Sonny and Zarra’s wedding begins with a familiar story: “When we got engaged in March 2013, we had full intentions of having a full-blown wedding in Tampa, Florida. However, the planning became more and more overwhelming. We wanted to cherish and appreciate the entire process, but the stress and potential wedding costs were getting in the way. It was the night when I had a mini-meltdown that Sonny asked me whether we should just get married in Paris or Italy. My eyes lit up, and I immediately exclaimed, ‘Yes!'”.
They definitely took the right decision by coming to Rome, flying in over 20 of their closest family and friends from all over the world, and saying their vows in front of the Colosseum. Is there a better ceremony backdrop? And don’t get me started on the portraits taken in the Eternal City after that… Rochelle Cheever knows Rome like no other and the word that immediately comes to mind looking at her images is “fairlytale”. Don’t you agree?
From the bride: “Instead of spending thousands for decorations, favors, overly priced wedding reception, we stayed true to our personalities and picked what was important to us, our “must-haves”: (1) a venue near the heart of Rome, (2) talented photographer and videographer to capture all the special moments, (3) a professional harpist to add a romantic touch to the ceremony, and (4) a local family restaurant away from touristy spots so we could fully relish the night with family and friends (We literally occupied the entire restaurant and had the best times of our lives). Sonny and I got to truly enjoy the day and night with our family and friends. We devoured scrumptious food, sipped fine wine, talked to all of our guests, and genuinely got to celebrate our wedding. It was perfect!”
Any advice for brides planning a destination wedding? “Do your research and do not be afraid to negotiate so you can stick to your budget. But importantly, think about what would truly make you and your soon-to-be husband happy. It is extremely easy to get caught up with everything that is going on around you. However, do not let others dictate how you should plan your wedding or how your wedding should look like. Having some help from a planner, parents, and friends is appreciated, but ultimately listen to and follow what your heart desires. You will only go through this wedding process once in your life, so truly make it about you and your soon-to-be husband.”
And there is a video, too…
Wedding photographer: Rochelle Cheever // Wedding Planner: Laura Colavalle // Gown Designer: Allure Bridal from CC’s Boutique // Veil: Kristel Yulo // Bride’s shoes: Badgley Mischka // Earrings and bracelet: Neiman Marcus // Wedding bands: Gold & Diamond Source // Hair and makeup Artist: Lorena Lo Giudice (Make-up) and Rita Cattiva // Groom’s Clothing Designer: Jos. A Banks // Catering/Restaurant: Osteria del Cavaliere // Invitations: Paperless Post // Videography: Rochelle Cheever