Symbolic ceremony in Positano
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It takes just one glimpse of colourful buildings tumbling down the steep mountainside towards the sea for you to understand why Positano is known as one of the most breathtakingly-beautiful towns of the Amalfi Coast. Renowned for its stunning natural landscape, this area encapsulates centuries of art, history and culture.
Dutch couple, Harry and Heidi, chose the ‘Vertical City’ of as the setting for their wedding vows renewal ceremony – a very special event to bear witness to the expression of their continued, and ever growing, love for one other.
When Harry first considered a vows renewal ceremony with Heidi, Italy – and particularly Positano – seemed the perfect romantic spot and as venue for their special celebration the couple chose the Hotel Marincanto. Built on the cliff’s edge, this enchanting and perfectly-appointed 5-star hotel offers panoramic views across the town and the Mediterranean sea from its many terraces.
Harry and Heidi’s wedding ceremony was celebrated on the hotel’s, aptly-named Sun Terrace, an ample red-brick verandah perched above the sea and boasting unparalleled views of Positano, and across the sparkling sea towards the Lì Galli islands in one direction and towards Praiano in the other.
Harry first met Heidi while at high school, some 23 years ago, and the couple were married in their native Holland 15 years ago. Harry had, for some time, considered proposing a vows renewal ceremony to Heidifrom a wish to reaffirm their love for each other and to create a cherished and wonderful new memory, at this new phase in their relationship and lives and before their nearest and dearest, including their three lovely children: Jesse, Sten and Mette.
Jesse, Sten and Mette each played an important role in the couple’s vows renewal ceremony. Jesse was responsible for the music during the ceremony, creating and playing a playlist of songs especially chosen for this important occasion. Sten bore the elegant glass vase that played a significant part in the ceremony and Mette – in a lovely pink and sequined dress – was both bridesmaid and ring bearer.
Before the ceremony began, our photographer Massimo captured shots of Harry, in an elegant suit and tie with a white rose buttonhole,and Heidi, wearing a beautiful traditional wedding dress and carrying a delicate white bridal bouquet designed by Malafronte florists.
Then, as the guests were seated, Harry & Heidi’s son Jesse took his place as the music maestro and Harry made his entrance, accompanied by his groomsmen. Harry then waited at the end of the white wedding carpet, sprinkled with rose petals, as Heidi and her bridesmaids – including her daughter Mette – made their entrance, and the ceremony began.
Our symbolic ceremony celebrant Carmela spent time getting to know Harry and Heidi before the wedding and created a very personal, bespoke vows renewal ceremony, based around their experiences, their relationship and their wishes – both for their ceremony and for the future.
Among their cherished family members and friends were Harry’s brother, Heidi’s sisters and her mum who, in spite of illness, made the long journey, accompanied by a nurse, to be there for the couple’s very special event, to the absolute joy of Harry & Heidi.
Seated on pretty white cushioned chairs facing the ceremony table, featuring a beautiful floral decoration – again by Malafronte florists – and overlooking the fabulous panoramic views, the guests watched as during their personal wedding vows to one another, Harry and Heidi both became emotional while speaking of their enduring and ever strengthening bond, and the happiness they have shared over their years together. Having exchanged their vows, the couple exchanged their wedding rings – brought to them by Mette. Harry chose to continue to wear his original wedding ring – a family heirloom which had belonged to his father before him and which was inscribed with both the date of his wedding to Heidi, and the date of their wedding vows renewal ceremony. Heidi received a beautiful new wedding ring, to wear alongside her original band as precious reminders of these two significant events in her life.
Then, to the delighted applause of their guests, Harry and Heidi were recognised and reaffirmed in their recommitment to one another as husband and wife!
Four of the couple’s closest friends – theirbridesmaids and groomsmen – were also the official witnesses to the event and to the signing of Harry and Heidi’s wedding vows renewal certificate, aptly renamed their certificate of love!
As Harry and Heidi chose to renew their vows during their 15th year of marriage – an anniversary traditionally represented by crystal or, in modern times, glass – a symbolic glass-breaking rite was added to the couple’s ceremony by our celebrant. The breaking of glass is an Italian wedding tradition, therefore even more appropriate to Harry and Heidi who wished to include elements of the traditions and culture of their chosen vows renewal destination in their ceremony.
To an Italian bride and groom, the breaking of glass symbolises the end of one phase and the beginning of another – moving from the past to the future. The bride and groom break the glass together, and afterwards the individual pieces are counted and are considered to represent the number of years of marriage the couple will enjoy.
Harry and Heidi placed a delicate glass vase, brought to them by their son Sten, into a pretty embroidered pouch and then, together, dropped it to the floor where it shattered into many pieces. Just to ensure an infinite number of years of happiness, the couple then stamped on the pouch to further smash the glass! As Harry and Heidi broke the glass, their guests shouted out the traditional words of best wishes for an Italian bride and groom: ‘Evviva gli sposi’!
Following a kiss between the ‘newly remarried’ Harry & Heidi, celebratory glasses of prosecco were passed to each of the guests and one of Harry’s groomsmen introduced a toast to the happy couple.
Among Harry and Heidi’s guests were a number of children, who were given a very important task at the end of the ceremony. They were each given a white balloon to hold. Traditionally, at the end of a wedding ceremony, balloons are released into the air along with wishes for the couple and for their future. The children were asked, with the help of their parents, to make a special wish for Harry and Heidi then to release their balloons to float away into the future! And this lovely symbolic element created a wonderful photographic opportunity as the pretty balloons floated away into the beautiful blue sky.
Harry, Heidi and their guests then relaxed and socialised on the terrace as they were served with drinks and delicious aperitifs by the Hotel Marincanto’s staff.
After enjoying the aperitifs, the group journeyed up to the mountaintop hamlet of Montepertuso where they had a celebratory dinner at La Tagliata, a charming and charateristic family-run restaurant that specialises in locally-grown ingredients and traditional dishes.
After dinner, Harry, Heidi and a number of their guests danced the night away at Music on the Rocks, Positano’s beach-based nightclub.
Their wedding vows renewal ceremony was exactly what Harry and Heidi had dreamed and wished for…what an amazing way to say ‘I do…again’!