Saturday, November 3, 2007

2007-March - Phet & Steve - Portofino, Italy (My Wedding!!!)

No offense, but this is by far the most important wedding of them all - mine :)

I was lucky enough to marry the woman of my dreams in picturesque Castello Brown, a small 600 year old castle overlooking the tiny fishing village of Portofino, located on the beautiful Ligurian coastline of the Italian Riviera (about 45 minutes east of Genoa by train).

My bride was beautiful, the town was amazing, the food was incredible, and the people were so warm and friendly. I could not have asked for a more perfect way to usher in our new life together.

The funny part about doing a destination wedding outside of the US is all the legal requirements. It costs a little more, but I highly recommend using a company or service that specializes in destination weddings in the country you are considering. All it takes is one missed appointment or improper filing and your wedding may be either cancelled or deemed invalid, so go with an experienced company.

We had a coordinator assigned to us, Loredana, and she was great. She took care of all our needs and paperwork (she even had her husband fill in as a witness for paperwork at one of the appointments). The one single issue we had was very minor - the caretaker of the castle told us we could not take pictures of the wedding in the castle. No biggie...

Seriously??? Are you kidding me??? We went through two weeks of appointments, went through the gauntlet of paperwork and requirements to arrive at our dream wedding - in a 600 year old castle on the Italian coastline overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, and 'oh, you can't take pictures'...

Ok, so at that point we freaked... And luckily Loredana came to the rescue, along with our new friend Giorgio, the mayor of Portofino, who liked us so much he insisted on performing our wedding personally (I speak a little Italian, and he speaks even less English, but we still got along famously). Loredana got the caretakers to agree to a handful of pictures, then Giorgio told us to take as many as we want and he would watch out for the fuzz for us. How awesome was that!!!

Such a beautiful venue, and of course the beautiful bride, I could not possibly leave my camera at home. Our very good friend Adnan, a fellow wedding photographer, took a plethora of beautiful pictures for us, and I also took around 1,200 that day just by myself (and I'm the groom!).

Overall, it was an amazing experience, along with our honeymoon (most of which was actually before the ceremony), where we visited the Cinque Terre region, multiple towns along the Italian coast, Paris, Prague, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and many others. Aside from the scooter we crashed in Rapallo (long story...), it was the best time of my life.

Check out a few pictures here:


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