Five years have passed since Chrissy Teigen and John Legend welcomed 125 of their closest friends and family members to witness their wedding in Lake Como, Italy, a sentimental spot for the pair who first fell in love at the scenic destination. In retrospect, there were some aspects of the occasion that Teigen admits she would have preferred to finesse, she tells The Knot, like her vows.
“I swear to God. I really want to get married again, because I really want to do my vows the right way,” jokes the supermodel. “I was very anxious. I know I’m a good writer. That’s what I take pride in, and I feel like I was so nervous and so rushed, that I didn’t really write them the way I would normally write.”
Rest assured: “When I do it the next time,” she says, “I’m going to make sure that they’re very heartfelt and not generic, and really from the heart.”
There was a good reason, however, for why Teigen felt rushed. “[The guests] had a lot of cocktails, because the ceremony was running about four hours behind,” says Teigen. “Yeah… [some of our] family missed their flight. The flight was canceled, and I wasn’t even aware of it because everyone wanted to keep it a secret from me. They didn’t want to stress me out. So whatever it was, it was a lot.”
Teigen and Grammy winner Legend married at the luxurious Villa d’Este, which overlooks Como and its surrounding landscape. Floral and event designer embellished the space with with lush-yet-refined arrangements and hints of copper that created the ideal backdrop for the supermodel’s three different Vera Wang looks.
“Make sure to get a planner that is versed in a destination wedding, because obviously, there are so many language barriers,” she notes. “It’s really tough to get vendors, and you can get so many more discounts if you know somebody within the area who’s able to get those discounts for you. If someone is coming in to a new city, there’s no way that they’re going to have that kind of relationship that’s able to get you the discounts on the florals and the tables. I think when you know somebody, you’ll end up saving a lot, a lot of money.”
Teigen also says it’s important for guests who are traveling to enjoy the locale. In other words, a couple should consider planning an immersive experience for their loved ones in their chosen destination. “Make sure to dine at small, little, local restaurants. Not only do your guests appreciate it a lot, but it makes it seem very cozy, relatable, cool and fun—as opposed to going to some ballroom where you have this huge catered affair,” she says. “I think people really prefer going to some local little Italian spot and being amongst the people in the area. I think people really appreciate that.”
Finally, libations—like experiences—should spotlight the local region. “Use the wine from that area and use the alcohol from that area,” says Teigen, who was a spokesperson for Smirnoff Vodka when this interview was conducted in 2017. “Recommend hotels that are small, quaint and cute, and that speak to that area.”
The model and Legend accommodated their guests with a wide range of tips that were personalized to the region. “We gave a ton of options, but all of our options were definitely little places that spoke to Lake Como. They looked like Lake Como,” she says. “They had a beautiful view [and] they were quiet. Even if they were tiny and had their little quirks about them—like some of the showers weren’t working or the water was cold—it’s Europe and it makes them feel special.”
The reason? “You’re sending people out for a destination wedding and it’s not easy for them to afford it,” Teigen says. “It’s not easy for them to get out there if they have children, but at least give them the opportunity to experience Europe in a way that they wouldn’t normally get to experience. Let them really have a good time and enjoy themselves.”
Ultimately, couples need to do the same. “I’m a very anxious person by nature. I’m very shaky and I really hate planning,” she admits. “My girls were so, so, so good. I think wedding planning is having a good core group of friends who love you and are willing to take it on. But also, to be okay with the surprises that come along with everything. Let your planner do it. S**t’s gonna happen, laugh about it. You’re not going to care after that day. It’ll be funny to you. So you really have to be able to shrug things off and just enjoy it. Laugh at everything!”
See more photos from her wedding below.