maggie + ben | cinque terre italy wedding | how to make a destination wedding enjoyable for guests

Maggie + Ben live in California; a beautiful place for a backyard wedding! Well, but so is Italy…

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I still remember the phone call from when Maggie told me that she and Ben realized their dream wedding site was in Cinque Terre! She is one of my best friends and the 2 of them might as well be professional world travelers. πŸ™‚

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We immediately started looking into flights and just as quickly got super discouraged by the cost of it all. By being creative and strategic with credit card points (heyyyyyy Chase Sapphire!), we were able to make it happen. But, I know that might not be the case for all of you and your guests!

So today I’m sharing the top 3 ways for your guests to enjoy themselves at ANY wedding, destination or otherwise!

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  1. celebrate the view / unique aspects!

    let’s be real for a minute: your guests are probably going (or have been to) a lot of weddings this year. so if you’re going to invite them to your wedding and it’s going to cost them $$$ to get there, having your ceremony or cocktail hour inside a nondescript location is not the best way to go about making friends and influencing people, lol. even if you need to go to ceremony plan B due to weather, consider the plan in advance and understand how to maximize that ceremony setup for views as well!

    just like Maggie + Ben did; their original plan was to have the ceremony overlooking the water and vineyard (middle photo):

    instead, with rain in the forecast and a stunning floral arch that couldn’t be moved at the last minute, they decided to move the ceremony under the pavilion… just as gorgeous (if not more), still with views of the vines!

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  2. serve local cuisine… “when in rome…” πŸ˜‰

    I’m not a huge anchovy fan, but I have to say… there’s nowhere I’d rather try them fresh, than in Italy. Also, make the spread plentiful! After traveling hours to reach you, the least you can do is make sure their bellies are full.

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  3. make it easy for your guests to take in as many sights as possible… without a car!

    if you’re familiar with cinque terre, you know it means 5 lands; it is essentially 5 coastal villages that are linked together by a cliffside hiking trail. when Maggie and I first travelled there while studying abroad in Florence, we were smitten. I suppose it’s easy to fall in love with most anywhere in Italy, but the charm of these seaside villages was made that much more apparent while discovering them as you walked between them yourself.

    bonus: not having to give any thought to where you parked, how much you drank, etc.! Italian tradition has the couple lead everyone on a parade through the streets and into town… if you’re lucky maybe you’ll find a little limoncello mascot, like we did!

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  4. bonus tip: allow plenty of room for guests to dance and mingle… with views as far as the eye can see, why not extend this to the design of your decor (low centerpieces allow for ease of conversation)!

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    We were so honored to have been there for your amazing wedding day/week, M+B! We’ve never experienced a wedding like yours… and hope more people can say that about each wedding they attend! Remember, it’s all about the little things – like fresh lemons lining the stairs and handmade origami paper crane escort cards. πŸ˜‰

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    Ciao, lovebirds!



1 Comment

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One response to “maggie + ben | cinque terre italy wedding | how to make a destination wedding enjoyable for guests

  1. Maggie

    Such an awesome way to remember our magical few days as we celebrate our first anniversary!! I count my blessings to have been so lucky to not only find my soulmate and marry him in one of my favorite places in the world…but to have discovered this place with my best friend during our amazing study abroad, and 14 years later, have you there to celebrate alongside us AND take these amazing photos as our guest?! A million times, thank you for capturing the magic of these special few days, and thank you for your unwavering friendship over the last 17 (!!) years (and thank you to A, for suffering the inhumanity of being dragged to Cinque Terre for our wedding…I know it was rough, but we appreciate your sacrifices ;))! xoxo


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