Italy Part 2

Catch up on my first Italy post here! After exploring (and eating) as much as possible in Rome for 3 days - it was time to take the train south to the Amalfi coast! We arrived in Salerno and then drove to Maiori where we were staying for the next 5 days. The coastal towns in that area are so beautiful! The first night we walked from Maiori to Minori and ate an INCREDIBLE meal at Ristorante Pizzeria Giardiniello. I remember walking through the streets at dusk as the lights started to glow, turning the corner and seeing this amazing old church. I love that feeling of not knowing what you might find as you discover the details that make a town unique. 

The next day a small group of us chartered a boat to take us along the coast and up to Positano. If you’ve seen Under the Tuscan Sun as many times as I have you’ll know that Positano is the quintessential coastal  town where Marcello lived and reminded Frances that she’s still got it. If you ever find yourself there - make sure you can arrange to spend a few hours at least! It was so lovely and I wish we had been able to spend the whole day there. 

The wedding was probably the most beautiful wedding I’ll ever go to! I mean, it was on the coast of Italy so I really can’t think of a more idyllic location. We all took a bus up into the hills where the town of Ravello sits. The view from the ceremony site was so beautiful! Afterwards we all walked back through the town to the center square and explored a bit. 

The reception was held at the Norman Tower, the biggest and oldest one on the Amalfi Coast, built between 1250 and 1300. We enjoyed yummy hors d'oeuvres and cocktails on the rooftop before dinner and dancing inside. It was such a memorable and special day! 

After traveling back to Rome we had one last day to check out the flower markets, drink wine, and eat more pasta! We still talk about our trip and how much we love Italy. I’m sure some day we’ll go back. Until then - a least I have the memories and these photographs to take me back!

Kim & Jake | Married!

I’m making it an Early-New-Year’s-Resolution (is that a thing?) to get back on track with blogging. And I am so happy to start with Kim & Jake. These two are so kind-hearted and selfless. Even their wedding day was no exception as they went the extra mile to make sure all their loved ones felt appreciated. They even made sure to get veggie versions of Jimmy Johns for their vegetarian photographers (color me impressed and grateful). As I looked around there was no shortage of love and gratitude for one another. That is what a wedding is all about in my opinion: a big party with your most important people to celebrate the incredible love you have found. Kim & Jake, thank you for making my job a cake walk and being such sweethearts - I wish only the happiest of days for you two!

Vendors:

Ceremony & Reception: Two Brothers Round House in Aurora, IL

Wedding gown: The Crystal Bride in Geneva, IL

Hair & Makeup: Paul Joseph Salon in Naperville, IL

Groom attire: Men’s Warehouse

Rings: Keswick Jewelers in Arlington Heights, IL

Floral design: Candy of Prairie Basket

Cake: The Cakery in North Aurora, IL

DJ: Backthird Entertainment

Paper goods: Minted

Italy Part 1

Italy. How do I even begin describing it? It was a photographers dream. The colors, the textures, the unique and historic architecture literally everywhere you turn. To be a wedding photographer there - oh my goodness, I can only imagine... We landed in Rome and spent 3 nights there. We found a small but cute Airbnb near the Colosseum. It was perfect Roman living - a narrow, cobblestone street filled with shops and just around the corner from a ornate fountain. We soon realized this fountain becomes the perfect evening mingling spot for the locals to sit, sip their wine, and talk with their friends. SO cute. We were in a great location, walking distance to the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, Palatine Hill,  and the Roman Forum (all of which we visited) - not to mention many incredible restaurants! It was heaven. Tiresome heaven. All of the walking and sightseeing was hard work! But it was so worth it everyday. We made the most of it and visited all the sights I previously mentioned including the Vatican Museums - all in 3 days! I've tried to keep the photos mostly chronological. I hope you enjoy Rome from my point of view! Italy part 2 will include photographs from the second part of the trip when we got to the Amalfi Coast (insert heart-eye emoji here).

A few words of advice if you're soon going to Rome for the first time!

Definitely stay somewhere within walking distance to the spots I mentioned and bring shoes that you know will be comfortable. The cobblestone streets are charming to look at but very hard on your feet!

Read reviews on Trip Advisor to find the best places to eat and enjoy gelato. Surprisingly, not all gelato is created equal - even in Italy. Speaking of, always take the opportunity to sample the gelato to make sure its amazing!

I highly recommend going to the Vatican museums. I'm not a religious person. It was about the history and the art for me! The intricacy of the entire place is astounding. BUT do yourself a huge favor and buy your tickets ahead of time online! I read this tip before going and I'm so glad I did. It was exactly as they said - we walked around the outer wall for a while, passing a very long line of people who were waiting to buy tickets. We we able to pass them all and go straight in to go through security - which only took a few minutes! And we were in! So many hours saved I'm sure. Buy your tickets ahead of time on the official website here.