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Hannah & Jeremy

Elopements are something especially romantic, and when the scene is set in the beautiful seaside town of Ravelo, on Italy’s Alafi Coast, well we couldn’t be more inspired to share a tale! Hannah and Jeremy, share their life together in Italy and chose a celebration that in Jeremy’s words “was so happy that we could enjoy the day exactly as we wanted it, all about us, free from distractions and set up exactly as we had wanted”. Enlisting Gianluca & Mary Adovasio to capture the day as it unfolded, we couldn’t think of anything more special.

The lovebirds met at a party many moons ago, a budding romance completely unexpected for Hannah, who remembers “We met at Jeremy’s uncle’s 50th birthday party seven years ago. It was a New Year’s Eve Party at Dobroyd Sailing Club in Sydney. I was there with a friend and the theme was ‘fancy hat’. I was not expecting to find romance! The night I met Jeremy also met much of his extended family! We got along instantly and decided to meet up again soon after.”

The day kicked off with hair and makeup, thanks to Aussie in Italy, Zoe Graham.  “Our wedding day was very relaxed” remembers Hannah. “Gerardo, the local hairdresser, came by to do my hair followed by Zoe who did my make-up. Zoe is Australian and it was lovely to share a glass of champagne with her before the ceremony.”

Hannah and Jeremy enlisted Marry Me Abroad to plan their wedding from afar, noting “Lauren Cacciola from ‘Marry Me Abroad’ in Leichhardt planned our day and made sure we had our documents in order, venues booked and our assistant Anna waiting for us in Ravello. Lauren was a fantastic help and is very knowledgeable about getting married in Italy!”

Hannah and Jeremy exchanged words prior to the ceremony. “We had written each other a card to read beforehand, instead of vows, so we read those separately. My parents had also given me letters to read which was very special, it made it feel as though they were close-by.”

Hannah worked with Sydney designer Louise Alvarez Couture to create a chic, tea length wedding gown. She shares “Louise Alvarez designed my gorgeous dress and was delightful to work with. It was lovely to share the excitement of planning our wedding with her and her assistant Elisa (as we had decided to keep it a secret) so I looked forward to each fitting. They were very accommodating to my requests and I have had so many comments about my dress!”

Of their ceremony, which was held in Town Hall Gardens Ravello, Hannah explains  “Jeremy was waiting for me in the gardens and we had a beautiful ceremony delivered first in Italian and then in English. It was very simple and meaningful. The Italian civil code is very practical and emphasises the role of family, which is important to both of us. We were presented with a gift from the town official, a book about the history of Ravello which is a fantastic souvenir.”

“We met many great people during our time in Ravello. This includes those who made our wedding possible as well as locals and visitors who were keen to share in the happy event with their well wishes and glasses of champagne!” Hannah reminisces.

The newlyweds wandered the streets of Ravello with their photographers, stopping for champagne and gelato of course! The bride explaining “We used Gianluca and Mary Adovasio as our photographers. They are well-known in the area and shoot many weddings. Their photos were amazing and really captured the day!”

Gelato was the perfect aperitif for dinner, tells Hannah “We celebrated with drinks at Palazzo Avino and dinner at an excellent restaurant called Rossellini’s.”

And of course, this was just the beginning of the celebrations! Hannah sharing “When we arrived home we arranged a big party with our friends and family. We told our parents and siblings before we left but everyone else got a nice surprise. We weren’t planning a first dance at our party but our friends made sure it happened. We danced to “You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate…be careful about joking to your friends about that, they made us do it!”

Congratulations Hannah and Jeremy! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us! Thank you also to Gianluca & Mary Adovasio and Louise Alvarez Couture for sharing today’s stunning day with us!

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This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

  • Ceremony Venue
  • Town Hall Gardens Ravello
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Image via Sydney.com

Sydney is one of the most beautiful cities in the entire world, it is the kind of place you’ll pinch yourself as it has a little of everything. Today, the two founders of 100% french linen start-up, Carlotta + Gee, take us with them on a wonderful weekend exploring the best of their city by the sea, Sydney.

Gee (left) and Carlotta (right) enjoying a cocktail at The Grounds of Alexandria

Friday 5pm

It might feel very touristy, however even for locals it is the place to be on a balmy Friday late afternoon / evening after work for a drink. It is at the Opera Bar right on the water with the best view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge – hard to go wrong!

Image via Opera Bar

Friday 8pm
Make your way to the local nearby suburb called Potts Point where there are little, funky restaurants to visit including Chester White to enjoy some cured meats and a glass of wine.

Image via Chester White
Late Friday evening

If you feel like kicking on or having a dance, Double Bay is where you must head to escape the lock out laws. The Sheaf or Mrs Sippy are the key places.

Saturday 8am
Sydney is very much an early riser place to ensure you make the most of the daylight. A must do is the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk – it is around 4km’s of very scenic views. If you feel like breakfast once you’ve finished Lox Stock & Barrel is delicious, quite NYC in style. Or for a very Aussie experience try Speedos.

The Bondi to Bronte coastal walk. Image via Sydney.com
Saturday 12pm

Head somewhere very local and quaint in Paddington where all the houses are beautiful terrace houses. Oxford St is the main High St with boutique stores. Worth heading to the Paddington Market which is on every Saturday 10 – 4pm where you can see some local designers and homewares which then go on to become household names, like fashion icon Alice McCall. Carlotta and I have a side hustle of French linen bedding called Carlotta + Gee and we have a stall there at the market, so come say hi!

Saturday 4pm
Catch an Uber to Rose Bay ferry where you can catch a lift to Watson Bay Hotel – which is much nicer to see via the sea and something different. Tip: check the timetable first. Enjoy music, cocktails and an early dinner while looking out at the harbour.

Sunday 9am
After a little sleep in, make your way to The Grounds of Alexandria – a mini little farm in the heart of Sydney. You can wander around there enjoying the stalls, trying a taste of everything. Be warned it does get super busy on the weekend but well worth the visit to eat breakfast.

The Grounds of Alexandria via Broadsheet

Sunday 1pm
We can’t help drawing you closer back towards Bondi but this time to North Bondi. There really is no better place than a sunny Sunday afternoon in Bondi. Check out the Bondi Market in the local school which has been in existence for years. Look closely and you might even see Carlotta  + Gee there again with bright linen bedding along with a bed set up!! You’ll be tempted to jump in for a snooze after all your adventures in Sydney. You’ll see all the local Bondi folk there but also lots of tourists, so it’s a really nice mix.

Carlotta + Gee french linens set up at the Bondi Market
Sunday 5pm

Sunset draws loads of people to the grassy knoll of North Bondi with some beers to watch the sun go down – often there is live music too. Worth taking a dip in the ocean too.

Sunday 7pm
If you feel like some food, North Bondi Fish is worth visiting – spicy margaritas and tacos.


About the authors Carlotta + Gee: 100% French linen available online, shipped to anywhere in Australia. Our vision for this company is more than “product.” It’s a lifestyle, dream, aesthetic, personality, vibe – just an overall feeling which we want you to have, feel, touch, smell and see.

Places We Swim is all about celebrating the love of swimming and there are not many more romantic things to do than go for dip in a beautiful place with your sweetheart. We spent a year on the road documenting the best places to swim and found some seriously romantic places along the way. Because our own love story involves the water, a first date in a wetsuit and a sandy afternoon together, it felt apt to recommend the best places to propose. Here is our top five from around Australia.

Cape Leveque, WA

Nothing can quite prepare you for a stretch of beaches like the ones you’ll find on the Dampier Peninsula. It’s a vast coastal landscape and a 2-3 hour drive on unsealed corrugation, but we assure you, the drive is well worth it. The east side has sheltered white-sand beaches with crystal-clear water as far as the eye can see. This is not a mirage. The ocean is warm, still and very salty – evoking the feeling of an enormous floatation tank. On the western side of the peninsula the Indian Ocean roars onto the beach. The currents are strong here and it’s advised not to swim, but watching the sunset drop into the water is picture-perfect – BYO drinks!

Gunlom Falls, NT

It’s impossible not to be dazzled by Gunlom Falls, no matter how many other visitors there are nor how many photos you have seen. The front infinity pool offers the most famous view in the NT, showcasing why this is a major stop on any Kakadu pilgrimage. Despite the constant flow of people, Gunlom never feels too busy to enjoy. By the late afternoon, the crowds thin out, leaving only a handful of committed swimmers. If you are lucky you will have sunset all to yourself. It’s the perfect time to ponder life’s great questions…

Lake Wabby, Fraser Island, QLD

Any trip to Fraser Island is going to be filled with adventure, but it’s the shimmering oasis of Lake Wabby in a sea of sand that you should plan a romantic encounter at. We immediately fell in love with this green gem, surrounded by rolling dunes. This is the polar bear of our book – a unique threatened specimen that probably won’t exist in 100 years. The sand is gradually filling in this emerald lake, so every moment we spend here is precious. This is your chance to make it particularly memorable too.

Whites Beach, NSW

The North Coast of NSW near Byron Bay is so highly travelled that it’s hard to imagine there being any secret beaches left. Whites Beach might be about as close as you come to some seclusion in this area, particularly in the heart of summer. This protected bay, just out of Broken Head, has a real sense of discovery about it, taking you down through subtropical rainforest surrounds to an idyllic beach of white sand and crisp, clear water. At the south side of the beach there are some caves and rock pools to explore, perhaps a perfect spot to pop the question?!

Wineglass Bay, TAS

The Freycinet Peninsular is the epicenter of our long-standing love affair with Tassie’s east coast. Wineglass Bay is an enormous, sheltered beach possessing all the attributes of a perfect place to swim – white sand, clear water and an amphitheatre of granite mountains. But, if you prefer the sweeping vistas from up high, a 4-kilometre hike/scramble up Mt Amos leaves from the Wineglass bay carpark. This strenuous climb will take you to the summit for what is without a doubt the best 360-degree views over Wineglass Bay and the rest of the park. You’ll feel on top of the world!

Ms Zebra Says: As an Australian, so much of my life has been spent on a beach. It makes a perfect recipe for appreciating the beauty of nature and of course, popping the question to your best-friend!

About the authors Caroline Clements and Dillon Seitchik-Reardon: Caroline Clements is writer, editor and creative producer originally from Melbourne. New Mexican by birth, Australian by choice, Dillon Seitchik-Reardon is a photographer, writer, and videographer. Caroline and Dillon live in the small New South Wales coastal hamlet, Bondi Beach.

Places We Swim is published by Hardie Grant and is available for $40 in bookstores and online at www.placesweswim.com.

To follow more of Caroline and Dillon’s adventures, follow them on Instagram @placesweswim.

Credits

This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.