Our Wedding Week: Melon-Themed Rehearsal Dinner

The day before our wedding, it poured rain! Nick and I spent the day inside our room the Belmond Caruso. Our wedding photographer, Rebecca Yale, joined us on the patio to do some styling. I wanted to be involved in the styling process so it worked out perfectly. Nick and I decided that we should order room service and wrote our vows. We sat in separate rooms and jotted down our thoughts in our beautiful Velvet Raptor vow books. Nick and I didn’t tell each other exactly what we were writing but we gave a general idea so our vows would be formatted similarly.

I had to make a game-time decision on whether or not we wanted to set up outside because of the rain. After a LOT of thought, I couldn’t envision our dinner anywhere other than under the beautiful olive trees of the Belmond. We took a chance and I am so glad that we did! The fog cleared and the rain stopped, just in time for us to capture these images. Looking at the photos now, I actually wouldn’t have wanted it any other way! The misty fog reminds me of the wonderful day spent with Nick and the quality time we had together before the wedding.

The Significance of Melons

Nick comes four generations of melon farmers. We knew wherever we had the wedding we wanted to pay homage to the Martori family and create an evening that felt unique and special to them!

Nick and I had the best time crafting Melon inspired cocktails, pairing the perfect wine with the melon dishes, and taste-testing melon gelato for dessert! You will see these details trickled throughout the evening.

The Belmond Caruso Hotel

We couldn’t be more grateful for the Belmond Caruso. I had been to the Belmond a few times with family, for work, and for industry events. This place holds a special place in my heart and I was really excited to take Nick here too! The staff couldn’t have been nicer, they were so gracious and accommodating from start to finish. When Nick and I left Italy, we looked at each other and said that the Belmond felt like home! We can’t wait to go back and to take our kids there one day!

Rehearsal Dinner Design

The Rehearsal Dinner theme was so fun and unexpected, it also was very meaningful to Nick and me!

When we decided on the Melon theme, we went all in! From the custom embroidered napkins to the attire, we tried to tie everything together! We requested our guests wear shades of melon- from watermelon to cantaloupe to honeydew color palette, our family showed up dressed to the nines!

There were too many design elements and details to pick a favorite for me but I have to say that the custom-tiled melon-inspired table we created with Pascal’s was definitely a show stopper! We were excited to create texture in a different way than linens. Nick and I also thought this would be a beautiful investment piece that we could utilize in our new home together! We love hosting friends and family and it’s a fun meaningful story to tell people when we are gathered around the table eating dinner!

A few other design elements included these gorgeous family portraits by Shhh My Daring we used as place cards. The menu was shaped like a watermelon and Cecile’s Paper Co. even put pink phlox flowers on it!

We had a melon gelato cart with “Martori’s Midnight Martini and Gelato” signage. Nick’s family favorite detail were the shovel spoons because of the fun play on farming! The night was complete with meloncello shots and espresso martini’s! Nick’s favorite detail was the chocolate ganache groom’s cake by Made in Cake.

View more behind-the-scenes and design elements in-depth, go to “Rehearsal” highlight stories on my Instagram.

Rehearsal Dinner Gifting

Nick and I were struggling with what to give our parents and siblings as a thank you gift. Everyone traveled far and wide to be there and nothing tangible seemed like the right thing! After a lot of thought, Nick and I decided that we wanted to give something to our family that they could look back on and remember forever. We worked with Miguel Garcia Studios and together we created the most beautiful video to surprise our family at the end of the evening.

We spent months gathering photos of us growing up, and old family videos, and Miguel even flew out to interview our families before the wedding so we could include their commentary in the video.

At the end of the night, Nick and I surprised our family by venturing to the Infinity Pool at The Belmond for dessert. We had an unbelievable set-up awaiting for them with live music and meloncello shots! Cecile’s Paper Co. created custom signage for Martori’s Midnight Martini bar and a melon-inspired gelato cart. After dancing and cutting the Groom’s cake, we watched the video on a large projector with our family. This was definitely my favorite memory of the evening!

Rehearsal Dinner Fashion

I wore a feather skirt when Nick and I first started dating. He jokingly told me, “You were born to wear feathers.” I hope he was right because as you can tell, I literally planned our entire wedding week around this theme!

Gabrielle Hurwitz chose to pair my gown with a hot pink feather jacket from Cult Gaia! The color-matched perfectly with our watermelon theme and the feathers just kept aluding to what else was to come on the big day!

Gabrielle finished the look with Jennifer Behr Earrings that gave reference to our Pink Moon boat night and our first date. She picked stunning pearl Jimmy Choo heels. When we finished pulling this look together, we headed out to Maria with Bella Rosa Collection to complete the ensemble with a custom clutch.

The last statement piece for my attire was another unbelievable custom pearl clutch created by Bella Rosa Collection. You can read more about our collaboration here and here. Gabrielle and I were both speechless when the clutch arrived. The detail and expertise was exquisite! Maria is truly an expert in her craft and I am so grateful to her!

You can see a video and BTS reels from the night on my Instagram!

Church of Saint John the Apostle of the Toro
Couple kissing while at a brunch in Ravello, Italy
Jimmy Choo Sacora 100 faux pearl-embellished sandals
Shhh My Daring custom family portrait place cards
Melon shaped menu cards by Cecile’s Paper Co. surrounded by pink phlox flowers
custom-tiled melon-inspired table with flowers under trees with hanging lanterns and twinkle lights
Melon-Themed Rehearsal Dinner in Ravello, Italy
Melon-Themed Rehearsal Dinner under a canopy of trees with hanging lanterns
Melon-Themed Rehearsal Dinner place setting
Melon-Themed Rehearsal Dinner table with flowers by Malafronte
Melon-Themed Rehearsal Dinner cake made by Made in Cake
Engaged couple at their Melon-Themed Rehearsal Dinner
Sarah Kay Love sitting at Bar Caruso wearing Oscar de la Renta
Couple dressed in formal wear at Bar Caruso in the Belmond Caruso
Melon-inspired portrait place cards by Shhh My Daring
Extended family portrait at couple's Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Belmond Caruso
Extended family portrait at couple's Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Belmond Caruso
Extended family portrait at couple's Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Belmond Caruso
Candid black and white photo at couple's Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Belmond Caruso
Musicians playing at a wedding rehearsal dinner at the Belmond Caruso
Martori’s Midnight Martini and Gelato stand
Couple kissing at their Rehearsal dinner while holding gelato
Couple cutting their rehearsal dinner cake at the Infinity Pool at The Belmond
Rehearsal Dinner speeches
Guests clapping and laughing at the Belmond Caruso rehearsal dinner speeches
Couple embracing at their Belmond Caruso rehearsal dinner


Photography: Rebecca Yale

Fashion Styling: Gabrielle Hurwitz

Videography: Miguel Garcia Studios

Planner: Callista and Co.

Gifting: Cecile’s Paper Co.

Venue: The Belmond Caruso

Illustrations: Shh My Darling

Flowers: Malafronte

Cake: Made in Cake

Dress: Oscar de la Renta

Earrings: Jennifer Behr

Shoes: Jimmy Choo

Coat: Cult Gaia

xo, Sarah