“Of course, I said yes." This sentence rings true for much of Danae Mercer's whirlwind love story. A year ago, the Dubai-based journalist and influencer met Niccolo Ricci, an Italian entrepreneur. "Within a month, I was staying with Nicco—even as Italy went into some tough Covid lockdowns. I figured if being together 24/7 was easy (and it was), then he was a keeper," Danae shares.
“Next, I took a risk and moved to Florence,” she says. “It meant changing my whole life and leaving my friends in Dubai, but I have zero regrets. Since then, we've combined our homes, mixed together my two kitties and his one doggo, and embarked on the most magnificent of adventures.”
Then, on a trip to Venice in May 2021, Nicco dropped down on one knee with his grandmother's ring. "The proposal was beyond beautiful—it was at the end of a gorgeous day we had exploring Venice, eating tiny sandwiches and drinking wine," explains Danae. "We were watching the sunset when Nicco pulled a ring out of his pocket. I burst into tears and made him repeat everything so I wouldn't forget. It was a beautiful speech about our future, our dreams, our goals as a couple, and other beautiful intimate things.”
The couple did not want to waste any time before they said "I do," and set a date for September 25, 2021 in Amalfi, Italy. “We actually spent a few months purposefully exploring different wedding locations around Italy, just to make sure we chose the right one for us as a couple," explains Danae. "But for us, Amalfi just felt right. The coastline, the view, the warm nature of the Southern Italians—all of it really spoke to our hearts.”
Getting the right venue proved to have some issues. Luckily, the couple's planner, Jacquieline at The Amalfi Experience, saved the day. “We lost our venue a month before the wedding," shares Danae. "That was pretty scary, and there was a stage where I was worried that we wouldn't find a new one. September is Amalfi's busiest time for weddings, plus there was the roll over from last year's Covid cancellations. Jacky found us a good villa alternative, but then she also approached us with Borgo Santandrea. The property had literally just opened, and we would be their first wedding, but it was so beautiful and sounded so amazing. We said yes, and it is one of the best decisions we made.”
With a guest list of just 30 people, Danae and Nicco hosted a beautiful weekend-long event to toast to their love along the Amalfi coastline. Ahead, explore the stunning multi-day wedding celebration planned by The Amalfi Experience and photographed by Gianni di Natale.
“Nicco and I are both pretty relaxed and happy, and we love the ocean,” shares the bride. "So we wanted to make sure that our wedding wasn’t too fussy, while it also incorporated the sea. Having the multiple ceremonies and events over several days really allowed us to spend time with our dear ones, which was a huge priority. And the spaces all had magnificent views, so everything just felt beyond special. Even the sunny weather was on our side.”
The first of the three days of events included a hike along Amalfi's Path of the Gods. "It was such a fun, sporty thing to do with our guests. And, it let us break the ice between people who really didn't know each other before," says Danae. The following day, the couple hosted a formal dinner at Monastero Santa Rosa.
"We had the guests dress in all white, which was stunning against the blues of the Monastero's pool and the sea," shares the bride. When guests arrived, they went down to an intimate garden area for glasses of bubbles."
Of all the events, the bride wanted to go most glam at her pre-wedding dinner, where she sported a stunning slip dress and a bold red lip. “I wore Karen Willis Holmes Sage dress, which is basically a long slinky, ‘90s style piece,” says Danae. “I had the train hemmed off and it made for a gorgeous pre-wedding outfit.”
“After an hour, we escorted guests to dinner. This was one of my favorite settings in terms of design,” shares Danae. “We had a long imperial table all done in white, with tall thin candles, white flowers, and candles in glass baubles hanging from the ceiling. Name plates were marked by limoncello bottles and calligraphy cards.”
“This was the night where we did speeches and the more formal stuff," says Danae. "We really wanted an elegant menu that let the local Italian food shine. So, we went with a delicate seared tuna on a bed of fennel starter, a risotto with fresh squid, and a gorgeous local fish cooked on the grill and served with a sweep of potato, followed by a warm lemon tart, chocolates, and coffee. The wine was really important to Nicco, and we had a lot of it.”
Come wedding day, the couple and their guests settled in at The Borgo Santandrea. “It was beyond stunning, so decorating felt so easy. We went with really delicate colors—navy, champagne, rose gold, and white,” says Danae. "And since our wedding was so small, we asked all of our guests to dress in those shades. It made for a really beautiful experience.”
For her wedding day, Danae wanted to go with a no-makeup-style look and a half-up half-down wavy hairstyle. “I wanted really simple, fresh, with dewy glowy skin and maybe a bit of shimmer on the eyes. But, I was also pretty relaxed about it all," the bride shares. "We ended up having nine gals that needed to get ready (myself, my four bridesmaids, two of my partner's grooms women, his mom, and my mom figure), and Beauty Livery managed it all. They're an incredible wedding company that does both hair and makeup, and they can handle larger groups. So, we got lucky.”
The simple design meant it was really easy to cover my shoulders with a lace bolero for the church.
For her dress, Danae chose an elegant crepe dress from Mikaella Bridal with a deep V and buttons down the back. "I loved the elegance of the design," shares the bride. "It didn't swamp me with fabric, plus it made me feel like a princess. The simple design meant it was really easy to cover my shoulders with a lace bolero for the church.”
For her accessories, Danae wore pink glitter Jimmy Choos and carried a bouquet of Lilly of the Valley. She also had on a few gifted pieces as well. “I wore a garter that a good friend gave me, plus jewelry all from Nicco's mom,” says Danae.
Danae's bridal party all chose their own outfits for the day. "Matchy-matchy isn't a thing in Italy, and I actually am not sure it's right for me anyways. I preferred to let the bridesmaids choose their own dresses, just within the pink color palette,” says Danae. “In the end, it looked gorgeous—all the pinks played so well off each other, and I loved that everyone had a dress they felt their most confident in.”
The groom looked elegant in a custom dark blue suit from Zegna and a soft grey tie from Marinella Store Cravate. One special touch? "Franco from @amalficoastflorist created a flower for Nicco that incorporated Lily of the Valley, which were the flowers his mom had in her bouquet when she got married," notes Danae.
“One of Nicco's family's very, very few requests was that we get married in a church," shares Danae. Luckily, the local Chiesa San Pancrazio Martire was an absolutely stunning choice of a venue.
“All the flower girls picked their pieces from JJ House. We selected a dusty rose color, then let them choose their own styles,” shares Danae. “All their hair bows were from Six Stories. And, the ring bearer had the cutest little navy suit."
“Nicco's dad, Carlo Ricci, walked me down the aisle. It meant a lot to both of us,” says Danae.
“For the ceremony, we did a white aisle runner, gold church seats, white flowers on the banisters behind the priest, and bouquets at the doors,” explains Danae. “Everything was kept to soft whites with a rustic looseness. We had hydrangea, English roses, silver dollar eucalyptus, and gypsophilia.”
“We didn't write our own vows, just because we were getting married in the church. A lot of the service was actually in Italian, with certain readings and key parts translated to English,” shares Danae. “I did have to learn my vows in Italian though—Nicco’s mom helped me practice my pronunciation.”
I feel like I haven't just married the man of my dreams; I've also been invited into the most marvelous family.
After processing to traditional organ music, the couple took a moment to celebrate their new marriage. "I feel like I haven't just married the man of my dreams," shares Danae. "I've also been invited into the most marvelous family."
“Right when we left the church, we had a little granita car outside. It actually was a vintage BMW that has been converted for weddings, and it was so gosh darn cute,” shares the bride.
All the locals were honking their cars, shouting cheers, and celebrating right alongside us.
"Right after the wedding, we drove around Amalfi's curved streets. The photographer and his assistant were zooming safely around us, snapping pictures and videos. While they did that, all the locals were honking their cars, shouting cheers, and celebrating right alongside us,” says Danae. “It was pretty amazing.”
“At the Borgo, we did small decorations in the aperitivo area, which was our first space,” notes Danae. “We went with light white flowers that had touches of yellow. And since the bar was open, the drinks themselves served as decoration—especially because we were serving some colorful aperol spritz. For the main reception, we had small vases of white flowers on all the tables, plus a few accent pieces with larger blue flowers.”
“We had so much music! On the wedding day, we had a traditional Neopolitan quintet performing as guests arrived from the church,” says Danae. “Then Helen, an incredible singer, performed with her live band for several hours." The couple chose “Dancing Cheek to Cheek” by Louis Armstrong for their first turn around the dance floor.
Getting married is such a gift, so I wanted to do my best to enjoy every step of it.
“Wedding planning was a bit more stressful than I anticipated,” shares the bride. “But I constantly kept reminding myself to stop, take it in, breathe, and be thankful for what was happening. Getting married is such a gift, so I wanted to do my best to enjoy every step of it."
“We went down to the beach for cake cutting. Here we placed a lot of lanterns to create an intimate vibe as the sun set,” says Danae.
“We decided on a traditional mille feuille cake with cream,” explains Danae. “I am not so wild about thick icing on wedding cakes, and we wanted something that felt very Italian—so that was perfect."
"For Borgo, we wanted people to dance more and have a good time,” Danae explains. "When we went down to the beach, we switched to a DJ who played a lot of upbeat dance tunes.”
The easiest part of the wedding for Danae? Making decisions together as a couple and, of course, saying yes. “Nicco and I really like to find constant middle grounds between what we both want, so working together as a team was pretty wonderful,” she shares.
Ceremony Venue Chiesa San Pancrazio Martire
Reception Venue Borgo Santandrea
Wedding Coordinator The Amalfi Experience
Bridal Gown Designer Mikaella Bridal
Bridal Salon BeautyLivery
Shoes Jimmy Choo
Hair & Makeup BeautyLivery
Rehearsal Dinner Attire Karen Willis Holmes
Groom’s Attire Zegna
Floral Design Francesco Di Bianco
Music Wedding Music
Favors Local Boutiques
Videography & Photography Gianni Di Natale Photographers