italy wedding photographer dana cubbage

Intimate Wedding at Tenuta Verdoliva in Gragnano Italy // Michelle + Craig

February 2, 2024

published on

filed under

When Michelle reached out and asked if I’d be willing to travel to Italy for their intimate destination wedding at Tenuta Verdoliva, it was an immediate yes!  I absolutely love traveling and Italy is definitely my home away from home, so I’ll take any chance I can to go back.

Their weekend started off with a rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding at a local restaurant called Baccanera in Castellammare di Stabia.  They rented out the entire downstairs bar, which was an old wine cellar.  Guests enjoyed food + drinks aplenty, with wine + Aperol spritzes galore.

Their church, Chiesa di San Michele, was absolutely BEAUTIFUL and decked out in the most gorgeous white + blue florals.  Craig’s father got ordained as a Catholic priest just for this occasion and he performed a super personal ceremony, which had the couple in tears and in laughter.  It was one of the most beautiful ceremonies I’ve ever witnessed.  After saying their vows and saying “I do!”, the happy couple exited the church as guests threw rice at them – an Italian tradition.

tenuta verdoliva italy wedding

Guests were greeted at Tenuta Verdoliva with an al fresco 2 1/2 hour cocktail party featuring handmade mozzarella, shellfish, an assortment of salads, different types of polenta, bruschetta, and other traditional Italian fare.  The sheer amount of food served during cocktail “hour” was INSANE – and it was all absolutely delicious, thanks to the best caterer in the region.  The band played the entire cocktail reception, including electric violin pieces and saxophone solos.

The escort display paid homage to Taylor Swift, using lyrics from Lover – “at every table, {we’ll} save you a seat”.  Bottles of local limoncello served as both escort cards and favors for their guests.

As the sun started to set, guests were invited to the long family-style table overlooking the valley of Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius.  Dinner was an extended 3 course meal, consisting of pasta, steak, and dessert.  The couple socialized with guests between courses and everyone was having the best time under the beautiful fall sky.  As dinner ended, guests were invited back down to the dance floor  – where Michelle + Craig shared their first dance as husband and wife.  After a quick outfit and hair change, the couple cut their wedding cake as cold sparks were lit around them – a surprise for the couple and a really fun moment!

More food was served throughout the night, including a huge dessert bar filled with traditional Italian desserts, late night pizzas, and a pasta alla ruota (pasta made in a hollowed out cheese wheel) crafted by the owner of the catering company himself.  The dance floor was packed and the band was absolutely incredible.  This wedding touched all of the five sense and was really just such an incredible experience.  Guests couldn’t stop raving about the day, the venue, the food, the drinks… it was an amazing day.  Here are some of my favorites from Michelle + Craig’s wedding at Tenuta Verdoliva in Italy…

italy destination wedding at tenuta verdoliva near sorrento

Photography: Dana Cubbage Weddings | Ceremony Venue: Chiesa di San Michele | Reception Venue: Tenuta Verdoliva | Planning + Coordination: Giusi Coscione | Florals: Il Regno Dei Fiori | Gown: Calla Blanche | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Hair: Compagnia Della Bellezza Aversa | Makeup: Rossella Migliore | Bride’s Jewelry: personal | Men’s Attire: The Black Tux | Band: Daudia Official | Catering: Perrotta 838 | Linens + Rentals: Allestimenti Le Rose | Stationery: Sweet Dates Prints

read more

With a well-worn passport in hand, and an affinity for a good cocktail, Dana works with fun-loving and kind-hearted clients around the globe. 

meet DANA