Kevin and I got engaged in, what I consider, one of the most beautiful locations in the world – Positano, located on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Ironically, we were there on a trip we extended while attending a dear friend’s destination wedding in the Lake Como region of Northern Italy. Which, by the way, was insanely beautiful, not to mention significantly more cost effective than getting married in the United States. Needless to say, overseas options were looking pretty attractive.
Upon landing stateside, we continued to brainstorm destinations for our own wedding. We first considered the travel logistics. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago where my immediate family still resides. The majority of my extended family lives in the New England area and I went to college in Virginia. Meanwhile, Kevin went to college in Pennsylvania and grew up in Virginia with family in the Cleveland area. To make matters even more logistically complicated, Kevin happened to propose the same day that he received a job offer in San Diego. We lived in Chicago at the time.
The consensus? There was no single place in the U.S. that wouldn’t require travel for at least 60% of our guest list.
This opened us up to a world of possibilities. Naturally, we gravitated back to where it all began – the Amalfi Coast. We considered Villa Cimbrone in Ravello, Hotel Marincanto in Positano and Hotel Caesar Augustus on the island of Capri. As I eluded to earlier, destination weddings outside of the U.S. are typically more cost effective. They don’t charge a venue fee, cost per person often includes food & alcohol and generally comes with all of your basic wedding needs – tables, chairs, flat/glassware, etc. Some even include flowers, linens and other wedding decor.
To be clear, I’m not saying overseas destination weddings are cheap, no weddings are cheap. You simply get more for your wedding dollar outside of the United States.
In the end, we decided Europe was a little TOO far for our guests. Since Kevin and I are on the later end of the spectrum to marry, many of our friends were either pregnant, trying or already herding a small group of humans through life.
Another important consideration is knowing what kind of wedding you want. I know many-a-bride who subscribe to the notion, those who truly matter most will be there no-matter-what. But I’m not one of those brides. I’m inclusive by nature and pictured my big day as a celebration surrounded by all of our friends and family without circumstance as an added hurdle. Luckily, Kevin agreed so we set out looking for more “local” options.
We started by listing a number of places that hold meaning to us as a couple. Of course, Chicago and now, San Diego were considerations but one that stood out was actually the destination of our first vacation as a couple back in 2014 – Napa Valley.
Turns out, this beautiful wine country with European inspired vineyards, sentimental value to us and located within the United States was the idyllic location for our wedding!
Kara & Kevin