Start Slideshow View Grid Start Slideshow 31

A Joyous Destination Wedding with Plenty of Pasta, Wine, Espresso Martinis, and Fireworks at Villa Cimbrone

By Cathleen Freedman | Photography by 

Matteo Coltro

|Planning by 

Laura Bravi Events

After meeting at a bar in Dallas and dating for a year, Laura Hawkins and Matthew Weaver both knew they would one day marry each other, but, Laura notes, it was not something they wanted to rush. Instead, they enjoyed their four-year courtship.

While she knew Matt had already found an engagement ring and asked her father for his formal blessing, the proposal date and details were a surprise. On July 3, 2021, Matt took Laura to their favorite restaurant while a hired event planner snuck off to their house and decorated the backyard to perfection for Matt’s proposal later that night. 

Now engaged, the couple thought back to their summer trip along the Amalfi Coast in 2018. They explored the Villa Cimbrone property and decided they would someday get married there in the town of Ravello. They turned to Laura Bravi, a born-and-raised Italian wedding maven, for her planning expertise. “Hands down, my favorite person!” the bride confides. “She is such a joy to work with! There is no way we could have planned this wedding without her.” Together, they figured out the entire wedding over email messages and Zoom calls. Flowers Addicted arranged the sweeping florals, and the couple enlisted Matteo Coltro to photograph the day.

Laura and her mother traveled around Dallas bridal ateliers to find “the” dress, which ended up being the first gown she even tried on. This Vera Wang dress featured long sleeves with lightweight lace. While she loves this gown, she confides that she would have loved to have utilized Over The Moon’s styling service, which she brought on to curate her rehearsal dinner look (a stunning Danielle Frankel gown) and honeymoon wardrobe. “Before I picked my wedding dress, I was unaware of OTM and told Anny Choi a thousand times that I wish I had met her a few months earlier so she could have helped me with my wedding dress, veil, and jewelry!” Instead, she scrolled through Over The Moon’s Instagram and purchased a pair of Jamie Wolf earrings she saw on our feed for the ceremony. BLBS Management applied her glowing makeup. Her bridal party donned Needle & Thread gowns.

Laura’s dearest friend, Danielle Davidson, is the executive stylist for Knot Standard and helped Matt with his wedding day attire and rehearsal dinner suit. He slid on Stubbs & Wootton slippers to complete the look.

On May 9, 2022, Laura and her father began their three-minute walk toward the aisle. This was also her favorite part of the wedding. Strangers saw her and chanted and clapped, only fueling her excitement to finally see Matt surrounded by their closest family and friends. The ceremony that followed was short, sweet, and fun and made complete with the couple’s own personalized vows. Even though guests had bets that Laura would cry, she didn’t. Instead, she recalls, “It was just pure happiness, smiles, and laughter.”

Cocktail hour commenced on the Belvedere Terrace with a clear view of the Amalfi Coast. From there, guests moved to the reception area for a five-course meal. “With, yes, lots of pasta!” Laura asserts. “We did not want our guests to fly all the way to Italy and not have a meal that revolved around pasta and wine!” 

Guests who made their earlier bets that Laura would cry today would be pleased to know she did. When Laura saw the dinner set up in the crypt that also overlooked the coast, it brought tears to her eyes. Before twirling forks, the newlyweds took a twirl on the dance floor for their first dance to George Ezra’s “All My Love.” The mother-son and father-daughter dances happened afterward.

“The best thing Matt and I did when planning our wedding was, we switched up the locations and sceneries throughout the evening from the ceremony in the tea room to the cocktail hour on the Belvedere Terrace to the reception in the crypt,” Laura reflects. “It was like the zoo for adults!” There were also different musicians at every location, along with quite a few open bars.

It was imperative to the bride and groom that their guests have a spectacular night, especially considering how far they traveled. “While planning our wedding we kept thinking, ‘How are people going to want to dance after having so much pasta and wine?’” she shares. “Matt and I decided to have an epic cake cutting to really get our guests going.” While guests ate dessert, Laura changed the lighting to resemble the smoky blues and pinks of a nightclub, handed out espresso martinis, cranked up the volume of “Sweet” by Sigala, and lit up a few fireworks behind the newlyweds. This brought the energy levels up and beckoned everyone to the dance floor. The partying continued all the way till the next morning’s sunrise.