5 Pro Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding in Italy
So you’re thinking of hosting a destination wedding in Italy? Congrats! As a lifelong local, I happen to think there’s no more romantic—or stunning—setting for a far-away affair than Italy. From our landscape and architecture to our food and, yes, wine (cheers to that!), Italy offers such a wide array of options for those looking to tie the knot in the Bel Paese. It’s also no surprise, however, that planning a destination wedding from afar can often be a complicated process. But, not to fear, brides and grooms-to-be—today, I’m breaking down five pro tips for planning a destination wedding in Italy.
Read on for all you need to know for a seamless—and stunning—Italian soirée.
1. Start with research.
Before diving into the planning process, I always recommend doing some digging to get a feel for all Italy has to offer. Something many people don’t realize about Italy is that it offers such a wide diversity of experiences and settings. From the sharp cliff sides of Positano and the unmistakably unique romance of Venice to the rolling hillsides of Tuscany and the striking stillness of Lake Como, different cities and towns offer completely different settings, cultural experiences, and cuisine. Consider the experience you want your guests to have as you research different locales, and keep an open mind—you never know what tiny hidden-gem town you might end up falling in love with.
(Psst…check out my breakdown of Northern versus Southern Italy to help you on your quest for the perfect wedding location.)
2. Hire an Italian destination wedding planner.
When it comes to planning a destination wedding in Italy, there’s no piece of advice more important than this one. No matter how organized or on-top-of-it you may be, it’s nearly impossible to plan a seamless soirée all alone from overseas. I always recommend couples hire a professional local planner or consultant early on in the process, before they attempt to book their venue or secure vendors on their own. From language barriers to time zone differences, an on-the-ground pro will help you navigate all of the trickiest parts of planning a destination wedding in Italy with ease–allowing you and your fiancé to focus on what matters most: celebrating your engagement (rather than being overwhelmed with wedding-planning stress). Plus, a local pro will have the industry connections you need to secure the area’s best vendors—she’ll know which vendors you can trust to execute your event vision, and she may even be able to land you some great insider deals along the way.
3. Consider going for quality over quantity.
Whenever I’m working with overseas clients designing or planning a destination wedding in Italy, I always recommend going for quality over quantity. Rather than inviting 150 guests and only being able to offer them a sub-par experience, I recommending capping your guest count around 60 (max). This allows you to allocate more of your budget to the event design and experiences.
Italy is such a stunning locale with amazing experiences and incredible food. If you’re travelling all the way here for your wedding, you should ensure you’re actually able to enjoy all that Italy has to offer, rather than having to spread your budget super thin to cover an excessive guestlist.
4. Let local experiences guide your planning process.
I always recommend couples let their Italian wedding be an authentic Italian one. Rather than trying to recreate a scene you’ve seen on Pinterest, let the local culture and setting inform your event vision. Understand that Italian weddings are very different from American ones—rather than blanketing the natural surroundings in excess wedding decor, Italian weddings tend to work with the natural surroundings to create a seamless aesthetic. (This doesn’t mean you can’t have those decor items you’re drooling over or your dream flowers—it just means you should work those items into your wedding design in a way that makes sense for the locale.)
Think about things like the best food in the area you’re getting married, the best coffee, the natural landscape, natural flora and fauna, local artisan shops, local wines, etc.—and then work with your event designer to weave these experiences into your event. After all, there’s no point in trying to recreate an American wedding in Italy.
One of my favorite things about being an Italian destination wedding and event consultant is that I get to share all my country has to offer with overseas brides and grooms—and I always make a point to recommend ways they can create the event of their dreams while still weaving in authentic Italian experiences.
PRO TIP: A great way to ensure your guests get a full local experience is to spread experiences out over a few days. Events like welcome dinners and goodbye brunches are great ways to extend your wedding into a full weekend of celebration!
5. Don’t forget the paperwork!
We’ve saved the least sexy part of wedding planning for last. If you’re set on hosting a destination wedding in Italy, you’ll want to make sure you get your paperwork in line far in advance. This may involve visiting an Italian consulate in your country (if there’s not one in your city, you’ll have to travel for that—so be sure to plan for that trip). This is another place having an Italian destination wedding planner is worth its weight in gold. She’ll be able to help you with all of the logistics of getting married in Italy, so that you and your fiancé can focus on the far more exciting parts of wedding planning (cake tasting, anyone?).
Ready to chat about planning and designing your destination wedding in Italy?
Reach out to me today.
I’d love to learn more about your love story and event vision!