Massa Lubrense Wedding Venue
There is a side to Italy that is far removed from the typical image of the popular coastal locations on the Sorrento peninsula and Amalfi Coast, if you go that little bit further you will not be sorry – want to see what happens when you do?
From Destination Wedding Planner Jo Daye
Just a few miles from the centre of Sorrento is the town of Massa Lubrense, a town that manages to hold on to its authentic character and where everyday life co-exists with the more adventurous visitors who seek a more connected and grounded experience of this part of Italy.
It is here down a narrow road you will find Art Hotel Villa Fiorella, a Massa Lubrense wedding venue which is a haven of tranquility and beauty. The unassuming building could easily be mistaken for a large luxury private villa.
The ethos of the hotel is that you will be honoured guests in the world of Art Hotel Villa Fiorella. It could be Enza, Carmine or the owner Alberto who will greet you and because you will be one of a select few residents your stay here is going to be all about the experience. It will not be long before those shoulders relax and an awareness of surroundings escalates. Your senses awaken to the natural beauty, aromas and scenery.
What better way to end my wedding season last year by achieving a personal goal at this beautiful hotel. I very easily visualised how the modernity of the interiors, and the elegant but understated exterior would make the perfect romantic getaway for those couples who like many of life’s luxuries but are very much in tune with nature and the environment.
Because of the tranquility and the privacy that some of the external places allow at the Art Hotel Villa Fiorella it has always struck me as the perfect elope location. I so wished to share the many possibilities that are available I asked the owner of the hotel if he would allow me to host a photoshoot. Without hesitation he agreed, and so in October, with a real couple as part of the UK and Italy collaboration of wedding professionals we had the honour of creating a vision to inspire and encourage couples to be more intrepid in their choice of wedding location and the type of ceremony they saw for themselves.
We set about showing how totally stress free and relaxing an elope ceremony can be. It was Autumn yet you would not know with 27 degree temperatures.
We used the terraced gardens of the hotel to set up a symbolic ceremony for Victoria and Adriano – our gorgeous couple who had travelled from their home in Tuscany to the Massa Lubrense wedding venue. As two creative individuals who love the open countryside and the quieter life – it really was a perfect match.
Caught between sea and sky
We set the up the ceremony area very simply, two chairs framed by two floral compositions in copper vases a hint of the warmth and rich colours of this time of year, when the leaves turn from green to red, orange and brown mixed with red dahlias, foliage and white avalanche roses. Caught between sea and sky.
Wear it well
The Rock the Frock Plymouth dress worn by Victoria and subtle detail of the delicate hair vine by Claire Austin England gave Victoria a vintage look, soft and whimsical. Adriano’s worked the Southwold waistcoat and trousers from the Vintage Suit Hire Co in a less formal style in an almost mediterranean blue.
Victoria walked down to the garden where she joined Adriano who met her at the entrance to the terrace and together they walked the last stretch up to where the celebrant waited for them.
We had exclusive use of the terrace, where two rows of olive trees had been decorated with hand dyed silk ribbons that every now and then would flutter in the breeze.
More than words
As this was a symbolic ceremony – a ceremony style which is becoming ever more popular for many reasons, for Adriano and Victoria is was for the freedom of how they wished to express their commitment to each other.
Where tradition compliments personal style
As well as exchanging rings and vows, additional symbolic elements were woven into the ceremony by Carmela the celebrant, the ritual of handfasting, which has many different meanings one of which can be seen as an engagement period – this could start a whole new trend in engagements!
One of the outstanding moments of this special day was the sand ceremony. This was performed against the most beautiful cascading rosemary curtain. Blue and white sand representing Adriano and Victoria as individuals – the mixing of the two colours for unity – neither colour dominating each present in equal measure. This has to be one of the most powerful symbolic elements!
Keeping it real
Gosh after all the emotions, laughs and hugs it was time for some refreshment. As it was early morning Prosecco flutes were swapped for a traditional hit of espresso at the poolside bar. When it is just the two of you you can pretty much do anything you want. Be you and do the things that feel right and connects you to the moment and the people.
To steal a phrase from a well-known TV series Art Hotel Villa Fiorella is “where everyone knows your name” and will go the extra mile to make sure you are happy. You know you are in the right place when you ask the Reservation Manager to borrow his belt that he is wearing as Adriano had forgotten to bring one!
This region of Italy is known for its iconic coast line, fabulous skies and the way the light and sun reflects on to the sea, there was no need for embellishments, grand designs or crystal chandeliers.
The white walls and splashes of colourful and bold decor kept the look and feel modern and playful which suited the couple.
Staying true to who you are
As the hotel was made available to us, we popped up to Terazza Fiorella Ristorante terrace for some super cool couple shots, we just loved the ease of Adriano and Victoria being together. It is what an elope is all about – unaware of Louise the photographer.
A romantic table for two had been prepared especially for Victoria and Adriano. Styled by Danielle who had designed the wedding stationery; and as a surprise Danielle had made a menu on which had been the printed the lyrics of a song by one of the Adriano’s music icons, Victoria read out to Adriano!
A perfect end to a perfect day for two
This day was for them and about the two of them, free of the social duties that come with a larger wedding they had time and chose to keep the mood relaxed and casual enjoying the different areas of the hotel ending their day by kicking off their shoes, dangling their legs in the infinity pool as the final phase of the sunset turned the sky from orange to blue. Couple goals.
How can Destination Wedding Planner Jo Daye Help You
In a bid to to keep wedding planning simple, affordable, supportive and easy, Weddings Abroad Guide is collaborating with Jo to offer a “Virtual Wedding Planning Service” including 90 minute Personalised Wedding Consultations.
The service is suitable for all stages of the planning process and is extremely helpful for those couples just getting started or planning their own wedding abroad. With over 14 years experience of designing bespoke weddings for international clients, Jo’s approach is to get you focused and to prioritise what’s important to you, guiding you on how to get the wedding you truly want.
Having researched, planned and overseen many requests Jo is able to tap into a deep well of knowledge and actual experience, to explain with clarity what is involved and what things to consider. (We think her advice is absolutely brilliant and not to be missed)!
The Perfect Partners
Destination Wedding Planner: Jo Daye // Venue: Art Hotel Villa Fiorella // Photography: Mrs Juston Photography // Model Bride : Model Bride: Victoria Nelson -Victoria Nelson Art // Model Groom: Adriano Pancari ( drummer and shiatsu treatment) // Symbolic Celebrant: Carmela Ceremonies // Hair & Make-up: Joanna Falanga // Hair Vine: Claire Austin England // Wedding Stationery & Styling: Faithful Designs at The Wedding Hub // Handfasting Cord: Magenta Rose Designs at The Wedding Hub // Bridal Dress: Wendy by Saja at Rock The Frock Plymouth // Suite & Accessories: The Vintage Suit Hire Company // Florist: Giuseppe & Luisa Terrecuso – Fiori Sorrento // Wedding Chairs & Decorations: Wedding Chairs & Co