Italy Destination Wedding - Heather & Matt
April 17, 2023 , Featured
Alright, y’all, Heather & Matt’s Italy destination wedding is finally here! If you missed the pre-wedding portrait session, you can find all that good stuff in part 1 here on the blog.
Just two hours east of Rome is a tiny medieval town in Abruzzo, up in part of the Appenine mountains. In Santo Stefano di Sessanio, our home base was a scattered hotel, or “albergo difuso” called Sextantio. The village was restored rather than renovated, with hotel rooms and common areas all throughout the area. It was the perfect setting, and I couldn’t get over the ancient textures at every corner.
We drove up into the Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park for the wedding ceremony. Matt and Heather picked a spot overlooking mountain peaks in the national park. All throughout their emotional vows, you could hear the bells from passing sheep and cattle as they grazed on nearby hillsides. Although we were eyeing an incoming storm in the distance, the weather held out for us, and created the most gorgeous moody backdrop.
After, we explored the hillside and the village for some of my all-time favorite portraits, then made our way over to a true Italian dinner feast. Guests ate antipasto of meats, cheeses, and local dishes. Inside, in an intimate stone dining room lit by candlelight, guests ate not one, but two pasta courses as part of our meal. Loved ones told stories and gave toasts to Heather & Matt. After cake and desserts, and dessert wine (of course!), we all paraded down to the “tisaneria” where the dance party disco unfolded. I’m told that guests danced until as late as 4am!
The magic of destination weddings
I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but destination weddings are just something special. People are excited to have a little extra adventure in their life. Being in such a beautiful, richly cultured place helps, but it’s more than that. With just 50 guests, we all got to know each other fairly well, and everyone is more generous with their emotions. Knowing Heather & Matt, you just can’t help but want to cheer them on. They’re some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. They made sure Ross and I both feel so included over the whole weekend and it was extra special to be a part of. Heather and Matt share a beautiful, rare kind of love, one that is feels so important and sacred to photograph. I can’t be more grateful for the opportunity to fly out and document their lives and celebrate in magical Abruzzo with them – it was a dream come true.
Now, their Italy destination wedding day, from the top!
Venue, Food, and Planning: Sextantio Albergo Diffuso, Santo Stefano di Sessanio
Hair & Makeup: La Truccheria L’Aquila
Bride’s attire: Gown: Alexandra Grecco / Headpiece: Untamed Petals / Boots: Custom, Modern Vice / Sunglasses: Lele Sadoughi / Jacket: Haute Hippie
Groom’s Attire: Suit: Suit Supply / Bolo Tie: Vintage Zuni Tribe / Boots: Frye
Rings: Anna Sheffield
Geode Place Settings: Scribe New York