Getting married in Sorrento, the starting point of the Sorrento Coast, is one of the hidden dreams of many foreigners who come to Italy on vacation. This pearl at the end of the Gulf of Naples is the access road to all the wonders that nature, generous, has given to the populations that have followed one another over the centuries.
If you try to ask anyone about Positano, the answer is almost universal: a magical place, which unfortunately many were able to enjoy only through pictures of friends and relatives, or through social media and the promotional material of a travel agency. However, few people know that Sorrento offers unique scenarios to organize your wedding: is located in a privileged position that makes it ideal for anyone who loves magnificent scenes, breathtaking panoramas, unspoiled nature, a dreamy sea to look at, and some of the best food you’ll ever have.
This is due to the influence of the populations who have inhabited it over the centuries: the origin of the name refers to the Greek verb "surreo", which means "to merge". A clear reference to the two waterways that flow into the sea, surrounding the city in a soft embrace: a feature that did not slip past the Etruscans, who were the first to populate these areas, but not the last. For a short period, Sorrento was owned by Syracuse and then passed to the Samnites, the Romans, the Goths and Byzantines, until the Norman domination and devastation by the Turks arrived.
Culture and architecture reflect the melting pot of different nationalities, who have enormously enriched the legacy given to posterity. The unique geographical position has made this city rich, which has always prospered on trade, a strategic hub between the port of Naples and the rest of Southern Italy. The rich history and the unique natural setting of Sorrento were decisive elements that pushed Malva and Philip to fulfill their dream of love here, getting married in Sorrento as a foreign couple, and select me as their wedding photographer on the Sorrento coast.
Their love and desire to get married on the Sorrento coast remained stoic since the first moment, and they have even overcome a world pandemic, as well as all the small sacrifices they have endured in order to enter the symbolic ceremony celebrated on Saturday 10 October 2020.
But I want to take a step back first, giving some more details so you, the reader, can try to identify with what this couple had to endure and to emphasize their determination. I and my team met Marva and Philip in August 2019, when they arrived in Sorrento and they contacted me because they were impressed by my photographic style: we exchanged many emails - you will soon understand why - and we arranged a meeting to discuss the details closely, but also to give a face and a name to those lines of digital code that we exchanged basically every two days or so.
Marva and Philip are an adorable couple with a lovely daughter, beautiful as the sun itself, and because of their sparkling and cheerful spirit, they did not want to settle for a gray wedding in England. The unbridled luxury of this land, the unique tastes that mix seas and mountains, the excitement of a sunset overlooking the sea of the Gulf of Naples: they wanted all these emotions to be indelible in their memory and in that of their most loved ones.
To spoil the party, however, a global pandemic stormed upon the world: no one could foresee that COVID-19, in a few months, would be hurled with all its strength against us all. The plans for a perfect wedding in Sorrento seemed to be crumbling in the hands of Marva, so careful and methodic when it came to organizing every detail of her wedding in such a meticulous way, with Philip's tacit consent. So much so that, in April, we had a virtual chat to asset the situation: the anti-covid19 provisions would be relaxed shortly thereafter, so there was still time (and hope) to get married in August.
Unfortunately, the contagion curve worsened considerably in August, and Marva and Philip had to painfully notify us of the postponement of their wedding to another date. The couple was pessimistic about the success of the event, and since that moment a real carousel of conflicting emotions and news has followed.
As image and communication professionals, my team and I have assisted Marva and Philip in every possible way, updating our availability and quickly informing the couple about the neverending evolution of the situation. Fast forward from august: 11 October 2020 was now only two weeks away. Marva, who initially planned for the Grand Hotel Cocumella, informed us that a change of location would probably take place. The Grand Hotel Cocumella is one of Sorrento’s pride, a huge villa immersed in a century-old park that has hosted travelers from all over the world since 1777. In particular, the couple had selected this structure for the spectacular and large terrace overlooking the sea, which offers a breathtaking view and the possibility of celebrating religious and symbolic rites. Let's say that getting married at the Grand Hotel Cocumella in Sorrento is the forbidden dream of many young couples from all over the world.
Only four days prior to the event, however, Marva informed us that the location will be the Hotel Mediterraneo Sorrento, just a two-minute walk from Cocumella, due to logistical problems. Not only the covid-19, but also the weather got in the way in an attempt to blow up the preparations: a storm was in fact forecast for the date of the event. Marva and Philip, therefore, told us that not only will the place be different, but also the day: they changed the day to Saturday.
Imagine for a moment to step into my shoes: a professional who, four days prior to an event, is given a different location and date. I was in a panic, and so my team consisting of Giuseppe, Valentino, and Michele. The problem was to guarantee our presence with such a minute notice: with a huge effort, we were able to accommodate the requests of Marva and Philip and change our schedule for the umpteenth time. I do not hide the fact that I believe we have agreed on it at least four times within two months, each time slightly different from the precedent, even on the day of the event itself, and I’d like to give an advice to all you lovely couples who are about to get married because it's the first time for all of you, but not for us: it's okay to try to have everything under control, but know that the timing chosen for your special day will NEVER be respected in its entirety. There will always be an unexpected event, or the desire to devote more time to one activity rather than another, so the meticulous plan you make up will not proceed as expected; this is is perfectly normal, there is nothing to worry about, has always been like this and always will be, so think about living more the moments that are part of your wedding and above all enjoying them!
Often what I tell my clients is to forget that I am there: I am not the kind of wedding photographer who, in Sorrento, Positano, or in Tuscany, kidnaps the married couple to estrange them from the rest of the guests. Far from me to kidnap the newly married couple for long and exhausting posing photo sessions: I want the wedding to be a special moment, and I want to capture all the emotions that are part of it without being in the way. When you’ll look at the photos of your wedding on the Sorrento coast, and you are stuck into trying to remember when this or that particular one was taken, then I will have achieved my goal: a smile, a caress, tears of joy, hugs, a life project built together, memories crystallized in a precise frame, forever.
But let's go back for a moment to Marva and Philip's wedding in Sorrento: three days later, after having agreed on a new plan, Marva calls us feeling (rightly!) very happy: apparently, the wedding can be celebrated at Cocumella, so we had to return to our original plans. This news made us breathe a sigh of relief because we were genuinely happy for the future married couple: despite the covid-19, despite all the problems related to the provisions approved in the Campania region, they managed to convey together relatives and loved ones for their most important day, in Sorrento.
With trepidation, we witnessed the preparation of Marva and Philip during the afternoon of october 10, in separate rooms: the broom and the bride did not see each other until a few moments before the celebration of the religious rite. One part of the troupe filmed the preparations of the bride and bridesmaids, while another part assisted the groom and his witnesses. Laughter, hugs, and tears were not spared as a man and a woman decided to unite in the sacred bond of marriage: there was no lack of touching moments, even during the preparation.
Almost an hour late on the schedule (we told you to not worry about it :), but in perfect time for the beginning of the ceremony, everything was ready: the church bell was about to strike 6:00 pm when the ceremony began. The spouses asked us to broadcast the event in streaming for all those not present, and we also fulfilled this request, once again making ourselves available and trying to understand their discomfort, intending to support them as much as possible.
When Marva, in her beautiful wedding dress, crossed the threshold of the terrace, everyone turned to look at her, while Philip burst into an emotionally charged cry, confiding with his best man: all while their beautiful daughter stood there, with eyes full of joy for her parents.
The perfect conclusion to what was thought to be an impossible challenge, or almost impossible: getting married in Sorrento during a pandemic. And yet, against all odds, Marva and Philip did it, a really impressive outcome if you ask me, and as a wedding photographer in Sorrento I have seen many weddings go for the wrong turn, trust me. That's why it was even more exciting when, during the dinner, everyone wanted to say a word regarding the newlywed couple, wishing them the best for their future life, together, as a real family in the eyes of God.
As a wedding photographer in Sorrento, I cannot but thank Marva and Philip once again for the honor of capturing their most precious moments. Best wishes for a good life!