• Violet

Bride-to-Be? Read me.

"Going to the chapel and you're.. gonna be maaa-rried...!"

So, you've said YES to tying the knot... how exciting!!!

If you're like most women I know, including me.. you have some idea of what you want. Even if you're too shy or maybe embarrassed to say it aloud, I know you've thought about it. Atleast once.

Let's be real. Most women have been programed to fantasize about their dream day since childhood. Watching Disney movies and hearing "they lived... happily ever after" at the end of storybooks is the norm for little girls. Who doesn't want to be swept away by a good-lookin' prince charming who throws you on the back of horse and gallops far into the forest to live happily ever after in some gorgeous castle with a butler and chef? Maybe it's the kind of dress you've dreamed of.. or the kind of venue you'd like, or even the specific flowers you'd love in your bouquet... whatever it may be, I'm sure you've thought about it.. which is probably why you're here now reading me. :)

Being engaged and planning a wedding is one the most exciting times in your life (as of yet) and you're probably overwhelmed with love, excitement and... tons of nerves as you realize you're a "COVID-19 BRIDE-TO-BE"... whyyyy???! I know your pain. Trust me! I really freakin' do. Although you've lived through one of the worst years of your life: 2020; the hell ain't over. I 100% understand the rollercoaster. You get really excited.. just to get really sad... you get really hopeful, just to get really emotional and bless your partner as you drag them through the highs and muddy lows. I guess if you can make it through a pandemic with your partner, there's a really great chance you can make it through just about anything!

Planning a Wedding during a Global Pandemic is not a walk in the park.

Left: Felt fab at my bridal shower before the world fell apart. Right: Felt like sh*# after our 3rd postponement.#2020

It's a rugged maze you struggle to make it safely out of through blazing dessert heat, followed by disastrous hurricanes with moments of sunshine and roses that give you hope "it might be okay."

If you're planning a bilingual wedding ... add on International destination wedding ... add on during a GLOBAL PANDEMIC, then buckle up! You're going for a ride!

Planning my wedding was hard. It was emotional. It was stressful.

But it wasn't impossible. Please don't give up hope! Looking back, every bit of stress was a billion times WORTH IT so keep reading. My hope is that you have a magical, beautiful and memorable day full of love like I did. Everyone deserves this and you're no different! ❤️

First things first: As you may already know if you've been with your partner for a few trips around the sun: relationships require work. I don't care how in love you are with your partner and how wonderfully patient, caring and communicative you both are. Planning a big wedding during a pandemic will require real, honest, constant communication, compromise and patience, with none other than, your soon-to-be: S P O U S E!

In an effort to save you some level of stress and anxiety (I know you'll still worry), read below and apply yourself as you go. Take what works and as with everything I share, leave the rest behind!

  • Nail down your top 3-5 Goals: If you're like me, you'll have many. I recommend you narrow it down to just a few. Why? So that at the end of your special day, you look back and remember that you truly did what you set out to do! Here were mine:

  1. Having our closest family and friends present ✅

  2. Having my father-daughter dance (he traveled from Nicaragua (5 long flights) while healing from pneumonia... to be there). ❤️ Constant reminder that if something or someone is important to you- you move mountains to make it happen. No excuses. I love you, dad.

  3. Getting married in a beautiful ancient cathedral with bilingual priest and celebrating in a gorgeous castle covered in flowers and candles ✅

  4. Performing our special SURPRISE dance ✅ (I have never been more proud of my guy. After begging him for a year... he FINALLY gave in and we made it happen (I'm persistent to no end!) In 3 months we practiced to a remix of 4 songs I created and to dance moves I choreographed! Who knew I had it in me?! Phew it was hard work!! Dancing with him at the end of the night with friends screaming and jumping up and down, cheering us on was one of the most memorable moments... I'll never, ever forget it! 🥰

  • As with all things in life, follow your gut. I followed my gut on many decisions, even when they sounded irrational to my husband. If something is truly important to you, stick to your word and believe in it. Ex) When our wedding was cancelled/postponed due to Covid and our venue wasn't available on the third date, I made it non-negotiable to have our wedding planner go back to find a date that worked for all vendors. Sure, it required more work, but if I had settled, I would've never had the wedding I truly wanted. So stick to it if it means the world to you! Guess what, we had our wedding on a Tuesday and only had 2 people not show up so there's that! Don't feel the need to pick a Saturday or Sunday simply because it's convenient for them.

  • Wedding Planner: Two words: Worth it! Skimp on the invitations or place-cards but never the planner! If you have a wonderful one (or duo like we did) you'll thank yourself. Sure, Vito and I did a lot of work, but having someone helping to ensure all went smoothly overseas is something money truly cannot buy. The last thing you want to do on your wedding is get all sweaty and stressed decorating seating for 100+ guests, calling the musician, florist or following up with the cake delivery guy. Invest in getting professional help. My wedding was gorgeous and so perfectly, well planned out all thanks to our beautiful and caring wedding planners, Lia & Carmen!! If you plan to get married in Southern Italy, give them a call! You'll be so glad you did!!

  • Invitation Cards: Pretty, but not worth it. After our wedding was postponed again.. and again, I thought it was pointless. We live in a digital age and decided to email our guests and guess what - it was fine! I still have our original invite card but it's just a keepsake.. trust me, 99% of the cards you mail, end up... that's right, in the trash! Save a tree and if you can, email your guests. It's just so much more convenient and you can use that money on more meaningful things, like a band, dj or your honeymoon!

  • The Dress: The dress I ended up getting was 100% nothing like I had imagined. And guess what, it was perfect.. for ME. At first I had such mixed feelings but after I made some custom changes, it felt RIGHT. I'm so thankful for my dear friends Nicole and Ninwa for being there for me when I felt so overwhelmed with choices. I never wanted a ton of family and bridesmaids there, and knowing I made the decision with a few trusted friends made me feel better. If you have complicated relationships with family or friends, do what feels right to you. At the end of the day you'll be the one wearing the white, purple, red, green dress, jumpsuit, overalls or tux if you choose! Do you. It's YOUR day, so do what feels right to you.

  • Decide together what traditions are most important: We didn't do a garter or bouquet toss. At first we disagreed so much about something so silly, but looking back, I'm so happy we didn't! The night flew by so quickly. You blink and it's over! The time we had wasn't spent doing something traditional just for the sake of doing it, which meant we had more time to actually enjoy our wedding, which brings me to my next point:

  • Be present. Hire a Photographer & Videographer! Do your research and find an incredible one like we did with Marco Odorino Photography. Don't rely on being free or having friends and family to take the best footage. I'm so glad we invested in a professional photography team. A team of 4 joined us a