On the enchanting coastline of Amalfi, amidst sparkling azure waters and awe-inspiring mountain vistas, Oxana and Michael celebrated a wedding that surpassed all expectations, embodying opulence and refinement. Nestled in a villa overlooking the breathtaking landscape, every detail exuded beauty, from the lavish decorations to the meticulously crafted accents. With a year of planning, the efforts of the couple and their wedding planner culminated in a magnificent affair that brought together loved ones from across the globe. This celebration was imbued with the intent of creating cherished memories to endure forever, a testament to a union of love and family values.
Tell us a little about yourselves. How did you meet? What do you do for a living? What are your hobbies?
I am an architect turned into an artist. From 10 years of planning buildings in Innsbruck, Austria I went to the life of a pop artist (since 2013), painting on canvases and making exhibitions. It gives me a better experience of creativity and self realization. My husband Michael Polzler is from Toronto, Canada. He works for a big real estate company. He was living in Vienna, and I was living in Innsbruck when we met online. But our first personal meeting happened not in Austria, what would be more expected, but in Miami, Florida, where we both had a separate vacation shortly after he was asking for a date. We just both were at the same time in Miami, where we still love to spend time together with his Canadian family every year.
Can you share your engagement story?
Our engagement happened in Pompano Beach in South Florida on my birthday 17 January 2022. My husband invited me for a beach walk and at some point he turned to me and asked if I wanted to marry him. Of course I said yes. We planned a Birthday dinner with a family at the evening — so we told our relatives about our engagement and it was a great additional reason to celebrate it together.
Where was your wedding? Why did you choose this venue?
The Wedding was in a Belmond Hotel Caruso in Ravello, Amalfi Coast Italy on May 20. 2023. Our Welcome Dinner a day before was in Trattoria da Lorenzo in Scala, 10 min drive from Ravello. We had a lot of international guests: Canada, USA, England,
Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Israel, Russia, Portugal, Spain — so we wanted to choose an attractive destination for every guest, because most people would need to travel from far away anyways if they would join us on our special day. My dream was always to have our wedding in a romantic and beautiful location with a sea view and for my groom the landscape with hills and serpentine roads was also very appealing, because he loves driving his sports cars in the mountains in the early mornings before the crazy traffic starts. We live in Switzerland now, that's why we decided just to go south. We both love Italian food, vines and the atmosphere of Italian dolce vita.
What was the concept behind your wedding and how did you find your inspiration?
Hotel Belmond Caruso has a beautiful garden with olive and orange trees and incredible view to the sea coast, because Ravello is located very high above other villages of the Amalfi Coast. So I felt like we are going to get married between the sea and the sky in the green romantic gartens when the fairies will dance around us and the mountain winds will hear our wedding vows together with our guests. At the same time Caruso is a very old classic Italian villa rises above the crowds, so our wedding was planned to be a very classy, elegant, sophisticated and at the same time a magic event, where the the people from different countries coming together like a winds from every corner of the planet where they all gently connecting to ones for a very special moment of our union.
For the Welcome Dinner in Trattoria da Lorenzo a day before we wanted to create a feeling of a really big Italian family dinner, with a lot of fun, good wine, pasta, pizza, a lot of antipasti and a real Italian band. The atmosphere of this Italian Night was so brilliant, that I still remember our happy guests dancing and laughing singing the famous Bella Ciao song.
How long did it take to plan your wedding? Did you encounter any challenges during the planning process?
I can tell that it was really a full 1 year project to organize the joyful and colorful Welcome dinner in classic Italian trattoria in Scala and then the romantic sophisticated Wedding in Caruso by itself. Even if we had the help of a professional wedding planner, still it was a lot of details to think about and a lot of decisions which needed to be made. The most important parts were not even the design of the wedding or choosing the right dresses, the most important was to find a right location for 80 guest (what is not always easy on the Amalfi coast, where everything is pretty small) and more than that — to get an appointment on the attractive times for us, because Amalfi Coast is a desirable wedding destination in Europe. We got lucky that we had the time which we wanted. After this we definitely knew that we had already done 50 % of work for the successful event.
How many guests did you have? And what was the seating arrangement at the wedding like?
We had 80 guests. It was one long table and 4 round tables on the side.
Tell us about your outfits. How many different styles have you tried?
I was in love literally with a second dress which I tried on in the wedding boutique in Zürich. It was so thin, delicate and light and it felt immediately like a second skin on me. All the other dresses were too uncomfortable, too big and heavy or they had corsets and scratchy sparkling details… I felt like I found my light elegant fairy princess dress so easy — so I keep saying that the dress was the easiest part of all the planning. I had only one dress during the wedding day, because it was THE dress and it was so weightloss like a butterfly wings, so I could forget about everything and just enjoy our amazing moments. The white wedding shoes were from Jimmy Choo fully decorated with pearls.
What was your first dance song? Did you choreograph or improvise?
Our first dance song was Elvis Presley ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ — the forever classic. We improvised our dance, going the most natural way for us. I am happy about it because I was not worried at all thinking what if I would forget any move. We were surrounded by our friends and family and we wanted to be like we are, without playing any role or pretending to be perfect dancers.
Did you have any special performances or entertainment?
We had a magician for the Cocktail hour, the harpist for the ceremony and violin players during the dinner, and then the DJ for the party. And an Italian band for the welcome dinner.
What was the most memorable moment from your wedding day?
Changing the vows and rings and looking at my husband, understanding that now this is really happening - it was very exciting.
Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?
Yes, I would mention our wedding planner Andrea Naar Alba from The Italian Wedding and Events. She was very professional and she was able to perfectly manage the locations during the spontaneous weather changes and reorganizing everything at the last minute. I could not imagine to plan such a big event without her support and experience, starting from visiting the venues till the last details of the table decoration, especially when you need someone who speaks Italian and she can easily manage everything. Andrea has a good taste and working with her means that at the end of the day you will definitely get an aesthetically beautiful and excellent organized wedding.
What advice would you give to couples who are currently planning their wedding?
Start to choose the venue immediately and know exactly how many guests you will invite — some venues are more difficult to book as another’s. Find some additional assistant besides the wedding planner, who will help you with multiply offers, contracts for the vendors and accounting. Otherwise you will be overwhelmed by the tons of paperwork. Choosing beautiful but comfortable wedding shoes is often more difficult than everything else. Especially if your venue is in the garden, there are stones or it is a wooden pier. Take more time to find the perfect couple!
Were there national/religious traditions at your wedding and how did you implement them?
We had a Handfasting ceremony. This is an ancient Celtic ritual symbolizing the binding of two lives. We included this ceremony to our wedding ceremony, so it was a part of it — like changing vows and rings and binding the hands as well.
Did you make a gift for guests, and what was it? What did you give each other as a gift?
We had cute little bottles of Italian olive oil on the tables by the Welcome Dinner — so our guests were taking them as little souvenirs.
What gift from guests do you remember the most?
The biggest gift was for us that almost all guests were able to come from so far away — we appreciate this more than any gifts.
What helped you cope with the anxiety before the wedding?
Nothing! We were thrilled till the last point about the weather conditions. Even if everything was already perfectly organized — still there are factors which people just can not control. The last decisions about reorganizing our dinner location and ceremony location inside of Caruso Hotel were made at the last moment — because it was rainy and cold to sit outside for the wedding dinner. Even it was originally planned in the garden. The weather in Italy was anomaly these days and we needed to change almost everything. I was really worried about it till the last moments when we really realized that everything will be different as we planned. However our guests were very happy that they were sitting warm inside instead of having instagramable dining pictures.
Flowers & decor: @flowersliving
Rentals & stage: @geg_party_service
Stationery: @momental & @eyderdesign
Light design & sound: @fratellipizzasrl
Music & entertainment: @mhoevents
Fairy lights: @antare_events