If you follow us on Instagram, you might have seen the amazing photographs and videos from our designer’s daughter’s wedding back in September. Claudia is the only daughter of Ronald Joyce’s brilliant bridalwear designer and namesake mother of the bride designer, Veni Infantino. Being the daughter of a bridalwear designer, Claudia has always dreamt of her wedding and the all-important dress since she was a little girl. In fact, Claudia told her father on a family holiday to Taormina, Sicily when she was just ten years old that she would one day marry there in the church and hotel where the wedding did actually take place!

Claudia met Dean when she moved to the USA for work back in 2016. After just a few short years Dean took to one knee in April of 2019 and asked for Claudia’s hand in marriage.  The couple have now settled in Los Angeles, where they have bought a home which they are currently renovating. With family and friends spread across the globe, when the pandemic struck in 2020 this sadly meant that the wedding had to be postponed, not once but twice. After, two postponements the couple settled on September 28th, 2021 for the big day.  Claudia wasn’t ready to give up on her dreams of a Sicilian wedding, which meant many people weren’t able to travel due to the restrictions in place, so the wedding was almost half the size they had originally planned with just 68 guests. So when Veni says she completely understands what pandemic brides have been going through, she really does have the upmost empathy as she has witnessed it first-hand with Claudia!


Almost a year and a half from the original date, the wedding eventually took place on 28th September 2021 in Taormina, Sicily. Taormina is heritage town with incredible atmosphere, charming locals, and spectacular views. The ceremony took place at the stunning Chiesa di San Giuseppe. A Catholic Church, which was built in the Baroque style between the late 1600s and early 1700s. Located next to the famous Taormina clock tower landmark, the church faces out onto Piazza IX Aprile overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The Piazza was host to the nervous entrance of the bride and father Giuseppe, as well as the fun filled exit from the church which included a traditional Sicilian folk band serenading a vintage fiat cinquecento and dancing guests and tourists alike! It was like something out of a movie!

The Grand Hotel Timeo, a Belmond Hotel, hosted the intimate reception with just 68 guests instead of the original 120. The intimate setting meant that the bride and groom were able to spend time chatting to each and every guest and something that Claudia and Dean said made the day even more special. This stunning venue is nestled in the shadows of Mount Etna overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The wedding breakfast took place on one of the three hotel terraces, which overlooks the Sicilian coastline. The newlyweds opted for an Italian inspired seafood menu that showcased the incredible local produce and talent of the resident chefs. The wine paired with the three courses was from the local area of Mount Etna, where the volcanic soil nurtures some specular wine. The guests sat at one long imperial table, which was draped with cascading flowers and various sized candelabras, assembled all under a blanket of twinkling lights. It was simply breathtaking. 

However, the headache of a covid wedding was not over just yet. With restrictions changing daily, mother of the bride, Veni was told that there could be no dancing at the wedding reception just two months before the new September date. In her own words Veni said, “We haven’t postponed this wedding and waiting this long, not to be able to dance!” What were they to do, eat and then get an early night? Veni had an idea up her sleeve! By some miracle, a nearby private Villa, named Mon Repos was available the night of the wedding. So, the family and their wedding planner, Liz Gaan changed their plans once again hiring a third venue, laid on coaches and took all of their guests to the private villa where there would be no dancing restrictions. This was a surprise to the guests who had no idea where they were going! The night ended in the only way possible to end such an amazing day – with everyone jumping into the pool, fully clothed!


Another highlight for the guests was an appearance from musician Luke Burr, a friend and client of Dean’s, who serenaded the party with his impressive vocal on the keys. Claudia told us that it would be a dream to relive the day but as a guest, so that she could experience it all over again with all the surprises in another perspective. She says, as a bride you are aware of the itinerary, and therefore are constantly on edge knowing what time everything is happening and looking around to ensure all is going to plan. Hence why, wedding planners are so essential! Claudia couldn’t recommend hers more highly! “Liz had everything in hand and we had every confidence she would pull off everything with such elegance and class and she didn’t let us down. The whole day went off without a hitch!”.  

Now for the all-important wedding dress! Claudia chose three different looks to complement her day. For the first and main dress, Claudia wanted something elegant, yet covered, as you must have your shoulders concealed to enter a catholic church. She told her mother Veni the brief for this dress was to look like a true Sicilian bride with a high neckline. For the reception Claudia wanted something simple, beautiful and sophisticated to enjoy the wedding breakfast, but also something with a statement back for the first dance. Lastly, the brief for the party dress was just to be able to dance, without a train getting in her way. Also, it can be very hot in Sicily in September, so Claudia needed to keep cool and be comfortable –Veni really did have her work cut out!

The ceremony dress was a stunning unlined lace silhouette, with a high neck and long train. The intricate lace detail was made up of two different laces, layered together to create dimension and that Sicilian vintage feel that Claudia had dreamed of. One of my favourite features of this dress had to be the beautiful bell sleeves that Claudia had requested, along with the keyhole back. The dress was complimented by a lace edge cathedral veil, which just added to Claudia’s Sicilian look.

The Reception Dress was a long-sleeved simple gown but with a statement back as stated in Claudia’s brief. This dress was something Claudia choose out of our current collection and remains one of our best sellers today. It has a delicate lace detail on the sleeves and a tulle detachable train which makes it perfect for that day to night look if this was your main wedding dress.

The party dress was simple, sexy, yet sophisticated. This was Claudia’s only dress that didn’t have sleeves. The racer back style was lightly beaded on the bodice with a simple stretch crepe skirt which had a high slit. Veni included a small puddle train so that it still felt somewhat ‘bridal’ but allowed Claudia to move and dance. 

In true Sicilian style, Claudia and Dean chose lemon and navy for their colour scheme. This theme ran throughout the wedding including the stationery which also included the famous blue and white traditional Sicilian tiles as well as lemons.

Claudia and Veni chose Navy together for the bridesmaid dresses. Claudia told us that she thought the Navy looked chic and incredibly flattering on all the girls’ skin tones. When designing the bridesmaid dresses, Claudia wanted something that the girls could and would actually ‘want’ to wear again. As the dress code for the wedding was black tie, the gowns were more like evening dresses than a typical bridesmaid dress which fit the brief perfectly. Veni said that the bridesmaids’ gowns were designed to have a high neck to reflect the neckline of Claudia’s ceremony dress, and as these had no sleeves the girls had a matching stole to cover their arms for church. The halter neck, lace gowns, looked stunning in navy against the cream flowers and complimented Claudia’s dress perfectly. Claudia’s bridesmaids included her two best friends from university and school as well as her goddaughter and first friend she made when she moved to the US.

As Veni is also famous for her signature Mother of the Bride label, her namesake, Veni Infantino, all eyes were on what she was wearing too! Like most mother of the brides, Veni wanted her arms covered. She wanted something ultra-modern and fashion forward with no hat. Additionally, in a more European style Veni opted for a full-length gown with flowing sleeves for her mother of the bride look which complimented the other dresses perfectly. It was Claudia’s wish for her mother to wear blush, and of course the bride got her way and Veni really did look fabulous.

We asked Claudia and Dean what their favourite parts of the day were; Claudia said “walking into the church with my dad and seeing Dean for the first time, as I stood in the church arch way will remain one of the most special moments of my life.” However, they both said “the band serenading us and our wedding guests down the cobbled streets of Taormina to the venue was pretty spectacular. All of the tourists and locals joined our celebrations and were literally dancing in the street, as they congratulated us into married life. The atmosphere was truly magical.”


On a final note, from Claudia herself: “For me anything that could’ve gone wrong went wrong, especially with Covid, but the actual day itself was perfection! So, for any brides who have had to postpone their wedding, the advice I would give is to take the extra time to perfect and fine tune your special day, embrace the changes and never compromise on your dream wedding. It will all be worth it in the end!”

Many congratulations to Claudia and Dean! Thank you so much for sharing your special day with us.

So many people have asked us if Claudia’s gowns are available to buy. You might already recognise her second dress as it is one from our previous collection and is already on sale as style 69573. As for Claudia’s other gowns and Veni’s own mother of the bride gown these are going to be launched in our next collection, so keep your eyes peeled.

Veni and Joe Veni and Claudia


Florist - Petali e Capricci @petaliecapricciweddings

Photographer- @danieletorella_photography

Videographer- @lambertopizzutellifilms


- Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo

- Villa Mon Repos

- Chiesa di San Giuseppe

Wedding Dresses / MOB

Ronald Joyce/Veni Infantino

Bride Hair - Sue Sexton @headlineshertford

Bridesmaids Hair - @HairPlanetTaormina

Bride / MOB Make up - Jessica @antheataormina

Bridesmaids Make up - @irecaserta

Singer - @LukeBurr

Wedding Planner - Liz Gaan @lizbouquetsandbows

Band - Samarcanda Band