It’s hard to top a first date on Lake Como, but not impossible! Proof: Julie and Yves whose stunning wedding served their extraordinary international love story perfectly. Masterfully incorporated details like map-themed stationary and curated out-of-town bags for guests that traveled far and wide, gave a tasteful nod to their history together. Just take a look at Michael Moss’s photos of the event.
From the bride… Let me start by saying that Style Me Pretty was our go-to advisor throughout the entire wedding planning process. Because of Style Me Pretty, I knew the photographer we had to have BEFORE we even got engaged. (I had done lots of research for a friend’s wedding.) I think my fiancé and I called Michael Moss within two days of getting engaged because we knew he “needed” to be our photographer. With the help of this indispensable site, I found the amazing Megan Lipke Kenney of Ruby the Fox, who patiently walked me through each step of the invitation design process, giving us the letterpress wedding invitation suite of our dreams and a design for the inside of the envelope that we loved so much we used it for the favors, programs, out-of-town guest bags, and even our seating chart! Because of Style Me Pretty, we also found incredible Lee Morton of Clickspark, who might just be one of the nicest, most passionate-about-his-craft people I know…Style Me Pretty was invaluable. Seriously.
I first met my husband Yves while I was in Chicago. He was visiting from Switzerland, and I from Naples, Florida. We exchanged email addresses, but I wasn’t really thinking too much of the whole thing…and then he emailed. Short emails turned into daily tomes turned into gmail chats and then five hour long Skype sessions. Soon I was traveling to Italy for work…and Italy just happens to be right next to Switzerland! :) Our first “date” (if you don’t count all the Skype sessions) was in Lake Como. Not too long after our time in Italy, Yves quit his job and moved his whole life to Florida. Before I knew it, we were engaged. We couldn’t have made this up — it was too extraordinary — reminding the both of us that God writes the best stories…
That line, “God writes the best stories,” became a sort of theme for our wedding. We wanted to celebrate the fact that we had an international tale for which we were so grateful. :) We enlisted a lot of professional help, as you can see from the list above, but I was really excited to take part and carry certain elements/metaphors throughout the planning. The design on the envelope liner was a map with a thread and a heart linking Switzerland and Florida. Our tables were designated with names of towns of places we’d been together and photos we’d taken. Because almost of all our guests were traveling to Florida (Naples is not the original home of either of us), from all parts of the US, Canada, Switzerland, and even Australia, we really wanted to show our gratitude to them for sharing in our day. We made guest bags (with the help of dear local friends!) filled with homemade granola, muffins, Swiss chocolates (for Yves), oranges (for Florida) and Naples’ magazines. We also love this quote from C.S. Lewis about a “secret thread” which unites certain people. We made sure that from the design of the invitation, to the program, to the guest book (a dictionary!), to the favors, there was a “secret thread” throughout.
Even though we live in a beach town, we didn’t want to have a beach wedding. Even though we were getting married in the fall, I didn’t want the normal fall colors. So, we had an indoor wedding, in a church and with a hotel reception, hoping that the design of both would be fresh and clean–not at all “stuffy.” Our goal was to be simple and classic–to have the kind of wedding that we’ll still love in ten or twenty years, while also being very “us,” too, and where everyone present would feel loved and important. :) I think that’s why a combination of professional vendors with some DIY details worked well for us.
In the weeks leading up to the wedding everyone couldn’t have been more wonderful. I’d been really sick, and had to let go of a lot of the details I’d planned to take care of myself. So many amazing loved ones (including Yves!) stepped in to get everything done for us. We are so thankful to our family and friends for all their help in pulling it together. Although it sounds trite, it’s true that we couldn’t have done it without them. On top of that, each professional we worked with was so kind. They were encouraging, flexible, and just plain excellent. One of the band members even got out on the floor to teach us all a certain dance. From beginning to end, the whole event felt so intimate and familial…it couldn’t have been a more perfect day.
Band: Hot Topic | Bouquet: Grace Lakes Florist | Bridesmaids Dresses: Watters | Ceremony Venue: First United Methodist Church, Naples | Cinematography: Clickspark | Favors: ScoutBooks | Groomsmen Attire: Michael Kors | Invitations: Ruby The Fox | Photography: Michael Moss | Reception: The Beach House At The Ritz Carlton | Wedding Dress: Peter Langner