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Planning a Destination Wedding in Italy By Yourself from California ~ at Villa Magia!

Sep 17, 2018

Our very own Managing Director, Sales & Production and wedding planner extraordinaire Elaine Burrell's, classic Amalfi Coast wedding was featured in Style Me Pretty.

By Eddye

From the Bride... Planning our wedding was the most fun, rewarding and exciting project I’ve worked on in my entire life. And now that it’s over, I miss it dearly! My advice for those planning? Cherish each and every moment! Because once it’s over, I guarantee you, you will want to relive it all. Even those minute decisions that took so much longer than they should have. I remember spending an entire Sunday analyzing ribbon length for the bouquets... yikes! A few pointers: #1 Fall in LOVE with your photographers! That's what Jeff and I did with Peter and Veronika Photography. #2 Give yourself plenty of time for photos... lighting is so important! #3 For goodness sakes... wear comfortable shoes!

One of the most important decisions Jeff and I made was in choosing our photographer. We narrowed it down to a list of seven, and then ranked their portfolios individually (privately). Needless to say, when we compared our lists, and had both chosen the same photographer, we were thrilled! Peter and Veronika ranked as our number one, hands down. We also loved the idea of using our engagement shoot as a time to make sure Peter and Veronika would be right for us on our wedding day. Needless to say, they were all that and more, which made hiring them for our wedding one of our easiest decisions.

I started wedding planning a year and a half before Jeff and I were engaged. No judging! We had been dating six years, lived together; it was just a matter of time and a girl gets excited!! Also, the fact that I had my heart set on a destination wedding on the Amalfi Coast, well, there was a lot of research to be done to determine the feasibility of that dream. And planning a wedding in Italy, from California, without a planner takes a lot of time, like an obscene amount! You really have to enjoy putting in the research, which for me, I found to be incredibly fun and one of the most meaningful aspects of the wedding journey.

Jeff and I also started chatting with our closest friends and family about their thoughts on a destination wedding. These early chats were the key to the great turn out at our wedding; pretty much every guest we invited attended. Once we were engaged, it was officially planning go time!

On the wedding day itself, the ceremony was our favorite part of the entire day, which was a surprise to us. Jeff and I had coordinated our vows in advance so they would be similar in tone, length and structure. We also had a meaningful instrumental song play in the background during the vows, to add to the emotion. The mixture of music, setting, emotion and tone brought tears to all. It seemed too good to be true.

We then had an hour and a half cocktail party on the pool deck at the villa. We were so thrilled to hire a local accordion/bass duo that played traditional Neapolitan music during this time.

I drew design inspiration from Joy Proctor (from Style Me Pretty!) and even Marie Antoinette. Our goal was to have our wedding feel as timeless as possible, with neutral colors, lace, ribbons, vintage tabletop pieces, tapered candles, calligraphy, vintage stamps, handmade paper, and a ten person big band that played from dinner until the end of the night.

One of our favorite wedding moments was when everyone sat down to dinner. Sweeping views all around us, beautiful candlelight, the big band kicking off; watching all of our guests smile with absolute delight and amazement was something we will never forget. The pinnacle of our happiness came when guests thanked us for giving them "the best event they will ever go to in their lives."