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A couple from the USA, Zach and Kelly, turned to me for help in organizing an authentic wedding, and when I realized what they wanted, I exclaimed “Finally!” Finally, I got a brave enough and temerarious couple for a wedding adventure on the very top of the highest active volcano in Europe! The couple wanted the ceremony as close as possible to the active craters of Etna, and this was only possible with trekking.

The task was not an easy one: to organize a rather complicated and expensive decor in an absolutely wild place without the possibility of delivery and pick up by a car, to take into account the light and the possibility of a strong wind ( mt Etna was chosen by the NASA as a test site for the Mars rover precisely because of the unpredictable weather). I had to develop, together with decorators, such an arch so that it is most stable during gusts of wind and during long transportation. I developed a detailed plan for the wedding day, taking into account 1 hour of hiking and taking into account all possible details and circumstances during this trekking, since the trail was chosen semi-wild without any services along the way.



The best suppliers were found who agreed to hike the trail, some part of which was quite a steep hill, and about 7 km long. 25 decorators carried decor and flowers to the place of the ceremony. The bride chose expensive flowers, orchids, hydrangeas, and white roses, which were decorated with contrasting hazel branches in a chic open-top arch. For the stability of the arch during the wind, a special stabilizing structure was developed. The couple was traditionally filmed during preparations at a spa resort on Etna, then dressed for trekking, and drove to the start of the trail in the company of a film crew and me. The trail chosen was called Schiena dell’Asino, at the end of which there is a unique view of the main crater of the volcano and the Valle del Bove, where lava flows down during eruptions. The trail is popular with hikers, as the Etna eruption can be seen up close in relative safety. The wedding for two took place in June on a weekday, so we met very few tourists on the way, the ceremony turned out to be very intimate, as planned.

As for the details, there were many, and some of them are worth a detailed description. The couple wanted this ceremony to be very unusual but also reflect their personal love story. A personalized ring box was designed and painted by our talented artist, it featured white orchids on the top against a black background of volcanic lava, Etna erupting inside the box, and a surprise from the bride to the groom at the very bottom. Since Zach was an absolute admirer of whales, a surprise was prepared especially for him in the form of a painted whale, hidden under rose petals and rings. For the symbolic ceremony, a mix of rituals was chosen by the couple, a sand ceremony and a rose ceremony were held with the participation of the bridesmaids, and the handfasting ceremony was the final chord. For this ceremony, I carefully selected various ribbons brought from Norway, which were also decorated with a decorative volcanic stone and a silver pendant in the shape of Sicily from a well-known Italian designer (you can find the names of suppliers on social networks Instagram and Facebook).



Living on the volcano literally for more than 14 years, I, like all its indigenous inhabitants, am in love with this Mountain and quite reasonably consider it alive. How many times was this the case when the eruption preceded some important social events, or simply Etna greeted her admirers at “that very moment.” And this time, on the way to the ceremony site, Etna “released” a greeting in the shape of a heart!
After such a parting wish, one could not worry that something would go wrong, and it happened: there was practically no wind, Etna quietly “smoked” when necessary, and without overdoing it, the sunset was completely surreal in a matte haze overlooking the Ionian Sea from heights of almost 3000 meters. The atmosphere was so magical that the couple wanted to stay at the top almost until darkness, and I had to reschedule the wedding cake and wedding dinner organized in the same resort for a little later.

The gallery presents shootings of two wedding days:
— pre-wedding day with shooting in the castle of Aci Castello and a ride in a retro car, photographer Tatiana Costantino
– main wedding day: photographer Gianluca Sammartano, videographer Serena Catanzaro

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