Ever since my sister’s engagement in Italy, I’ve been shamelessly begging her to return to the Amalfi Coast for her Big Day. Sure, a stateside wedding would be beautiful, but wouldn’t it be sooo much fun to say “I do” in the very spot they pledged their eternal love? I think so. And now, thanks to the ever-wonderful Forever Photography Studio, I have a little something special to help me in all of my persuading; a little something I like to call the world’s most perfect wedding. It’s an Amalfi Coast masterpiece, complete with one of the most stunning bride and grooms you ever did see. Click here for all of the pretty.
From the Bride… I had always dreamed of a beach wedding as my love of the sun and beach aren’t exactly hidden facts; however, as Doug and I were relaxing on a beach in Maui thinking it might just be the perfect spot, I saw something in a “Travel and Leisure” magazine that captured my attention. It was an advertisement for a Mediterranean cruise. I said to Doug, “Let’s just get married in Italy!” Doug had proposed to me on the beautiful Isle of Capri in Italy on October 6, 2009, and we both agree it was the most scenic and romantic spot… along with the wonderful memories we have of the evening we got engaged. That day, we had visited the famous La Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto) then headed to Piazza Vittoria where we took the Monte Solaro Chairlift, reaching 589 metres above sea level, to the highest part of the island with wonderful views of Capri and its Faraglioni up to the Gulf of Naples and the Isle of Ischia. It’s really quite breathtaking! That evening we had dinner on the beautiful terrace of the Capri Tiberio Palace Resort and Spa where we enjoyed a candlelit dinner alone as we were the only couple enjoying the beautiful fall evening, which in Italy felt more like summer. Doug asked me to marry him that evening and of course I said “Si” or yes! With all of our special memories of Italy and especially Capri, we knew that we wanted to return to the Amalfi Coast for our wedding.
We planned our wedding for the picturesque town of Positano on Italy’s beautiful Amalfi Coast. For a US citizen to have a legal wedding in Italy, one must first go through “hoops” (too detailed to explain here) and then it must be done in a “Comune or Town Hall.” The Comune di Positano is a panoramic terrace overlooking the sea, which is why we selected it over Capri or the other towns along the Amalfi Coast. We flew our photographers out from Austin, Texas, Jerry and Jona Blackwell of Forever Photography Studio, to capture every special moment of our celebration. It started with a bridal session the day prior to the wedding at Villa Rufolo in Ravello. You honestly can’t imagine how stunning this villa was– vibrant flowers, beautiful trees and did I mention outrageous views?!
Our wedding day itself was beautiful and the bright blue Mediterranean Sea sparkled behind us as we said “Si lo voglio” (I do) to each other. Linda Gatto, our wedding coordinator had truly created our dream ceremony. The floral garlands were beautiful, the music from the harpist was very elegant and I know she made a special request to “Mother Nature” for us, as the weather was divine. Rosa, our celebrant, was the “icing on the cake” as her warmth, personality and passion for her work led to the most wonderful ceremony we could have hoped for. She put so much joy and spirit into the poems I had selected for her to read in creating a personalized ceremony. She led us graciously through our vows and exchanging of the rings. It was truly the happiest day of our lives and we are so grateful to Linda and Rosa for providing exceptional service. We love you both and are so glad that we have two wonderful friends now along the Amalfi Coast!
Following the ceremony, we again headed to Ravello and made a quick stop at the historic town square with all its charm for a gelato and caffé. Then it was on to Villa Cimbrone for additional pictures. Once again, this villa will leave you speechless! Countless gardens, statues, colorful flowers and the Infinity Terrace surround you, which alone would be reason to visit. It is stunning! We ended the evening hosted by Antonio Mansi at Hotel Parsifal for an intimate candlelit dinner on a terrace with amazing views of the Amalfi Coast and sea. I have come to the definitive conclusion that the Italian translation for “hospitality” is “Antonio” as I’ve truly never witnessed a more welcoming and hospitable man. He truly made our evening special and the perfect ending to our fairytale wedding. I can’t possibly recommend Antonio enough and the next time we visit the Amalfi Coast, we plan to stay with Antonio and his brothers at Hotel Parsifal, where our beautiful centerpieces are waiting for our return. Hopefully Antonio will be putting them to good use until then creating magical evenings for others to enjoy! Grazie mille Antonio! I have to say though that one of the funniest and most memorable events of the day was our car ride back to Positano. Picture an entire hour (at least) of Doug and Jona belting out the greatest hits all the way from the 70s to the 90s. It was hysterical! Even if Jerry and I had tried to join in, we would have been no match for the combined talent of this dynamic duo! Honestly, next time we see them, I want to see Doug and Jona sing together in a Karaoke bar! I think the driver must have thought we were all insane… but good times it was!
But wait, it wasn’t over yet! For the following day and our after session, I arranged for a private boat trip over to Capri with Michele of Amalfi Yachting Charters, who gave us the boat ride of our lives! I highly recommend a trip with him! After arriving to Capri, we once again took the chairlift up to Monte Solero, the highest point on Capri and Anacapri, only this time in our wedding attire! We then made our way to the town square where we were surrounded by a circle of both locals and tourists cheering “Auguri” (congratulations) as we danced and Doug serenaded me to “Your Song” by Elton John, which is our song. We then visited the exact spot where Doug had proposed a few days shy of being exactly 3 years prior. It was truly the wedding of our dreams! It was very small as not many were able to travel to Italy, but it was the most magical, memorable and beautiful experience we could have hoped for… and thanks to Jerry and Jona, we have beautiful pictures that captured every special moment to share with our family and friends.
Photography: Jona and Jerry Blackwell of Forever Photography Studio | Wedding Planner: Linda Gatto, La lampada di Aladino S.r.l. | Officiant: Rosa Paola Pauli Luypen | Hair + Makeup: Enrico Avitabile of ArtColorFashion | Wedding Dinner: Antonio Mansi, Hotel Parsifal | Silk Bridal Bouquet: Kim Terry of Alexis Grace Design | Wedding Announcements: Ginger with Serendipity Designs | Bridal Boutique: Wedding Treasures