Hi Sonia, our wedding experience was truly amazing! Portovenere was the perfect site for wedding. The town itself is so charming, and the views are spectacular! I am really looking forward to seeing our wedding photos. The weather was absolutely perfect, and you could see for miles across the bay to the mountains above Lerici. The photographer commented to us that the weather was perfect for photography that day. He was seeing colors and details that are only experienced a very few days of the year. Because the town is so small, we really felt that we were able to spend quality time with our guests. All of our guests enjoyed themselves tremendously, and were glad we chose Portovenere for the wedding. Many of our guests had been to Italy before, but none had actually been to Portovenere and absolutely fell in love with the area. We literally could not walk outside our door without running into someone we knew! I know it sounds cliché, but the whole experience was an absolute fairy tale.
Our interpreter, Loredana, was fantastic. She made sure that every single detail was addressed, and the ceremony and reception went very smoothly. She was extremely helpful with processing our paper work at the town hall. We had one minor hiccup with the reception, but Loredana was able to present a compromise which worked out particularly well. I can say the same positive things about our contact in Milan. The young lady’s name escapes me right now… But she was punctual, and made sure everything was taken care of correctly at the Consulate. We were able to fit in the viewing of The Last Supper while she got the necessary approvals on our paperwork after we left the Consulate. And we made our train out of Milan to La Spezia right on time.
The wedding dinner, at the Grand Hotel, was exceptional. The food was extraordinary! We began the reception at 7:00 pm, and did not finish eating until almost midnight! Every dish was outstanding, and the service was top notch. We had a minor misunderstanding at check out time the next day, regarding payment for the dinner, but you were able to clear up the issue with the hotel right away and we were able to continue the rest of our trip without any worries.
Castello Doria, where the ceremony took place, was quite impressive. It is the most romantic and picturesque site for an outdoor wedding. By the way, I think someone counted and there are over 300+ steps up to the castle. All the ladies wore comfort shoes to the top (even me in my dress!), and changed into dress shoes at the top. It is a bit of a hike, but even our 85 year old Aunt was able to make the trek. In fact, she was the first one up to the top. Once you are at the top, however, you are in for a real treat! Everywhere you turn, you are rewarded with views worthy of postcard snapshots. We are glad we decided to have the Italian civil ceremony instead of just a symbolic ceremony. The Italian service is different than an American ceremony. It made our wedding that much more unique. After the ceremony, our guests were able to linger at the castle to enjoy the views and a little prosecco purchased from one of the local wine shops.
The flowers, hair, and makeup also turned out perfect to my specifications. The hair stylist, Alessandra, from La Spezia was excellent! I showed her a photo of a hairstyle, and she recreated exactly what I wanted. She also did a great job with my makeup. I definitely recommend her services with very high regard.
I know there are many details that I am forgetting…. We really had no major conflicts with the planning process. Everything was set and ready to go for us. The most difficult part of planning is putting your trust into someone else’s capable hands. The whole experience exceeded our expectations by more than words can convey (a million times!). We absolutely could not have created this amazing event without your expertise. We truly are still floating on cloud nine, and feel that we have had the most special wedding in the world. Our guests keep thanking us for choosing Portovenere. What a gem! We definitely plan to return and spend more time in this area.
We are really looking forward to seeing the photos. It had been raining in the mornings, and windy, for a few days before the wedding. But on the morning of the wedding, there was not a cloud in the sky. It turned out to be a beautiful clear, sunny day without wind. I am sure we will be just as impressed with the photography as we are with our overall experience.
And again, thank you so much for all of your hard work. We absolutely could not have done this without you! You are more than welcome to use us as a reference any time!