Lindsay shares about this magical trip with their closest friends and family as well as the challenges of planning a wedding on the other side of the world when you don't speak the same language as your wedding vendors!
Lindsay: I know it's cliche to describe your significant other as your best friend, but from the moment we met almost 11 years ago, Ben and I were best friends. It wasn't a particularly unique meeting - mutual friends in college - but what happened from that moment on was one of those incredibly easy, storybook-without-all-the-problematic-nonsense kinds of love. And the proposal couldn't have been more representative of that; Ben had been on tour with his band in Japan, and I flew over to explore with him after his last show. We arranged to spend a night living among the monks at a buddhist monastery. When we arrived, we were graciously gifted with friendship bracelets that had been blessed to bring us happiness in our lives. The next day, sitting on the banks of a river surrounded by beautiful Japanese lanterns, Ben pulled his Buddhist friendship bracelet out of pocket, wrapped it around my finger, and asked me to be his best friend forever.
After working years as videographers in the wedding industry, we had seen it all. Our first priority was to find a way to do it that didn't feel like a day at the office. Considering our love of travel and incredible food, a destination wedding seemed like an obvious choice.
The process was intensive at first. We performed all the requisite steps - checking with the VIPs to make sure everyone is on board, signing up for every flight alert known to man, and going to 12 different dress appointments before giving up and buying my dream dress online, sight-unseen. I spent more hours Googling (in multiple languages!) than any human should ever have to.
Once we found La Tagliata, a family-run restaurant with private terraces overlooking the Amalfi coast, our dream wedding was pretty much set. It was easy take a step back and let everything else come together as it may. I told the bridal party to wear whatever they wanted, I never gave a thought to tablecloths or napkins or centerpieces, and I made a bouquet with flowers we found around the property we rented for our friends. The only thing that mattered to us was having an incredible adventure with our closest friends and family, and that's what we got!
I did DIY two projects that I absolutely love. First, I'm an amateur metalsmith and I specialize in fine jewelry, so it was an absolute joy to make our rings. After the original proposal in Japan, I came home and set to work on my engagement ring and wedding band. I'm excited to look down at it in 20 or 50 years, and be able to say, "Wow, I made that."
Second, I wanted to do something special and unique for my best friend, who had been so supportive throughout the planning process. In lieu of a traditional Maid of Honor gift, I hand painted matching leather jackets so we could be beautiful badasses everywhere we go together.
To be honest, the most special moment of the entire process was looking around the table at the end of the night, seeing so many people who love us enough to fly across the world to join us on our adventure, and seeing them all so joyful. That moment was worth everything.
Honestly, everything. Every moment of research that brought us to our venue, every moment spent agonizing over making sure everyone I knew was getting the BEST deal on their flight possible, and every moment I spent worried about not being able to control every detail from the other side of the world was 1000% worth it. But if I have to choose ONE thing besides the destination itself, I'd say investing in a house big enough to spend the week with our closest friends. Not only do we have an entire week's worth of memories together that I'll cherish for a lifetime, but it alleviated some of the financial burden of travel on them - and that was so important to us. We specifically chose a venue that allowed us to afford this, and we're so glad we did. We were able to have our dream, without it being a huge burden to our loved ones.
Sweating the details. You have to be willing to let some things go when you plan a destination wedding. I tried to focus entirely on the experience - if a detail directly impacted my guests' enjoyment, it was worth my attention. If not, whatever happens, happens. For instance, we decided to splurge on having a musician entertain guests throughout thelong meal, and it was a hit! Everyone loved dancing and clapping along, and trying out the traditional Italian instruments. But every moment I spent worrying about not having any decor (who wants to fly with luggage full of wedding decor?) was a moment wasted. It was beautiful. People were happy. Candles wouldn't have changed that!
Our Fuck-It Bucket was full. The nature of a DIY destination wedding means that a lot of traditional aspects won't apply: lots of guests, lots of decor, and lots of control. We DIY'd the little things like hair and makeup. But the most important thing to put in the FIB was other people's expectations. This was OUR dream, and even those who didn't understand it eventually got on board and had an incredible time.
If you're considering a destination wedding, DO IT. I mean, have a series of very frank conversations with your must have guest list about timing and cost, make sure everyone is on board, and then DO IT. It takes research and the ability to let go of the little details, but the affordability and pay off can be incredible if you find the right vendors.