Planning a destination wedding?Can you live without this spreadsheet in your life as you start your planning journey?


Capture the detail & Stay in control





I can see you now…

Recently engaged, congratulations by the way. 

You have been dreaming of getting married in Italy for what seems like forever, and now you can start planning. 

You are feeling giddy with excitement, your head full of dreamy scenes, twinkly lights & all the romance that Italy has to offer. 


So the first thing you do is a google search and then the overwhelm begins

Where do you even begin?

Which part of Italy?

Which wedding planner can you trust?

How much is it all going to cost?

What you need in your life at this point, is the MEGA Planning Spreadsheet, that has been written to help you capture all the information that you will be taking in over the coming weeks. 

The Mega Planning Spreadsheet has a tab for everything you need to keep track on








This retreat will be a wondrous experience. Like any social gathering or relationship (and workshops are both), the most successful ones seem fated, even magical. Over the space of a few days, a great exchange between complete strangers will take place as extravagant, reciprocal gifts of time, creative energy and emotion and generously bestowed and gratefully received.

When I am planning weddings, and working with photographers and videographers, (I am sure they will tell you), I like to layer the day with magic and surprise, so that the photographs or film tell a beautiful love story. I get to know the couple, listen to what they love, and aim to delight them on their wedding day.  This may be surprising the couple with a vintage white Vespa for photos or asking Baffo the local ice-cream maker to bring gelato to the couple after the ceremony.  For me every wedding is an opportunity to capture the romance and beauty of Italy and tell a magical love story.  

I will leave no stone unturned in surprising you. There will be 2 styled shoots. The first is  a full day shoot in a medieval village, the setting a 17th Century Palazzo courtyard and we get access to the historic Palazzo too. We will be shooting in one of the prettiest villages in Italy which has tiny cobbled streets, narrow alleyways, doorways to die for, and the most breathtaking views over Santa Maria di Castellabate and across to the Amalfi Coast and Capri.  Working with the amazing Valentina from The Stars Inside, she will be styling the shoots, so they will be of a very high quality.  Valentina is working with the industry best for wedding attire, stationary and accessories.  We have the amazing Agnes Black coming to photograph the event, she will be capturing images for the suppliers involved and telling the story of everything that unfolds over the 4 days.  We will cover all elements of a wedding day, starting with bridal preparation, ceremony, table scape, sunset kiss, first dance and of course a cake, which is being supplied by Jen, from Edible Essence,  she is flying in especially to bring the most amazing cake for our shoot.  You will get to meet the models before the shoots, and see them at least 1 month before the retreat.

Our shoot on Day 2, involves another gorgeous couple in a different location.   For those of you that have a wedding planning business, there will be sessions for you to find out more about how weddings in Italy work and how to book the perfect Italian Wedding.    There will be an option to stay on another day and to visit some venues on the coast and also along the Amalfi Coast too.  

Julie x

I cannot wait to share My Secret Italy with you all.

Cost of retreat

A deposit of £500 will secure your place.

The balance of £1,300 will be due on 28th July 2019.
Apart from your flights, accommodation in your own double room with outside space, meals, transfers & the fabulous learning experience, are all included.



Check in

Meet & Greet Prosecco and Light Lunch before time to settle in and chill out. You may wish to go for a walk, take a nap or read a book. It is up to you. This is your time. 

There is nothing more uplifting that a group of like-minded women coming together, so let’s say hello over a healthy dinner on our private terrace.  


We feel that in order to create the perfect love story, you have to know and love your business, so on your first day Melissa Love will be talking to you about branding, websites and helping you discover who your Ideal Client is and where to find them.

Hannah Millard will be teaching about Fusion, how she moved from Photography to video and sharing her tips and knowledge with you all

Neil from Authentic Wedding Films will be talking to you about Destination Weddings, how to get them, how to approach a wedding planners, what kit you need and more about his style.

 Natalie, from Agnes Black,  will be talking to you about creating content for editorials, and submitting to blogs and more about the shoots. 

After Lunch, then we will be back to the Classroom for the master class with Mr Philip White. He will be talking for most of the afternoon about all the things he has learned over his career, his approach and methods of shooting. 

After a fairly intense day we will have time for a quick swim in the pool before a very relaxed evening and dinner at the hotel.




So much time, expense and creativity will go into the quality of the shoots for you today.   This retreat is only open to a few so when you are filming, the groups will be small and you will never be fighting for a shot.  There will be 3 groups lead by Natalie, Neil and Hannah.

A short journey  to the   medieval village of Castellabate for an epic styled shoot, taking in all elements of a destination wedding from bridal preparation to the first dance.  

We will have lunch in a little Piazza where time has stood still. The Piazza dates back to 1123.  After a full day of filming/shooting it will be time to capture a  kiss with the couple as the sun sets over Capri, we will have a relaxed dinner in the village, fuelled by fairy lights and candles, before returning to the hotel.  

Whilst the videographers and photographers are busy on the shoots, there will be time for the planner to learn more about weddings in Italy and how to plan the perfect Italian wedding. 




After Breakfast we will be continuing our love storytelling journey with a new couple, hopelessly in love, and focusing on an elopement.  This will take place in San Marco, and there will be lots of time to walk around filming the village, the locals and the couple in this styled shoot.  

Lunch at the hotel will be followed by our final classroom session to discuss what we have learned and ask any questions.  We will be joined by a few of Julie’s Italian Wedding Planner colleagues who will stick around for the rest of the day and join us for dinner, giving you plenty of time to network with well-known planners.  

We will close early to allow you some time to chill out and prepare for our gala dinner, which will be in Santa Maria di Castellabate.  This will be a surprise event, so you can put your glad rags on and let your hair down.  


Early breakfast and Transfer to Naples for your return flight home



This stunning hotel is situated on the Cilento Coast in San Marco di Castellabate.  There is FREE WIFI, mini bar in the room, swimming pool, reception that is manned 24/7. This is where we also hosted the Secret Retreat Photography Workshop, so we know and love this hotel.  Our classrooms will take place on a shady private terrace close to the sea.  The rooms are air-conditioned.


Where in Italy

The retreat will take place in the stunning Cilento Coast in the seaside town of Santa Maria di  Castellabate. Santa Maria is a 2 hour transfer from Naples airport. The Cilento Coast lies to the south of the more well known area of Amalfi Coast. The whole area is more traditional with a stunning coastline and part of the Unesco World Heritage Site.  This is the real deal, the real authentic Italia.

How much does it cost?

This retreat costs £1,600
A deposit will secure your place of £350.
The balance of £1,300 will be due on 28th July 2019.

Apart from your flights everything else is included.

Transfers will be included from Naples (Morning Arrival and Departure)

4 Nights in the Residenza D’epoca Olimpia IN A DOUBLE ROOM JUST FOR YOU.  Should you wish to share, then there will be a slight reduction in the room rate.  

All meals with wine included

Live Music on the last night with a special dinner under the stars

Morning out to the ancient temples of Paestum for our morning meditation. The temples date back to Greek times (all about the Greeks, as Shirley Valentine said!) and which are 4000 years old. 




The nearest airport to Santa Maria di Castellabate is Naples.  Your return transfer is included (specific arrival and departure times).  


The weather is usually warm and sunny in October, the evenings are slightly cooler. Pack for warmer weather, but bring some light layers for the evening. There might be the occasional rainstorm but they last no more than an hour. Do pack a swimsuit if you like swimming and want to go in the sea!  It will be warm and inviting. 

Suggestions on what to bring with you

We provide yoga mats and blankets. Bring your sunglasses, sun protection.  Headphones so you can catch up on your favourite podcast, listen to some classical music or catch up with a movie.  Trainers as we will have the opportunity to go for some nice walks. We have a small library of books which you are welcome to read. 




If anything is unclear or you have a question that we haven’t answered, just get in touch. 


Free Italy

Planning Guide

This guide has been written with love to help you at the start of your planning journey....

Pin It on Pinterest