I don’t even know where to start with this ridiculously beautiful Ravello wedding planned by Italia Celebrations, because every single moment snapped up by Alicia Swedenborg was so pretty this gallery doesn’t even look real. The entire day played out like a dream, and for this lucky duo, that dream was their beautiful reality. See more of this gorgeous day here.
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From Alicia Swedenborg… I had the honor of photographing the wedding of Sarah & Jerome at Hotel Caruso in Ravello, Italy, planned and designed by Brenda at Italia Celebrations. These are all film images from this dream destination wedding location on the Amalfi Coast, one could not ask for a more beautiful backdrop for wedding photos!
From the beautiful Bride… We had our absolute dream wedding, it could not have been more perfect for us!
In terms of choosing a venue, I grew up by the sea in England and Jérôme is from the French Alps but is also half Sardinian. Just to confuse matters, when we got engaged, I was living in New York and Jérôme was living in London so we had a lot of options in terms of where to get married! After much deliberation, we decided to celebrate our wedding in beautiful Italy.
We knew that we wanted a stunning, classic and beautiful but modern and cool venue, somewhere that felt totally ‘us’. When we visited Belmond Hotel Caruso in Ravello for the first time, it was like the most beautiful dream and we instantly fell in love with it. It even had the combination of mountains and sea which was a nod to the marriage of our backgrounds and families too! We could not wait to share such a breathtaking venue with our closest friends and family.
We both love the Italian ‘dolce vita’ and relaxed vibe, but knew that we would need expert help to plan the wedding remotely and ensure that our local vendors understood and executed everything we envisaged perfectly. We also wanted our wonderful parents, bridesmaids and best men to be able to relax and enjoy the day as much as possible so having someone to help plan and coordinate the big day seemed a great idea. I was used to New York/ London levels of service and efficiency and am a very detail-oriented person and knew exactly what we wanted for our wedding. Brenda of Italia Celebrations has amazing knowledge of venues in Italy, a fantastic network of Italian contacts and vendors and of course, is fluent in Italian language and culture. This, combined with her previous time spent working for Vera Wang in New York mean that we got the New York ‘can-do’ attitude, impeccable attention to detail, a modern and beautiful approach to styling and design aspects of the wedding and an instinctive understanding of precisely what we wanted. We could not have had the amazing day that we had without her!
By way of example, we wanted a legal, religious and symbolic ceremony all in one and in English (not easy in Italy when you’re not an Italian or Catholic!) but Brenda worked it out for us perfectly with an Italian pastor and his English speaking son! I wanted Church of England vows and Brenda helped us incorporate those into the Italian order of service. Through Brenda, we engaged Alicia as our photographer and she was an absolute delight to work with and took the most stunning photographs of our wedding. We love reliving that day when we look at the photos. Katie did my hair and make up for me on the day and I loved it – I didn’t want anything stuffy or formal and she gave me exactly the looks I wanted and made me feel really beautiful on the day. She was so professional – discretely touching up my hair and make up as I was far too busy enjoying the day to think about it! Not only that but she was fantastic fun and we are now friends! Overall, we had an absolute dream team of vendors whose work we adored and whose company we genuinely enjoyed, which helps massively on the happiest day of your life!
Our colour scheme was inspired by the Amalfi coast and its beautiful lemon trees so the bridesmaids dresses were a crema di limoncello colour and our favours were miniature bottles of limoncello from the local Ravello ‘factory’ (the smallest, prettiest factory ever!) We didn’t want a twee or contrived colour scheme though so it was more subtely incorporating a lemon chiffon colour into the fresh, clean whites and creams used in the setting more generally. We were totally thrilled with our original and creative wedding stationery by Emily too which set the tone of the wedding in the invites perfectly: Using a map of the area as a envelope liner and the distinctive silhouette of the local cypress trees throughout. Unbeknown to Emily when designing the stationary, those were the exact trees under which our wedding ceremony took place! We also wanted to make sure that our Italian and French speaking guests were fully able to enjoy the day too so my mum’s friend prepared translations of the speeches and the amazing Dora band (who I’d seen play at another fab Italian wedding many years ago and had never forgotten!) played a fantastic mixture of music from those countries to get everyone dancing!
Everyone says something always goes wrong in relation to your wedding and sure enough, we had a couple of disasters including our flights to the wedding being cancelled which was not ideal! But the wedding itself was like a fairytale, just perfect and magical and beautiful beyond belief. We felt so blessed to have family and friends join us from all over the world including from California, New York, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Oman as well as England, Italy and France. The day for us (and hopefully for our guests too!) was absolutely magical.
I feel so lucky and grateful to have married my dream man in our dream wedding with our amazing families and friends. I only wish we could do it all over again!
Photography: Alicia Swedenborg | Videography: Evergreen | Floral Design: Malafronte Flowers | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Stationery: Emily McCarthy | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids | Makeup Artist: Katie Webster | Hair Stylist: Katie Webster | Band: Dora Live Band | Groom's Shoes: Crockett & Jones | Ceremony And Reception Venue: Belmond Hotel Caruso | Event Planning and Design: Italia Celebrations | Hair Products: Kevin Murphy | Makeup Products: Tom Ford | Photography - Assistance: Melissa Schollaert | Veil & Belt: Monique Lhuillier