You can feel the charm and mystery of centuries when you enter the marvelous venue of La Cervara in Portofino. Built in the 14th century by Benedictine monks, this ancient abbey is located on a promontory, a small peninsula stretching out into the Mediterranean. The climate here is mild and temperate: palms and tropical plants like agave, bougainvillea, and bird of paradise flowers grow in its luxuriant Italian gardens, surrounded on both sides by the sea. The fragrance of pines and citruses blends with the salted scent of the sea waves, and perfectly curated box hedges delimit the green lawns sloping gently to the shore.
I was so excited when this couple from Hong Kong contacted us for their destination wedding on the Italian Riviera! When they called to tell me that their flight to Italy for the site inspection was canceled, I didn’t let this discourage me: I took my cellphone and filmed videos in the different areas of the venue, describing every detail and explaining options for the moments of the wedding day. The groom and bride-to-be were so enchanted by La Cervara that they confirmed this venue before even seeing it in person! They came later to Italy and knew that they had made the right choice. For privacy reasons, we can share only the details of this wedding: truly a dream come true!
Welcome Dinner at Imperiale Palace
The day before the wedding, the couple welcomed their guests, who came from all over the world, for an elegant dinner organized at the Imperiale Palace Hotel in Santa Margherita Ligure. The inspiration for the welcome dinner was the Mediterranean with its scents of lemon and herbs, with its fruits and flowers combined with a color palette of pale yellow, cream white, and greenery. Wooden boxes, stone vases, large lanterns, and floating candles completed the setting.
The couple chose to organize the traditional tea ceremony on the morning of the wedding day. The ideogram of double happiness, a symbol of the wedding in Chinese culture, was painted on the wall and decorated the teaware. The red color of the accessories, which in China means happiness, vitality, success, and good fortune, blended perfectly with the red velvets of the interiors of La Cervara.
Terrace Wedding Ceremony
For this couple, the Italian Riviera symbolizes the best that the Mediterranean has to offer: summer, sea, and sun! Even if the wedding took place in September, the main inspiration for their flower decorations was an Italian summer sunset with pastel shades of pink, peach, lavender, and pale purple. The couple wanted to achieve a modern-chic effect combined with a natural-looking garden style. On the fantastic terrace overlooking the bay, lanterns and candles were placed at the base of a romantic flower arch, made of roses, lilacs, and peonies.
Garden Wedding Reception
After the romantic ceremony on the Terrace, the guests enjoyed a cocktail in the Gardenia Gardens and then moved to the Agrumeto Gardens for the wedding reception. The tables were decorated with lots of vases and candles, full of flowers in pastel hues with gold accents, that combined perfectly with the colors of the ancient Abbey and the greenery of the gardens. For the reception tables, the bridal couple chose wood as the main material, in an elegant style with golden accents: they opted for wooden chargers, vases, and candleholders, all with a gold antiqued finish. Every little detail, like the flower-shaped menus and the transparent table numbers, added a personal and stylish note.
Strings of fairy lights dotted the sky at sunset, romance and magic filled the air… making this an unforgettable night on the Italian Riviera! Click on the images to enlarge them and enjoy every detail of these stunning decorations, beautifully captured by Gianluca & Mary Adovasio. Feel free to contact us if you want more information about this incredible venue and other options available to plan your dream wedding on the Italian Riviera.
Image Credits: Gianluca & Mary Adovasio ©.