All the preparation and planning over the last couple of months had come to fruition. Rachel surprised us all announcing that our Italian trip was now host to her and Matts’ wedding ceremony. I think Matt was a bit surprised too…
In due course came the engagement and the finer details; the celebrant, photographers, the rings, venue. Thankfully Rach took it all on. Now the next part was getting there. We arrived in Naples late at night, full of mixed reviews. Regardless, a brisk walk to the hotel and a raid of the breakfast buffet got us on the road early – that’s where we started going wrong.
The map on the bus website was wrong. The next wasn’t for an hour. The alternative took us by taxi, then taxi again to Positano. What started out as a €10 each journey ended up a €100 near disaster – despite best plans. Getting there we were able to relax though, well, not really. There was a wedding to organise.
Positano is basically a pebble beach and a steep coastline. To be honest we weren’t to sure what the original holiday makers saw in the place, but they came, in droves. Roads winded around the cliff faces and houses were built into the steep sides, creating a hive of holiday homes and restaurants – an amazing vista.
Meeting up with Rach’s parents and Matt’s parents with his sister Emma who had arrived earlier, we had a good chance to relax, swim and natter while the bride and groom went about navigating the town and organising their respective things. Despite the wedding being a small one, there was still all the essential details. The dress, the flowers, rice to scatter (and swell in the stomachs of sparrows)… It seemed like all Matt had to do was get his hair cut and iron his clothes. We were lucky that our place was most conveniently perched nearest the Town Hall and relatively handy – so we became command central.
The day arrived. The bride and groom escaped a small stag and hens night and went against the age old tradition of sleeping in different places. Overnight, more guests in Rach’s cousin Lexi, with her “unrelated by blood or marriage” partner Tom, arrived and had more news. The surrounding hills were alight and the brushfire was preventing any further traffic from arriving – they just made it through. We still had two more to arrive, it wasn’t looking good for them.
The morning before was really relaxed and calm. Drinking Peroni and eating pizza, the occasional swim and devouring gelato. Once the hairdresser arrived, that was the girls busy till the service at 15:00. Smoke billowed over the hill, putting a small haze over a piercing hot day. Not suits weather.
The sea plane dived into the azzuri ocean, returning for another load of seawater to douse the flames. At this time, Will and his father Alan were turning back to Sorrento and then taking the ferry to Positano. They were not going to arrive till about 16:30!
Meanwhile, the bride, father of the bride and mother of the bride were all packing into a Bambina, an Italian pizza oven on wheels. The rest of the party had to go by stairs to the Town Hall. The celebrant was delayed due to the fire and as a result the service was delayed. There was a good chance Will would make it in time. Mitch took 24 pictures of the staircases, roads and alleyways for Will and Alan to navigate their way to the top of the 20 minute climb.
While we bided for time inside the hall, Matt sweltered out on his lonesome own. The Bevege band of Rich and Emma had been practicing a song all morning. We’ll they actually mastered in within 10 minutes, but to make the story more believable we’ll make it sound like they had been at it all day!
In a sweaty state Will and Alan arrived. The celebrant was understandably relieved the show could now get on the road and resumed the service.
In attendance was the Mayor of Positano. He had a nice red, white and green sash on and read the whole service in Italian. It was the basic service and they weren’t exactly certain of the actual vows. Roughly translated, they had equal choice of where they lived and that their children must be nourished and raised in accordance with Italian code 3.8.1 (b).
To avoid repeating too many photos. We made a website separately for Rach and Matts’ wedding.
The dinner was overlooking the harbour and the following afterparty was inside a cave. Most of that was a blur. There were quite a few other weddings in full swing in the nightclub – bleeding from the pockets. Some had to be carried home. Mitch had to be carried from the sink to bed by Tam’s parents and crashed out.
The next day was probably going to be a write-off. Luckily someone made up our minds for us and we had a ferry booked for Amalfi. Here we found wider streets giving way to terraced valleys of lemons. The local pizzeria sported an amazing specimen of a waiter. Complete with aviator glasses, wavy silver hair, flowing on the head and brimming in curls from his open shirt chest. Effortlessly he postured over the table, remembering everyones order and disappearing, casually reappearing with plates of probably the best meal we had in the area.
Returning to Positano and slowly winding down the day, we caught up with the newlyweds after dinner and said our farewells. Our plan was to go to Capri early morning before them and onwards to Naples for our flight home. They still had another week before headed to Rome.
Capri was the next level. Similar to the other towns on the Amalfi Coast, although saturated with Italian fashion and disappointingly, some antiquated displays of wealth. Ivory, coral and other harvested valuables were on display in large glass cabinets. Some shopkeepers would come out and chase you away from their window space if you stood there too long. Tam found an outlet store and being curious went straight to the price tags. €850 for a dress, €140 a pair of togs. Lucky we weren’t here for too long.
Returning to Naples and flying via Rome, we had enough time to catch up with the rugby – the All Blacks opening match against Argentina. With a win a good cap to a great holiday.
So great to have been a part of Matt and Rach’s wedding and we wish theme a long, happy future together, with equal choice in place of accommodation.