This Couple Invited Just Five Guests to Their Dreamy Italian Wedding
For some couples, there's keeping things small come your wedding day—and then there's hosting just five members of your immediate family for a ceremony on Italy's Amalfi Coast. For Ottawa-based duo Krystyna, who works for an IT company, and Alexander, a geologist, they chose to celebrate their major love in a micro way—with just their children. That made sense given the fact that putting family first has always been part of their story: The pair first met in 2016 at a rural restaurant along the Raquette River in New York and got engaged two years later in Quebec with their three children present.
They always knew their wedding would be a family affair, too, but that didn't mean that they were willing to sacrifice on romance. The two chose the most romantic location they knew of: the Belmond Hotel Caruso, which has sweeping views of sea and sky. Or, as Krystyna puts it, "the most beautiful views I have ever seen in my life." On July 2, 2019, the couple gathered with their absolute nearest and dearest (plus their planner, Federica Beni) for a non-religious ceremony, followed by just a few quick Italian bites (and cake, of course). Even their vows were simple—although, that had more to do with emotion than simplicity ("Krystyna would cry her way through the vows if they were self-written," jokes Alexander).
As for the tiny event's décor? They decided on a neutral palette of ivory and blush, but didn't choose a theme for the day. Their only goal, says Krystyna, was "to fill the most important day of our lives with lots of romance."
Krystyna added a diamond-encrusted band to her Tiffany solitaire engagement ring on the day of the wedding; Alexander opted for a simple platinum option.
The pair chose to get married on the Amalfi Coast because it embodied the ideal combination of their interests and personalities. "The sea and sky put Krystyna at peace," Alexander says. "And for me, a geologist, the rock exposures are world class. It made it perfect for us."
Krystyna's Morilee by Madeline Gardner "Lola" wedding dress featured a beaded V-neck bodice and a romantic A-line skirt. She tried on several gowns before she found the one, keeping in close contact with her planner, who offered her opinion and suggestions about the best fit. But when she stepped into her future gown, something clicked: "When I was looking at myself in the mirror, I could feel it."
Krystyna's bouquet, composed of almost-all-white buds, was arranged by Malafronte Fiori and included peonies, alabaster, maiolica, quicksand roses, and sweet peas.
An Intimate Affair
Only a few VIPs attended the non-religious seaside ceremony: Krystyna and Alexander's children and the bride's brother and his fiancé.
Take a Seat
Small floral arrangements—punctuated with burgundy cosmos—marked the informal aisle and added a lush touch to the romantic wrought iron chairs used as ceremony seating.
A grounded floral arch marked the altar without obfuscating the sweeping views of the harbor just beyond the venue.
The bride met her groom at the aisle's apex unaccompanied, as a harpist from Wedding Music played "Ave Maria" by Schubert, one of Krystyna's favorite songs.
For the Girls
Krystyna shared a special moment with her daughters, Mila and Annabella (both dressed in light pink Jenny Yoo gowns), just after the ceremony; during the service, the girls were responsible for the readings.
Post-ceremony, the adults sipped Prosecco while the entire group noshed on a few apps, including caprese skewers, crispy shrimp, calzones, and sfogliatella, a Neapolitan pastry.
A (Virtual) Family Affair
"During the ceremony, I looked over at my brother and saw he was holding up his smartphone," Krystyna says. "He had my eldest brother, father, and sister in Canada on a group video chat so they could be with us during the ceremony. To know they were still able to be there virtually—but in real time—made us so happy."
Heart to Harp
The harpist continued to play during the cocktail hour, but switched to more contemporary renditions, as opposed to ceremony classics.
While planning the wedding and coordinating travel for their families, Krystyna and Alexander forgot one important detail: the cake. Thankfully, Alexander's sister had it covered. She reached out to their planner to surprise them with an orange sponge confection, topped with lemon cream and wild strawberries from the local bakery Sal De Riso. "This special surprise, along with a personal note from his sister, made it feel as though our family were there with us," Krystyna says. "It brought us both to tears!"
Photography, Romina Schischke
Venue, Belmond Hotel Caruso
Event planning, Federica Beni
Flowers, Malafronte Fiori
Officiant, Fernando Mazzariello
Stationery, Little North Company
Cake, Sal De Riso
Music, Wedding Music
Rentals, G&G Party Service
Bride's gown, Morilee
Hair and makeup, Alessandro Mancino
Bridesmaids' dresses, Jenny Yoo
Groom's suit, Giorgio Armani