Josh and I recently decided to run away to Italy and get married. Some of you think we are crazy and others are happy we did it this way. It all started with our love for travel. We started wedding planning and everything wasn’t exactly what we wanted. Ultimately, this day is about us, so why not do something we love, right?
May 2017, we made the decision to start planning to get married at a destination. The first question we asked ourselves was, “what country?” Our top three were Italy, Greece and Croatia. Narrowing it down to one country and then one city took forever. We weighed our pros and cons to each area and ended up picking Italy.
Once we decided on Italy, we needed to pick a city in Italy. At first we wanted to get married at the Amalfi Coast. But we also wanted to make sure we got to see Josh’s host family in Siena while we were in Italy. With the flights and other plans we made during our week stay, we decided on Florence, Siena and Rome would be the cities we visit. The next decision was where to actually get married. We considered exchanging our vows in the city center of Florence, a hotel or the countryside away from everyone. We figured we should find our hotel and decide about the ceremony location after.
Finding the perfect hotel in Florence took forever. After thinking more and more about the ceremony location, we decided it would make most sense if we had our ceremony at the hotel we picked. It would be easier on us getting ready and still be able to have the “first look” moment, without going into the city in different cars. Now, finding the perfect hotel with the “Italian view” I dreamed of.
Josh and I were sitting at Mully’s Brewery here in Prince Frederick, Md when we found our hotel, Il Salviatino. This hotel was everything I wanted and more. The views, the rooms and the price were perfect. Once we found this, I completely stopped looking and told Josh this was the one. This is what we booked for the first leg of our trip and where our perfect wedding would take place!
Planning an elopement is stress-free, in my opinion. There was nothing to plan for except ourselves. The next step was a dress. I went to one store and found my dress within 45 minutes. I also wanted a long veil, so I got that the same day too. Once this was purchased we were 80% done with our wedding planning. Josh wanted to get something new for himself too and I wanted him to wear navy, so we purchased him a custom suit to fit exactly how he wanted.
So, we have our ceremony location, our outfits, what’s next? The photographer. If anyone read my blog post about our engagement, you’ll know who we picked as our photographer then. We had no doubt in our mind to pick that same awesome girl, who captured our first special moment. We contacted her praying that she wasn’t already booked! She accepted and basically all of our planning was done.
Check her out Khiria Photography !
Other little details we considered were where we should take pictures, what kind of pictures we want and how we will get to these places. These were easy decisions to make and most were decided once we were in Italy.
The Big Day
After months of keeping this huge secret from family and friends, the day finally came! We woke up at 6am, met our photographer at our hotel and started our wedding day. I did my hair and makeup myself and helped Josh get ready. I kept my dress in the closet, hidden from Josh, so we still had the first look moment.
I was in my bridal robe and Josh was all ready, he went out to the courtyard of the hotel and faced away from me walking down. Once I got to him, I tapped him on the shoulder and he turned my way. We read our hand-written vows to each other and shared our special moment, just the two of us. It could not have been any more perfect.
After the ceremony we headed into the city where we took a ton of photos. We took a mid-day break and took more pictures right before the sunset. (We also went the spot Kim Kardashian got married to Kanye and took photos there. lol.)
I’m sure some of you are thinking, “What about a party?!” Well, we planned that too. A very low-key reception, the end of October, locally. The hardest part about planning this party was getting the out of town family to make sure they would come to Maryland that weekend without telling them it was a wedding reception.
We sent out our reception invitations while we were in Italy, so everyone would received them the day we announce we were married. Also, the elopement and reception were only a month apart, so we needed to get them out as soon as possible.
I wouldn’t have done it any other way. Josh and I were so happy and are still over the moon about our special day. We were upset that our family was not there, but they know how much we love them and they were so supportive and happy once they found out.
If you ever get married in Italy and want to go to Boboli Gardens, do not walk in with your photographer. They have a rule that services can not be provided within the garden, yet pictures are allowed to be taken. Basically, since we paid for our photographer, she couldn’t take photos of us there. We were kicked out after we were let in. This is the one place I wanted pictures. But our photographer made it all up to us by finding a hidden gem during the second half of our photoshoot, I completely forgot I was sad about the gardens.
Also, whenever you are traveling at all, get rest! Josh and I did not get enough rest and fought through the jet-leg and ended up getting super sick on this trip. Believe it or not, Josh was so sick on our wedding day.
I will be posting more photos on our Instagram @sarahinsmalldoses we soon as I receive more! Make sure to follow us there and like our Facebook page for more updates!
Let me know if you want to know anything else about our wedding day! Here are the photos I have so far!