Anthony and I met our senior year of high school. Even though we had both been going to the same school all four years, we had never crossed paths until we were in the same prom group right before graduation. We both had different dates, but all I really remember was him. We talked all night and we were both amazed at how easy it felt.
Graduation came and went – I was in a relationship and he flew to Croatia for the summer to visit family. We stayed in touch as friends from time to time, but went to college in different cities. One year later I was no longer in a relationship and Anthony contacted me after hearing the news. I am so happy he did, because I can’t imagine my life without him. He became my person and I became his. Fast forward 6 ½ years later, Anthony surprised me with a birthday trip to one of my favorite cities: Charleston, South Carolina where he asked me to marry him.
We tried planning a traditional wedding, but it just never felt right. It was all too stressful and overwhelming. Not to mention the cost! We decided that if we were going to spend the money we wanted it to be on something for us. Something less stressful so that we could be in the moment on our wedding day. We are both very private people and we knew an audience would only make us anxious.
We had already booked our photographer, Krystal Akin, and when I told her that we were thinking of eloping to Italy she offered to travel to our destination. We are so happy that she did! Photography was one of the most important aspects of the wedding for me and having a native Texan with us on that day made us feel at home.
We chose Italy, because when we imagined our wedding day Italy is what we saw. The landscapes are epically romantic and we wanted EPIC. I found Borgo Santo Pietro while wanderlusting over Smith Hotels as I typically do. It was perfect. There are no words to describe how stunning Borgo is unless you visit yourself. When we arrived from Siena and sat on the front lawn overlooking the Italian countryside our eyes welled up with tears…and we aren’t even the type of people who make a habit of being overly emotional in public. It was Heaven on Earth and in that moment we knew we made the right decision. The location and main house of the villa has so much rich history. So, not only is it beautiful, but it truly feels special. On our second day there we had an intimate ceremony in the gardens and I remember every stress-free second. We spent our honeymoon traveling all over Italy and it is a time in our life that we will never forget.
If I were to give any tips on planning a destination elopement without breaking the bank I would say it is important to pick 2 or 3 things that are important to you. Splurge on those things. For us it was the location and the photography. I knew that if the location was right everything else would fall into place and if the photography was great I would always have beautiful memories to cherish. For me, my dress was also very important. That dress is what made me feel like a bride. Also, even though it was an elopement planning can be difficult from another country. Since we were so far from our venue we decided to hire a coordinator. We were introduced to Simona Coltellini through Borgo and she made planning that much easier with her vast knowledge of the location.
Coordinator: Simona Coltellini-Above & Beyond Tuscan Weddings