apart, I mean entirely apart – we didn’t speak at all – not even a text! This made the day so much more special. We were both just so excited to see each other that nothing else really mattered. It reminds you what the day is really all about.

We didn’t have any formalities such as the national anthem. We really wanted a relaxed and more modern feel to the party and we had a wedding that was exactly that.


Katie & Daniel’s Little White book

Photographer – David Pullum Photography
Videographer – Atmotion
Wedding Planner – Ben Krieger from Outrage Events
Venue – bride’s parents house
Marquee – Harts marquees
Catering – Food Story
Florist – The Flower Shop
Hair – Atherton Cox
Make -up – Natasha Klipp
Bride’s dress – Ritva Westenius
Bride’s shoes – Manolo Blahnik
Groom suit – Pal Zileri
Band – Sensation Band
Stationery – Emily & Jo
Calligraphy – Nicola Smallwood

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  1. Leticia Martini says

    The bride looked so beautifully understated in her ‘oh so elegant’ Ritva Westenius dress !! What a pleasure to see refined taste making a comeback !!

  2. says

    I love the pictures. They’re simply amazing. I love the decor as well. My favourite picture would have to be the one where they toss the bride into the air.