Since the new year, I can say “we are getting married this year”, it sounds unreal. But it is really happening: only 6 months to go before our wedding. I can’t believe we are almost there! But at the same time, I am so impatient: the proposal took place almost 2 years ago and I am eager for things to finally become concrete.
Loads of you are asking where I am at with the preparations, if I have chosen the dress/the flowers/the cake, and if I enjoy the organization in general (yes I do!). Since I love talking about all things bridal, I thought to post a wedding update on the blog and tell you about my experience so far.
What is done
At 6 months before the wedding, and especially because half the guests will have to travel to Italy, we’d better have sent the invitation 😉 My grandma was so furious she hadn’t received her invitation (3 days after posting it) she almost called the post office. That’s just for you to seize the level of excitement in our families: they couldn’t wait any longer to receive their golden ticket!
I am a huge fan of stationery so our invitation had to be perfect. Afterall, it is a foretaste of the wedding! So, with the help of the very French Crème de Papier (I love everything she does!), we decided to go for a simple design but we put extra efforts in the details. We chose letterpress printing (i.e. embossed) on a beautiful, grained paper. We added a bit more fantasy on the envelope with some DIY (jute rope knot, dotted washi tape), golden addresses and a wedding stamp (yep, we did that!).
Despite some postal delays, everybody eventually got the invitation and we received some compliments. Some liked the fact that it was written in both languages (to start practicing, hehe!), others were happy it wasn’t a classic invitation, and some others found it was very “us” which is the biggest compliment. For sure, the excitement level was raised even more!
Best part: receiving the final mock-up from the designer
Hardest part: gathering everybody’s addresses, seriously!!
That’s the first thing we booked one year ago. Wedding pictures are what we will look at for the rest of our life, what we will show to our kids and grand-kids, what will remain of the wedding, that was so important for us. We had a photographer in mind and we’d always told ourselves that if we would get married, he would be the one to get the shots. So for us, that was a very easy part and we did it in advance to secure the date.
Best part: knowing that we will have our dream photographer capture our wedding
Hardest part: waiting to see the pictures 😉
We did it so long ago that I hardly remember the process. I recall browsing on the web for a few weeks to find THE place. It wasn’t easy to find all our criteria in one place to say the least. Then, after the online research, we went on visiting the various places. Sometimes we were shocked at how ugly they were (how did they manage to get pretty pictures for the website?!) or at how the staff was treating us (like money machine) and left completely demotivated. But we also found treasures, which in Italy isn’t difficult.
In the end, we were left with two locations and we were very much in doubt. It was Winter therefore hard to picture these places during Summer. But we eventually decided on the first place we had visited and the more we go there, the more we fall in love.
We have also experienced the tasting lunch and that’s definitely the best part of the location hunt! In fact, we were with all the other couples who are getting married in this location and it was a brilliant idea! First of all, we could see how the room looks like when filled with a hundred people. And in addition to tasting the food (7 courses!), we could check the set-up, the service, the atmosphere, etc. We will choose the definitive menu in a few weeks, possibly with a good balance of French and Italian food.
Best part: imagining the place filled with our loved-ones
Hardest part: choosing THE place and project ourselves
We’re still dealing with it and we probably will until the wedding but that’s fair enough. A wedding is a lot of
stress organization for the guests, and even more in our case since most of them will have to travel abroad.
We created a guide to help everyone arrange their trip: we listed the main airports, the closest hotels, what to visit if they wish to extend their stay, a brief schedule of the Big Day, etc. We also added a bunch of pictures of us when we started dating, we thought it was cute. Why not a website? Because this way people can keep a physical record of our wedding and also because it was quicker to do. Let me tell you it was greatly appreciated.
Best part: people arranging their trip for OUR wedding, it is becoming real!
Hardest part: dealing with everyone’s needs remotely (but again, we understand)
To have a car or not to have a car? That is the question. Organising a wedding is very much linked to one’s budget and there isn’t much left for the car in our case. Plus, we won’t be heading the car procession after the ceremony. So all things considered… we still don’t know! We asked for quotes, we even saw some cars but we are yet to decide.
Best part: (maybe) having a personal driver, fancy!
Hardest part: acknowledging you can’t have it all
Fact: in Italy, religious weddings are recognized by the State so that’s very practical, you only do one ceremony. Whether in France, if you want a religious wedding, you have to get married first in the town hall and then in church.
It wasn’t easy to find a church as we wanted it close to our party location (and not in our parish) but also pretty and with a nice priest. Between a huge, stunning, golden basilica and a small, cute church with frescoes we naturally chose the second one. We met the priest, we did the religious preparation (which was way more “modern” and interesting that I thought) and we’re almost all set up.
The next step will be to decide in which language to celebrate the wedding (only in Italian? a mix? is a translation not going to ruin the moment?). We’re currently brainstorming and all advice is welcome.
Best part: rehearsing walking down the aisle, just for fun
Hardest part: attending 2h30 of religious “preparation” every Sunday at 7 pm for 3 months
There is a reason if I call myself a “flower girl”: there will never be enough in my house, on my phone/computer screen, on me… I love them in every form. So it could only be that flowers will be everywhere at the wedding.
I had a talented florist in mind that
we I was sure to hire but after receiving her skyrocketing quote, we decided otherwise. We chose another great flower shop that I was eyeing for a long time on Instagram. Let’s be honest, my expectations are high but I feel super confident in our choice and it is reassuring. Recently our florist did an awesome job for the Fashion Week and an Italian celebrity’s wedding and since then I can’t stop bragging about having her on board for our marriage. Roll on July!!
Best part: having the certainty that no matter what that woman will do, it is going to be stunning
Hardest part: visiting the atelier full of glassware and not being able to steal one or two for home
We’ve got our tickets baby! We will be leaving for paradise right after the wedding so we had to think ahead before rates increase and hotels get fully booked. I am not going to reveal the destination just now but all I can say is that it is not your typical honeymoon destination… Any bets?
At first, we wanted to wait a few months after the wedding to go on our honeymoon months. It was a way to make the celebrations last longer. But because both the fiancé and I have changed job recently, we are not going to have much holiday this year. In the end, I don’t regret it at all because A) it is going to be our best and most memorable summer ever and B) we won’t experience that bittersweet feeling when the party ends because we’ll know something great is awaiting us. Now, time to plan it all!
Best part: choosing from thousands of heavenly destinations
Hardest part: organize the trip (Visa, shots, itinerary…) on top of planning the wedding
That’s by far the section you are the most interested in: what the future bride-to-be will look like. To give you a hint, I won’t be the classic voluminous bride but neither the trendy-boho-barefoot on the sand bride.
DRESS: I went to choose it with two of my close friends (alas my sisters and mom live in France). Although I enjoyed the experience (a special day shared with my girlfriends, trying on princess dresses and eating sweets), I didn’t scream or cry when I saw “it” – too much! Actually, I went with an idea in mind and I bought a completely different dress. So yes, I feel good in my wedding gown, I think it is pretty and special and I hope it will make its little effect when I will walk down the aisle. #OMG
SHOES: I admit I was tempted to get the Instagram-perfect glittery bridal shoes. But when I tried them on I didn’t like the look and they were too high. I like heels but I am already tall (1.71m/67’3) so I wanted comfortable shoes with maximum 5cm of heels. In the end, I took advantage of the winter sales to buy a lovely pair of pastel shoes that will complete my look perfectly without stealing the scene.
ACCESSORIES: my in-laws offered me for my last birthday the most beautiful diamond earrings made by an Italian jewelry craftsman. That’s the only accessory I will wear on my Big Day. Less is more, always!
Best part: choosing the dress was a once-in-a-lifetime experience <3
Hardest part: hoping that all the bits of my outfit will come together nicely
What remains to do
A lot actually! Before becoming husband and wife, we still have to choose the DJ and select our first dance’s song. We also need to buy the wedding bands as jewelers advised to wait until May/June. My husband-to-be has yet to find his groom outfit and shoes and we have to finalize the decorations. Without mentioning the paperwork we have to deal with for the marriage to be recognized in both our countries.
Last but not least, I have to decide who I want to do my hair and make-up. So far I have been shocked by the rates. As much as I love Beauty and respect independent artists/stylists who use high-quality products and have to differentiate themselves from the crowd, I think asking 800€ for 4 hours of work is a joke. This task is tougher than I assumed. In terms of ideas though, I am clear on what I want for hair and make-up.
More to come
I am planning to dedicate an article to each of these topics with related pictures and supplier info. But as I am sure you understand, I want to wait after the wedding to see what worked and what didn’t. Plenty of exciting posts to come in the Wedding section so stay tuned! In the meantime, you can check all my wedding Pinterest boards.