REAL WEDDING

  • Photography By:

    JUSTIN LEE PHOTOGRAPHY

    LARA THIELE AND DOUGLAS HAMM

    JULY 30, 2013 IN CAPRI, 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. The two grew up in Edina, Minnesota, were high school friends, and would bump into each other when home on breaks from college. After graduation, Doug went backpacking across Europe while Lara was taking a summer semester in Italy.

    Fate played its hand and their paths crossed in Capri. “That’s where I fell for her,” says Doug, although it was a year until they “officially” started dating. 

    “…HE WAS STANDING AMONG SCATTERED ROSE PETALS AT THE EDGE OF A ROCK FORMATION WITH WAVES CRASHING AT HIS FEET.”

    He was living in San Diego, and she was headed for her first job in Chicago when they reconnected in Minnesota on the Fourth of July. After spending several days together, they knew they were destined for a long-distance relationship. Eventually, Lara joined Doug in California.

    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.” 

    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.

    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.

    WEDDING TALENT

    Ceremony Location: Augustus Gardens, Capri, Italy

    Reception Location, Caterer and Cake: Hotel La Palma Stressa, Capri, Italy 

    Event Design and Planner: Christie Rose Events, Beverly Hills, CA

    Floral Design: Capri Flor, Capri, Italy

    Stationery: Charming Grace Paperie, San Diego, CA

    Wedding Dress: Vera Wang

    Bride’s Shoes: Prada

    Groom’s Tuxedo and Shoes: Dolce & Gabbana

    Photography: Justin Lee Photography, San Diego, CA

    WEDDING TALENT

    Ceremony Location: Augustus Gardens, Capri, Italy; Reception Location, Caterer and Cake: Hotel La Palma Stressa, Capri, Italy; Event Design and Planner: Christie Rose Events, Beverly Hills, CA; Floral Design: Capri Flor, Capri, Italy; Stationery: Charming Grace Paperie, San Diego, CA; Wedding Dress: Vera WangBride’s Shoes: Prada; Groom’s Tuxedo and Shoes: Dolce & Gabbana; Photography: Justin Lee Photography, San Diego, CA