Ever heard of Cinque Terre and wondered what is all this place about that everybody’s talking about? Well let me tell you (and show you with an idyllic wedding story) that this is a seaside place of dreams. It is definitely one of the most romantic places in Italy and a great spot for an intimate Tuscan elopement or a family destination wedding. Ruth & Billy chose the picturesque Saint Peter’s Church in Portovenere to get married in. They’ve also spent some time in the area of Cinque Terre, where we’ve shot after-wedding portraits. The crazy thing is that the couple came to Italy only with bride’s parents as their witnesses, but I have taken more pictures of them than of a 100-people wedding party! I am always so inspired by new places, Italy in particular, that I explode with creativity and the wedding story is always rich in hundreds of photographs 🙂 Dive into this one!
Portovenere is small, charming village set on a seaside rock at the Italian Riviera, close to La Spezia, in Tuscany. It takes only 2hrs to get there by train and bus from Pisa, where you have an international airport. This majestic town is a great starting point to your visit in Cinque Terre. You can hike or take a cruise to all Cinque Terre towns from Portovenere and enjoy amazing views on the way. Before, all those towns were only accessed by the sea. Right now there is a great, convenient railway, that takes you from one place to the other in a matter of minutes.
In Portovenere, at the edge of the rock by the Ligurian Sea, there is a picturesque Roman Catholic San Pietro Church. This Irish couple had one dream – get married on a cliff by the sea. You want it? You got it! Just the name, Bay of Poets, sounds already like the most romantic place on earth. And the vibe? Damn, Italy has such a feeling, that no place has. Everything is about slow-living, enjoying the sun, the fresh seawater and exquisite Italian food.
Ruth & Billy decided to elope to Italy with Ruth’s parents and get married in secret. Most of the coordination was done by Monica Bali, a wedding planner from Tuscany. The ceremony was conducted by an American priest living in Italy and it was the most romantic wedding I have ever experienced. The church door were wide open and you hear the waves of the sea humming a tune. The mass was also accompanied by the harpist, a street music player that you can meet almost everyday in Portovenere. The day before the wedding the couple was taking a walk in the village being a bit sad that they didn’t have any live music for their romantic ceremony. And there was Riccardo Locorotondo, playing heartwarming melodies by the church. He made the whole event magical with his musical talent.
After the ceremony we took an hour to take family pictures and romantic portraits of the newlyweds. The San Peter’s church is set in such a beautiful place that we didn’t have to go too far to create amazing memoirs from Ruth & Billy’s intimate wedding. If I can advise something, when you’re planning your romantic elopement in Italy – pick a good date and hour. Try to avoid the crowds by getting married in the early morning, in the Autumn or in Spring. We had the luck to meet after the pandemic lock down so there were not that many tourists in popular places like Cinque Terre. A few photoshop clicks and all the pictures look as if we were there alone! 🙂 We shot some wedding photos at the rocks where Italian’s sunbathe and do cliff diving in the summer and headed for lunch. I myself devoured a pizza that is listed in my top3 of favorite dishes.
As if it wasn’t already a perfect Italian wedding, Ruth & Billy decided to close it with a romantic dinner in Vernazza, in a restaurant where they were a few years back as students and couldn’t afford it back in the day. Now tell me, isn’t this a beautiful and romantic love story? They took their wedding photographer (lucky me!) on a cruise from Portovenere through all the Cinque Terre towns up to Vernazza. We tried our best to shoot on the deck, but it was a pretty bumpy and windy cruise with water splashing high. I had to hold tight with one hand and shoot with the other (check out the backstage on my instagram!). In the end I got dizzy and noxious, but it was worth to get those shots with Cinque Terre coast in the background and flowy hair of the bride.
Check out this whole romantic wedding story in Italy from getting ready in a seaside apartment in Portovenere, to walking up the stairs to the picturesque medieval church through a portrait photoshoot by the Poet’s Bay coast and boat cruise at the Ligurian Sea. Wondering about packages of a wedding photographer in Italy? Shoot me a message on my social media or email me.