If like me your ideal wedding does not involve hundreds of guests, packed out churches, and big ceremonies then why not go abroad? It's not as expensive, you can keep the numbers down and if you look around, you can find a simply stunning location. For this piece I present the Chiesa Di San Francesco.
When looking for a place to get married I had the Amalfi Coast in mind but the venues weren’t what I had hoped. If I was going to convince my future wife to get on a plane (she hates flying) I needed something she couldn’t say “no” to. Looking through the brochures some more, I came across nearby Sorrento, which offered the Chiesa Di San Francesco as a venue.
Using its translated name, the Church of St. Francis was an ancient oratory founded by Saint Antonino, the Patron Saint of Sorrento. In the fourteenth century, it was transformed into a church by Franciscan Friars and in 1926, the white facade was rebuilt in marble. It is located between Via San Francesco and the coastal cliffs offering both a convenient location and spectacular views.
Of more relevance (as it is the place where civil ceremonies are held) the cloister stands by the church, accessed through an archway and leading into peaceful grounds of mixed architectural styles and seasonal flowers. Given how close the cloister is to the hubbub of the city it’s strangely tranquil and feels completely secluded adding to the cloisters’ suitability as a wedding venue.
On the big day itself, you can tailor the decor to suit with options ranging from decorated tables, balloons, flowers, and chairs. We opted for a simple standing wedding under a hanging tree offering shade with a seating area for guests and a decorated table. In addition, we hired a mandolin player who played amazingly well (even entertaining the children afterwards) and added to the overall ambience as he played throughout the ceremony.
Even without these little touches the cloisters themselves are stunning with an aged beauty about them and I can wholeheartedly recommend them as a wedding venue. Not only is the tranquility and beauty romantic, but the location should ensure you have some stunning photos to take away and remember one of the most special days of your life.
The only downside is it’s likely you’ll be the bride or groom so like me you won’t be able to take many (if any) photos! Thankfully I handed my Dad my Fujifilm Silvi loaded with some Kodak Tri-X to preserve some analogue memories.