There’s a poetic beauty to rain on a wedding day. The moody skies and dramatic downpours, the earthen scents and calming lulls of silence. With wet weather comes heightened emotion; a realness that can’t be feigned, a magic that can’t be confined. While most pray for sunshine and perfect weather for their nuptials, sometimes serendipitously, rain arrives instead.
For Kiri and Phillip, their Italian celebration was speckled with showers and stormy skies, yet despite this, their day was filled with an endless string of incredible moments. From their ceremony that unfolded before a sea of black umbrellas to their enchanting reception setup laced with romantic styling and whimsical detail.
This was a wedding that embraced the unexpected. A perfect collision of poetry and chance, beautifully chronicled by Giuseppe Marano.
Names / Kiri & Phillip
Wedding Date / 1st June 2019
Guest Numbers / 150
How We Met
Phillip is Austrian and I am Australian. I was traveling through NYC and sleeping on a friend’s couch when I decided to try the online dating app OK Cupid. After finding out we both love negronis, the Austrian radio station FM4 and German rap music, we had our first date at a bar in the West Village called the Orient Express.
Our Engagement Story
Phillip said a few words for my 30th birthday and proposed. He always gives incredible speeches, but because it was a surprise to us all no one recorded it and I’m glad. It was fun to have everyone I wanted to celebrate the engagement with already there with us.
Marriage to us means…
To us, marriage means being vulnerable with one another. Finding someone who takes pleasure in your pleasure. Someone who inspires and encourages you. We both come from small families so it meant a lot for us to begin one of our own. Both of my parents are no longer around and I remember the first time I filled out a form with my new ‘next of kin’ as being very special. I finally felt at peace.
Dimora Delle Balze, Noto, Sicily. Getting married in Sicily was a great excuse to visit often. Before our wedding date we visited six times, partly because we became such good friends with our wedding planner, and partly because we enjoyed the food tastings so much. We chose Noto because we liked the idea that our guests could all stay in the same small town and bump into each other on the main street to meet for impromptu dinners and drinks. Dimora is perfection; it’s rare to come across such a perfectly curated, homey, and completely unique space.
Event Aesthetic & Inspiration
The dress code for the wedding was Italian chic. Being summer in Sicily, we wanted men to have the option to wear linen suits or be more creative with their attire. I put up many of The Satorialist’s street style photos from Milan as inspiration on our website, next to glam black and white shots of Sofia Loren with big hair. I think this was very confusing for everyone! But, we were influenced by Italian glamour and decadence, while also wanting the celebration to be relaxed and raucous.
While trying on dresses in New York one of the Australian ladies zipping me in and out of gowns told me about Giuseppe Marano upon hearing I was getting married in Sicily. Giuseppe’s work and index of creative friends informed many other choices we made for our wedding. He suggested both the videographer and the florist/wedding stylist. His photos capture the small moments of tenderness between guests, which you, as the bride and groom, are unable to see in the moment.
Oscar de la Renta. From the moment I tried it on I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Our wedding rings were hand-hammered by our friend and goldsmith Stefanie who makes unique one-of-a-kind pieces in Vienna at Obizzi Goldsmithery. Her store isn’t to be missed if you’re visiting.
Jewelry & Accessories
Having my hair up meant big earrings, which I love. I wore large pearl earrings from Mary Macgill Studio in Germantown, NY.
Navy Blue Trunk Chiltern suits from Trunk Clothiers.
The inimitable Toni Pellegrino. I was trying to channel big Sofia Loren hair and Toni nailed it.
Sophia Pafitis, who is not only an amazing makeup artist but also kind, funny and experienced with the ways and strains of bridal prep. She made us laugh and made sure we ate, and I was so grateful for that!
Our friend and Art Directrice Laura Karasinski designed our stationery and invitations as a gift to us.
Flowers, Bouquets & Styling
Fluida Design. Scrolling through the internet for ideas always left me overwhelmed, so having Giuseppe recommend Alessandra was a blessing. Every suggestion she made was thoughtful and creative and we completely trusted her.
Your Sunny Days. Viktor is not only a talented videographer but a lover of music. I love his non-traditional song choices and artistic shots. Viktor and Giuseppe were both ninjas, and we barely noticed them on the day.
Phillip got ready at the wedding venue where a small group of 15 friends were staying and supporting him, while I stayed in Seven Rooms Hotel in Noto.
Weddings Sicily. When we met Alessandra we knew we would marry in Sicily. She knew all the vendors, negotiated on our behalf, and had weekly Skype calls with us. She also made us laugh, even at our most stressed. We miss her!
We didn’t want to have the traditional cake cutting moment, so opted instead for a large dessert buffet.
Domo Emigrantes played Southern Italian folk music during the ceremony and cocktail. Kimolia Street Band played a brass version of ‘Sexual Healing’ at the end of our ceremony. Our first dance was to the Flume track, ‘You and Me’.
After we were pronounced man and wife Kimolia Street Band played the brass version of the song ‘Sexual Healing’ and led us to the food and drinks by the pool. We were all dancing straight away. After dinner, Kimolia returned to play a Daft Punk brass medley to get us all dancing.
Domo Emigrantes played traditional Southern Italian folk music during the ceremony and aperitivo and then at a secret mini-concert in the venue’s lobby.
DJ Functionist is an Austrian DJ who plays on our favorite radio station FM4. We listen to his show even when we’re in the US.
Lobmeyer glassware in Vienna. We have admired their pieces for so long, and now feel adult enough to own some.
Our friend Marky planned a quirky ceremony that reflected us and our lives together.
Annakeara read William Blake’s, ‘The Tiger’, and George read Diana Ross’, ‘Rescue Me’.
We chartered a yacht through the Aeolian Islands.
Sources of Inspiration
Sicily. Every aspect of the island is a source of inspiration.
A Memorable Moment
The Sicilian folk band Domo Emigrantes staying all night and playing an impromptu concert in the hotel lobby while we danced on tables. Also, when the sun shone through the clouds after the rainy ceremony.
If I could give other Brides-To-Be one Piece of Advice
Plan in baths, massages, morning meditations and any other moments of quiet to find peace and calm on the day and leading up to it. Even though I was incredibly excited, and had dreamed of the day for so long, I couldn’t have known how very nervous I would be on the wedding day. I had only two bridesmaids and the glam team with me while I was getting ready and it really helped. There was no drama or cattiness. Also, fight the urge to micromanage. To this day I still don’t know who organized 150 umbrellas and blankets on the afternoon of our wedding, but somehow it happened. Things have a way of falling in place, or not, it doesn’t matter.
Photography / Giuseppe Marano
Videography / Your Sunny Days
Bride’s Dress / Oscar de la Renta
Bride’s Shoes / Manolo Blahnik
Hair / Toni Pellegrino
Makeup / Sophia Pafitis
Groom’s Formal Wear / Niedersuesz
Wedding Rings / Obizzi
Wedding Planner / Weddings Sicily
Florist & Stylist / Fluida Design
Stationery / Atelier Karasinski
Cake / Corsino
Wedding Venue / Dimora Delle Balze
Transport / Organized by Massimo who is the king of transportation in Noto and can be contacted via weddingsicily.com
Beauty & Wellbeing
Find our handpicked edit of Beauty, Health and Wellbeing brands and services around the world on the Directory.