Olive groves, views of Mount Etna, sunshine, and copious amounts of limoncello... That is what dreams are made of! Especially in times like these in the middle of a very dreary, winter's lockdown.
When I think of this destination wedding at Commenda Di San Calogero wedding venue in Sicily, it makes me beam from ear to ear. It could not have been more perfect. Heather (the lovely bride) had been a friend of mine for years back but we had fallen out of contact when she moved away to Bristol. I was so over the moon when Heather contacted me to say that she was engaged to be married and would love for me to be their photographer.
So I and one of my wonderful team members, Megan packed all of our equipment into hand luggage, booked our flights and hire a car, and started making the plans for Heather and Luke's wedding.
It was even more wonderful than we had expected. The grounds of Commenda Di San Calogero are idyllic. With 110 acres of land full of wild gardens, rustic terraces, and orange and olive groves, you will lever get tired of wandering around (I could have photographed there for weeks).
One of the best things about Commenda Di San Calogero (aside from the sunshine and breathtaking scenery) is how well it is run. Sadly something that doesn't always come hand in hand with destination weddings. The wedding was run flawlessly, with smooth transitions, helpful staff, and incredibly tasty, fresh food!
The venue also offers heaps of great onsite accommodation and is online 30 minutes from Catania Airport. Perfect!
When I arrived, I started with my pre-wedding meeting with Heather and Luke, whilst taking a stroll around the grounds. We decided on the places they wanted their group shots taken, their couples shots, and the set up of the ceremony. This helps me hugely to be able to organise where myself and my second shooter will be placed throughout the day to make sure we get the best coverage.
Heather and her bridesmaids stayed in one onsite cottage with Luke and the other groomsmen in another on the morning of the wedding. Both were just a stone's throw away from the ceremony set up, this made it super easy for us to capture all the dynamics going on pre-ceremony.
The ceremony was THE MOST gorgeous outdoor setup, shaded amongst the orange groves, with a pianist playing as heather and her bridesmaids entered. Followed by a super relaxed outdoor drinks reception whilst photos were being taken in all the best spots that we could squeeze in (Trust me, there were soooo many).
One of the things I loved the most about Heather and Luke's wedding was the table set up. I love long trestle tables for everyone to sit on together. It makes capturing people's expressions during the speeches really easy as we can move up and down the tables and capture everyone without having to weave in and out of tightly fitting tables.
The whole day was gorgeous from start to finish and I've fallen a little bit in love with Sicily. Having been there for 4 days, we were able to snoop around a little but I'm pretty keen to get another hire car out there and go exploring.
So if you're considering a destination wedding in Sicily, or even better, at Commenda Di San Calogero then just go for it. You will have the most wonderful time!
Now enjoy having a flick through their dreamy photos below...