maggie + ben | cinque terre italy wedding

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

50 monterosso-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo_0010
italian-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo
54 cinque-terre-wedding-urban-row-photo_0061
italian-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo
7 cinque-terre-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo_0002

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. :)

14 italy-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo_0001

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!

16 monterosso-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo_0012

celebrate the view / unique aspects!

1. let’s be real for a minute: your guests are probably going to (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). 

cinque-terre-wedding-photographer-urban-row-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!

italian-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo
coral-peony-wedding-floral-arch-urban-row-photo
17 italian-vineyard-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo_0042

2. serve local cuisine... "when in rome..." ;)

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.

13-italy-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo_0005.jpg
39-italian-vineyard-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo_0047.jpg
34-italian-vineyard-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo_0046.jpg

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!

45-cinque-terre-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo_0049.jpg
38-italian-vineyard-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo_0040.jpg
28-cinque-terre-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo_0030.jpg
30-italian-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo_0034.jpg
31-coral-peony-wedding-urban-row-photo_0032.jpg
9-italian-vineyard-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo_0043.jpg
29-cinque-terre-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo_0048.jpg

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)!

3-italian-vineyard-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo_0016.jpg
4-cinque-terre-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo_0004.jpg
5-coral-peony-wedding-urban-row-photo_0033.jpg
35-italian-vineyard-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo_0045.jpg
36-italian-vineyard-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo_0044.jpg

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. ;)

42-cinque-terre-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo_0051.jpg
55-cinque-terre-wedding-urban-row-photo_0056.jpg
52-monterosso-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo_0011.jpg
60-monterosso-wedding-photographer-urban-row-photo_0008.jpg

Ciao, lovebirds!
xoxo, Naomi