For some, having a destination wedding is all about getting to experience a new part of the world. And getting to have friends and family experience it with you!
To me, that’s a great enough reason to book a destination wedding or elopement!
But for others, it runs much deeper. It’s a true union, and some couples believe the location is the very foundation of a long and happy union together. That was exactly the case for this luxe Portofino hotel wedding!
When this sweet bride and groom reached out about having their destination wedding captured by me and my team, they were very clear from the beginning how important it was for them to get married in Italy!
This beautiful country of mine is also part of the bride’s heritage. And she felt so drawn to the country as the backdrop for such a milestone of a day. She was in search of a magnetic place where old meets new. Where their American culture and her Italian heritage become one. Where friends and family blended together.
And, you know how much I love photographing weddings in Italy! So I was thrilled to be a part of this incredibly meaningful Portofino hotel wedding.
But before they decided on the exact location, my beautiful bride had to decide between Lake Como or an Italian Riviera wedding. So she leaned on me during our initial calls leading up to the wedding to make her decision.
That’s one of the best things about sharing my country with my couples! I love getting to know them more and helping them decide on the perfect locations. And as an Italian local, I have unique insight into helping them plan the most magnificent experience.
After speaking with her a few times, I knew her heart was all for the pesto region. She fell in love with this place, right on the top of the hills surrounding Portofino. With the most stunning views of the bay, it’s one of the most magical places you’ve ever seen in your life! And she certainly felt that way – which was exactly why they chose Portofino – a true Italian Riviera wedding.
Once they chose Portofino as the backdrop for their wedding, they chose the Belmond Hotel Splendido for their venue. It’s a gorgeous venue, not only with a stunning view, but with curated gardens that are full of olive trees and colorful flowers. They perfectly depicted the Ligurian, Italian Riviera region.
The bride and groom got ready for their wedding day separately, as tradition often has. The groom spent the morning with his groomsmen while popping bottles of champagne on the terrace of the Belmond Splendido terrace.
Meanwhile, the bride spent her morning opening up her gift of diamond Tiffany earrings from her groom before slipping into her beautiful wedding gown.
Ahh, the fashion! I’m always drawn straight to the fashion of a wedding day. And that makes taking getting ready photos such a breeze because I instantly get inspired when I see my brides and grooms in magnificent outfits!
This bride wore a subtly glamorous Sarah Seven dress, brought with her from San Francisco. With a bodice made of long sleeves and a modestly plunging neckline made of lace, and a sleek, sophisticated skirt, it couldn’t have been more perfect for a luxurious Portofino hotel wedding.
There were lots of lovely little details to photograph, starting from the handwritten stationery with a gold touch and design that drew a map of the location. It was a beautiful keepsake for our bride, as it reminded her of the incredible location they chose for their destination wedding day.
The bouquet was made up of tones of pink and violet, and that color palette was also found in the ceremony!
In my mind, the best way to have a destination wedding is to make sure you have a ceremony complete with views of your chosen location. Especially if you pick an epic destination like Portofino.
With all of the otherworldly cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean blue sea and the luscious foliage from the maritime pines, olive groves, and lemon trees, Portofino is one of the most beautiful panoramas in the world!
And this couple chose the perfect spot for the intimate ceremony at their Portofino hotel wedding. They were right in the middle of all of the natural elements that make Portofino so spectacular!
After the Portofino hotel wedding ceremony, we made our way out onto the streets of Portofino proper!
I love when my couples are open to walking the streets of their destination location because it’s another fabulous way to embrace the culture of the country you’re in!
And between the genuine emotion that glowed from within them to the incredible fashion they wore, their sunset portraits in Portofino were breathtaking!
Spending the first sunset as husband and wife, watching the Italian Riviera from a boat is something I always encourage my couples to do!
There is a magical charm of riding in a boat in Portofino with the gorgeous, glowing sunset lighting, while I photograph portrait after portrait of their timeless happiness.
And for this chic couple, I felt like I was photographing the next Gucci campaign. They were so effortlessly in love in their portraits, and it made for the best photos!
I am so grateful I was there to be a part of this meaningful and luxurious Portofino hotel wedding at the Belmond Splendido. And this couple now has captured and curated memories to last a lifetime!
Photography – Lilly Red Creative
Ceremony & Reception Venue – Belmond Hotel Splendido Portofino, Italy
Planning – The Marthy’s Vintage Garden
Floral Design – Chiara Sperti Floral Events
Stationery – The Marthy’s Vintage Garden
Wedding Dress – Sarah Seven
Make-Up and Hair Stylist – Daniela Zeqo