After being together 10 years john managed to pluck up the courage to propose and one thing was for certain, we wanted to get married abroad and what place was more romantic then Italy?
I began the search for the ideal destination…..
After a lot of searching and feeling like a conveyer belt bride my friend, Fiona, recommended Julie and My Secret Italy. After speaking to Julie once, I fell in love with Santa Maria and My Secret Italy it sounded perfect. Julie’s passion for the place shone through and it sounded like something out of a fairy tail or film. After chatting with John, my now husband…. I still can’t get used to that! He too fell in love with everything Julie and My Secret Italy represented. So we booked in 2012 and those 2 years certainly flew by!
I’ll admit now I was quite an anxious bride, never thought I’d get married and if I was being honest had no clue where to start. Unfortunately I lost my mum in 2012, so really did feel quite lost on how to plan and organise things. I was quite open from the start with Julie and she supported me through every step, which was above and beyond her role. I felt I’d gained a fairy godmother, a confidant but most of all a friend.
Arriving in Naples was certainly an eye opener, and not in a good way! So off we set to Santa Maria, anxious was not the word! Two hours later we came around the coast to reveal Santa Maria. It was beautiful, quaint and just so gorgeous. It was strange as soon as I arrived I was very calm and relaxed, so unlike me! We were greeted by Julie and her daughter Emillie, introduced to the Garden Riveria staff and locals in the village. Everybody was so warm and inviting and made an effort to take time for you. This care and attention followed for the arrival of all our guests to Santa Maria. Over the next few days we finalised all the arrangements for the wedding, flowers, decorations, the registers and making sure we remembered peach juice to keep Mr Di Lucia happy! Everything was so stress free and Julie made sure we weren’t kept away from our friends and family for any length of time.
The night before the wedding, everyone had finally arrived and Julie had organised a meal for us all in the hills of Castellabate at Il Parnaso. As we waited for the coach to arrive, Julie surprised John and I with Janino’s vintage Italian car for the journey. John was completely in his element, and I can’t thank you enough for that Julie! As we arrived at Il Parnaso it truly felt like the start of the wedding. As we walked out onto the terrace, we had an undescribable view of Castellabate and Santa Maria at sunset, words cannot describe that feeling, it was such an amazing place, so peaceful so beautiful. I knew at that point that this was going to be something extremely special.
The wedding day….. So stress free and relaxing! In the morning the boys relaxed by the pool and the girls sat in the sun and took in the views from the beautiful 1861. Walking up onto the terrace at the Torre Perrotti with my dad for the ceremony was breath taking, I’m so glad Julie convinced John and I not to go peak before! We were serenaded by the guitar and mandolin player on the short walk from the hotel to the terrace, which was a lovely touch, and also let John know I was nearby. The ceremony was so personal, the flowers were stunning and the views spectacular.
As we left the terrace for the italian tradition of cutting the ribbon and were greeted by Baffo, a distinguished gelato, who had ice cream for everyone, this went down a complete treat as we’d spent most evenings in his shop! At this point we were whisked away by Andrea our amazing photographer for pictures in San Marco Port. Following our pictures we came back to Per Bacco to find all our friends and family on their feet singing with the guitar and mandolin player. It was a fantastic sight! Even the locals had gathered to have a cheeky peak at the antics. We all laughed and joked and enjoyed the prosecco it was just wonderful.
From here we made our way over to the Lido, where Rosanna had done an amazing job and it was so vintage and everything I had imagined. It was completely transformed from it’s daytime appearance. As we all gathered for the group photo on the beach Julie came down with 30 brightly colour balloons and all she said…. for your mum. It was such a personal touch and the only time I shed a tear during the day, but it meant so much. x
The evening was great, the food, wine, fireworks and of course the band! It felt like a dream and even all our guests commented it was like nothing they’d ever experienced and it’s still all we are talking about!
Our wedding was the most amazing fantastical experience and it’s difficult to even explain Santa Maria and its charm. John and I can’t thank Julie enough for making our wedding the experience it was. It was truly the best day of our lives! I just want to thank Julie for all her love and support up to and during the wedding. I think what sets My Secret Italy apart from the rest is that she takes the time to get to know her couples and it’s the personal touches that makes all the difference.
I think now I truly understand My Secret Italy.
Love you lots Eve & John xxxx