3 Ways to Ensure Your Italian Destination Wedding Stands Out From the Masses: Pro Tips for an Endlessly Authentic Affair

When it comes to planning and designing Italian destination weddings, I always like to offer clients guidance for ensuring their wedding is far from cookie-cutter. After all, you’re traveling overseas with your closest friends and family to tie the knot—you might as well go the extra mile to ensure the event experience you create is as bespoke as it is beautiful.
Today, then, I’m offering three simple ways to ensure your Italian destination wedding stands out from the masses. Read on for all you need to know to plan an overseas soirée that’s anything but ordinary.



1. Hire or consult with a local wedding planner.
The easiest way to ensure your Italian destination wedding stands out from the masses? Hire a local wedding planner. While destination wedding planners at home where you reside are great resources, nothing can beat an on-the-ground pro who knows Italy, its vendors, and all of its unique quirks inside and out. Even if you’ve already hired a wedding planner who’s based where you live to help plan your Italian destination wedding, I still recommend consulting with a local Italian wedding planner as part of the process in order to ensure you have access to one-of-a-kind decor items, locally sourced flowers, and the area’s best vendors.
One of my most popular services is destination wedding consulting for foreign wedding planners—this allows you to have a wedding planner who’s near you and with whom you can meet regularly, while still getting guidance and resources from an Italy-based pro who can make sure you’re securing the most trusted vendors (and who can also help bridge the gap that often happens as a result of time-zone differences, language barriers, and cultural misunderstandings).

PRO TIPIf you’re getting married in Venice, I especially recommend consulting with a local wedding pro, as it can be a fairly complicated city to navigate when it comes to planning an Italian destination wedding. I was born on Venice island, Lido, lived in Venice for 20 years, and I love sharing my local knowledge and connections to help overseas brides and grooms plan a seamless, stress-free soirée.



2. Opt for an aesthetic that speaks to the local landscape.
When it comes to designing your Italian destination wedding, I always like to tell clients to keep an open mind. You may have your heart set on something you saw on Pinterest years ago (and that’s totally fine!) but, as you learn more about the locale where you’re tying the knot, you might find that a different design aesthetic will tie in more seamlessly with the local landscape.

Think: a stunning lemon-inspired aesthetic for a Southern Italy destination wedding or a mountain-and-lake-inspired aesthetic for a Northern Italy destination wedding. Whether it’s incorporating local flowers into your bouquet or letting the backdrop for your ceremony simply be the landscape itself, I always encourage clients to look for ways their event design can complete—and not compete with—the natural surrounding landscape.



3. Incorporate local traditions, cuisine, and culture.
Rather than opting for white roses and blush linens simply because it’s something pretty you saw on Instagram, I love the idea of letting local traditions, culture, and cuisine inform the event experience and overall aesthetic you offer guests.
Think: using local handmade ceramics on your tablescape, gifting small bottles of local olive oil as wedding favors, or serving coffee and biscotti from a local shop after dinner in place of a traditional wedding cake. I even love the idea of having a local band, harpist, or guitarist play during your ceremony or reception in place of a wedding DJ.
Or, instead of traditional passed appetizers at your cocktail hour, maybe you plan for a build-your-own Caprese salad bar or a stunning antipasto spread incorporating ingredients sourced from local shops. When you work with my team to design your affair, we always strive to incorporate a mix of both traditional elements and fine Italian design to achieve a balance that’s both aesthetically stunning and authentic to the area.



Overall, the key to making sure your Italian destination wedding is one-of-a-kind is to take inspiration from all-things local—both from local pros and from local traditions and landscapes, rather than solely getting your inspiration from social media.

Ready to start planning your Italian destination wedding? 
I’d love to learn about your love story and chat about how we can bring your dream destination wedding to life together!

Reach out to me today

Including Your Pets in Your Italian Destination Wedding:
Everything You Need to Know About Traveling Overseas with Your Four-Legged Friend

If you’re thinking of hosting an Italian destination wedding, you’ll likely want to bring along those who have been most important in your life—and, for many brides and grooms, this includes their pet. But is it even possible to include your pooch in your overseas affair? And, if it is, how, exactly, do you go about handling the logistics? Not to worry, animal-advocates and four-legged-friend-lovers—today, I’m breaking down the basics of including your pet in your destination wedding.



1. Travelling to Italy with your pet

Let’s start with the basics: getting your pet to Italy. First, you’ll need to check with your individual airline far in advance in order to understand their specific requirements for pet travel, as these can vary by airline. Then, you’ll need to make sure you and your pet meet all of the following requirements in order to get into Italy:
Your pet must be over three months old.
Your pet must have a valid rabies vaccine. (Keep in mind, if this is your pet’s first rabies vaccination, they’ll have to wait 21 days before entering Italy. If it’s just a booster vaccination, there’s no waiting period.)
Your pet must have an ISO-compliant microchip.
You must have a USDA accredited veterinary issue and sign an EU Health Certificate.
Once you have the EU Health Certificate signed from a valid veterinarian, you’ll need to take it to your local APHIS Veterinary Services Office for endorsement.
The carrier your pet is in must be labeled with: owner’s name, address, and contact numbers in Italy.

PRO TIP: Keep in mind the EU Health Certificate is valid for four months from the date the USDA accredited veterinarian signed/issued it—so you’ll want to make sure you don’t get the certificate too far in advance of your travel date.



2. Setting up pet-friendly accommodations

Once you have your paperwork in order to get your pet to Italy for your Italian destination wedding, you’ll want to make sure you’ve secured pet-friendly accommodations for when you arrive with your four-legged friend. This is where hiring a local wedding consultant comes in handy, as she’ll know the area’s best pet-friendly accommodation options and can help you secure a hotel that’s near your wedding venue and meets your specific needs. If you’re thinking of tying the knot in Venice, Tuscany, Como Lake, or Verona, reach out to me today to talk pet-friendly accommodations in those areas.



3. Including your pet in your wedding

When it’s time to tie the knot, you want your Big Day to be as seamless as possible—which can often be tricky when a four-legged friend is involved. A professional wedding consultant will help you determine which venues are best for pet-friendly affairs, and she’ll also help you manage the logistics of getting your pet to and from the venue. Below is a list of the top logistics to consider—all of which are areas I help busy couples with!
Communicating with your venue to ensure they’re prepared for your pet
Setting up a pet sitter to watch your pet as needed throughout your stay
Setting up travel arrangements to get your pet to your wedding venue
Making arrangements for your pet to get ample activity during your stay (daily walks, playtime, etc.)
Ensuring your photographer knows how to best work with your pet
If your pet will be a part of your first look (if you’re doing one), planning out logistics to make this happen
Having a clear plan for your pet’s role during your wedding and how we’ll make that happen (i.e. Are they carrying the rings down the aisle? Will someone be walking them down the aisle? Are there treats or incentives we can use to ensure they’ll stay on-task?)
Assigning a handler (either one of your guests or a hired professional) to watch your pet during your wedding ceremony
Assigning a handler or pet sitter to either take your pet back to the hotel during your reception or take care of them on-site if your reception space is pet-friendly.



If all of the above sounds like a lot of work, your best bet is hiring a local wedding consultant to help you iron out the details of including a pet in your Italian destination wedding. If you’re thinking of bringing on a pro to help manage the logistics of traveling overseas with your pooch, Reach out to me today, as an avid animal advocate and volunteer and an event consultant and designer, there’s nothing I love more than helping people realize their dream of including their four-legged friend in their Big Day!

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!