Eloping in Italy? 10 Tips to Plan The Perfect Destination Micro-Wedding

Intimate weddings and elopements witnessed a rise in popularity over the last couple of years as more and more couples began choosing to go down this rather non-traditional route. Indeed an increasing number of couples are opting to celebrate their wedding surrounded only by their nearest and dearest! But how can you plan a destination elopement in Italy? And what differentiates an elopement from an intimate wedding? Are they just scaled-down weddings?

This small wedding trend also increased in the field of destination weddings. More couples are planning small and intimate destination weddings to take the “just us two” (and our favorite people) intimate experience to the next level!

So, are you engaged and looking to plan an elopement in Italy? Or perhaps, you’re exploring the option of planning a small intimate wedding in Italy? Then continue reading; you will surely appreciate our tips & advice on planning the perfect elopement in Italy!

Planner: La Dolce Vita Events | Photo: Jeff Cooke Photography | Florist: Flower Living | Venue: Borgo Stommenano |
Videographer: Whitesfilm | Makeup: Makeupfirenze | Lights and Music: Alma Project

First things first, let’s start with some destination elopement FAQs:

– What is the difference between an elopement wedding and an intimate wedding?

Elopement, intimate wedding, or micro-wedding are all terms we have heard more and more recently (especially in 2020, Grazie mille Covid!), so what is the difference between all of these terms?

Intimate weddings, also known as micro-weddings, micro-marriages, or even minimonies, are just like regular weddings but with a much smaller guest list. The average guest list is usually no more than 50, but these numbers vary according to the couple, their culture, and traditions. For instance, while a rather big wedding for some is 100 guests, it is considered an “intimate” affair for others. Basically, intimate weddings are when the couple decides to strictly invite the closest and dearest people, regardless of the number of guests.
On the other hand, An elopement per definition is when the bride and groom run off to get married. Traditionally speaking, elopements are held in secrecy, often improvised with a maximum of 2 other attendees, i.e., the witnesses. But this has evolved throughout the year, and elopements are now micro-weddings but with no more than 10 people.

These days, the frontier between these designations is blurred, and they are often interchanged or misused. But you get the point, whether it is an elopement or an intimate wedding, we are dealing with a smaller scaled wedding (Attention here! We are just talking about the number of attendees and certainly not about wedding decor and the number of festivities)!

Photo courtesy of venue: L’Olmo

– Is a micro-wedding or elopement right for you?

We created a short questionnaire to help you make sure that you are making the right decision by planning an elopement or small and intimate wedding in Italy:

  • Are you okay with making drastic cuts to your wedding guest list? (And ignore your parents begging you to invite your distant cousins?)
  • Are you ready to forgo some people you love but are not that close to, or you don’t talk to regularly? Including some of your tribe members?
  • Does the thought of wedding planning and organization stress you? Do you want a stress-free experience?
  • Do you avoid the spotlight? (disclaimer: you will still be under the spotlight only with a smaller audience, so slightly easier)
  • Do you want to spend your budget on meaningful things that will make you and your loved ones happy?
  • Does the thought of big weddings, even attending one, overwhelm you?

If you answered YES to most of these questions, then you are ready to move forward and start planning your dream micro-wedding! If you are still hesitating, our next point on micro-weddings in Italy might (more like WILL) make you decide!

Photo courtesy of venue: Villa Scorzi – Residenza d’Epoca

– Why is Italy an ideal location for an elopement or destination micro-weddings?

It is no wonder that Italy is one of the most sought-after wedding destinations! Breathtaking sceneries, stunning venues, incomparable gastronomy, culture, and art… Couples can make their dream wedding happen in Italy no matter the theme, size, or vision they have. Indeed, Italy boasts several sceneries, from beaches to snowy peaks, coasts, and mountains so you will be able to choose your dream wedding backdrop no matter your style. It also helps that Italy offers an endless list of small venue options and hidden gems that you will enjoy discovering (careful, choosing only one is not going be an easy task!).
Here are a few ideas and facts to help you visualize your elopement in Italy or envision where you could plan a destination micro-wedding:
– Look into options in the heart of romantic Venice. These stunning venues are perfect to accommodate a smaller number of guests. So elopement in Venice? Here you come!
– The Dolomites is another perfect elopement location. Think chalets and intimate moods for the perfect small wedding ceremony, especially in winter, where you want to limit your travels!
– You can even opt for an intimate seaside ceremony on the Amalfi Coast or a rustic style vineyard wedding in Tuscany.
And the list goes on.
So to sum it up: sceneries, activity choices, taste, good food, and good mood – all with a wide choice of small yet charming venues: Italy is certainly the perfect destination for elopements and micro-weddings!

Planner: Jlenia Costner Weddings and Events

And now here are 10 Tips to help you plan the perfect destination elopement in Italy:

1- Privilege hidden gems, off-beat or out-of-the-box locations and smaller destination wedding venues

With a smaller guest list, logistics, transportation, accommodations, and venue size are definitely easier to manage. So why not go for that small hidden gem? Or that borgo in a remote countryside? Even your favorite authentic Italian restaurant might be able to accommodate you! Consider smaller venues always because you don’t want to lose that warm family gathering feel and have your guests sitting in big empty spaces.
Enjoy choosing an exceptional location for your special big day (or shall we say small big day?). Just make sure you go for a venue that matches your couple’s personality and taste!
Click here if you need ideas on where to get married in Italy or if you need help choosing your wedding venue.

2- Hire an Elopement Planner in Italy

Surprised? Well, planning an intimate wedding, just like a regular destination wedding, needs some preparation, especially when it is a destination elopement in Italy. You will need a destination wedding planner who will help you and advise you with his or her knowledge of the specific region in Italy, represent you in vendors’ meetings, etc. In case you’re not sure you need a full-fledged wedding planning service, you can also opt for a wedding planner who will support you with the day-of coordination. Someone has to make sure the celebration is flowing smoothly; your wedding decor is being properly installed, that all elements are coming together, the program is being respected, the DJ s here, etc. So be it a wedding of 10 or 300 guests, one thing is for sure: someone needs to be managing the event! If you are still reluctant, you can always check the 9 reasons you should hire a destination wedding planner.

Planner: Guya Weddings – Charming Events | Venue: Locanda in Tuscany | Photos: Martina Ruffini | Florist: Anaphalis

3- Plan your destination wedding vision & theme

Yes, plan a mood board and work with the best vendors in Italy to make your wedding vision come true! It’s your big day, and you want it to be just like you always dreamed: wedding decor, DJ, music bands, live stations, bars, etc. You and your guests came from halfway across the world to celebrate, so you should celebrate in style! Do not hesitate and start working on your wedding’s mood board and theme! after all, a destination micro wedding is a full-on traditional destination wedding, only with fewer guests!

4- Do not skimp on your destination wedding vendors

As we said before, a small wedding doesn’t mean compromising on aesthetics, decor, and the quality of service. Let’s put it this way: small or big wedding, you’re going to want to document your special day with gorgeous photos, portraits, etc. So make sure to hire the right destination wedding photographer regardless of the size of your wedding. The same goes for florists, caterers, and all other types of vendors. After all, if you want to have your dream wedding, you will want the best vendors in Italy, whether your dream wedding involves 4 or 100 people!

Florist: Flowers Living | Venue: Villa Selva | Photo: Emm and Clau | Catering: Preludio Divisione Noleggio

5- Wear your dream wedding dress

Eloping doesn’t mean getting married in jeans and a t-shirt (unless that is what you want, then, by all means, go for it! ). You have a crush on a particular wedding dress? Whether it is a fun dress or a traditional gown, just wear it!
You are only getting married once, and the opportunities to wear your dream white dress won’t be so many! Just wear that dress you love! No matter its size or design, as long as it makes you feel beautiful, special, and like the bride you always imagined yourself to be!

6- Rock your wedding vows (SWOON)

The beauty of getting married only surrounded by your closest and favorite people is that you get to be your true self and not the bride who is hosting and making sure everything is going according to the pertaining manners, traditions, and etiquette. Why not let that show in your wedding vows!
Exchanging vows is a very intimate and emotional moment that sometimes gets overshadowed by stage freight (or is it altar fright?). Most brides want to share their deepest feelings and emotions but always worry about oversharing, taking a long time, or being too personal in front of 300 guests, including their cousin’s second wife’s mother. What makes micro-wedding ceremonies (also known as Minimony. yes, that is their name) extra special is the intimate and familial feel, which will allow you to share your feelings, emotions, and love promises to your loved one without having to worry about anything or anyone!

Planner: Jlenia Costner Weddings and Events

7- Pay attention to the smallest details

As we said before, a small destination wedding doesn’t mean overlooking details. You are hosting a wedding, and you should do it right, especially with a smaller committee, where there is a lot of room to look and notice things that would have gone otherwise unseen.

8- Personalize the eloping in Italy experience for everyone

By inviting a smaller group of people, you will have more time, energy, and budget to allocate, so why not seize this opportunity and get personal? You can write and customize your wedding invitations, prepare thoughtful welcome boxes, add names to the place cards, handwrite thank you notes, etc. By adding that personal touch, you will make your destination wedding a memorable experience for each and every attendee!

Photo courtesy of venue: Chiesa del Carmine

9- Involve your guests and spoil them

A small wedding comes many perks, like this one: if you are planning a symbolic ceremony in Italy, why not make the experience more personal and have one of your family or friends officiate the wedding? Fun and emotional moments guaranteed!
You can also spoil your guests with a lot of favors & activities. With more time and budget on hand, you will be able to prepare for them small favors and surprises! Plan extra-fun activities that you can do as a small group like cruising in gondolas down the canal in Venice, going for Vespa tours throughout Tuscany’s rolling hills, or even renting a party boat and getting in the festive Amalfi mood!
You can take these experiences to the next level by gifting your guests’ pictures of the events, or edible personalized boxes, and small favors to thank them. You will enjoy the wide variety of options available, so don’t be afraid to get creative!

10- Forget everything and enjoy every minute of your Italian elopement!

You are celebrating your happiest day with the people closest to your heart, so forget about planning and fully enjoy your Big Day! After all, your wedding day is one of the most important days in your life!

Photo courtesy of venue: Chiesa del Carmine

In conclusion, be it a destination elopement in Italy, a micro destination wedding, or a traditional destination wedding, it is never only about your wedding’s size and theme. Many factors and variables should be considered, and it all comes down to how you plan your destination wedding in Italy, so make sure you plan it right!
And worry not! WedBoard is here to help you every step of the way! Use WedBoard’s  Smart Venue Search to browse gorgeous Italian venues and chat directly with a list of the highest qualified Italian wedding vendors to make sure you get the best of everything. We’ve got you covered on all things related to destination weddings in Italy!

Feature image courtesy of venue: Kolfuschgerhof Mountain Resort

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