My Wedding Planning Tips

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Beauties, it’s official we’re Newlyweds hashtag #Mr&Mrs! Hooray!! We don’t have our official photos just yet, but I’ll give you a preview! In the meantime, I thought it’d be nice to share some of the vendors we used to help create our very special day and tips on managing your big day (calling all soon-to-be-brides in Rome, this one’s for you!).Letterpress, Wedding Invitations, Custom

Rome, Italy | Location: Borgo di Tragliata, Fiumicino
Date: April 14th, 2018 | Theme: Romantic, Rustic Italian | Planning & Styling: We planned and styled our wedding, we also managed to do some DIY’s |Paper Goods: Photography Ashley Ludaescher | Letterpress: Nostroinchiostro | Wedding Photography & Videography: Marco Schifa | Wedding Gown: Mori Lee from Dorians | Shoes: Bradley Mischka from Nordstrom| Jewelry: Nordstrom | Hair Styling: Alessandra at ASH Parruchiere | Makeup: Myself | Car: Vintage Jaguar from Party on the Road
Engagement & Wedding Rings: Custom, Luca Viviani | Groom’s Suit & Accessories: Custom, Massimiliano Capobianco Sartoria | Floral Design: Adriana Dionisi | Table Names & Cake Topper: Custom, Eventi ad Arte Lab | Chinese Lanterns: Lanterne Volanti

Santi Cosma e Damiano, Marco Schifa, Wedding Day

INSPIRATION

 Our dreamy wedding was inspired by the neutral and also rustic saturated tones of Italy, dancing under the lights and stars in a small piazza and the blossoming of a sweet romance. The change of seasons always brings such a breath of fresh air and inspiration and we wanted to incorporate our love story (how we met), our relationship & travels and style to be reflected in our color palettes, decor, and ambiance.

Spring-time in the Italian countryside, we utilized the rustic and neutral tones of the Borgo and incorporating deep and dramatic romantic colors including fuschia, soft yellows, and dusty pinks. With the start of spring, we wanted to create a comfortable, warm and inviting atmosphere for our guests.

COLORS + TEXTURES

Silk table runners + rose gold, gold, silver metal, taupe, dusty pink, cream, yellows and fuschia

FLORALS

Peonies + orchids + roses + baby’s breath

ATTIRE

Sophisticated + detailed, the groom wore a custom black and navy floral detailed suit with a simple champagne pocket square and boutonniere constructed with an orchid. Bejeweled + romantic, I wore a Fit & Flare styled dress by Mori Lee reflecting on my personality and how I wanted to feel on my wedding day; youthful, classic with a bit of caliente (did I mention it had a plunging back?!). The balance between the delicate lace and the sparkle from the Swarovski beading was e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g!

 

Mori Lee, Wedding Dress, Bride

Bridal Accessories, Wedding Dress, Badgley Mischka

Bridal Accessories, Wedding Dress, Badgley Mischka

Wedding Bands, Wedding Rings, Custom Engagement Ring

Massimiliano Capobianco Sartoria, Mens Suit, Groom

Massimiliano Capobianco Sartoria, Mens Suit, Groom

Massimiliano Capobianco Sartoria, Mens Suit, Groom

Party on the Road, Vintage Jaguar, Rome

Santi Cosma e Damiano, Marco Schifa, Wedding Day

Santi Cosma e Damiano, Marco Schifa, Wedding Day

Party on the Road, Vintage Jaguar, Rome

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Party on the Road, Vintage Jaguar, Rome

Party on the Road, Vintage Jaguar, Rome

Fori Imperiali, Colosseum, Rome

Borgo di Tragliata, Wedding Reception, Italian Countryside

Borgo di Tragliata, Wedding Reception, Italian Countryside

Borgo di Tragliata, Wedding Reception, Italian Countryside

Borgo di Tragliata, Marco Schifa, Wedding Reception

Borgo di Tragliata, Marco Schifa, Wedding Reception

Spring Wedding, Marco Schifa, Borgo Di Tragliata

Borgo di Tragliata, Marco Schifa, Wedding Reception

Borgo di Tragliata, Marco Schifa, Wedding Reception

Borgo di Tragliata, Marco Schifa, Wedding Reception

Spring Wedding, Marco Schifa, Borgo Di Tragliata

Spring Wedding, Marco Schifa, Borgo Di Tragliata

Borgo di Tragliata, Marco Schifa, Wedding Reception

Borgo di Tragliata, Marco Schifa, Wedding Reception

I’ll be posting our official wedding photos once they become available! Weddings can be extremely expensive, although they don’t have to be! Here’s my list of some suggestions on what worked for us and always keeping in mind, it’s always possible to have the perfect (for you) wedding on your budget.

First things first, what kind of wedding do you want to have?

Creating a Pinterest or mood board can help in narrowing down your color palette, theme and style. Our preferences are listed at the beginning of the post, however, a couple things I left out; about fifteen guests from my side (Toronto) flew in, so it was really important to me to provide a shuttle service (to and from the reception), we also wanted a live jazz band to greet & entertain our guests for the aperitif. On the downside, we had a family friend who DJ’s (and offered his services as a wedding gift) for the night, but looking back it would have been better to have hired and paid a DJ.

How big will the bridal party be and guest list?

We opted for more of an intimate group of 80. Our bridal party consisted of four of our closest friends, two on each side and two flower girls.

Do you want to hire a professional (wedding planner) or do you want to plan things yourself?

We got engaged in July and promised we wouldn’t start wedding planning until September. We met with a wedding planner whose office was right in the heart of Rome’s city center (a dead giveaway) she was going to be crazy expensive! By the way, she also came recommended as “affordable”, €4,000 is NOT affordable lol. We decided the money would be put to better use if we put it towards our budget/honeymoon.

What month do you plan on having your wedding?

Here in Italy prices soar starting June dropping off in September / October. If you’re willing to stay flexible, it could save you $$$$’s. Our original date was set for late May but the weather at our honeymoon destination was less than ideal and also my MOH (maid of honor) couldn’t make it that weekend, so we moved it to mid-April.

The average North American wedding costs about $30,000 (according to The Knot), we planned ours in nine months and spent €23,500* (excluding my engagement ring and honeymoon). Since we earn in Euros I don’t think relevant to make the conversion into Canadian or US dollars. That being said, we were busy every weekend and most evenings because we were trying to find ways to save money and really narrow down the areas that we thought were important.

Here’s how we saved

There are no two ways about it, we had to do the DIYs, a lot of price comparison and reprioritizing.

We grow our own olives and have a decent size olive crop where we make cold press extra virgin olive oil. We decided to gift our olive oil and redistribute our money towards the bottle, custom labels (we filled each bottle with olive oil and attached every single label, needless to say, very time consuming), we also included handpainted ceramic spout dispensers (from Tuscany), confetti and the gift box.

We bought spray paint (specifically designed for glass) and went to Ikea and spray painted various vases, jars and candle holders to match the theme.

We visited numerous fabric stores looking for the perfect color and texture (we went with silk for our table and georgette for the other two tables) to use as our table runners and paid a seamstress to help sow the pieces together (custom size).

One of the most pivotal decisions was to go through our Rolodex (remember those?) and network through our friends and family on who they know and who they’d recommend (Italians are all about word of mouth and someone knowing someone). The gems that came through were finding out about Borgo di Tragliata (which was nowhere on our radar), the florist (beau’s best man’s aunt is a florist) and our jeweler who blinged us out from the engagement ring to the wedding bands.  That being said we didn’t always save on cost, but there were tons of perks and incentives to go through this route.  For example, Borgo di Tragliata had an insane amount of perks included in their price that no other venue provided; the honeymoon suite, food tasting & wide food selection (seafood, different cooks of meat), we didn’t need to rent the space because they also function as an Agriturismo (most venues asked for a minimum of €3,000), cleaning services (some places asked for €500) on top of the rental price, our cake, everything made cooked on site –NO catering!  They have a sprawling property with outdoor pools, more than two types of structures to throw any type of event, they were also incredibly accommodating on our decoration requests (they pre-opened and arranged our Chinese lanterns for our guests, they prepared and decorated our guestbook  station, they put up extra light streamers, cut the decorative blue velvet ribbon to accompany the menu card and so much more.  They did a lot of the prep without an extra charge.  Considering the price and the environment, I would it was worth every penny and so worth it!

These are just some small examples of how much time & effort we put into our wedding to give it that “personal touch”, not only to save money because we also enjoyed doing the mini-projects but to show you that it is possible to still have a beautiful wedding on (your) budget. This strategy worked for us it might not work for you and that’s ok.

Happy planning to all you Brides & Grooms to be! Be present and enjoy this moment it’s one of the best parts!

Please let me know in the comments below if you enjoyed this post and thought it was helpful.  If you want me to go into more detail about costs, I’d be more than happy to!

Big hugs and cheers to new adventures!

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