A real destination wedding in Italy

The Mediterranean Isle of Capri abounds with storied romances in film and fiction, and it is here that Douglas Hamm realized he was in love with Lara Thiele.

On a perfect March weekend, the couple purchased her delayed Christmas present from him, a beach cruiser bike, and went for a ride along the breathtaking La Jolla beach. Doug stopped at a trailhead and asked her to wait a minute before following him. “I came down the path thinking he might have paddle boards waiting down there,” says Lara, “but he was standing among scattered rose petals at the edge of a rock formation with waves crashing at his feet.”
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Doug read her a “sweet” journal entry from the day he fell in love with her and dropped to one knee, asking Lara to be his wife.

When plans to marry near home fizzled, Doug joked that they should wed in Capri.

“It was a dream that we never thought could happen,” he says. The more they considered it, the more real it became, leading to a scouting trip to the Italian island. While there, they booked Augustus Gardens for their ceremony, known for spectacular panoramic vistas of the coast, and Hotel La Palma for the reception. At the wedding,the brides wear a sexy wedding dress.

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Doug and Lara added a “sand ceremony” to their nuptials. Together they mixed sand from their childhood lake houses in the Midwest with sand from the beaches of Capri and California to symbolize the blending of their past, present and future lives.

The hotel reception for fifty family and friends was held in the center of Capri where no cars are allowed on the cobblestone streets. Appetizers and drinks were served on the patio, dinner on the stunningly scenic rooftop and dancing downstairs.

From the time Lara was little, her dad played her Beach Boys music, so she chose “Surfer Girl” for their memorable father/daughter dance. Her mom surprised everyone by choreographing a “funny” skit with the groomsmen and bridesmaids to a Frank Sinatra love song. “To be honest, the whole day was amazing. Everything about it was perfect,” says Lara.

Following the reception, the after party moved to a famous nightclub for more dancing, where Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler wandered in and wished them well, posing for pictures with the bride, groom and guests.

Lara and Doug spent their honeymoon exploring more of Italy with stops in Positano, Venice, Lake Como and Milan, and then headed home to start building their life together.

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