Beautiful Sorrento is a magical place to marry, hugging the shores of the Neapolitan Riviera and with views of imposing Mount Vesuvius in the distance. Jemma Allerton-Griffiths, our Personal Travel Expert at Kuoni in John Lewis Cardiff, shares her Kuoni wedding in stunning Italy with us.

I always knew that if I was going to get married it would have to be abroad. The thought of it lashing down with rain when I woke up on my wedding day seemed like a nightmare!

After looking at several options around the Caribbean, we decided that Italy would be perfect. We flew out a few months before our proposed wedding date and fell in love with Sorrento. Ironically, it was raining but I was assured by the locals that, if I got married in June, the weather would be gorgeous.

When we flew back to Italy for the wedding, for the most part, we stayed at the 4* Hilton Sorrento Palace, which has amazing views of the Amalfi coast and is only a 10-minute walk into town. We had our 9-year-old daughter with us and the hotel was fantastic for us all, with its many pools and kids’ club.

Just a few days in and our wedding date soon arrived. We got married at the historic and beautiful Moorish-style cloister of San Francesco in the centre of Sorrento, it’s a 14th century cloister attached to the baroque Church of San Francesco and easily seats up to 70 people, so can accommodate most wedding parties.

"Everyone said how amazing the wedding was and we were so happy we got to spend time with our family and friends before and after the wedding."

We’d decided to get married at 4.30pm when the temperature was a bit cooler and we were glad we did! The ceremony lasted 20 minutes and we were able to incorporate our own personal wedding vows and our chosen reading. Our wedding package included all the legal fees, translator and minister fees, along with a meeting a few days before to go through the whole ceremony. We didn’t need to worry once.

After the ceremony, we had our photos in the stunning public gardens, which have an amazing view of Mount Vesuvius. As we had 42 people coming to the wedding, we decided to have a formal reception, which I arranged independently and hired a venue in the Sorrentine hills. Here we had a four-course meal, speeches and dancing late into the evening, just as we’d wanted.

On our wedding night and the evening before, we stayed in a suite at the 4* Grand Hotel La Favorita, which is in the ancient part of Sorrento on a prestigious street. It has a big roof-top pool, intimate gardens and was the perfect choice, giving me and my bridesmaids room to get ready before the ceremony. Everything went to plan and my favourite part was saying our vows outside in such a beautiful location and watching the sunset from high up in the hills at the reception.

"My favourite part was saying our vows outside in such a beautiful location and watching the sunset from high up in the hills."

Everyone said how amazing the wedding was and we found it fantastic to spend time with our family and friends before and after the wedding. The Italian hospitality was also brilliant. This is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a special wedding abroad without having to travel too far for it.

My top tips for getting married in Italy would be:

1 – Do your research. There are a wide range of reception venues to look at, from traditional restaurants to elaborate reception venues up in the hill, all of them will differ greatly in price. Find the one that is right for you within the budget you can afford.

2 – Have your ceremony later in the afternoon, I chose 4.30pm which was perfect. It can get really warm in certain parts of the year in Italy, so if you’re having an outdoor venue it is worth considering. Nobody wants to get burnt on their wedding day!

3 – Civil weddings are quite short, so add in some of your favourite readings and some personal vows otherwise it will be over before you know it!           

4 – Try and visit Italy before you make a decision to get married there. This will give you peace of mind that you have chosen the best option. It also gives you extra time to plan little details that you may want, for example, a cake from a specific bakery you may find.

5 – Consider buying extra baggage or upgrading your flight, then you won’t have to worry if you have a lot of luggage with you, including your dress!

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Weddings 2017/18

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With mesmerising scenery, fascinating history and enchanting cities – Italy delivers an impossibly romantic wedding destination, perfect if you don’t want to travel too far for an unforgettable wedding abroad.

Find out more about weddings in Italy here

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