A Garden Wedding at Conca del Sogno on the Amalfi Coast
When Winslow Bright started planning her wedding with her fiancĂ© Angus McIntosh, she worked with one guiding theme: a secret garden on the water of the Amalfi Coast.
â€śOne of the many things I love about Italy, especially in Positano, is that your senses are overloadedâ€”you canâ€™t help but be completely swept up in the place and in the moment,â€ť she says. â€śWe tried to make every aspect of the week feel like we were all part of an exciting adventure.â€ť
On July 11, 2019, the New York-based couple invited 95 guests to the coast of Italy for a celebration that included several surprises. For one, none of the guests knew anything about the venue, Conca del Sogno, except that it took a boat ride to get there. That allowed Winslow to lean into the secret garden vibes at what is normally a restaurant and beach club. For the mother-son dance, Winslow, a professional musician, sang Louis Armstrongâ€™s â€śWhat a Wonderful Worldâ€ť for her new mother-in-law, and the venueâ€™s servers made a spectacle out of cocktail hour with their famous sgroppinos, a drink which blends lemon sorbet, Prosecco, and vodka. It involved them dancing on chairs.
Amid all the surprises, there were plenty of flowers, beautiful fashion, stunning Italian food, and lots of music, planned and executed by the team at Sposiamovi. All in all, it was a fantastical world created just for the newlyweds.
â€śDuring the seated dinner, Angus pulled me aside and told me to look out at our friends and familyâ€”just reminded me to remember that exact moment and be grateful for the incredible people that make our lives so colorful and special,â€ť Winslow says. â€śI felt such an emotional and strong connection to everyone in the room at that moment.â€ť
â€śWe tried to keep things subtle while making them personal to us,â€ť Winslow says of sprinkling little nods to their love story throughout the wedding touchpoints. That included a custom crest that honored their hometownsâ€”Dallas, Texas and Sydney, Australia, respectivelyâ€”mockingbirds and Kookaburras, and, of course, lemons for the Amalfi Coast.
â€śThe venue is beautiful on its own, but we really wanted to make it feel warm, natural, and garden-like,â€ť Winslow says. â€śItâ€™s a small peninsula within a cove so the views are beautiful overlooking rocks and candy-colored sunsets. We looked for the textures of the flowers to have a soft, romantic, and flowy nature inspired by the movement of the sea.â€ť
To honor her husbandâ€™s Australian heritage, Winslow donned a scalloped dress by Australian brand, Zimmerman.
It was important to Winslow to include Colombian touches in the Italian party to honor her Colombian roots. Her grandmother brought tablecloths stitched by my great-grandmother that we incorporated into our welcome events for decor, and she found a Colombian artist Simone Lejour to hand-paint fans for each of the guests.
As another nod to her Colombian heritage, Winslow wore a Johanna Ortiz dress for the rehearsal dinner. She paired the look with Cult Gaia heels, a Valentino clutch, and a pair of green cameo earrings she purchased in nearby Sorrento.
For the wedding day, Winslow wore an Inbal Dror gown that she said reminded her of being a mermaidâ€”perfect for a ceremony overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. She added a Maria Elena headpiece and blue topaz earrings, sourced from Colombia, as her something blue.
Angus worked with a stylist at Neiman Marcus in New York for his wedding look, which combined a Tom Ford white dinner jacket with blue Ermenegildo Zegna pants, Salvatore Ferragamo blue velvet shoes, and one last-minute addition: a Breitling watch, a wedding gift from Winslow.
To achieve a secret garden look at Conca del Sogno, Sposiamovi reminaged the venueâ€™s concrete beach club. They put down grass, set iron garden chairs out for guests, and added a massive floral arch.
On each chair sat a hand-painted fan, and the planning team hung jasmine from the rafters. As guests pulled up by boat, they really felt as though they were transported to a whimsical realm.
I loved that getting to the venue was an adventure in itself!
"I loved that getting to the venue was an adventure in itself, a built-in tour of the coast as Nerano is a 30-minute ride from Positano,â€ť Winslow says. Her own boat ride was quite the trip: wind tousled her hair and the boat kicked up water, but she made it look perfect, thanks to some hairspray.
â€śI always say it was love at first sight when I met Angus, so this song felt like the perfect fit,â€ť Winslow says of walking down the aisle to a string quartet playing â€śThe First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.â€ť
The coupleâ€™s good friend Jeffrey Peretz presided over the ceremony, which included thoughtful readings like Pablo Nerudaâ€™s Cien Sonetos de Amor (100 Love Sonnets) and musical lyrics like Stevie Wonderâ€™s â€śAs.â€ť
Pulling up to the venue by boat, I was speechlessâ€”it was breathtaking and such a thrill to see all of our plans come to life.
â€śPulling up to the venue by boat, I was speechlessâ€”it was breathtaking and such a thrill to see all of our plans come to life," Winslow recalls.
If the ceremony had turned a beach club into a dreamland, then the reception was even more of a fairy tale. Their florist, Malafronte Fiori, built structures to hang olive branches and jasmine from the ceiling as well as 25 chandeliers.
Guests sat at long tables topped with vases Winslowâ€™s mother found in Dallas, and custom linen napkins designed with a local Italian artist. The whole room brought together soft tones of blue and purple with candlelit and greenery, Winslow and Angusâ€™s own secret lair.
Stephanie Fishwick designed the menus featuring Winslowâ€™s subtle motifs: lemons, Italian tiles, birds, and flowers.
Guests dined on an Italian-inspired dinner paired with wines, like sea bass with olives and capers alongside an Aglianico red wine.
â€śWe were watching this beautiful buzzing dinner with people from different corners of the globe and different aspects of our lives,â€ť Winslow says of stealing a private moment away with her new husband. â€śItâ€™s a special moment that I love to look back on.â€ť
While guests enjoyed the meal, the ceremony space was flipped into a dance floor featuring a hand-painted tile design by Stephanie Fishwick. Winslow and Angus opened the party with a spin to Marvin Gayeâ€™s â€śYouâ€™re All I Need to Get By.â€ť
That same motif was used on the Italian sponge cake with Chantilly cream. After a night of dancing and toasts to the happy couple, the newlyweds hosted a luncheon the next day at Lo Scoglio Da Tommaso, complete with a boat tour of the Amalfi Coast. â€śWe stopped in various places to swim before having a long lunch recapping our favorite moments from the wedding the night before,â€ť Winslow says, noting they enjoyed basking in being married in the â€śmost beautiful place in the world.â€ť