Micro-wedding in Val Gardena

Val Gardena Micro-Wedding – Taylor & Caleb

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The more Taylor & Caleb planned their intimate wedding in the Dolomites, the more they realised that it wasn’t just a micro-wedding that they were planning. It was a family (re-)union. Being teaching working in international schools overseas, they don’t get to spend much time with their families. Add in a global pandemic and it had been so long since everyone had been together, that this day (in fact the whole trip), was truly special for them. Their vision was for a day that really revolved around having their family overseas in Italy with them. It was a day that wasn’t just about them, but all the important people in their lives. Of course, they still wanted to inject it with their own flair, including making everyone hike out to their stunning ceremony spot just outside Val Gardena.

Here’s Taylor & Caleb’s Story:

How did you get engaged?

Obviously this story sounds a little different coming from Caleb or Taylor…but simply put, Caleb and Taylor were on the top of one of the only points of elevation in UAE, called Jebel Hafeet. Caleb pulled Taylor away from playing with all the stray cats only to get down on one knee and say “I was always told this was going to be a hard decision, but getting the ring and proposing now was one of the easiest decisions of my entire life. Marry me?” Taylor slowly collapsed due to weakness in the knees and said yes. We celebrated by eating pizza and getting a glass of red wine with our closest friends.

Any funny stories leading up to your wedding day?

I think waiting two years for borders to be open for all is funny now that it’s in the past!

In all honesty, everything went so insanely smooth. No goofy mess ups or mistakes! Getting our families overseas was a whole ordeal, and some of the traveling questions were entertaining…but not story worthy.

How did you decide on your location?

Shortly before getting engaged, we had decided we would have an adventure wedding. We knew we didn’t have the money to put on the kind of wedding we would need back in the states, so it felt right to do the wedding abroad. That would limit our guests, and it would limit the expectations people arrive with. Nothing we do is traditional, and we wanted the wedding to celebrate this.
We liked Iceland, Norway, and the Dolomites…but ended up deciding on Italy because both of us had traveled here before individually before we met. On one of our first dates we shared that Italy was one of the few countries we wanted to experience again and return to.

We decided on the Dolomites and honestly found Cat within a week of deciding on this location. Our ceremony location wasn’t decided until Jlenia actually posted a picture of someone else’s wedding! When I saw a picture of the location on her story I immediately was drawn to it and could picture myself saying “I do” in that spot. So I messaged her and asked from the specific location.

What were the biggest challenges you faced in planning your wedding?

Getting all our family to Italy was a challenge since most people had not flown out of the U.S. previously. We knew that staying in one location in Italy, and creating a “family reunion” vibe was going to be very important. On top of this the greatest challenge I found was making sure that both families were happy, content, somewhat entertained, and enjoying themselves while I also had my day of celebration. Our families were incredibly important to us on our wedding day, so am adventure wedding was the ideal compromise to get exactly what I wanted.

What is your favourite moment/memory from the day?

Our favorite memory from our wedding day needs to be put into two categories: our memories with family and our memories alone.
Taylor loved getting ready with all the ladies during the day and Caleb loved the hot tub time after dinner where everyone was crowded in or around the spa tub drinking wine and laughing together.
Alone, we both found the first look to be the most special. It was a short moment filled with so much happy emotions we had been waiting so long to experience together.

Is there anything you are really glad you did? Or didn’t do?

We are both very glad we didn’t invite more than our immediate family. Spending intimate time with the people who sincerely matter to us was priceless.

We are both glad we made everyone go on the short hike with us! Not only were the views spectacular, but they got to experience an activity that is at the center of our life together, exploring new places!

The night before the wedding everyone sat in a circle and gave us advice or shared something important about us with the group. We said some prayers and shed some tears, but the activity really set the stage for the wedding day.

What advice would you give to other couples planning their wedding?

Hire a planner, don’t settle for anything less than the fairytale in your head, and save up your money so you don’t have to stress when it comes to the activities surrounding your special day.

What was your favorite thing about working with Cat?

She didn’t need me to help her get the dream shots. Having a big family around she continued to be flexible and comfortable with everyone despite the difficulty I’m sure she experienced. I didn’t have to stress about her capturing the pictures at all, she made me feel like I could just go about my magical day and that she was along for the ride. I loved that.

What wedding planning resources did you use whilst planning your elopement (if any)?

So much explore feed on Instagram, but a lot came from my own head honestly because not very many couples force their families to go on a hike to their wedding. Lol


Wedding Planner: Jlenia Costner
Chalet: Chalet Pia
Bouquet: Florales Atelier
Hair Stylist: Olivia Kittleson

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