Waking up on our wedding day was rather surreal.
Before the sun was up on that drizzly Tuesday morning, I rose for a solo yoga practice and the 30 or so minutes spent on my mat were precisely what I had both craved, and planned for.
Deep breathing, a gentle warming up of my body and silent gratitude sent to the universe for all of my blessings. Looking out over our incredible villa to the ocean and town below made that fairly easy.
If you haven't read the first part of our wedding story, you can find it here.
Upon arriving back to our room and showering, Tippy was politely ejected from the room so that I could get ready for our 11am ceremony. Although not traditionalists, the decision to prepare separately and come together later was a clear (and lovely) one for us both.
Without many of the more traditional arrangements, neither Tippy or I had a bridal party to focus on. For us both, it was a calm and relaxed morning. My mum and sister both checked in on me as I was getting ready with hair and makeup, even bringing me breakfast - a part of bride-dom I could get very used to!
I did a lot of research on the hair and make up front. Forums, websites, word of mouth. For any overseas wedding, this is part and parcel of finding the right people for your day.
Some time that morning, I noticed a piece of paper on my pillow that Tippy had left for me. On it, this man that I love so dearly had openly shared his deepest love for me, both thoughtful and sweet. They turned out to be the basis of his vows, the ones he knew he'd most likely forget when it came to the moment.
I vividly recall sitting in a chair facing the open window in our gorgeous suite of the villa having my hair tended to by a fabulous professional.
Although drizzly, and with predictions of rain, I still held out hope.
As I watched the rain clouds come in over the ocean, I felt my heart drop.
You see, I'm a warm weather kind of girl.
Rain, clouds, wind, cold temperatures... not my vibe, nor my hair's. Planning our wedding over the glorious Italian summer was a strategic decision. In fact Positano registers such little rain throughout the month of July that this weather was considered very odd.
Although not ever identifying with being a bride, that morning I did find myself thinking about what I should feel. How the bride prepares for her morning, how she looks and so on...
Frizzy hair and an undercover lunch was not a part of that vision.
So although people say rain on your wedding day is good luck, I say it was simply rain.
Looking out the window at the pouring rain however, I chose to fully embrace every single moment of the day and that now included rain. I also chose to have as much hair spray as humanly possible. Sorry ozone layer!
Ultimately and despite initial feelings of what the morning should be like, it went exactly as I'd always envisioned. Full of calm, solo time. A chance to reflect and prepare for the next step in my life and on my journey.
I didn't want to skip over anything.
Tippy and I had agreed to meet just before we needed to leave the villa. Although I was running late and assumed he would have gone inside to wait, there he was just as we planned. At the bottom of the stairs, handsome, smiling, overlooking the incredible view from our villa and in the pouring rain.
My heart absolutely skipped a beat (or two).
I hope to never forget that special moment or the look on his face when he saw me.
As well as we know each other, as comfortable and close as we are, this moment the stuff of fairytales and better still, I never saw it coming.
We arrived at the Town Hall and after a quick assessment/alteration of my hair, we walked together, towards our future and to the sweet sound of Higher Love by James Vincent McMorrow.
There are several snaps taken of us throughout the ceremony conducted in Italian and English, that show us visibly relaxed and enjoying ourselves. Nothing makes me happier.
The brief ceremony was agreed upon by us with our translator/celebrant and enabled us to say what we wanted and have said what matters to us.
We said ‘I do’, sealed our decision with both a kiss and signature, hugged our loved ones and moved outside to the balcony.
Spending time laughing with childhood friends, our families and each other on the balcony was the perfect celebration to our nuptials and where my joy was certainly on show.
From the Town Hall and via several vehicles, our 21 guests were transported back to the villa and our long lunch was underway.
In true Italian style, guests arrived to standing aperitifs, stunning produce platters and one epic view.
Quality and delicious local cheeses, meats, vegetables, bread and yes my olives too!
The local Ravello wine we’d sampled days prior was enjoyed along with Italian beer, sparkling water and my all-time favourite aperitif, Aperol Spritz.
With a specific playlist in the background and the clearing weather poking through, the afternoon had just begun.
My sister had done an incredible job, thoughtfully preparing the table and aperitif area in my absence; to my exact specifications. Sister's rock that way!
Once seated at the long table on the large balcony area of the villa, guests could read through what menu delights awaited them.
3 courses. Multiple dishes. Shared. So much food!
Tippy and I selected the menu and some of the recipes were my own. In true Nadia style, I no doubt sent the man crazy with my menu planning in the months prior…
Combining my love of simple, rustic Italian cooking with fresh, local produce and quality wholefoods. Everything was made from scratch and everything was incredible.
Gosh was it worth all the planning!
Informal and relaxed, our long lunch was everything we’d hoped for, and then some! By late afternoon, the sun was well and truly out, the shaded cover wrapped up and the music turned up.
We elected to only have one speech and it was mine. 10 pages and I almost held it together too, almost. The emotion I’d felt creating that speech months prior, was only surpassed by what I felt saying it.
Looking up from my notes at this table of our loved ones enjoying themselves in such a glorious location was almost too much to believe.
Surely, no one gets this lucky?
Throughout the day, we'd captured many of the photographs ourselves or had friends and family pick up Tippy's camera.
Marrying a photographer, especially when you both love photography so much can be tricky when it comes to other people taking your photo. This was a significant consideration in our planning.
There was one photographer on our list and although we had looked into his services for the day, we asked ourselves what was most important to us. Just as I mentioned in Part 1, when any decision became complex throughout the planning, we went back and listed what we cared most about. We had also struggled to come up with uses for the images and with such an intimate event, it felt right to keep things to ourselves.
As it turned out, our distinct lack of a photographer meant that our event was truly casual and as minimally 'wedding-like' as we'd intended.
Best of all, neither of us (especially for photography lovers) were concerned with capturing anything. In fact putting these posts together made me realise how little food photography I/we did. Do you know why?
We were too excited and busy eating it!
Being completely in the moment on they day is something I couldn't have planned better for.
Having Tippy's skills and his camera present, plus some fabulous friends who snapped away meant we were totally there on the day. Until we're senile - we're good to go I figure.
The photos we do have capture the essence of how we felt that day, the energy and excitement, the intimacy, the fun and the love.
I couldn't ask for more.
Our celebrations lasted into the early hours of the morning and despite things not going 100% to plan (FYI - they never do), it was an incredible experience and one which we both feel grateful for.
The final 3 days we spent in Positano were sun and fun-filled with our only complaint being that we had to bid everyone farewell.
Lucky for us, we were off to the Maldives for the most picture perfect 7 days of our lives and a wonderful start to our married life.
A FABULOUS MARRIAGE
More important to us than table settings, flowers or even the menu (gasp!) was the marriage we wanted to have, together.
Although having discussed our future over the years, in the lead up to our wedding, we spent time talking about our hopes for each other, our expectations of this new phase in our lives and of ourselves.
In writing our vows for instance, and as a 'wordy' person, I felt strongly about the use of forever and promise. My outlook is one of not knowing, because one never can, and embracing that. It's because of this, that such words didn't feel authentic for me and my wedding vows were no time to stretch the truth I thought.
This may be controversial though it's real and exactly what we discussed.
Our marriage was to be one of separate togetherness. A choice and a daily responsibility. That responsibility was to be truthful, open and authentic; even when it's hard to be so, to trust, to respect even what you wouldn't do yourself and to love with all you have.
Most crucially, to support each other in the truest sense of the word. That we each put ourselves first and our relationship second. To not hold one another back over fears and misunderstandings and to be ourselves. To promote growth and excellence in our independent lives and do all we can for the other person for one simple reason - because we want to. Not because we can or should.
If, for either of us, things change and our paths no longer grow together - then such is life.
It's this outlook I'm sure, that saw us enjoy an incredible engagement and now, first year of marriage. Our willingness to be open with each other is the glue that binds us together.
Location: Villa Oliviero, Positano
Invitations: Custom stamp from Etsy, custom map design from Etsy, luggage tags from eBay, photos + finishing touches by us
Groom: Henry Bucks, Marcs + Aquila shoes
Photography: Us + our awesome friends
Flowers: Pale pink peonies for the table
Styling: Burlap table runner, handmade French linen napkins, our own antique glass jars and bottles + classic servingware
Menu: Local produce platters and cocktails before a 3 course lunch and local wines - printed on brown recycled paper + attached by Kikki K mini pegs
Music: Multiple Spotify playlists created for various points of the day - aperitif, lunch and dancing
Honeymoon: 7 nights at Constance Halaveli, Maldives
My #1 advice to brides: Don’t miss a single moment!