Ryan & Mike celebrated their 13 years of sweet love with a very personal & emotional wedding ceremony in the private gardens of Villa Eva, Ravello. Having travelled Italy extensively together, the location for their destination wedding was an obvious choice. Villa Eva provided the spectacular backdrop, and 75 family and friends from Canada, USA & Europe provided the warmth to embrace this sweet couple on their big day. With happiness & affection overflowing, their wedding photos are a reflection of just how amazing these two people and their love is. Ryan & Mike’s destination wedding of their dreams was put together with the personal planning of The Amalfi Experience.

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Kim & Shane came all the way from Colorado for a private Renewal Ceremony of their wedding vows. With an intimate & moving ceremony they exchanged their wedding vows once again, at the lovely cliff edged hotel Onde Verde, Praiano. Their beautiful pictures are located in the nearby fishing bay La Praia.

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Elope, it’s the only way to get pictures like these. No stress. Fun. Romantic. Intimate. More stress free time to take loads of pictures in the perfect light. You can take long walks, explore the Italian coast till it gets too dark. Pictures like these take time and co operation.

I absolutely love the way these two dressed for their wedding, during the ceremony Monica was barefoot. James scattared the petals before her arrival. We wandered to the beach and stopped along the way to appreciate the coast. Just look at the way they look at each other!

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Elegant vintage, lace & pearls detailed Laura & Adam’s classical wedding. With an intimate  civil ceremony celebrated in the San Francesco Cloisters, Sorrento & dinner at the marvellous Mediterranean styled villa – Relais Blu, they romanced the evening away with bursts of light rays and the Isle of Capri spoiling the backdrop.

Wedding styled and planned by Bella Sposa – Sorrento – Cheryl Pagano


Andrei & Iwona celebrated their intimate, spring wedding in the forever breathtaking gardens of Villa Cimbrone, with 30 of their closest friends and family. These predominately black and white images are inspired by old Italian art films, like the nostalgic ‘Cinema Paradiso’.  In it’s own ‘Paradiso’, the Villa Cimbrone gardens provide mystery and suspense as the perfect backdrop for these bride and groom portraits.
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Shoes, Shoes, Shoes, traditional wedding and non. So often ‘the SHOES’ are a way for a bride to let her personality peak through from under the dress. ‘The SHOES’…high heeled, wedged, flat or between the toes are one of my all time favourite details of the day to shoot. Here are just a few of the collection…only a few from my fetish!

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1. They spoil our chances of getting great reportage photographs

Especially during the ceremony and other purely reportage moments during a wedding. When we look back at the guests during the ceremony, instead of seeing faces and their emotions, we see what looks like a bad advert for iPhones or iPads. The ceremony is one of the moments during a wedding when we can take great emotional portraits. Well it used to be, now we have cell phones and iPads which block our view. Some guests even climb onto the alter or stand up to get a better view. This can upset the celebrants and they can even call an end to all photography during the ceremony, thanks to these indiscreet and inconsiderate photographers.

 2. The passionate guest photographer in every shot

Even guests who have bought big cameras on their trip to china can really get in the way. Often when shooting the exchanging of rings I have the friend photographer as a background. Or Uncle Harry with his shiny bald head and his huge camera. When I complain, Uncle Harry insists “ don’t worry I got a good shot”. I usually shoot with at least one other photographer and we carefully plan strategies to make sure we are not in each other’s images. Naturally a professional or non professional photographer friend will not have any idea about these and they can often unintentionally ruin your images.

 3. They waste precious time for low quality images

There is no way your guests’ cellphones will compete with the quality of our cameras. After the ceremony we always end up with very little time and so much to do. (Couple portraits and group images) At least 10 guests will stop the couple to take photos with their cellphones in the worst light with the bad backgrounds. This can waste up to 30 minutes, which is often all I am given to do couple portraits and this is why the images from eloping couples weddings are so much better. I have more time and no distractions.

 4. They get in the way

The absolute worst problem is during the entrance and exit of the ceremony. These are already difficult shots to take, since they are fast, in movement and the light can change dramatically. People will just put themselves between the photographer and the couple without a second thought. Even if they don’t, the sea of cellphones pointing at the bride when they enter is just really the most unromantic sight.

5. Exhausting for the couple

Most couples find having their picture taken quite traumatic, but when groups and portraits have to be done over and over thanks to guests, the couples tend to have had their fill of photography by the time it’s my turn.

 6. iPhone and iPads take unflattering pictures

Every bride wants to look her best on her wedding day. Most tell me they don’t like pictures of themselves. The reason is that most of the images they have seen of themselves, have been taken with cellphones. Taking flattering images is an art form and best left to professionals. Even worse, your guest go and post those most unflattering images all over social media.

So what can be done?

Have an unplugged wedding at least until the reception. Ask all guests not to take pictures with their devices until the reception. You could buy the negatives from your photographers and make copies for your guests. The added bonus of this is that cellphones and ipads take very unflattering pictures, in this way you can insure you don’t have any images you hate, being posted on social media for the world to see. Make sure your friends with their big cameras are not going to shoot during the ceremony.

Naturally this is not a must, they are your wedding images and it’s up to you. But after having shot hundreds and hundreds of weddings, this is my experience. It used to be much easier to shoot weddings when cellphones didn’t take images. It is such a shame to ruin your wedding pictures for such a little thing. It also means that guests can actually live the moment, instead of recording it to relive it later.

Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan Strategy One: DIET– part ten

Metabolism Stimulating Diet

A Word on Dieting Tablets:

Just don’t go there! They make you moody, emotional and in the long run they destroy your metabolism. So one day when you eventually have to stop them or you loose a kidney, you will have no metabolism and have no hope of ever getting to the right weight. Trust me on this; any metabolism stimulating and appetite suppressing drugs bought in the pharmacy are no different to amphetamines they sell in discos around the world. They will not keep you thin since the second you stop taking them you will be hungrier than you have ever been before and with a huge new tendency to put on weight. And if they don’t destroy your buy propecia 5mg online uk body they will make you so irritable that everybody will hate you. Enough said.


Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan – Strategy One: DIET– part nine

Metabolism Stimulating Diet

If you MUST have chocolate because you are a chocoholic, it’s not a problem.  For every one hundred grams of chocolate you need to do one hour of exercise, the sweaty kind. SO you do the maths, personally I am prepared to do three hours a day, everyday. As I have mentioned before it’s just really important to balance what goes in with what goes out. If you fall off the wagon and over do the energy intake time to going dancing all night long.


Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan Strategy One: DIET– part seven

Metabolism Stimulating Diet

Our aim is not to suddenly drop huge amounts of weight but to detoxify, stimulate your metabolism and nourish your body. This will not only improve the way you look, but it will drastically improve your state of mind and energy levels. Instead of focusing on what we are not allowed, we need to focus on adding things to our diet. A good step is to include as many detoxifying and nutritious ingredients possible into your

20mg levitra canada
diet. The good news is the more the merrier.

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Foods which help

best price levitra online
herbal viagra you to detoxify your body:

1. Fruits
2. Green Foods
3. Lemons, Oranges & Limes
(Note: start each day drugstore with a warm cup of wate

r and lemon juice to clean your liver)
4. Garlic
5. Broccoli Sprouts
6. Green Tea
7. Raw or juiced Vegetables
8. Seeds & Nuts (no butters or salted nuts)
9. Omega-3 Oils


Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan – Strategy One : DIET– part six

Metabolism Stimulating Diet

It would shock you to know how much weight you would loose just by getting rid of the excess water you are retaining. The number one substance, which aggravates water retention, is sodium. The number one weapon against water retention is water. Flood your body and it lets go of its reserves. But this takes one to two days to kick in. Water retention is also effectively reduced with exercise, saunas, steam rooms and massages. And if you are prone to swelling in general avoid all alcohol for at least three days before your wedding.


Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan Strategy One : DIET– part five

Metabolism Stimulating Diet

Then there is the most difficult but most important rule of all; try not to eat after seven (if you go to bed at ten). Most of the weight we put on we do so when we eat and go to bed. The same goes for afternoon naps. If you have a little binge, no need to panic, just go

for a long walk. Try to see your body as a machine and try to balance what goes in and out. Eating

an hour before exercise is ideal and not napping before a three hour time period has passed  since your last meal. If you manage nothing else at all this is guaranteed to help you loose around a kilo in a week.


Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan – Strategy One : DIET– part four

Metabolism Stimulating Diet

If we have our carbohydrates for breakfast, we need to stock up on proteins during the other two main meals. So lunch and dinner you will eat baked, boiled, steamed or grilled proteins with loads of fresh fruit and vegetables. Proteins are eggs, beans, nuts, meat, fish, chicken and hard cheeses. They are essential for increasing muscle mass. The higher your muscle mass the more fat you burn. A telltale sign of bad dieting is a thin person who is bone

and fat with their skin hanging off their body. Proteins are essential for reshaping your body. Limit salt, oils, fats and dairy. Except for low fat live yogurts. Make chicken, fish, tofu, beans or lentils tasty with spices. Eat your fruit first and wait fifteen minutes, this will ensure minimum absorption of fat.


Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan – Strategy One : DIET– part three

Metabolism Stimulating Diet

I am not a fan of low carbohydrate diets because they sap your energy levels and can be dangerous for kidney and liver functions. So I recommend having your carbohydrates in the morning for energy and you will have the whole day to burn off the sugar. I highly recommend unrefined cooked oats. They are slow

burning carbohydrates and being unrefined they will keep hunger away and stimulate metabolism. This is because your metabolism will have to work hard

to digest the unrefined oats. (Note: A helpful hint is always to choose unrefined wholegrain when ever choosing rice, pasta or bread.) Wholegrain rice is a good substitute for the oats. I know it’s not exactly what you imagined for breakfast but this is an emergency plan.

Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan – Strategy One : DIET- part two

Metabolism Stimulating Diet

Add as much fruit to your diet as you can bear. Even if you like just one kind of fruit, it’s  important to give your metabolism a lot to work with. When we starve ourselves we slow down our metabolisms and when we start to eat again the body takes precautions against the famine it has been experiencing. The precautions involve storing everything you eat as fat. So a good trick is to eat a lot of that, which does not make you

fat. Good examples are watermelons, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, spinach; basically raw fruit and vegetables. They will fill you up, detoxify you, nourish you, keep your metabolism up, quench you, drench you and the fact you don’t have to limit your intake will help with compulsive eating urges one experiences when dieting.


Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan – Strategy One : DIET– part one

Metabolism Stimulating Diet

Say the word diet to me and I instantly get hungry. I am just not one for sacrifice. I prefer to add things than to take them away. I do feel quite an expert in the field of dieting. I have lost and gained more kilograms than I care to share with you. I know drastic diets defeat themselves; they actually make you fat, especially when

they starve you. They make your hair and skin look awful. So my diet is quite free and healthy. The key principle is metabolism stimulation with increased quantities of nourishing food. Being healthy makes you not only look your sexiest and most beautiful, it makes you feel it to.



Flowers in your hair

Real flowers are fabulous but by the end of the evening they droop, and leave you looking tired and worn. I like flowers in the hair, in many different ways. And although I HATE fake bouquets I like fine fake hair flowers. Peonies, orchids, even butterflies. Love crazy early seventies big hair adorned with flowers. But they need to be well made. They are often gorgeous with feathers. I like head pieces in general though unless a tiara is a rare art deco piece it’s likely that it will make me yawn.

Show time.

I love the idea of a show or cabaret. A little entertainment is always a welcome distraction during a wedding. Ideas range from the truly daring to traditionally elegant. Fire blowers, burlesque show, the circus del sole, a Robbie Williams impersonator or my favourite the “singing waiters”. The singing waiters pretend to be guests and waiters at your wedding before bursting into song. It’s so much fun and the guests love it. There is something just sublime about live entertainment. I adore the musicians supplied by Marco Canterella’s “Wedding Music”. Ranging from Jazz, opera to Italian folk music. Italian folk music is really something to consider, it gets everybody dancing since it infectious and fun.

Charming your service providers.

We all do it, try much hard for those people we like. Now I know your florist, wedding planner and photographer are at your service but I can tell you, charming your service provides will give you the deluxe service. They will do back flips for you and you will all enjoy your wedding more. This in turn will make for good moods all round. Nothing worse than a spoilt brat bride, who believe me, all the service provides will give average service to and avoid the rest of the time. But a lady will be treated as such and we all try a little hard for those we like.

The worst mistakes you can make as a bride

1. Not having something warm to put on on your day (for just incase)
2. Not having a pair of chic slip ons for when your feet hurt
3. Getting drunk (I have seen some scary things – once a bride tried to get it on with my hubby because she was drunk, yes on her wedding day)
4. Taking tranquilizers and then thinking you can drink (you won’t remember a thing)
5. Asking a friend who drinks too much to be your maid of honour or best man (you have seen the movie – I have seen it in real life and it’s very embarrassing).
6. Over doing the tan.. especially if you man if very fair
7. Get drunk and stay up late the night before
8. Wear your shoes for the first time on your wedding day
9. Forgetting to kiss your dad when he delivers you to your future husband – this is often a very hard and emotional moment for a parent. We only find out when we have our own children just how hard. I cringe when I see a sad dad being ignored and left without a proper farewell to the past.
10. Stressing about the small stuff and not living in the moment on this your special day
11. Not buying a white umbrella…it means it will rain
12. Being late – instead of being relaxed and enjoying your day, you will spend your day trying to catch up.
13.Organising your ceremony and reception venues in different locations. Try not to take a car on your wedding day, as soon as you and your guests have to travel time is wasted and people get tired, hot and stressed. (And car sick if you are marrying on the Amalfi coast)
14.Have a list of groups which exceeds seven or so groups. Your guests will hate you for it and your album will be full of dull pictures because you photographer was shooting boring groups while all the juicy stuff was going on in the good light.
15.Let your happiness depend on the perfection of the day. Nothing is ever perfect and you will only set yourself up for disaster if your mood depends on the sunshine.

A checklist when hiring a wedding photographer

1 check references by phone and email
2. See individual wedding albums not just portfolios, it's easy to do a good portfolio but hard to produce lots of good images on one day.
3. Look around and compare to be sure of your choice
4. Make sure they offer you a binding contract
5. Make sure you know who will shoot your wedding and see images shot by that person
6. Ask other service providers what they think of the photographer; usually where there is smoke there is fire
7. Do not hire someone rude or arrogant, it will ruin your day
8. Look for someone kind, charming, gentile and sensitive
9. It’s often better to have a photographer who speaks your language or at least speak theirs, communication is essential
10. Look for a photographer who is interested in your ideas and is flexible with his/her style
11. Remember photographers who offer large discounts and highly reduced rates are not working a lot. This could be that they are very talented and just starting out. In which case you are lucky. But usually it means they don't have bookings.

The Brides Emergency Kit

Nausea and headache tablets
Nail scissors
Eye drops
A charged working cell phone with all the numbers you need
Extra flesh coloured knickers
Something warm that is white
White umbrella (if you have one it won't rain)
Flat comfortable white ballerina's (you can get gorgeous fold up ones)
The spray instant spot remover and brush
Safety pins
Needle and thread (in your colours)
A little extra ribbon in your colours
A sparkling evening dress just encase something silly happens involving you and a glass of red wine
Portable steam iron
Extra stockings

The Bomboniere Perspective

So in Italy there is the tradition of giving a small favour to your guests on their departure. These are often expensive, useless and seldom match the taste of all the guests. I think generosity brings happy fortune and I recommend a small donation to a worth while charity instead. The guest can be informed of your gift on their behalf with a small card accompanied by delicious Italian confetti. At the moment there are the most incredible flavours available like pear and cheese cake. Instead of adding to the world pollution problem you can spread a little love and gererosity.

Getting perspective on the whole subject of your wedding can only be good. Sometime we forget just how lucky and spoilt we are. We get upset about nonsense while life passes us by. Getting perspective and getting grateful will help you appreciate everything. Feel lucky, you are. So many people never find love, let alone someone who is prepared to promise forever. Get real and get happy.

Are you a Bridezilla? Test

Are you a Bridezilla?

Fifteen questions to help you face the bridezilla in you. Answers which may help you save your wedding day from you.

1. My list of ‘must have group photographs’, includes more than twenty groups?

true or false

2. I am a details person and my happiness depends on perfection

true or false

3. Rains will break my heart

true or false

4. It’s very important that everything runs exactly to schedule

true or false

5. I crash under pressure and hate being the centre of the attention

true or false

6. Wedding planners and other service providers are just money grabbers and need to be kept in line

true o false

7. Bridesmaids who are more attractive than me are dangerous and their dresses mustn’t be too eye catching

true o false

8. For the day to be a success I need to control all aspects of the day.

true o false

9. I am very unlucky and it seems that the world is against me

true o false

10. The day is about me and people don't need to get distracted

true o false

true o false

11. It is VERY important that the colours of my flowers are exactly like the ones in my mind.

true o false

12. when my photographer asked me a bit about what I wanted from my wedding photography I wrote down five pages of notes

true o false

13. i don't think artists work well when given freedom.

true o false

14. a wedding photographer is just a second rate photographer who can't make it in the commercial world of photography

true o false

15. I don't cope well when things don't go my way

true o false

Results to follow tomorrow.

Why use a wedding planner?

Whether your wedding is taking place in a castle with 200 guests, or on an intimate beach with only your closest loved ones, it is always a good idea to hire a wedding planner. Here are our top reasons why:

1. A wedding planner will have reliable and trusted contacts at their fingertips, from florists and venues to photographers, hairdressers, make up artists and musicians. Even the dry cleaners to iron your dress will be sourced from the very best.

2. You’ll have someone on the ground that you can trust. Your planner can help with things that need be tested and approved—like site inspections, measurements, and fresh flower arrangements.

3. You are likely to get better service if your planner has been a long-term client of a hotel, florist or photographer.

4. A wedding planner will keep an eye on situations that might affect your day—anything from weather, best transport timetables and options, road closures, local festivals or events.

5. Your wedding planner will take care of all the last minute hiccups, leaving you and your relatives to get on with enjoying your day.

6. If you are getting married abroad, your wedding planner can provide a translation service—either themselves or through an interpreter—to avoid the stress and confusion caused by language barriers.

7. Using a planner will ensure that your wedding observes local rules, regulations and codes of conduct. Can you release fireworks at your chosen venue? Or wear a deep cut dress to church? Your wedding planner will know the answers.

8. Getting a marriage license can involve a lot of complex administration, especially if you get married abroad. A wedding planner can get documents stamped, signed, translated and delivered to you, without passing on the stress.

9. Hiring a wedding planner won’t break the bank. You pay the same fees to service providers as you would if you booked it yourself, and you will only pay the wedding planner for her time.

In short, everybody works harder and everything goes a lot smoother when there is a wedding planner around!

Joanne Dunn