Today’s wedding planned by Amalfi Wedding Planner is the dictionary definition of a fairytale. Their four-day Italian affair overflows with envy-worthy fashion, drool inducing cuisine, and endlessly breathtaking views of the Mediterranean sea. The beautiful setting, enchanting history, and rich culture played a major role in influencing the design elements of their day, along with the playful pops of color you’ll notice in their floral arrangements by Armando Malafronte. See all the magic unfold at the full gallery, captured by Elias Kordelakos.
How We Met
We departed from very different starting points – Glaudson grew up in Brazil and moved to the US as a teenager, while I grew up in Germany and moved to San Francisco after my studies. We followed different paths, but somehow we each arrived at the same destination. Whether by the hand of fate or pure chance – many thousands of miles away from where our lives began we met – and we fell in love.
We had our first date in San Francisco at a wine bar and right there we knew we wanted to see more of each other. For us, love really did happen in a heartbeat – from the moment we began to know one another, we found an immediate ease and each of us felt an inescapable attraction to the other. Our first date, an evening where the hours flew by as we chatted and laughed together, was inevitably followed by a second date just days later. Since then we have been inseparable and the rest, as they say, is history!
Glaudson’s romantic proposal was worthy of the most wonderful fairytale! On a visit to my hometown, Glaudson arranged a private tour of the city’s Baroque Castle, accompanied by my family, which ended in the castle’s ancestral hall, where he dropped to one knee before kings and queens of yesteryear, presented the ring and popped the question. As I said ‘YES’, the hall erupted in cheers, before we shared a celebratory toast against the castle’s regal backdrop with my family.
Wedding Planning Process
Together we have faced and overcome many difficult life experiences, especially during the past two years but these challenges have served only to strengthen and deepen our bond. After getting engaged in January 2019, we were planning to get married in June 2020 – then the pandemic hit. We rescheduled our wedding four times due to COVID and planned and re-planned all events for 2.5 years until we finally were able to travel to Italy and to say our ‘I do’s’ on September 7th 2021. With the words from Maya Angelou: love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope! Overall, the planning process was a joy and brought us even closer together.
As I started my search for THE wedding gown, I flew to Los Angeles and met up with my close friends to visit the Galia Lahav Flagship store. I tried on a couple of dresses in various shapes and styles before putting on the Aelin gown. Once I put it on, I felt like I was immediately transported into a fairytale. The waves of white, sparkling tulle, the exquisite crystal embroideries made of hundreds of beads catch the light with the classic A-line shape of the gown made me feel like a real-life princess. The gown was modern with sequined flower petals and lustrous metal leaves cascading down its pleated skirt with the sheer corset top, yet timelessly elegant. After I learned that each gown of the Galia Lahav couture collection is designed to each bride’s measurements, all hand-crafted – I knew it was the one! It took almost 8 months to finish it. Thread after thread, bead after bead…it was worth the wait. I cried when I put it on for the first time.
The second Wedding Gown
For dinner, I changed into a light, flowy pure white pleated gown by the designer Maria Lucia Hohan and with a side slit. The gown has a feminine corset type top with an open back and corset strings and the slit made it easy to dance in.
Welcome Cocktail Gown
For the Welcome Cocktail I wore a lace embroidered gown with illusion neckline, keyhole open back, and silk chiffon full skirt by Berta Bridal. I wanted to create a wow-effect for when our guests see me for the first time in Ravello and give them a little taste of what’s to come on the wedding day. The gown was very comfortable with material of the bodice and lace appliqué being stretchy – it felt like a second skin.
Lemon Grove Tour & Rehearsal Dinner
The Amalfi Coast is all about its lemons. Leading up to the wedding events I spent a lot of time searching for the perfect dress and what would be more fitting than a lemon dress which I found by the designer Alexandro Miro. The rehearsal dinner design was inspired by the colors of the Italia flag – green, white and red. I wore a Dolce & Gabbana summer dress in those came colors with a matching D&G purse and comfortable Prada wedges while Glaudson wore a casual light beige suit.
About our Guests
We were fortunate to be joined by 40 guests made up of our closest family and friends, who came from as far as California to join us in Ravello for four days. It was the perfect group size for us, as we got to spend quality time with each and everyone of them over the course of the festivities. It felt like one big family despite different cultural backgrounds and some language barriers (guests from Germany, France, USA, Brazil, Japan, India, Russia and Africa).
When selecting a location for our wedding, we considered our family and friends who are scattered all around the globe. So we decided to make an adventure out of it and chose a destination everyone would want to travel to. We were looking for a place where we could spend at least three or four days full of activities with family and friends. We love the ocean, scenic landscapes and views, lush vegetation and great food & wine. What came to mind first was the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Once we narrowed down our search we decided on Ravello, the Jewel of the Amalfi Coast!
Ravello is an ancient coastal village perched on a hilltop more than 1200 feet above the Mediterranean Sea, with the most breathtaking views of the Amalfi Coast. To me it’s one of the most enchanting and romantic settings in the world. A place where magical, mystical and physical elements blissfully co-exist.
Ravello has many beautiful wedding venues to choose from, but for us the one and only option was Villa Cimbrone. It combined everything we wanted for our special day – a beautiful setting, various event areas, an exclusive and intimate feel and 5-star service, food and wine. And not only that, Villa Cimbrone also has a rich history. The Villa dates back to the 11th Century, the Villa Cimbrone was lovingly renovated and restored by a British nobleman in the early 20th Century.
With it’s stunning, turreted, castle-like structure, nestled into extraordinarily beautiful gardens and with breathtaking views reaching towards infinity, this fairytale kingdom – rich in art, history, culture and natural beauty – has long been loved by authors, poets, actors, artists and composers. When asked about the most beautiful place he had ever seen, American author Gore Vidal said: the view from the belvedere of the Villa Cimbrone on a bright winter’s day when the sky and the sea were each so vividly blue that it was not possible to tell one from the other.” The villa was also the heavenly secret hideaway of actress Greta Garbo in the spring of 1938. Isn’t that romantic!?
Wedding Invitation & Stationery
Our wedding invitation was an important part of our wedding as it set the tone for the upcoming experience! Amalfi is famous for it’s hand-made paper which is a century old tradition in this region. Hence, we worked with talented calligraphers and artists such as Amanda (from La Pomme Et La Pipe Press), who created an invite of hand-made, deckled-edge paper with floral letterpress elements. Our invitations details like gold beveled edges and the seal wax stamps reminded one of the ancient Villa Cimbrone. Amanda also created matching ‘her & his’ vowcards for us with hand-dyed silk ribbons in blue and blush colors. The dinner menus were written on hand-made Amalfi paper with matching seat tags with gold foiled deckled edges.
I wrote a personalized ‘thank you’ note to each of my bridesmaids which was printed on hand-made deckled-edge paper and added together with a name card to their gift bags that included a blush satin bridesmaid robe from Flora Nikrooz and a Prada fragrance.
Wedding week and timeline of events
Our wedding was a magical four-day event (September 5-9, 2021) in Ravello, Italy and surrounding towns.
We started with a Welcome Cocktail in the sea-view gardens of the historic Palazzo Confalone followed by a dinner at the Belmond Caruso Hotel on Sunday, September 5th. We selected Palazzo Confalone because of its history, unique architecture, lush gardens and excellent cuisine. Like a diamond in the rough whose brightness increases over time, Palazzo Confalone stood on an uncertain date, probably between the end of the thirteenth and the beginning of the fourteenth century, beginning a history of luster and wonder. Back then, it was the residence of a noble family originally from Scala.
When entering the atrium of Palazzo Confalone, our guests were stunned by the majestic arches and marble columns. A sumptuous staircase leading to the main floor unveiled the path to a room with a frescoed ceiling in a good state of preservation. Afterwards our guests entered the gardens with a belvedere of the Amalfi Coast. We set the mood with soft jazz music, white fairy lights in the gardens, a table with welcome bags and a hat garland which served as a fun welcome gift.
For the occasion and for a first ‘wow’ effect, I wore a lace embroidered gown with a silk chiffon skirt by Berta Bridal. As the Cocktail Party began, we welcomed our guests and enjoyed typical Italian drinks, such as Aperol Spritz, Bellinis, and local canapés while catching up with family and friends which made for an emotional start of festivities as we hadn’t seen many of them in a while due to travel restrictions during the pandemic.
Afterwards we walked over to the Belmond Caruso Hotel for dinner at the Belvedere Restaurant where we enjoyed more time with family and friends over dinner and took in the stunning views of the coast over Belmond’s iconic Infinity pool as the sun went down.
Lemon Grove Tour
This was followed by a Lemon Grove Tour in Amalfi on September 6th with our guests where we learned everything about the Sfusato Amalfitano, the most famous Amalfi lemon. We wanted our guests to feel and taste the true essence of the Amalfi Coast and what the region is known for. We felt a cool breeze while walking through the lemon groves which protected us from the southern Italian mid-day sun. After walking the lemon grove terraces we ended the tour with a delicious hand-made pasta lunch prepared by our hosts from the Amalfi Lemon Experience.
In the evening, we met our family in a little hill town called Scala at the Trattoria da Lorenzo. Spending time with our family and eating really good food are two things that Glaudson and I hold dear to our hearts and Trattoria da Lorenzo offered the perfect setting for it. We started off the evening with an Aperitivo in the Gardens with canapés and an open bar. Followed by a casual 3-course dinner prepared by who they call the ‘Mozart of Meatballs’ in this region.
Tuesday, September 7th, was the day of our wedding ceremony and reception. The weather was an absolute dream! I got ready in the morning in Villa Cimbrone’s Bridal Suite with my bridesmaids. We got our hair and make-up done by the fabulous team of Alessandro Mancino while sipping on a glass of champagne. I surprised my friends with a gift bag that included a satin robe, perfume and a personal letter. I wore my Galia Lahav gown with a matching cathedral veil and with white Jimmy Choo satin sandals. After my bridesmaids helped me into my wedding gown, I headed to the Cloister area at Villa Cimbrone for the First Look.
In the afternoon our guests gathered in the gardens of Villa Cimbrone sipping on lemonade and champagne while we had our First Look and took wedding photos. At 5pm we began our Wedding Ceremony at the Tea Room. A violin and cello quartet played songs like Wildest Dreams by Duomo while guests arrived in the area. I walked down the aisle to an old-time classic ‘Can’t help but falling in love’ by Elvis Presley. The ceremony was held by Carmela, our wonderful wedding officiant, and brought everyone to tears including us.
We timed things so that we could capture couple portraits at Villa Cimbrone’s beautiful terrazza dell’infinito right after the ceremony before joining our guests for the Aperitif. The Aperitif took place in the Gardens of Four Dancers where we gathered for a toast. We performed the cake cutting, and cheersed to our loved ones. All kids loved the wide open space to run around during this warm September afternoon. With a glass of champagne in our hands we continued with our guests to the terrazza dell’infinito. The sky and the sea were each painted in different shades of blue so that it was not possible to tell one from the other. We took in the view and soaked in the last sun rays while the sun descended over the hilly coastline.
Our Reception (dinner and dancing) took place at Villa Cimbrone’s Garden of Two Fountains, where we set up a fully stocked open bar, a separate dance floor, a bride & groom table, and two long tables where our guests could enjoy a four-course meal artfully prepared by the talented team at Il Flauto di Pan. On the menu: Roasted octopus, fresh cannelloni pasta filled with Genovese, braised beef or a choice of sea bass fillet with various sides and two types of cake – a white sponge cake with lemon cream, and Delizia al Limone di Ravello, a local lemon cake topped with strawberry sauce.
During dinner our family & friends held speeches and we enjoyed several toasts. And after dinner, we performed our first dance to “At Last” by Aretha Franklin. After, we kicked off the party with “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars, and danced the night away!
The next day on September 8th, we invited our guests to experience the Amalfi Coast by sea and rented a 24m Turkish Gulet. We spent most of the day on the boat, enjoying a swim in the warm waters of the mediterranean sea, antipasti and homemade pasta prepared by the fabulous team of Plaghia Charter and breathtaking views of Positano and the Amalfi Coast.
Wedding Design Concept
When we decided to get married in Ravello, we had a vision for a magical, fairytale-like experience that would reflect our shared taste for elegance and the beautiful things in life (La Dolce Vita). Our starting point was a 50-page inspiration book that I put together with mood boards, color palettes, musical soundtracks, and design inspirations for each of the events during our wedding week. From the beginning, we set out to design a cohesive narrative across events that would transport guests into a real-life fairytale amidst Ravello’s naturally romantic scenery, medieval architecture, and iconic cliffside gardens.
Lighting played an important role to create a romantic setting. From the white fairy lights in the Gardens of Palazzo Confalone, to lanterns that bathed the gardens of Trattoria Lorenzo in a soft light during Aperitivo. Complemented by big white lanterns that illuminated the path, during our reception at Villa Cimbrone’s Garden of Two Fountains and fairy lights draped around trees.
Similarly, we wanted to mirror the natural beauty of Villa Cimbrone with its lush green gardens and vines climbing up the historic walls of the villa. Villa Cimbrone is such a naturally stunning location, that we did not want to overdo it, just add a personal touch to it. We chose florals and vines to be draped organically around pillars, lining the ceremony aisle, winding around the cocktail tables and even the wedding cake to evoke a lush, overgrown, enchanted garden feel without seeming overdone. Throughout, our main color scheme consisted of shades of blush, white, light blue and green with fresh pops of color such a pink and fuchsia that seamlessly tied into the natural environment. The bouquet was kept simple in white and blush colors.
Color pops were added as a red thread throughout the events such as Amalfi lemons and blue and majolica ceramic tiles. I incorporated a ‘something blue’ throughout various parts of the wedding day – from the blue tiles of the Bridal Suite, the light blue delphinium flowers at the ceremony, the blue and white Amalfi ceramic vases, the blue ribbons on the dinner table to the blue pleated Randall Loeffler sandals I wore with my 2nd dress for dinner and dancing.
Even our guests’ attire was matching the theme. My mother and mother-in-law wore a fully beaded tulle gown designed by Adrianna Papell in a light blue and champagne color. The leaf embroidery matched my dress and followed the wedding’s fairytale garden theme. The flower girls wore hand selected dresses in blush and light blue colors with ‘La vie en rose’ embroidery, while the ring bearer wore a little black tux. All of the bridesmaids wore simply elegant formal dresses in blush and champagne colors in various styles while the groomsmen wore black tuxedos and suits with matching bow ties.
In keeping with the concept of timeless elegance, we chose décor that felt timeless. For instance, elegant white Chiavari chairs at the ceremony and reception tables matched with pure white table linen and napkins. Glamorous silver vases, elegant silver under-plates, lots and lots of candles and dinner menus made of hand-made Amalfi paper with simple but classic glassware. We set up multiple standing tables in the reception area so guests could walk around and mingle. One table was placed at the beginning of the dinner area which offered a shot of limoncello to guests before taking a seat, on another one we had placed a polaroid camera for guests to take fun instant pictures.
Live music also played an important role in setting the tone of our special day. A string quartet during the ceremony evoked emotional feelings and created a romantic setting during the aperitif: our DJ played the best Motown and Jazz music during dinner and dance music after.
Overall, we added some fun touches and designed our own cocktails such as the ‘La Dolce Vita’ and the ‘Godfather’ that were on the custom bar menu.
Finally, in addition to the aesthetic and atmospheric elements, we wanted to thank our guests for traveling to Italy and welcoming them in Ravello. To that end, we invested in a variety of custom gifts for each guest: a bag with goods from Ravello and our wedding itinerary and sun hats, fedoras at the Welcome Cocktail, gift bags with robes and fragrances for bridesmaids and Ravello’s famous limoncello for each guest on the dinner table as wedding favor.
Our favorite part of the wedding
Bringing everyone together after such a tough time and being able to enjoy ‘La Dolce Vita’ together. Seeing how our family and friends become one big family, no matter their cultural backgrounds or some language barriers. And finally seeing everything come together so beautifully – after such a long time and postponing the wedding four times – was such a dream come true!
Advice to ‘Brides to Be’
Enjoy the process! The wedding planning process is a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with your partner to create a beautiful and personal experience. I put a lot of effort in upfront planning and was very hands-on in the creative process and the design of our wedding events which resulted in a well planned series of events that Glaudson and I could fully enjoy and be present with our guests.
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Photography: Elias Kordelakos | Coordination: Linda Gatto | Event Planning: Jennifer Meyer DeJesus | Floral Design: Armando Malafronte | Dress: Berta | Wedding Dress: Galia Lahav | Invitations: LaPommeEtLaPipePress | Ceremony Venue: Villa Cimbrone | Reception Venue: Villa Cimbrone | Calligraphy: Sea and Sun Calligraphy | Groom's Attire: Zegna | Officiant: Carmela Cesarano | Bride: Jenny | Lemon Grove Tour: Amalfi Lemon Experience | Lemon Tour: Amalfi Lemon Experience | Location: Belmond Caruso Hotel | Muha: Alessandro Mancino | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Trattoria da Lorenzo | Rentals: Plaghia Charter | Video: Marco Caputo | Welcome Cocktail Location: Palazzo Confalone