We are wedding photographers based in Charleston, SC, who regularly photograph weddings all over the world. This Bay Area couple found us through a co-worker at a tech company (Kay, whose wedding we photographed in Costa Rica).
Wedding at Villa La Rondinaia
Eve and Mario live in Sausalito, CA, but both are completely captivated by Europe. When Mario, who has a deep love and appreciation for literature, discovered they could potentially get married at the 1920s seaside villa that was the former home of author Gore Vidal in Ravello, Italy, his mind was made up. He loved the idea of staying in the same rooms, walking the same halls, gazing out from the same veranda, as one of his favorite authors. Eve has spent much of her life in Europe attending school and going on adventurous trips with friends. Both Eve and Mario are also hopeless romantics. The Amalfi Coast was the perfect backdrop for them to take this next step in their lives.
It all sounds so perfect, right?
The Wedding that Almost Wasn’t
Well, let’s see. First there was the wedding almost being canceled two weeks before, because of Mario’s visa that wasn’t going to come through in time. There was the groom’s luggage, which contained his tux, that the airlines lost TWICE (for days… finally arriving one hour before the rehearsal dinner). Then there was the constant threat of Covid in an extremely crowded Paris, Madrid and Rome, where we spent the week before the wedding – Erin with the bride and her friends in Paris and Rome, and Ben with the groom in Madrid and Pamplona, Spain. Mario called Eve several times from Spain, worried he was getting sick (fortunately he never actually did!)
When we finally arrived at the wedding day, we breathed a sigh of relief, thinking we’d made it through the challenges. We were finally on our way to the ceremony. But then, a car broke down on the narrow, windy, two-lane road from Ravello into Amalfi, where the ceremony was. We had no way to pass. Our bus driver put the bus in park, leaned back in his seat and said, “Well, these things happen. We just have to wait.” But for how long? No idea. The bus contained the bride, groom and entire wedding party.
Somehow, we made it to the ceremony on time (can’t say the same for the veil, which was accidentally left back at the villa). And despite the 100-degree heat with no air conditioning, Eve and Mario were married in the beautiful, historic Duomo di Amalfi. And we all celebrated afterward back at Villa La Rondinaia with the most wonderful, unique band I have ever seen at a wedding (crossing my fingers for another event with the brilliant and charming Knights Club someday!).
It was hot. There were challenges. There were setbacks. But this crew soldiered on through it all, and manifested a beautiful, magical wedding day. There were lots of jokes made in the speeches about how this wedding almost didn’t happen. But for something this special, I think the universe just makes you earn it sometimes.
Villa La Rondinaia
Villa La Rondinaia is an otherworldly villa, famous for being the home of Gore Vidal for 33 years. The architecture and the views are breathtaking. The grounds are pristinely and colorfully manicured with flowers of every color. Many celebrities have spent time at La Rondinaia, including Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Susan Sarandon and Princess Margaret. It’s easy to feel the lure of this place and all the stories that have happened within its walls. As if that weren’t enough, the Amalfi Coast itself is unlike anywhere else in the world. To be able to have a piece of that magic even for a couple of days is a gift – a gift that is not given easily.
Eve and Mario waited a long time to find each other. And their wedding plans were very ambitious. Everything they went through showed me how strong their foundation is. Through it all, they smiled and calmly put one foot in front of the other. In Eve’s case, that meant climbing 200 stone steps (the same ones in the news recently) in stilettos, up and back down again. I wish nothing but ease for these two as they settle into regular life outside of the wedding. They deserve it, and they’ve proven they can get through anything together.
So all of those things DID happen, and they were difficult. But what also happened was that Eve and Mario were MARRIED IN ITALY (I mean, enough said). There was amazing food and music, jaw-dropping vistas everywhere we looked, and the ability to witness and be inspired by love, in all its many layers. I’d do it all over again any day, and I bet they would too.