Are you thinking about having a wedding in a location that is nowhere near where you live? You brave soul you, and congratulations! So how do you go about making this wonderful event happen?
Step 1: Ask for help! Do you know someone that you trust in the city you plan to say "I do" in? If they are willing to give you honest feedback about your potential venues this could be invaluable to your wedding day!
Step 2: Find the right team of vendors! The right people will understand your ideas and run with it, making it as stress-free as possible.
Step 3: Keep scrolling to find more great advice from this in the know bride! Oh and don't miss the full gallery where we are showing off more of Larissa Cleveland Photography's amazing photos!
Advice For Abroad
From the Bride: We wanted to create an environment that “felt like us”, and we wanted to incorporate the natural beauty of Calistoga. My family has a beautiful place in St. Helena which has become a second home to us, a place where the whole family can get together and share quality time. We wanted to share this special place with our guests and to create a very personal and warm environment for everyone who came from around the world to join us in this special celebration. It was very important to us to work with vendors who could interpret our vision and bring it to life.
Because we planned our wedding from abroad, we knew we needed to find vendors who we could trust and who could be very proactive and creative in the wedding planning process. We were lucky to find Lisa Feldman, who was a dream to work with— she, and our florist Nancy Liu Chin, worked together to coordinate everything and had no problem face-timing with us from abroad as we described the classy, simple “Napa chic” style wedding that we envisioned; they certainly delivered. It was important for us to find people who were very detail oriented — especially since I didn’t know a thing about the whole wedding planning process. Our wedding planner thought of it all— and it really made a difference!
Marrying Wedding Traditions
In terms of the actual ceremony— My husband and I both met while living in Tel Aviv. He grew up in Belgium and I grew up in the US and while we both had very similar customs, our vision for the “ religious” part of the wedding differed. We decided on a traditional Jewish wedding, but we also wanted to make it relatable to our guests. Finding a way to weave in those traditional customs, while also creating an inclusive environment was very important to us.
Most memorable moments of the day? One of the most memorable moments of the day (there were a lot) was when my husband approached me during the Bedeken (this was the first time I saw him) which is the ceremony where the groom veils the bride in a Jewish wedding. We were surrounded by our closest friends and family, who were clapping, singing and celebrating with us as we signed the Ketubah (marriage certificate).
Bride Carried a prayer book that was also carried by her mother, grandmothers on their wedding days. She also wore their family jewelry.
Of course, I also loved the “getting ready” part with my mom, my sister and some of my closest friends building up to the big moment. It was nice to be able to relax and have some fun girl time before the big night. Oh and, the dancing was great. I’m not usually a big dancer, but we had an awesome band and I couldn’t wait for my turn to be lifted in the chair!
I also would advise other brides not to sweat the small stuff and to keep in mind what this day is really about. At the end of the day, guests aren’t going to realize if the wrong song came on, or the napkin color was off and it's not worth getting upset over. I actually found out the day before our wedding that my husband never told his groomsmen that they were supposed to wear the same thing! While at the time I wasn’t thrilled, when I look back now, it was actually pretty funny— and the wedding was perfect!