Retro Hollywood Glamour Married up with Sicilian Heritage - Lydia & Doms' Sicilian Wedding

Saturday 5th August, beautiful Taomina in Sicily. This charming little town meant a lot to my bride. Her father and his family are from a village 15 minutes away and she grew up spending a lot of time there. Coming from an Irish-Sicilian heritage (and being proposed to in Taormina), it seemed like the last piece of the puzzle to actually get wed there too.

Doing a destination wedding is always a perk of the job - to experience a place you necessarily may not have visited is always a luxury. And Sicily was no different! Lydia and her family were so hospitable and lovely to spend time with. We went for the local delicacy 'Granita' for wedding morning breakfast before the real prep began back in the gorgeous Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo (where Mariah Carey no less was also staying at the time!!!). The Belmond Grand was where the reception was held after the local church ceremony.

Back in the UK when Lydia's hair trial took place we were struggling to nail the exact look she wanted. We tried a few different styles and one of Lydia's main concerns was how her curls would hold as they hadn't in the past. I used Bumble and Bumble's Surf Foam Spray once i had 'finger dried' Lydia's thick beautiful Irish-Italian locks from damp. The reason for this was to retain enough of the natural curl and texture in her hair as possible, to give the hair enough grit to hold (as opposed to blow drying it first for it to be too silky smooth and potentially drop). The surf foam spray is like a mousse but wayyy lighter, with added salt to give the perfect amount of structure and texture to produce curls that are still there hours later! The fact that Lydia has beautiful long naturally curly, thick hair was also only to our benefit. 

Once I realised Lydia was wearing a red lip and had sweetheart neckline dress we soon realised what hairstyle would perfectly suit her look. We started pumping 'Hollywood wave' searches into Pinterest and that gave us all the inspo we needed!

Achieving the classic Hollywood wave is all in the setting of the hair. Each section of hair needs to be curled in the exact same direction and thickness to the previous to give that beautiful 'S' shape finish. To start i first of all used Bumble and Bumble's Primer all over Lydia's hair. This gave the perfect base and would help distribute the other products we were going to need to use (and with a 42 degree heatwave - we were going to use a lot!). As well as adding extra vitamins and minerals to nourish and maintain her hairs' condition before all the styling. I then set her deep parting checking it was perfectly straight, to give a crisp contrast between the two sides of her hair - one that would be volumous and an 'S' shape, and the opposite side that would be slick and tucked behind the ear. I then sectioned her hair into three sections from the crown (both the sides and then the back) and started on the back of her head sectioning and curling across in inch thick sections, with the curl going towards her face, and then letting each curl cool in a pin curl. I was using Bumble and Bumbles surf foam spray to give the grit and also L'oreal's PLi to give even more sculpture and hold. The chosen styling tool was my trusty 24mm Babyliss Pro tong.

When i got to the top of the occipital bone and up to the crown i started back combing each section before curling it to give the height we wanted at the back. I then started on the heaviest side, curling and sectioning across again in the same direction but using more PLi (to help me eventually sculpt the desired shape) before pinning the curls. I also made these sections on the side slightly smaller, say 3/4 of an inch to give a tighter curl. Once i got to the temple i started to backcomb each section again to give us the voluminous classic height with the wave on the one side, before curling and pinning. 

The alternate side didn't have such focused curl setting as the other, purely because this side was to be finished slick and tucked behind Lydias ear, so didn't need any shape or movement particularly near the root. I still used PLi and 1 inch thick sections, but no backcombing on this side.

When it was time to release the curls it really didn't take too much more styling to achieve the desired wave. I used a paddle brush to separate and brush through the curls to create the wave around the back. The heaviest side where the 'S' shape was needed also had some brushing through and re setting with section grip and tissues (so as not to crease or dent the hair). Once i had the 'S' shape I was happy with i used Kenra's strong hold hairspray and used the section grips to hold it in place.

By this point it was an hour before the ceremony and time for Lydia to get in her dress..! She chose a stunning Stella York heavy lace fishtail number that complimented her curves beautiful, mimicking the waves in her hair. The whole look was divine and came together beautifully - not forgetting the red lips! Her bridesmaids wore bright floral 50's inspired dresses, and the flowers reflected Lydia's love of bold colour. The more i got to know Lydia over the course of the trip the more i could see her personality through all the aesthetics of the wedding, it was so lovely to see the personal touches reflected in the day.

Once the dress was on i took out the sectioning grips and used Living Proof's humidity shield (about half a bottle of it!) all over Lydias thick hair, especially at the front, making sure all the flyaways and baby hairs were secured with hairspray to give a sharp, strong finished look. Although the ceremony was at 5pm it was unbelievably hot (the nail varnish on my toes had melted the day before!). Living Proofs' Humidity Shield is seriously amazing if you're prone to any frizz, even in the UK, which any curly haired girl will tell you - humidity is not your friend!!!

Lydia and Dom had the biggest smiles on their faces - after two years of planning the time was finally here! The love between them was undeniable and i was so privileged to have been a part of their wedding day. Retro Hollywood glamour married up perfectly with Lydia's Sicilian heritage. She looked beautiful and i was so happy with the finished look of her hair. Hollywood brides - you rock.



Kate Beaumont