Real Weddings

Tracy & Paul's Amalfi Wedding

Tracy and Paul’s both grew up in the same suburb in Durban South Africa, meeting in Sydney Australia through mutual friends and marrying in Amalfi Italy.

"We wanted to do something different. Both our sisters got engaged just before we did, so we wanted to respectfully wait for them to plan and have their weddings first. Both of them were married in South Africa and had beautiful seaside and game-reserve weddings. After much deliberation we chucked the idea of getting married in either Australia or South Africa and decided that since we wanted to honeymoon in Amalfi, Italy - we would just get married there too! Once our parents and siblings gave the thumbs-up - it was on!

As we are not Catholic (or religious at all for that matter) we couldn't get married in any of the amazing churches. That said - I was happy to be married by a registrar and we got permission to use a beautiful little garden just in front of the town hall. Ravello is a little old town in the mountains just above Amalfi town. The views are amazing!

On our wedding day - it was 46 degrees Celsius!! 2012 was the hottest summer in Italy for 220 years. It was like an oven! Even though our wedding was at 4.30pm and it was still well over 40.

My hairdresser decided (without telling me because he couldn't speak English) that our original soft flowing 1930s wavy hair plan wasn't going to work so he constructed this ROCK HARD Greek statue style that I absolutely hated... oh well... I had to suck it up because that hair wasn't going anywhere... It did withstand the heat at least.

I wanted a 1930s inspired gown - something sleek and sophisticated. I'm not a frills and lace kind of gal. One of my colleagues suggested Johanna Johnson and from the minute I walked into that store I was hooked! I had to have one of those amazing dresses. It was very easy to travel with and press before the ceremony. It also survived the car journey without creasing and kept me cool. I had a beautiful ostrich feather cape to go with it as well (I thought it may be cool in the evening - silly me).

I'm quite a sentimental gal so I included something in my 1930s bag from each of my grandparents so they would be with me in a small way. The beautiful old Norwegian silver knife I used for the cake was a gift to my mum's parents at their wedding in the 1940s. Her father's family was Norwegian. She also did a reading from an old ivory covered bible which had been in the family for generations. It all worked beautifully with my Vintage chic theme.

We had the cutest little red VW Beetle convertible wedding car to drive us up to the ceremony. It was so wonderful riding through Amalfi town with everyone cheering and waving and hooting. That was one of my favourite moments. I love Italians - they really get into the spirit of everything.

After the ceremony we went to the beautiful Villa Cimbrone gardens for photos. It is the most picturesque place, with the famous outlook from the balcony with marble busts. In the meanwhile we arranged a bus for our guests to the reception restaurant - a 14th century fort built into the rock over the sea in Maiori.

"We feel so lucky to have had such a unique and amazing experience!"

Congratulations on your marriage Tracy and Paul! Thank you for sharing your wedding story with us.

Tracy’s top tips for planning a destination wedding are.

01. Hire a wedding planner.

It was so helpful to have a wedding planner - especially as I don't speak Italian. I looked at all her albums & albums from the venues we were shortlisting to get ideas that would be easy for her to work with. I also loved: and bought quite a few lovely table pieces from which I had shipped straight to Italy.

02. Build mood boards to define your theme.

I went onto the above mentioned sites and found themes I liked for every aspect of the wedding. For the outfits I found pictures of shoes I liked, bags, rings, accessories, veils etc. and built a creative story. I did briefs for cake, photo style and locations, food - everything!


The Johanna Johnson wedding dress featured in this story has been sold

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