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This Bride Shares a Wedding Anniversary with Nine Other Couples in Her Family

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Kristin Byrum Photography

|Planning by 

Italian Wedding Event

There were only two places Sarah Beth Fishel could picture herself getting married to Edward “Teddy” Allen Hawke: her parents’ Christmas Tree farm in North Carolina or Italy. With support from loved ones, they took the leap and went with the latter. “I knew that I wanted the Amalfi Coast in the summer,” Sarah says. “I pictured warm weather, boat rides, blooming flowers, clear blue water, citrus trees…all the hallmark things that make the Amalfi Coast so magical.”

To help plan a wedding in Italy from North Carolina, they hired Federica Nascimben of Italian Wedding Event. She was integral in recommending their venue, Villa Eva in Ravello. “I was in love with the jasmine covered tent, mountaintop views, and gathering areas,” Sarah explains. And to set the colorful tone, Karli Strohschein designed watercolor save the dates, a signature wedding crest, and the invitation envelope liner, while Delighted Calligraphy did the personalized invites.

Since Sarah was a child, she had her heart set on getting married on June 13th—the anniversary of nine other couples in her family, including her sister, parents, and grandparents. Although it fell on a Thursday in 2019, they figured the days of the week didn’t really matter. “The tradition began in 1943 with my great aunt and uncle, and we are honored to now share our anniversary with so many great examples of marriage,” the bride explains. “One of the bands I wear was my grandmother’s gold wedding band and engraved on the inside are their initials and June 13, 1945.”

During the wedding weekend, Sarah wanted to dress colorfully. Capitol and Poole Shop in Charlotte, North Carolina were responsible for all her outfits—the bride had worked at the sister shops as a side job for four wonderful years. For the welcome party, she chose a Dolce & Gabbana jumpsuit with Mercedes Salazar lemon earrings, and for the rehearsal dinner, she went more glam with an Erdem gown, Oscar de la Renta earrings, and a gold Chanel bag.

Sarah’s wedding gown was not what she originally envisioned at all, but she fell in love with her “light and airy” Oscar de la Renta dress. “It had so many understated details that I fell in love with—the hand-painted flowers, beading, pleated layers, and horsehair trim,” the bride shares. And since Ravello is very rocky with lots of steps and hills, she smartly chose Castaner satin espadrilles as her bridal shoes. To complete her look, she wore a Jennifer Behr floral barrette in her hair and carried a bouquet of white freesia, peonies, and lily of the valley with her grandmother’s watch tucked around the stems. 

Teddy and his brothers looked sharp in white dinner jackets from J.Crew with black bow ties and cummerbunds. Sarah also gifted her groom a handkerchief stitched with his initials and the wedding date. “It’s something we eventually hope to pass on,” she explains. “However, I’m pretty sure I got lipstick on it at some point.”

Overlooking the Amalfi Coast, guests found custom painted woven fans from Colombia and lace parasols. And then Sarah walked down the aisle with her father to the Italian officiant, who they had never met before. Because they had had no time to prepare, there were some unrehearsed humorous moment. “She pronounced our last name ‘Hawk-eh,’ and at one point asked us to recite our own vows we had prepared—which we hadn’t,” Sarah remembers. “I’ll never forget the look of sheer panic that came across Teddy’s face.”

After being announced as husband and wife, guests were greeted in the villa’s garden with the couple’s signature cocktail—The Hubbell Bubble, named after their golden-doodle. The string quartet from the ceremony continued playing, while canapés, bellinis, and Aperol spritzes were enjoyed, and the men had a fun time with the cigar bar.

Then dinner was served at two long tables under an open-air structure that was crawling with jasmine. “The smell of white jasmine instantly takes me back; hopefully it will remain with our guests as well,” Sarah says. The five-course meal consisted of two pasta dishes and fresh caught fish and appropriately ended with tiramisu. 

The newlyweds headed onto the dance floor to cut their vanilla Chantilly cake adorned with orange blossoms and tangerines. And they had their first dance to Leon Bridges’s “Coming Home.” “My girlfriends and I love to dance,” Sarah says. “We had a great, lively band, and we were all out there the entire time. The night flew by. I remember feeling so sad when it was midnight, I didn’t want it be over—I still don’t!”

After the reception, guests reconvened in the town square, where Prosecco bottles, wine, limoncello, and cigars were passed. “We made friends with everyone else at the square, especially this incredibly talented English musician with a guitar,” Sarah remembers. “He led us in several songs ranging from ‘Wagon Wheel’, ‘Your Song,’ ‘Country Roads,’ and ‘Stand By Me.’” The party wandered back to their hotels at around 4:00 a.m. “I did feel terribly sorry for everyone who was traveling that same day.”

Once the two were back in North Carolina, they had a small civil ceremony and a huge party after that included all of their extended family and friends, who couldn’t come to Italy. Sarah says, “In the end, we really got the best of both worlds.”