Ashley Sodano was visiting her friend’s beach house in Calabria, in southwest Italy, when she decided to approach the cute lifeguard on duty, Luigi Vorraro. “He spoke not a single word of English at the time, but thankfully, I understand Italian,” Ashley says. They ended up dating long-distance for two years before he moved to the States in 2016. A year after that, he got down on one knee on the Brooklyn Bridge, since it was the first attraction they visited on his first trip to the city.
From the time she was a little girl, Ashley knew she wanted to get married in Italy, and as time went on, she became infatuated with the Amalfi Coast. “My wedding had to be full of life: colors, flowers, lemons, and ceramics. I wanted unique venues as well. I did not want the traditional Italian church or villa. I had to be somewhere on the Mediterranean Sea,” she says. To help plan everything and find venues big enough for 120 guests, they hired Valentina of SposiamoVi.
To fit the wedding’s aesthetic, Ashley wanted to wear something romantic and dreamy. She found the perfect Costarellos gown at Eugenio Marigliano in Naples, where she has home. “It was ‘so Italy’ and overall unique,” the bride says of her off-the-shoulder, polka-dot gown. To bring a pop of color, she put on Dolce & Gabbana majolica print brocade crystal-embellished pumps.
For the whole day, Ashley hired Alessandro Mancino and his team to do her hair and makeup. With touch-ups happening after the ceremony and through the reception, it was one of the best decisions she made for the all-outdoor, summer day.
On the wedding day, guests were greeted by frozen Aperol Spritzes and a local folk band from Capri singing traditional Neapolitan music as they arrived at the beach club, La Scogliera. Then the bride walked down the aisle with her father for the ceremony on the water. After concluding with a unity sand ceremony, the newlyweds practically shut down the streets of Positano, parading with the band and all of their guests to the dock, where a private boat took them to the reception venue.
The couple took a separate, smaller boat to the venue to spend some picturesque time together, soaking in the day. Then, they met everyone at the cocktail hour at Africana Famous Club, which is set in a cliff-side cave— there are even little glass circles in the floor, where you can see straight down into the Mediterranean Sea. For dinner, guests took their seats at four tables set with lemons, candles, ceramic pots, and pink bougainvillea flowers and dined on local fish, mozzarella, calamari, and pasta.
After the delicious meal, limoncello was drunk and the dance floor remained full the entire night with a live singer, DJ, and saxophonist keeping the music lively. The newlyweds had their first dance to “Perfect Symphony” by Ed Sheeran and Andrea Bocelli. “There was no better song than this because it was in both English and Italian,” Ashley says.
Before cutting the cake, the couple’s friends and family formed a sparkler tunnel for them to walk through. “It was like a fairytale moment,” the bride says. Once the night concluded, guests went home with handmade, custom ceramic plates with their name and the wedding date on the back.
The next morning, everyone took rubber boats from their hotels to La Gavitella beach club. Before arriving, each person was given a balloon, and once all together, they released them as a sendoff gesture to the bride and groom.