Planning a three-day destination wedding in Italy during a global pandemic is a challenge that was unheard of until 2020 – yet somehow, Justina Ezerskyte and David Saunders made it work.
“I met David via online dating,” says Justina, “and whilst it’s not for everyone, we couldn’t be happier that we both swiped right! I’m from Lithuania and David is from England; and despite some cultural differences, we hit it off immediately. Within our first few dates we found a common love of rooftop bars and cinemas dotted throughout London’s trendiest areas.”
According to Justina, the proposal was “romantic, funny, but almost disastrous.” David popped the question while the couple was on a trip to visit Justina’s family. The setting was exquisite, as the two were standing on a wooden slat bridge arching over a river in the Lithuanian forest. Feeling nervous, David didn’t realize he had opened the ring box upside down; but fortunately, he was able to grab the engagement ring before it fell through the gaps in the bridge. There was a massive sigh of relief, although the entire family was fully prepared to take a dip in the river to retrieve the ring.
“GETTING MARRIED DURING COVID WAS STRESSFUL FOR EVERYONE INVOLVED, BUT WITH ONLY A MONTH BEFORE THE BIG DAY WE MADE A FINAL DECISION DO GO AHEAD.”
“On just our fourth date, David took me to Rome,” Justina shares. “Therefore, when he popped the question, we knew instantly that Italy would be the destination for us. We explored Lake Como initially, where we found our amazing photographer, Cristiano Ostinelli. But once we visited a little town called Ravello on the Amalfi Coast, we knew that was the place we wanted to get married and we booked Villa Eva immediately.”
“Getting married during Covid was stressful for everyone involved, but with only a month before the big day we made a final decision do go ahead, when all the advice was to postpone. This was the riskiest and most rewarding decision we ever made!
New Covid legislations were being interpreted differently by our vendors and we had to make alternative decisions quickly! We didn’t know if our guests would even be allowed to dance until the last moment. We are forever grateful to our wedding planners, Linda and Claire, who managed to guide us through this crazy time – we simply wouldn’t have been able to do it without them!”
Justina and David’s three-day destination wedding in Italy kicked off with a welcome pizza party atop a mountain overlooking the Amalfi Coast. The wedding ceremony took place at the stunning Scala ruins, and everyone reconvened for a reception at Villa Eva. On the final day, the couple hired a private boat with a DJ and saxophonist to celebrate the end of their wedding experience in style.
“We were so grateful for all the guests travelling from different parts of the world during a pandemic,” Justina adds, “we decided to give them personalised welcome bags to say thank you and they all loved it! Due to Covid, we had to postpone our honeymoon which was planned for the Bahamas and Jamaica, but we’re very lucky to be one of the few couples who managed to get married in 2020. At the end of the day, it was all we ever dreamed of and it was truly the best day of our lives!”