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124064 gorgeous italian elopement in ravello by antony merat photography

Alicia & Alexander

Ever wanted to run away and elope to Italy? Have you dreamt of a wedding overlooking the Italian blue sea? Alicia and Alexander made their very own dream of a seaside wedding without the fuss, come true with their gorgeous Italian elopement in Ravello. “Neither my husband nor I like to be the centre of attention, and we had no interest in blowing thousands and thousands of dollars on a traditional wedding” tells the bride. “We wanted the day to be just about us and our commitment to each other, but also wanted it to be blissful and to have some beautiful photos to remember the day. It was perfect.”

Enlisting Antony Merat Photography and Marry Me Abroad to capture and plan their day, they spent every moment together. They dressed together, walked to their ceremony together, and dined on stunning Italian food. And if you ask me? That sounds pretty perfect for the duo who met when the groom pursued the (uninterested) bride at a club, before finally winning her over.

It was in Scotland that he finally popped the question, Alicia fills us in. “Alex proposed while we were on our first trip abroad together, at secluded castle ruins in the countryside in Scotland. 30th May 2015. He took me by surprise because we’d saved so hard for the trip, I couldn’t fathom how he managed to buy a ring. We were wandering through the ruins and I turned around to see him on one knee. I think the first thing I did was question whenever it was a real engagement ring! We had talked about getting married and our intention to spend the rest of our lives together, but it still came as a shock. Of course, I said yes immediately though.”

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The bride chose a stunningly simple gown by Johanna Johnson. “I wanted something simple and elegant that suited the location and feel of our wedding” she explains. “I also didn’t want anything too bulky as the dress had to travel with me for 5 weeks on our honeymoon. I am very fussy about style (of clothing in general), but I also really didn’t want to spend hours trying on dresses and being fussed over in boutiques. I bought my dress online as a sample, luckily it fit perfectly and no alterations were required, except having the hem shortened.”

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The bride and groom walked down the aisle together to a live violinist as they made their way to their chosen spot at Ravello Town Hall gardens. Alicia telling “We chose the town hall gardens for our ceremony. I wanted somewhere outdoors, picturesque that felt close to nature. The views, the flowers and everything about it was perfect.”

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While the newlyweds skipped most of the formalities for their elopement, they did have one special guest. “We didn’t have a bridal party. Our wedding was (sort of) an elopement. We told our family and close friends about our intentions because we didn’t want to upset anybody. They were supportive of our decision. Alex’s mother Iwona was travelling in Europe at the same time so we couldn’t deny her the opportunity to attend. She had a wonderful time and it was lovely to share the occasion with her” explains the bride.

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Alicia and Alexander chose Marry Me Abroad to help them plan their day, the team doing everything from organising the paperwork, and the flowers to translating the traditional Italian ceremony. Alicia noting “We used Marry Me Abroad, as I didn’t feel I had the time or desire to work through all the complicated paperwork that is required when marrying overseas, and finding vendors in another country etc. it was just daunting. But Marry Me Abroad made it very easy. I knew they had everything in order, so all we had to do was make sure we arrived at the appointments on time.”

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Of their photographer, Alicia remarks “After looking at Antony Merat’s website full of stunning but unique photos, it was an easy choice. Antony was fantastic. He made us feel comfortable and relaxed. He had been to Ravello many times before so he knew where to go to capture beautiful photos.”

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And once the formal photographs were complete it was time to dine! Alicia telling “We went to Ristorante Rossellini and Palazzo Aveno for a meal. It was incredible, the food and the views and the vibe. Indulgent. Bliss. They also made our delicious wedding cake. We were eating it daily for the rest of our stay on the Amalfi coast.”

A big congratulations to the newlyweds! Thank you for sharing the beauty of your day with us! Thank you also to  Antony Merat Photography for sharing today’s celebration!

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Photographer: Antony Merat Photography / Wedding Planner: Marry Me Abroad / Bride's Dress: Johanna Johnson / Groom's Attire: Peter Jacksons / Venue: Ravello Town Hall Gardens
Polka Dot Honeymoons Directory Mid Banner

Italy has long been a favourite for Australian honeymoons. With vivid blue seas, a seemingly endless Summer, colourful cocktails and plenty of pampering, it isn’t hard to see why! So today? We’re rounding up five favourite Italian hotels for your honeymoon. We couldn’t help to explore as we celebrate all things Italian! From seaside views and luxury rooms to pure vineyard magic!

Capo La Gala Hotel & Spa  Sorrento Coast 

hotel capolagala

Right near Sorrento, Capo la Gala Hotel & Spa is literally right on the sea. So, if spending your days by the Italian sea is for you, then this resort has it all. My room pick? The Paradise Room. Why? Spa pools on a terrace overlooking the Italian seas sound like my idea of well, paradise! Or maybe the Infinity Room -with a private deck and your own pool (complete with sun lounges). Plus, we haven’t even talked about the beautiful bars and restaurants that make this place so special!

Villa Ducale, Taormina

Villa Ducale Taormina

Villa Ducale, Taormina is all about laid back luxury. Think, the atmosphere of a private Italian villa with the amenities of a bigger, more largely equipped boutique hotel. It’s close to town (though requires a little energy to hike back to its mountaintop perch) and the wide expansive terraces are just the ticket for a glass of wine as you overlook the bay and city lights come sunset.

Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como

Hotel grand Tremezzo

The beautiful Lake Como has one very special gem- the luxurious Grand Hotel Tremezzo. The hotel sits right on the banks of the lake, with the most spectacular views. Being over 100 years old, the historic building sits on an estate which has three beautiful pools and an award-winning spa – each of which makes the most of the view.

The honeymoon suite, is aptly our pick for honeymooners! A romantic four poster bed and including a bath in the bedroom. This hotel has all the special touches you’d expect – right down to it’s 1961 Venetian motorboat.

Relais Sant Elena, Tuscany

l esterno della casa

If Tuscany is on your honeymoon wish list, then you need to add Relais Sant Elena to it! This sweet hotel has just 16 rooms and is everything you dream of in an Italian stone villa. The inside is filled with Antique family pieces, while the outside has rolling vineyards and olive groves as far as the eye can see. As it is a working farm, you’ll be able to explore the estate’s homegrown olive oil and meet the farm animals before a locally grown feast is served up for you. Bliss!

Capri Palace, Capri

85 Capri Palace Il Riccio Restaurant Beach Club

What better time to experience a Michelin star restaurant right in your hotel than on your honeymoon? What if I told you there are two? Capri Palace, is all about the history. The suites are named after old-world Hollywood glamour girls and the walls filled with stunning historic art. Located in a private corner of the island of Capri, the hotel has 68 rooms. Our pick for the big spenders, is the Presidential Paltrow with its own pool and terrace – though some of the lower priced suites, which also have their own pools and gardens, are equally as divine!

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Rome italy
Image via Wallpaper Abyss

Welcome foodies; here’s your  guide to all things delicious around the beautiful country of Italy. We have put together a guide to each region, the low down on meals and some fast facts that will help prepare you for what will be an amazing trip in what is arguably the food capital of the world.

Region specialities:

  • Tuscany: Legumes and grains are famous in the Tuscan region and of course wine! Chianti is one of the most famous wines of Tuscany but there are many fakes, so to ensure you are getting the real deal look for the black rooster on the label.
  • Lombardy: Lombardy is the northern region and is known for a mean risotto and delicious stuffed pastas including ravioli. Closer to Milan you might find a traditional dish called Risotto alla Milanese which consists of cheese, saffron, bone marrow and meat stock.
risotto alla milanese

Image via Taste.com

  • Naples: Naples is of course famous for its pizza, particularly pizza napoletana, but it’s also worth trying the Caprese salad for a lighter meal or the spaghetti alle vongole if you’re feeling a little more hungry.
  • Venice: Cicchetti are smaller snacks you will find in Venice, similar to the Spanish alternative tapas. Pair your cicchetti with a spritz made from prosecco and a dash of liqueur.
  • Liguria: Liguria, or as you might know it – the Italian Riviera is, most popular for pesto, they even have their own traditional recipe. Pesto is often served with potatoes, green beans and pasta.
green bean potato pesto pasta 2

 Image via Just a little bit of bacon

  • Sicily: Sicily is the best place to get yourself some cannoli which is known world wide but we will let you in on a little secret, Sicily is also a great place for some tasty seafood and pasta.

What to expect for your meal:

  • Antipasti: This will be the first course of your meal and is usually a shared plate with small portions for the table. You might find cheese, olives, cured meats and sausages on an antipasti platter.
  • Primo: Primo follows the antipasti, and is when you might be eating pasta or a risotto.
  • Secondo: Secondo is your main course where you would feast on meat, chicken or fish.
  • Dolce: Last but certainly not least is dessert which is always served with coffee.
Italy coffee

Image via The Column

Fast facts:

  • When visiting Italy do not eat while you walk, it’s considered disrespectful (unless you are eating gelato). The Italians are lovers of their food and the traditional belief is that if someone has spent time making you a nice meal it’s simply rude to not sit down and enjoy it.
  • I’m sure you might have heard or seen the word ‘aperitivo’ on travel websites or as part of any tours and activities you might be looking at. Aperitivo is Italian for pre-dinner drinks and is often served with a small snack. For a traditional aperitivo you might try a Campari or Aperol Spritz.
  • There are over 600 types of pasta, see how many you can try!

Now go on, live la dolce vita!

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Ms Zigzag says: I am hungry! I love the history, tradition and of course flavour and community that surrounds Italian eating and cuisine. How can I transport myself there now? Thanks Bec for sharing this taste of Italy with us today.