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Married at Last in Ravello


August 9, 2023
Words by Jessie Allen
Photos courtesy of Chrismans Studios

In the midst of a world grappling with a pandemic, a love story blossomed that would eventually lead to an unforgettable destination wedding in the heart of Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Evelyn and Mario, a couple whose journey was as adventurous as it was heartwarming, shared their unique love story and the magical moments of their Ravello wedding in an exclusive interview. Let’s delve into their remarkable tale, filled with unexpected twists, Old Hollywood glamour, and the stunning backdrop of Ravello’s breathtaking landscapes.

A Chance Encounter and the 51st First Date

Mario’s story began with 50 first dates that never materialized into in-person meetings. The pandemic had taken its toll, but fate had different plans. Then, along came Evelyn, who stood out from the rest. Their connection was immediate, and they quickly moved beyond small talk to deep conversations that laid the foundation for their future. As Mario put it, “For the 51st time, the Gods had been kind. Evelyn was the one.”

Their love story took flight, progressing from phone calls to virtual meetings. However, the pivotal moment arrived when Mario convinced Evelyn to embark on their first in-person date, which turned into a whirlwind 12-hour adventure. From a broken-down car to a rain-soaked dinner, their first date was a testament to the kind of love that transcends obstacles.

Choosing Amalfi: A Destination of Dreams

The couple’s decision to opt for a destination wedding was deeply rooted in their shared love for Italy. Evelyn’s studies in Sienna had left her enamored with the country, and she had always dreamed of returning to the Amalfi Coast. “Mario tried his darndest to host the wedding in his favorite Southern California town of Montecito,” Cassandra says. But, destiny intervened when the opportunity to wed at Gore Vidal’s estate presented itself.

The allure of being married where literary legends such as Hemingway once tread and overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea was too captivating to resist. The Amalfi Coast’s breathtaking vistas and quaint charm sealed the deal, offering the perfect setting for their journey into matrimonial bliss.

Navigating the Challenges of a Destination Wedding

As with any grand adventure, challenges were aplenty. Planning one of the first weddings post-quarantine in a bustling tourist destination was a daunting task in itself. Lost luggage, a missing bow tie, a dress mishap, and even the bride’s father’s dental mishap added to the chaos. However, these hiccups merely served to highlight the resilience of the couple and their loved ones.

International travel posed its own set of challenges, but the couple’s resourcefulness and the use of technology, like Airtags, helped them navigate these hurdles. Their love remained unshaken, and their determination to make their dream wedding a reality overcame every obstacle.

A Venue Steeped in History and Romance

“Finding the right planner is more than half the job,” the couple says. “We interviewed three planners, also with help from our photographer friends Ben & Erin, and didn’t settle until we found Giorgia.”

Through her, they found La Rondinaia in Ravello, Gore Vidal’s former estate, which instantly captured their hearts. With the backdrop of such a storied location, their wedding day was bound to be nothing short of extraordinary.

Elegant Decor and Unique Touches

The couple’s vision for an Old Hollywood-themed wedding blended seamlessly with the opulent surroundings. The decor exuded elegance and charm, with flower-covered chandeliers reminiscent of Versailles. Food and drink were curated to match the Hollywood theme, with signature cocktails like Mario in Manhattan and Eve & Tonic stealing the show.

A standout feature was their thoughtful gift baskets, each housing handmade Lemoncello-themed bags containing olive oil, Ravello candy, and Prosecco. A tile featuring La Rondinaia was also sent as a post-wedding thank-you gift, ensuring their guests had a lasting memory of their special day.

The Ceremony: Music, Decor, and Meaning

The couple’s Catholic upbringing influenced their choice of ceremony venue, the stunning Duomo D’Amalfi. Music played a significant role, with The Knights Club providing a musical backdrop that ranged from timeless classics to modern hits. The decor was a symphony of flowers, reflecting their desire for unity across both the church and reception spaces.

Evelyn and Mario’s journey to the altar was breathtaking, with the bride’s entrance up a majestic staircase as heavenly sunlight bathed the scene. The grandeur of the cathedral and the ethereal music combined to create a truly transcendent moment.

Advice from the Newlyweds: Embrace the Journey

Evelyn and Mario’s story is a testament to the power of love, resilience, and seizing the moment. Their advice to couples embarking on their own wedding journeys is simple yet profound: things may not always go as planned, but in the grand scheme of things, the mishaps fade in comparison to the magic of the day.

Be in the moment,” the bride says. “Let things go when they do not go as planned. Always remember to smile, there is always a photographer (and don’t forget to find a videographer.)” 

Evelyn and Mario’s Ravello wedding encapsulates the essence of love, adventure, and the beauty of following one’s heart. Against the backdrop of Italy’s Amalfi Coast, their love story unfolded like a fairytale, reminding us all that sometimes, the most remarkable adventures are the ones shared with the ones we love the most.

Vendors: Photographer: Chrismans Studios; Wedding Videographer: Cinema of Poetry; Wedding Planner: Boutique Weddings; Ceremony Site: Duomo di Sant’ Andrea Cathedral; Reception & Accommodations: La Rondinaia; Florist: Figli Dei Fiori; Stationery: Zazzle; Cocktail hour, Dinner & Cake: Trotta & Trotta Quality Banqueting; Hair & Makeup: Alessandro Mancino; Gown Designer: Sottero and Midgley; Groom’s Clothing Designer: Dolce & Gabbana; Bridesmaid Dresses: Eveling; Groomsmen’s Attire: The Black Tux; Car Rental: MGA MKII Spider; Music: The Knights Club from BluNotte & Duo Mandolino

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