The Sorrento wedding dream
High above the Bay of Naples sits a tumble of peach buildings, warming themselves in the Italian sun. A charming maze of alleyways and shops, villas and vistas, pizza and pasta. Lemons everywhere. And whenever you emerge from the maze, you catch a glimpse of the glittering sea stretching out to the horizon. There’s plenty of romantic places to get married in Europe. But a wedding in Sorrento is the stuff of dreams.
Styled and coordinated by the amazing Bella Sposa, Cardeine and Seamus’ celebration of love was everything a Sorrento wedding could be. From their ceremony in the lemon-scented gardens of Museo Correale, to their sundrenched reception looking out across the sapphire waves. It felt more like a fantasy than a wedding.
But wait. It can’t possibly be as good as I’m making it out to be, can it?! Oh yes, yes it can. If anything, I don’t think I’m doing it justice. Let me show you.
Our story begins with a sunset shoot in Positano
If you’re having a destination wedding, I have a little favour to ask. I beg you, I implore you. Don’t just spend your whole time at your venue. Go exploring, see the sights, embrace the adventure of it all! And you’ll be pleased to know, that’s just what Cardeine and Seamus did.
Two days before their wedding, we went on an adventure together. We’d booked The Dolce Vita tour with Positano Vintage Dream. And it was epic! Just the three of us and our guide, a bottle of champagne, a vintage Fiat 500, and mile-after-mile of spectacular coastline to explore.
The romance, the champagne, the batshit crazy traffic! It was such an unforgettable experience for them, and I felt so lucky to be a part of it. And anyway, what kind of a Sorrento wedding photographer would I be if I didn’t make the most of those incredible views?!
Is Villa Silvana the best wedding venue in Sorrento?
If you’re looking for a wedding venue in Sorrento, Villa Silvana is simply exquisite. Just a stone’s throw from the bustling town centre, it’s an oasis of palm trees, beauty and calm. With a clifftop terrace, panoramic views across the bay, and even private access to the shoreline far below, it’s basically the perfect Sorrento wedding venue. And the endless photo opps! It’s genuinely one of my favourite wedding venues in the world.
But we’ll get to all that later. For now, let’s get back to our story. Where were we? Ah yes, the morning of the wedding.
Bridal styling inspiration for your Sorrento wedding
Morning sunlight flooded through the windows of the Villa Silvana bridal suite, bathing the room in incredible light. Cardeine wore the utterly exquisite Odette by Enzoani. With 3D embroidered lace and a sweetheart neckline, the bardot fishtail dress was jaw-droppingly beautiful. And perfectly suited to the understated elegance throughout the rest of the styling. She finished the look with Hollywood chic hair and makeup, and a gorgeous bouquet of muted pink and blush roses.
Before the ceremony, Cardeine and I headed to the balcony so she could have a first look with her father. And it was such a special moment. The soft sunshine, the views across the sea. The crack in her father’s voice as he told her how proud of her he was. Never mind the styling or the dress. It’s moments like this that will make your wedding day special. Cardeine gave her dad the biggest of hugs. And together they jumped in a vintage Beetle convertible to where the love of her life was waiting.
A ceremony in the gardens of Museo Correale
Seamus and Cardeine were childhood sweethearts. Like, ‘doodled each other’s names on their school books’ lovebirds. And almost 16 years later, they promised themselves to each other forever in the citrus groves of Museo Correale.
Bella Sposa’s styling took the already-beautiful space to a whole new level. Floral urns and columns of white, blush and toffee roses framed Cardeine’s entrance and lined the aisle. And a spectacular floral hoop stood behind the altar. Rose petals fluttered across the rustic flagstone path. And the soft music of violin and classical guitar filled the lemon-scented air and carried through the citrus groves.
They had an official Italian ceremony, translated into English by Bella Sposa. And I won’t lie, it got pretty emotional! Seamus and Cardeine had written their own vows. And after a love story spanning almost two decades, you could tell how much it meant to them to be finally getting married.
Taking photos and dodging scooters in Sorrento town
Sunlight pours through the open top of the convertible as you drive through Sorrento town after your wedding. The love of your life is cuddled up on the seat beside you, the wind plays in your hair, and Italian voices shout their congratulations, rising and falling as you pass.
You climb out, giggling as you shake a few stray grains of rice from your clothes. Together you stroll hand-in-hand through the achingly romantic streets, soaking in the sun. Exploring one of Europe’s most beautiful cities for the first time as a married couple.
That’s the ‘wedding in Sorrento’ dream, right? Well I can tell you now, it’s just as romantic as it sounds. (Although I should say, when it comes to living your own Sorrento wedding dream, make sure you look both ways before you cross!)
Reception styling inspiration for your wedding in Sorrento
After our little adventure around Sorrento, Cardeine and Seamus strolled up the palm tree-lined driveway of the Villa Silvana to rejoin their guests. And just imagine having your wedding reception on that balcony! The smell of lemons and lavender, the Mediterranean sun dappling through the olive trees, the breathtaking views across the sea. Didn’t I tell you Villa Silvana was amazing?!
The reception was styled with the same romantic elegance as the ceremony. The stationery was in the same blush pink as the roses and long-stemmed candles on the tables. And as a wedding favour, each place setting had a bottle of the local Limoncello (it wouldn’t be a Sorrento wedding without Limoncello!) We feasted on grazing platters of traditional Italian delicacies (Villa Silvana’s specialty), listening to live music, sipping Limoncello and looking out to sea. It was idyllic.
And as the balcony became bathed in that glorious golden hour glow, I snuck Cardeine and Seamus away from their guests, so they could watch the sunset over the water all by themselves.
Golden hour portraits in Villa Silvana
Villa Silvana really is the gift that keeps on giving! I’d been told we had private access to the dock. But I wasn’t expecting the ‘access’ to be rustic stone steps, beautiful balconies and breathtaking views of the sun setting over the sea. When it comes to destination wedding venues, it’s incredibly rare to have such a picture-perfect place all to yourselves.
When we eventually reached the water, the sun was just disappearing behind the horizon. Waves lapped gently against the dock, and there was nothing but the sound of distant gulls, and fishing boats bobbing gently on the gold-tipped water. As their guests drank and danced high on the cliffs above, Seamus and Cardeine had the world all to themselves.
Think I might be your Sorrento wedding photographer?
A destination wedding is so much more than just travelling somewhere with a pretty backdrop. It’s an adventure, an experience, a once-in-a-lifetime whirlwind romance. And as your wedding photographer, I want to join you in the adventure, and be right by your side capturing every second of it.
If you think I might be the perfect photographer and your dream travel buddy, I’d love to hear from you. Get in touch today and let’s chat.
Photography: Rebecca Carpenter Photography
Styling: Bella Sposa
Venue: Villa Silvana
Florals: Starace Florist
Hair and Makeup: Blush and Blow London