Your wedding is arguably the most memorable day you will have in your life. It’s a chance to join in union with the partner you love in front of all your family and friends. Besides the love and romance surrounding the day, there is also the celebration that takes place at the wedding reception.
Now obviously you want your perfect day to go off without a hitch, and you want it to represent who the two of you are as a couple. You want to be able to look back on your wedding day five, 10, 20, 40 years down the road and feel all those same feelings you did on the day.
One trend that has really picked up in the past decade is for couples to have a destination wedding. It’s a way to take a traditional wedding and then inject more excitement and romance into it. And as for popular destinations for a wedding, it’s hard to beat what Italy has to offer. This is a country that is known for its beauty, incredible food and wine, history, and the fact it oozes romance. It’s for these reasons that the international wedding industry has picked up so much and has become so robust.
If you’ve decided that Italy is the perfect destination for your wedding, then you will want to read on. Here we’ll provide you with an essential guide to wedding planning in Italy, covering all the basics of what you need to know in order to plan that perfect wedding.
Choose a Region of Italy to Host the Wedding
Saying that you want to get married in Italy is actually only half the battle – sure, you’ve narrowed down the country, but what about the exact area of Italy? Italy of course has all kinds of standout regions, each of which is perfect for a destination wedding.
Some of the standout regions include Tuscany, Turin, Naples, Venice and Verona, Agrigento, Rome, Florence, and Lake Como. Each region has its own personality, sights, and attractions. You will even find the cuisine can differ slightly from region to region.
Decide on the Best Time of Year
There should also be a fair amount of thought given to the time of year you plan on getting married. If you have dreams of getting married outdoors and taking photos outdoors, then you obviously need to be aware of the weather.
In general, the wedding season runs from May through to October in the country, as this is summer and you’ll get plenty of sun and dry conditions. Now, with the good comes the bad, as this is also peak time for tourists visiting the country. This means you will need to contend with the crowds, and therefore make all your bookings well in advance.
What About the Budget?
Now that you’ve chosen the destination and region, it’s time to set your wedding budget. This can be a pretty stressful activity for couples as you need to pick a number that both people feel comfortable with. Keep in mind that a wedding can be as small and low-key or as big and dramatic as you want. Obviously the bigger the guest list, and the more requests you have, the more money will be needed.
Figure Out Your Guest List
Before you can start narrowing down the hotels and the venues, you’ll need to make a guest list so you know how much space will be needed. Obviously the kind of venue you’ll need for 20 guests will be quite different than 100 guests.
At the same time, because it’s a destination wedding and your guests will need plenty of notice to make travel arrangements, you want to give them as much notice as possible. Ideally you want to give them about a year’s notice, even if it’s just a “save the date” notice that you send out at first. This gives them a chance to save up the money for the trip and book the time off work.
Contact a Local Wedding Planner
A wedding planner can be helpful no matter where your wedding is taking place, as they are able to provide you with insight, tips, and assistance that can prove invaluable. The fact that you will planning your Italian wedding from a whole other country makes a locally-based wedding planner all the more important.
A wedding planner will have the inside track on top vendors, venues, hotels, activities, information about the marriage license, etc. You want to find one that is used to dealing with couples that don’t live in Italy so that they will understand your unique challenges.
Hire a Top Rated Italian-Based Wedding Photographer
Of course, wedding photographers are a key ingredient at any wedding no matter the location. You’ll want to find someone that pull of a range of styles that are of interest to you. They will be there to snap photos of all those special moments throughout the day/night that you can look back on for the rest of your life.
An Italy wedding photographer will also be knowledgeable when it comes to the best sights to take those precious wedding photos. They will understand better than anyone about the lighting, the crowds, and the special requirements at various locations in the town/city/village that you get married in. All of this will be evident in your photos.
If you’re having a hard time finding a photographer, this is something your wedding planner will likely be able to help with and offer up recommendations.
Visit the Destination and Venue Before the Wedding Takes Place
Many couples also find it helpful to book a trip to Italy and then tour the destination, hotel, and wedding venue before the wedding takes place. It can help you to bring your vision to life and make things a bit less stressful. It’s hard to just go off photos online or from your wedding photographer. Seeing things in person is always going to be the better plan.
Remember Your Wedding Dress Needs to be Able to Travel
Chances are you’ll be buying your wedding dress at home so that you can also go for fittings before the big day. When shopping for your dress, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that it needs to be a travel-friendly style. A big ball gown isn’t exactly going to be simple to lug through an airport, and it may not look great once you arrive and take it out of the travel bag.
Plan Activities for Your Guests
Of course, your wedding will be the big event of the trip to Italy, but there will be plenty of time outside of that one day for your guests to enjoy Italy and its sights. A thoughtful thing you can do for your guests is to plan a few activities that everyone can take part in. Perhaps it is a guided group tour, maybe you can make arrangements for a few meals at local restaurants, or plan some shopping excursions.
In order to plan the activities, it’s wise to do some research on the region ahead of time and discover its top sights and attractions.
An Incredible Day You’ll Remember Forever
A destination wedding, particularly one in Italy, is one that will be memorable not just for you as the couple, but also for your guests. By following these tips, you’ll ensure that everything goes smoothly and guarantee it to be a trip of a lifetime for all.