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Destination wedding in Italy: Shelli + Chris

September 26, 2012
Positano, Italy wedding invitations

Sometimes wedding plans change – from having a shindig in the states to oh say… making sure your friends can plan a trip abroad to witness you saying ‘I Do’ in Positano, Italy. We wouldn’t expect anything less from these two though. Remember their vintage railroad engagement photos? They are self-declared traveling fools and we love them for that. If not for them, and the gorgeous photography of W. Scott Chester, we’d have no reason to take mini daydream breaks throughout the day.

sea-side Positano, Italy wedding portraits Mediterranean cliffs of Positano Mediterranean boat ride

Fun fact: Exactly nine months to. the. day. Shelli + Chris welcomed their first bebe girl, Lumen. Best wedding anniversary present ever? Um, yeah.

Amalfi Coast, Italy limoncello drinks elegant detailed wedding dress pink floral flats leaf style silver jewelry pink floral flats bright yellow suit and floral tie pink, fuschia and white peony bouquet cliff-side wedding in Positano, Italy cliff-side wedding portraits cliff-side wedding portraits in Positano, Italy father and daughter walk down the aisle Italian wedding ceremony

Oh to be a fly in the room during their ceremony that was presided over by the mayor of Positano, in Italian. Following the ceremony, the mayor handed them their first gift – a hand-painted tile memento of their marriage.

custom italian tiles decorative wall backdrop

Seeing their wedding is amazing and all, but we all know what you’re thinking… how do you even begin to plan a wedding in a foreign country? Here’s Shelli to tell it like it is:

The planning part was tricky but fun. In March, three months before the wedding, I flew to Italy with my mother after we serendipitously found a last minute ridiculous deal on a travel package to Naples and the Amalfi Coast- it actually saved us a good bit on our budget just to go in advance and find a florist, caterer, cake baker, etc without using a wedding planner. That was a big DIY leap of faith, but I now know why it is such an inexpensive season to go- it poured rain and navigating along the cliffs of the Amalfi coastline in that kind of monsoon is not for the faint of heart. Fortunately my mother had driven Italy before and she is no wimp. It was also a good pre-wedding girls trip with a super cool lady. We also discovered the best pizza in Naples (i.e., the best in the world) – totally worth the less charming aspects of the city.

The legalities of it were very difficult, and Christopher really went to the ends of the Earth to make that happen. Everything went back and forth from Italy to the USA for documentation, and a couple days before our wedding we had to go together to Naples to the US consulate- we stayed over the night before in Naples with a couple friends and enjoyed a night in that crazy city (and more of the best Margherita pizza in the world, of course.) Driving around Naples takes a fair bit of nerve, to say the least.

the hills of Positano, Italy custom tagged bottled beverages

Libations were sweet and simple and little bit of a local fave: limoncello and proseco (with punched-out letterpress tags made by Shelli). They purchased a few dozen bottles of San Pellegrino Aranciata in the local shops in Positano and used them as drinking vessels.

vintage camera and radio decor vintage cameras and florals vintage camera lens view turquoise and red table linens and starred plates

The food was really the main element for the reception. The wine, the cakes – it was all Italian. The villa, overlooking the not so shabby Amalfi Coast, had a lot of little Italian details and the gingham was a nod to picnics as well as the traditional Italian trattoria style.

rustic Italian tin map cut out garland Italian wedding cake simple white frosted cake and wooden figurine topper DIY hanging garland and bottle tags stacked macaroons and rings sunset sea-side portraits the lights in the hills of Positano, Italy

Breathtaking isn’t it? Big congrats to Shelli + Chris on their dreamy wedding (also featured in Martha Stewart Weddings), and the new addition to their little family!

photography: W. Scott Chester Photography / event planning: planned by couple & La Calla in Italy helped with organizing the legal documentation, the ceremony, the car, the mandolin player / catering: Ristorante Saraceno d’Oro / officiant: mayor of Positano / florist: Aldo at Floragarden in Positano / cake: Gambardella Pasticceria / cake toppers: Goose Grease / stationery illustration: Jay Hornsby of The Belligerent Monkey / letterpress printer: Thomas Printers / bride’s ceremony dress: J.Crew ‘Lorna’ / reception dress: BHLDN / shoes: Irregular Choice / jewelry: antique / engagement ring: diamond and palladium with two rose cut diamonds, handmade by Melanie Bilenker / wedding bands: Lola Brooke / groom’s suit: J.Crew / shoes: Kenneth Cole / tie + pocket square: custom made with Liberty of London fabric by thishumbleabode