Camille Benfredj and Natan Lempert met in London at a dinner party organized by a mutual friend. Natan took Camille on a surprise trip to Formentera, his favorite island. At the end of the trip he organized a boat day. They toured his favorite beaches and ended the day next to Es Vedra, an island that is famous for its cosmic energy and ‘good vibes’. He popped the question at sunset and the two partied the night away. Their wedding took place in the stunning Dimora delle Balze, Sicily.
At the ceremony when I stopped to look at all the guests in front of us and realized that all of our favorite people were there, next to each other, and that they had traveled thousands of miles to celebrate this special day with us.
Dimora delle Balze in Sicily. We loved the idea of Sicily because it had been one of the first trips we took together. We loved the food, the scenery and the history and heritage as by the architecture around the region.
It was very difficult for me to find the dress. I wanted something simple that would fit the raw and natural beauty of the venue. After months of searching, I asked my cousin for help. She is a stylist and helped me bring my vision of an understated Italian country wedding to life. The dress had a roman feel to it and matched well with the antique stone colones of the venue. It was simple yet the draping and details required true artistry.
With supply chain issues, Natan had a hard time finding the fabric for his suit. However, with a lot of patience, we were able to find the perfect fit with a made to measure piece from Tom Sweeny in Savile Row.
Planning was very stressful and I wish couples around us had warned us! However, the most enjoyable part was making it a family affair. My mom and sister were incredible and took care of all the little details. It brought us even closer as we called each other sometimes multiple times a day to discuss various items from gifts for guests, outfits, etc.
Organizing a 3-day destination wedding during covid, in a country where we do not speak the language felt like competing in the Olympics! On top of it, after securing the date and the venue, many vendors had warned us that Dolce & Gabbana were organizing their Alta Moda event that exact same weekend. This made it very difficult from a logistics perspective as they were expecting thousands of people to travel for that event. When we realized we were in over our heads with this whole process, we enlisted the help of Simona from Brilliant weddings. She made everything so much easier!
The live cannoli bar! We had organized a cart where Chefs were making cannolis in front of our guests. We served them in the middle of the night, after the cake, as a sweet treat to keep us all going on the dance floor!
At the welcome dinner, Cortile Arabo made Pasta alla Bottarga, my all-time-favorite dish. Bottarga is an Italian delicacy made of tuna roe that is typical of the region. I was so excited to have it on the menu! It was some of the best I have had and I still dream about it sometimes!
We had traditional Jewish Horahs. Our guests lifted us on chairs and threw us in the air! The Horahs were so intense, I am surprised we didn’t pass out but the excitement kept us going!
I didn’t follow accounts as much as I used hashtags to find vendors and inspo such as #weddingsinSicily #SicilyWeddingPlanner, etc. The algorithm was powerful enough that it knew to keep recommending content that I would be interested in the Discovery tab.
Similar to above, I used the Pinterest search tool as well as the “View Similar Products” tags on every picture to get recommended content that I knew I would like. After doing that, Pinterest will start showing you similar items on your Home feed.
Both instagram and Pinterest were instrumental part of the planning process and excellent tools if you use them to the fullest.
With instagram, Pinterest and other social media, these days, it can be very easy to stress out the details and aesthetics. Focus on the big picture and the fact that this is a magical moment that you will share with your guests and that no matter what, this day is going to be your most beautiful one yet.
Organize events and gatherings for your guests to meet ahead of the big day. Whether it is during the wedding weekend or in the months coming up to the wedding with dinner parties and other gatherings, it will help the chemistry of the party if people know each other. We decided to organize a pool party on the first day. This was casual enough for our guests to introduce themselves and most of them became great friends from the weekend and still keep it touch!
Schedule some time throughout the big day to enjoy with your significant other. With people traveling from every corner of the world to see you, it is normal that you will be pulled aside in all directions. Set aside some time to enjoy little moments where you can find each other, slow down and be mindful of what is happening. Whether it is right after the ceremony, during the dinner, by doing a slow dance or throughout the party by doing a dance off.
We did a mini moon and road tripped all over Sicily after the wedding. We met friends along the way that had traveled from so far away that they decided to make a trip out of the wedding weekend. It was the perfect way to not be nostalgic of the days that had just passed as we continued to be well surrounded.
For our honeymoon we are planning on going to Japan. We are both huge fans of Japanese culture and cuisine, we cannot wait to discover this country!
I would not change a thing! While the planning process was stressful and multiple times we told ourselves it would be impossible to pull it through, everything turned out better than we had expected. Remember that some things are bound to go wrong but it will be nothing in perspective of the fact that you are marrying the love of your life in front of your favorite people. Everything always works out in the end.