Weddings have a funny way of inviting a lot of expectations, and many a bride and groom have seen their fair share of pressures to live up to the vision. But if there’s anything you should ever know about planning that pivotal day in your life it’s this: do you. Don’t let your vision be weighed down by “should do’s” simply because they exist; make fine work of crafting a day that is precisely the color of your happiness. Because tradition is lovely, huge celebrations are wonderful, details and cakes are certainly welcome — but all you need is you and your love and forever… and perhaps an officiant.
A word from Isabelle Hesselberg of 2 Brides Photography:
“A more romantic setting for an elopement is hard to imagine. Ravello made for the perfect backdrop framing Anna & Rich’s wedding in the best way. Their day was relaxed and I truly enjoyed documenting their nuptials.”
Love notes from the couple, Rich & Anna:
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
Rich: “We first met over seven years ago at a hotel bar in Boston. The night was coming to an end, when I turned around and this girl caught my eye. As I always tell her, at that moment, I thought she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. I asked if I could buy her a drink and we spoke for only a few moments. In no time, her friend was pulling her away. I quickly pulled out my old Blackberry and at the last minute, I asked for her number…the rest is history.”
Anna: “When Rich asked to buy me a drink, I was pretty apprehensive. I just thought ‘this guy better not be a jerk’. He quickly eased my mind when I saw his smile. We only had a few minutes to talk before I had to leave. I wondered if we would ever see each other again. Luckily he asked for my number and here we are today.”
Tell us a funny story relating to your wedding day!
“When we arrived to Ravello the day before the ceremony, it was pouring rain. As we tried to walk through the center of town, the locals told us it has not rained like that in months. We figured it was just our luck that our whole wedding would be rained out. Couldn’t we catch a break? We must have checked the weather every hour until the actual ceremony. Just hours before the event, the clouds cleared up and the sun peaked out, it ended up being perfect.”
Anna: “Minutes before the ceremony, I was rushing around getting all my things together and trying to avoid the rain puddles from the earlier showers, that I actually forgot to put my wedding veil on, for the walk down the aisle. I was so excited and happy, I didn’t even realize it until my officiant reminded me, once I got to Rich! Luckily, someone ran to our room and brought it to me right away.”
Describe a hurdle you had to overcome during your wedding planning.
“Wedding planning was far from easy! We really wanted to take a different approach from the get-go. We originally planned to have a destination wedding with close friends and family. So much time and effort goes into wedding planning, but the day itself flies by in just a few hours. Instead, we really wanted to make the whole trip an experience in itself. We ended up tossing our original plans for a destination wedding, as we experienced many hurdles and setbacks that come with planning such an event for a large group of people. This became stressful and no longer fun. We even took a break from planning altogether. We knew that this was not what weddings were about. Therefore, with time, we decided to come back to what was most important. That was the celebration of us. Ultimately, we decided to focus on what made us happy in the end. We chose to elope in the most romantic town of Ravello, just the two of us, and we could not have asked for a better day.”
What part of your wedding day was most important to you?
Anna: “The most important part of the wedding day for me were the vows. Rich is not the best with words sometimes, but somehow, he found all the right words to say that day. I could not get over how genuine and from the heart his vows were…I asked him to recite them to me every day the rest of the trip. The best part was listening to them with the violinists playing the Titanic theme song in the background. Who doesn’t love that movie?”
Rich: “The most important part of the wedding for me was waiting to see Anna come down the stairs. Since I was by myself for several hours, while she was getting ready, the suspense really built up. I waited on the lawn overlooking the mountains, and after what felt like a lifetime, the officiant told me to turn around. There was Anna, walking down in her dress. I will never forget that moment.”
What was your favorite part about planning your wedding?
“When we finally made the decision to elope, planning became fun again. We were able to splurge a little, given it was just us! We secured our favorite vendors, including our amazing photographer and the magical Belmond Hotel Caruso for our venue. We made our wedding a trip, as we spent ten wonderful days traveling Italy. It will always be the most amazing time of our lives.”
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
Rich: “The saying “you can’t make everyone happy” gets used a lot and couples need to remember those words when planning a wedding. It is important to understand the wedding is about them. If you try to please everyone, you will end up making things very difficult for yourselves.”
Anna: “Go with what you want. Remember the real reason and meaning behind the day. That is a celebration of your relationship and commitment to one another. We all get carried away with worrying about having the perfect day and making sure everyone enjoys themselves, it becomes overwhelming. Figure out whats the most important thing to you as a couple and go with it.”
photographer: 2 Brides Photography / venue: Belmond Hotel Caruso Ravello / cinematography: Luigi De Gregorio / film lab: Carmencita Film Lab