A California Couple’s Enchanted Destination Wedding

Venice-based Sophie Monet and John Paul MacDonell fall in love with Sicily



The love story of Venice-based jewelry designer Sophie Monet and marketing consultant John Paul “JP” MacDonell is about as Californian as it gets. The Golden State natives met at Surfrider Beach in Malibu in spring 2014. They got engaged at the Venice surf break in summer 2018. And JP is the founder of surf brand Urban Barrels. But for the couple’s September 2019 wedding, they felt the pull of Italy.


And so, with 60 of their nearest and dearest, they decamped to the 14-room La Tonnara di Scopello, a former fisherman’s apartment and manor house in Sicily that oozed Old World appeal. Wearing a Morgane Le Fay dress and Mansur Gavriel heels, Sophie walked down the aisle “with the biggest smile on my face,” she says, to meet her groom on an olive tree-dotted hilltop overlooking the Mediterranean sea.


Sophia Moreno-Bunge of Isa Isa designed the flowers, including Sophie’s bouquet of local stephanotis vines. Following the reception, guests sipped Aperol Spritzes and Negronis by the water’s edge.


A highlight among the “too many to count”? Says the bride, “Dancing in an ancient stone cave that we transformed into a dance floor after the reception, allowing the party to continue into the wee hours.”



Feature image: A Sicilian folk band serenades the newlyweds.


This story originally appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of C Weddings.

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