Claire the Bride:
We both come from diverse backgrounds. Sam is half Austrian and half New Zealand, but spent much of his school age years in Rome, and I am half English and half New Zealand. While we currently live in London, our friends and family are based all over the world, and so we knew that most people would need to travel to come to their wedding. With that in mind, we decided to find somewhere really special that would make the trip worthwhile for our guests, but also somewhere simple, un-fussy, and beautiful. We wanted a simple wedding that was more party than wedding. Great food and wine being key as Claire has a background in food. It didn’t take us long to settle on Italy. We often travel there, and with Sam’s background, and the fact that my godfather lives in Capri, it seemed an obvious choice. In the end we settled on Anacapri on the Island of Capri, a short ferry ride from Italy’s Amalfi Coast.
, a restaurant a mile outside of Anacapri proved to be the perfect spot. We found it by chance, stumbling through the doors on Da Gelsomina's first day open for the 2015 summer season.
Da Gelsomina has five rooms, and we stayed there with friends. We also made use of their additional accommodation at Villa Ceselle
for close friends and family.
Both Da Gelsomina and Villa Ceselle are run by the husband and wife team of Pasquale and Gelsomina, who are absolutely brilliant hosts. Pasquale runs the kitchen with characteristic Italian charm, and Gelsomina, who recently became a licensed wedding planner, is organised, efficient, and always quick to share her expert advice and local knowledge.
100 feet away from Da Gelsomina, down a winding path, is Belvedere Migliara, a stunning view point with tiered seating. This was the incredible setting for our ceremony. Belvedere Migliara
belongs to the local municipal government and must be booked through them.
We wanted a fun, relaxed day. We also wanted to take the stress out of the planning, given we were organising the wedding from our home in London, and so we sought the advice and help of Anacapri locals as much as possible. While the planning was reasonably stress-free, we cannot say the same about the journey - which for most meant a plane to Naples, ferry to Capri, taxi/bus to Anacapri, and then a shuttle van (run by Da Gelsomina) picking people up from the nearby square.
Food & Drink
We enjoyed many excellent meals tasting the food, and settled on a five course meal incorporating our favourite local dishes, including Ravioli Caprese and local seafood. We chose bottles of locally made Limoncello
as the favours and these were provided by Limoncello di Capri.
The flowers and table decorations were designed and prepared by the wonderful Analisa D’Esposito from Flowers in Capri
. We asked Analisa to keep things simple and local. Given the incredible natural beauty of the island, we were adamant that the decorations did not distract from the beautiful surroundings and so choose a soft white and green colour palette.
We chose not to have bridesmaids or groomsmen, but instead our friends and family helped out with everything - including hairstyler and all-around super star (Caroline Carpenter), Belvedere Migliara decorators (Sarah Colgan and Jess Henderson), speech-givers (Harriet Hiebendaal and Ben Prewett), MC (Steven Whiting), and superb conductress (Ella Smith).
Fitting the relaxed spirit of the day, we chose two readings - “Just Us Two” from Winnie the Pooh by A.A.Milne, and “The Portrait of a Lady” by Henry James. The ceremony was expertly led by close friend and all-round-talent, Andrew Colgan.
My dress was in multiple parts with the top and sash coming from Sally Lacock
and the skirt from Coast
. The shoes were Capri Sandals purchased locally at Il Sandalo Caprese. The jewellery came from the bride’s family (thanks here to Kath McPherson), with rings from Eric Ross.
Sam wore a two piece suit by Hugo Boss
. The shirt came from Thomas Pink
. Shoes from Paul Smith
. The braces were from Moss Bros
. The pocket square was also from Hugo Boss.
Photography & Videography
The photographer was Sam Riley
, who we cannot thank enough. Sam was incredible and captured the day perfectly. We had a surprise videographer in brother Dylan Whiting
If we were to do the day again, we would do everything the same! While it might be more difficult at times to organise a wedding overseas, we found that getting to know local business owners and producers made the difference. Picking an area with such a strong culture of food and family, and relaxed way of life, meant that it was easy for people to understand what we wanted, and create a vibe that totally matched what we wanted on the day. We have come away with not only incredible memories, but some new friends in Anacapri!