Goodness, where to start on this wedding? Sarah first contacted me after I posted on Instagram that I was looking to photograph a wedding in Italy. If you wanna read about how emotional I was about getting her message, that’s in post one. But anyway, she booked with me. We kept in touch leading up to the trip, and I was sooo excited when the day finally came. Sarah greeted us with a warm welcome when we finally got to meet at her wedding venue, Palazzo Ferraioli. The hotel is an old palace in Atrani, the tiniest town on the Amalfi Coast, just on the other side of a bridge from the city, Amalfi.
Umm… sweetest moment ever! Chris took this shot of Sarah and I love it!
The hotel left a drink ready for the newlyweds. None of us were sure what it was, but they tried it anyway and Reis wasn’t too in love with the flavor! :D By the time the ceremony was over, the sun had moved out of the way and the cliffs below made the most gorgeous backdrop for photos.
We also wanted to get some photos in front of the city center and then down at the beach so we decided to make our way down the hundreds of stairs. To our surprise, we spotted pretty little spots along the way, so we had to stop a few times.
Sarah and Reis were down for anything and I love that! By the time we were making our way down to the beach they already felt like friends.
The photo on the left here is one of my absolute favorites. I know it’s just a traditional photo but I feel their joy in the photo. It makes me happy. :)
They planned their Atrani elopement without having been to the Amalfi Coast or Italy before, and it ended up being the cutest little spot for a romantic late summer elopement. It was quiet and calm, and walking a mile across that tunnel in the photo takes you to Amalfi, where there are tons of shops of restaurants. The location is perfect. A lot of people focus on Positano, and for good reason. Its cliffs are colorful and overwhelming in size. It’s got more shops and glitzy hotels than any other place on the Amalfi Coast and it’s much closer to the airport/train station in Naples. Atrani requires a longer drive south down the coast and it’s not as convenient or easy going for tourists, but I think that’s the point. It forces you to try harder with your Italian, makes it easier to imagine real Italian life. That’s the reason to travel anyway, to experience another way of life.
We watched the last bit of sun disappear, said our goodbyes and then Sarah and Reis set off for a private dinner for two. And Chris and I made our way across the tunnel to soak in maybe our last night in Italy ever. After a week of traveling with gear, our backs were next-level sore and our feet and calves were threatening to cramp. But as tired as we were, we didn’t want to miss one last night. So we ordered a slice of pizza (LORDHAVEMERCYIMISSYOU,ITALIANPIZZA) and sat down at a table outside and ate in silence, people watching in the city center of Amalfi. It was a Friday night, the shops were lit up and the streets were crowded with people in shorts, enjoying one of the last summer nights before fall. As I sat there, the weight of what happened that week finally hit me. What is this life?? What was I doing in Italy? Italy?! Is this real? Did I just shoot an elopement in Italy? Did strangers pay me to come to Italy and photograph them? Three couples did actually. And they were all, every single one of them, the best people ever. What a week. In the eight years that I’ve pursued portrait and wedding photography, this is what I’ve dreamed of. And it happened. I wanted to say all of this out loud to Chris but there was another person sitting a foot away from us and I was too embarrassed. So I just looked at Chris and let the tears that had welled up in my eyes fall. He smiled at me and we eventually started laughing. It was one of those moments that you never want to end.
As a wedding photographer, I hear a lot of vows and I’m witness to a lot of weepy moments. I’m likely one of the most sappy people you’ll ever meet so the job suits me. This trip was life changing. Italy will always hold a special place in my heart and even if I never get to go back (but please, somebody invite me back) that moment, crying silent thankful tears in Amalfi will be something that stays with me forever. Sarah, Reis, Vivi, Kumaran, Veronica, John, THANK YOU a million times over. For trusting this photographer from Texas to capture your love in Italy. <3