Underwater weddings are the height of fashion for scuba-diving enthusiasts on the ‘Italian Riviera’ at Portofino.
Sister Orient-Express destinations Hotel Splendido and Splendido Mare arrange for couples to say “I do” not in the church of Christ of the Abyss at San Fruttuoso, but in the depths in front it.
The exceptional location for an intimate wedding and extravagant photo album is just 15 minutes by boat from the twin luxury resort hotels.
For a fairytale wedding with a more conventional marine theme, couples can make a triumphant entrance into Portofino harbour aboard a luxury yacht and dock at one of the most glamorous piers in the world.
With a private dive centre, Hotel Splendido and Splendido Mare also arranges underwater excursions beyond wedding ceremonies.
Dives bring to life stories of pirates, battles at sea and ancient shipwrecks from 16th century Rome and World War II - from a 16th century Spanish shipwreck to a German U-Boat, a Canadian tanker and remains of a 2nd century BC Roman ship.
In one of the finest places for diving in the Mediterranean, midnight dives can also be arranged - to marvel at seahorses, ruby red sponges, turtles, moray eels, octopus, lobsters, damsels, mullet and sea bass.
For the more traditional, weddings can be held at the Church of San Giorgio with its marvellous views over the Bay, chauffeured in a flamboyant Piaggio ‘Ape’, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Bentley or even a white horse-driven carriage.
A Splendido wedding reception is meanwhile the quintessence of entertainment with Acrobat Bartenders to mix cocktails, Crazy Waiters who exhilarate unsuspecting guests, an artist drawing caricatures for delightful mementos of the special day, and classical music accompaniment by tenors, strings and a harpist.
Firework displays can magically erupt from a boat in the Bay and The Splendido even has a programme for spending your last ‘single’ hours with friends and relatives - a sort of ‘Farewell to Singlehood, Portofino Style’.
On the day after the ceremony, newlyweds are pampered with a delicious brunch accompanied by musical entertainment, followed by a sunset cruise to complete the magical occasion.