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Destination I Do
Friday, March 11, 2016

Loving Vows in Lucca, Italy

Words by Sydney Bowen
Photos courtesy of Cassandra Photo

With family spread wide across the United States paired with a deep love of travel, a destination wedding was a sure fit for Marc and Lisa. Longing for a wedding filled with beautiful scenery, good food and great wine, Lucca, Italy certainly fit the bill.

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“As cheesy as it sounds, we truly cherish the memories we’ve created over the years while experiencing new places together and love to recount the best of them any chance we get,” says Lisa.  After getting engaged during a long vacation to Antarctica and Argentina, these avid travelers decided early on what was important to them for their big day.

“It was important to us that our wedding not only uniquely celebrated us, but also provided a memorable experience for all of our guests,” says Lisa. “A destination wedding proved to be the best and most exciting way to accomplish that.”

When news broke of Lisa and Marc’s plans to have a destination wedding, their family and friends weren’t surprised with their decision. Although some of their intended guests weren’t able to make the trip, the majority of them understood their decision.

“At the end of the day, most people understood that the best way to celebrate us was a wedding centered around a new adventure,” says Lisa.

To prepare for one of the greatest adventures of their lives, Marc and Lisa began planning two years in advance to allow their guests to plan ahead, save up and make arrangements needed in order to celebrate in Italy.

“Knowing that a trip to Italy was in the books for the following year, many of our friends and family planned longer vacations around our wedding,” says Lisa. “It was incredible to hear all of the stories and to see that so many were making the most of their trip.”

Although Marc and Lisa allotted themselves plenty of time to plan their perfect day, they still faced some trials during planning. “The setting we had in mind could be found at villas across the country, however many of these villas didn’t have websites and those we reached out to rarely spoke English,” says Lisa.

Not only was communication a bit of a struggle, Marc and Lisa soon discovered a lot of the villas they had considered were just no big enough for the amount of guests they had coming.

Thanks to a friend’s recommendation, Marc and Lisa reached out to the Coselli villas and were instantly met with what they were looking for. “From the very first email with the Coselli team, they were kind, welcoming and excited to make our wedding a dream come true.”

After scoring their dream venue, the couple hired a wedding planner, Carolina Casini, which also immediately remedied any language barriers that were remaining. Not only did their planner have experience at their wedding site, she had many contacts with local vendors.

With the help of their wedding planner, the rest of the wedding planning was an exciting and easy experience. Every few weeks, Skype sessions would be had to go over details and make final decisions.

“The hardest part was really just maintaining confidence in Carolina and trusting that everything was going to come together in a way that we envisioned,” says Lisa. To ensure that all of the vendors were on the same page, Lisa created a Pinterest board, with all of the vendors sharing exactly what details would look like. The visual aspect of the Pinterest boards helped ease any uncertainties.

The only vendor not based in Italy was their photographer, who they knew through mutual friends. Marc and Lisa opted to have their photographer document their entire weekend, and not having a language barrier made them even more comfortable.

As soon as Marc and Lisa entered the property in Italy the weekend of their wedding, they knew they had made the right choice. While spending about the same amount of money if they were to have a bigger, stateside wedding, Marc and Lisa had a beautiful, memorable experience with their closest friends and family.

If they had chose to get married in the United States, Lisa felt it would have been much larger, and a far less intimate experience for her and Marc. 

For the couples that are planning their own destination wedding, Marc and Lisa advise, “Do what makes you happy, what feels important and special to you. Don’t allow others to unnecessarily pile their expectations and desires on you.”

Vendors: Photographer: Cassandra Photo, Wedding Planner: Carolina Casini of Tuscan Dream, Ceremony/Reception Site: Villa Controni, Florist: La Rosa Canina Firenze, Stationery: Lucky Luxe Couture Correspondence, Cake: Galateo, Hair & Makeup: Pimpi, Gown Designer: Stephen Yearick, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Zara, Bridesmaids Clothing Designer: Dresses rented via UnionStation.com, Bridesmaids Jewelry: LINX by Mark Morton

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