So you’re engaged, and you have your wedding budget in mind...now what?! I don’t know about you, but I personally could never picture the exact type of wedding I wanted until I was actually a bride-to-be.
1. Pick Your Location
Since both my fiancé Scott and I were born and raised in California, we knew the majority of our guests would be on the West Coast. We didn’t want a California wedding, and Manhattan weddings are priced at a premium. We figured that if we were already asking our guests to travel, they probably wouldn’t mind traveling a few more hours to get the exotic destination that we both love...like Italy. We realized that the cost for our guests to stay and travel to NYC were right on par (if not more!) with what our guests would spend to go to Italy.
We’re now planning an intimate destination wedding for 60 people in Florence, Italy at the stunning Villa Cora. I was originally going to plan the wedding myself (hey I worked in PR for years and did tons of events – a year to plan something sounds easy, right? WRONG). It wasn’t until I met my incredible planner, Nicole Bono of Bono Events International, who explained this to me:
"When planning a wedding abroad, having a planner is more than convenient, it's a necessity! You need someone who speaks the language, has local relationships with vendors, who understands the local business culture, and who can 'translate' the entire wedding process for you...while also taking on the standard tasks of any other planner," she advised. "Many people forget that business operates differently in every single country."
2. Define Your Theme
Once your venue is secured, it’s time to define your theme. You can get as literal or as vague with this as you’d like. Your wedding venue may also help inspire your vision.
The theme of my wedding is, “La Dolce Vita meets The Great Gatsby” which echoes my personal style. A little bit vintage, dramatic, Italian, and a LOT of glamour. Scott also loves the Great Gatsby and a black tie atmosphere.
Collecting visuals or a “mood board” of your theme will help you when talking to your vendors about what you want. What is it that you like? Take a look at your Pinterest boards, or pictures you’ve saved from Instagram, magazines, etc. Collect these images, and look for a common thread. Especially if you’re having a destination wedding, these visuals will be an invaluable tool to share with vendors that you may never meet in person until your big day.
3. Color Scheme
While it might seem unimportant, the colors of your wedding will give a colorwash to your entire wedding day (not to mention affect your photos!).
Refer back to your mood board. Are there recurring colors showing up that you love? If not, compile images of decorated rooms, or weddings that you think are beautiful. Chances are, there’s something similar that you love about all of these. Identifying this common denominator will help you hone in on your primary colors, and your accent colors of your wedding.
In our home, Scott and I can never commit to anything past a neutral, however we LOVE metallic accents. Our wedding colors are neutrals with hints of shimmering beige, gold, champagne, and rose gold.
Whatever you and your partner decide, make sure it feels right to you and your significant other. As long as you both love the location, theme, and colors, you can’t go wrong!
– Jordan Landes-Brenman is an NYC-based fashion and beauty blogger at HauteHouseFlower.com, with an Instagram following of more than 280K followers. She is currently planning her October 2019 destination wedding to her fiancé/photographer in Florence, Italy.