Italian Destination Wedding | La Spezia, Italy | Sandy + Gianluca

As I was on the train to Rome, the day after Sandy + Gianluca's wedding, I was trying to gather my thoughts on the incredible day that unfolded before me. The morning was so busy and full of life that stopping for a morning cappuccino before it all started at Il Caffe in La Spezia was a wise choice! As Sandy and her sisters got ready, fresh eggs and toast were made for everyone by the Doria family! Everyone got dressed fairly quickly and we had to move fast. Sandy arrived with her father in an incredible car from 1967 called a Fulvia for the ceremony. Every moment was so very informal, unrehearsed and raw .... I LOVED IT! Gianluca said his vows first in Italian and I could tell just by the way Sandy was gazing at him it was the most powerful moment in their life together. I started to cry HA! Even though I had no idea what was being said, their love sincerely passed language barriers. THEN Gianlu said his vows in English and that sent everyone in the room over the edge. He was nothing but smiles as Sandy stared deep into his eyes and spoke her vows... MORE HAPPY TEARS! As their ceremony came to a close everyone made their way outside where Sandy + Gianlu were celebrated with confetti poppers and RICE! We all raced off to Portovenere, a dreamy town by the waters edge with views you couldn't ever dream up. I had to stop myself from stopping just about everywhere for photo ops. SO incredible!
Hotel Del Baia in Le Grazie, Italy was the setting for the reception. The food was amazing and the wine was plentiful. Everything moved so smoothly and there was no pressure to do anything. Towards the end of the night they had a bartender contest to see who could make the best cocktail with very limited ingredients. That was fun to watch! Then ! DANCING!  We found out that it's not really an Italian tradition - usually weddings are for food, eating, drinking, and chatting the night away (which is awesome) - but the American's brought down the house and everyone there joined in.
The night ended pretty late and everyone headed back to La Spezia for some late night snacks - Pizza and Frinata!!! (If you've never had Farinata, you need to experience it - think deep fried chick peas pounded flat to enhance the crispy amazing flavor of a pizza crust.) It took awhile for my brain to settle down that night but once I did everything settled in and I just marveled at the day Sandy and Gianlu had. Man oh Man! Sandy and Gianluca! Thank you so much for the breathtakingly unforgettable experience in La Spezia! Gianluca, your family is now my family, I LOVE THEM! I am so full of eagerness to share these images with you all. I had to stop myself from sharing just about every image. I do hope you savor these and I cannot wait to see you soon. I wish you both nothing but the best that life can bring! Congratulations again :)