How To Plan A Wedding In Italy

Should we even get into why you’re SO right to choose Italy for your destination wedding?  Stunning country, idyllic sceneries, romance everywhere, charming villages, historic cities, art, culture…and that’s just scratching the surface! Basically, what every bride (and every other person in the world) dreams of!

What makes getting married in Italy an even greater idea, is the endless list of available options for a dream wedding, no matter the style, theme, and mood you want.
Dreaming of a rustic wedding in the heart of the countryside? Plan a wedding in Tuscany. Dreaming of a cozy yet stunning backdrop? Get married in the Dolomites. Luxury and sophistication await your wedding in Lake Como (more on weddings in the Italian Lakes here). Romance, romance, and more romance will fill your wedding in Venice and its surroundings (more on Veneto here). The happy colors and sceneries of Amalfi will be a great setting for your wedding.

You get it, we’re obsessed with destination weddings in Italy! Need more convincing? Here are a few of the many reasons why you should plan your destination wedding in Italy.

But how do you make these wedding dreams and fantasies come true? It all comes down to getting organized and knowing where to go to select the best vendors (Hello WedBoard!).

Photographer Infraordinario Wedding

So, let’s get down to business, and help you plan your dream destination wedding in Italy with our easy and straight-to-the-point Italy destination wedding guide.

1. Define your destination wedding vision, style, and size

Your wedding planning, whether it’s for a destination or local wedding, be it in Italy or Hawaii, should always start with this difficult but enjoyable step.

Every one of us has already dreamed of what her wedding day will look like. But amidst all the inspiration and mood boards available one can get lost. To help you define your wedding theme and style we suggest you check out this article by The Knot to learn how to properly define, name, and explain your wedding theme. Defining your wedding theme will allow you to narrow down your search for the best region to get married in Italy. If you see yourself in a light flowy wedding dress, holding hands, toes in the sand, you know you want the proper setup for a beach wedding. If on the contrary, you like the glitz, glamour, and statement wedding gowns, then an indoor wedding in a historic villa will be perfect for you.

Defining your vision, and creating the right mood board will be the guiding light for you in planning your wedding. You will be able to narrow down your location choices, get an idea of your wedding budget and of course, better communicate and explain your vision to your providers.

Before continuing, you also need to make a guest list (an exhaustive one at least) to help you assess the number of guests. This important pieces of information will help you assess your target venue’s capacity, your wedding budget, accommodation needs, and even your wedding’s mood!

Wedding Planning & Design La Dolce Vita Events | Photographer Barney Walters

2. Set the budget for your wedding in Italy

This is (at least most of the time) the least loved step. We dream of many things and literally want everything, but it all comes at a cost. Luckily, with Italy’s plethora of choices, the richness of the culture, and gastronomy, you will have THE wedding of your dreams no matter your budget. You just need to be smart about it, plan wisely, and get all the information you need. But what is the average cost of a wedding in Italy? There are many variables that affect the budget of destination weddings, you can find them detailed by service type in our highly recommended and most-read piece How Much Does A Destination Wedding In Italy Cost?. On average, the total cost of a destination wedding in Italy for 100 guests can range from anywhere as low as EUR 35,000 to as high as EUR 80,000, primarily depending on your choice of location, venue, and of course, your catering options.

Photo courtesy of Anneris Flower Farm

Armed with these two essential pieces of information you can now (officially) start planning your destination wedding in Italy. 

3. When to start planning your wedding in Italy

As previously detailed in our article on How Early Should You Start Planning Your Wedding in Italy, the earlier the better! However, there isn’t one correct answer, as it will all depend on your expectations, location… While you can plan a wedding in Italy in 6 months or take more than a year, planning well ahead will give you a wider choice in terms of dates, venue, and vendor availability. It will also give your guests enough notice to organize their plans and days off to be able celebrate your wedding in Italy. While destination weddings might seem to require a lot more time than local ones, you shouldn’t forget that nowadays a lot of online tools are available on the market to make your experience seamless. Even the biggest wedding can seem like a walk in the park when you have the right service providers. A platform like WedBoard will help you build the Italian wedding you always dreamt of with a wide choice of wedding venue options, the best and most experienced wedding planners in Italy, and a curated list of the wedding providers available in the region of your choice. 

Photo courtesy of Luca+Marta Gallizio Photography

4. How to get married in Italy as a foreigner 

If you are a US, UK, or other citizen getting married to a non-Italian citizen in Italy, then there are some administrative tasks you need to get to. Required documentation and legal steps depend on your nationality, the nationality of your groom, as well as the nature of your ceremony.  
We know this might seem quite daunting and that is why we’ve gathered all the information you need in a step-by-step guide on the legal requirements for a civil, symbolic, or religious ceremony in Italy.  Another important and useful recommendation would be to reach out to your wedding planner in Italy (see below section). He or she will facilitate the procedure and handle all the back and forth so you won’t have to lift a finger (not even your ring finger) for a thing! Registering your wedding in Italy has never been easier! 

Photo courtesy of Jardin Divers

5. Choosing your Wedding Planner & Booking your Wedding Venue

Italy’s heritage is rich and diverse. Each and every region in Italy is stunning and has something special to offer in terms of scenery, culture, and specialties. To successfully complete this decisive and important step that WILL make or break your wedding, we recommend doing the following.

  1. Choose the Italian region you prefer according to your interests, style, theme, and mood board. Remember our 1st point in this article? This will help you narrow down your search for the best venue, by defining the region that best suits your vision.
  2. Now that you’ve selected your favorite region, we suggest you hire a specialized and experienced wedding planner. Planning a wedding long-distance can be complex. Adding to this the language barrier, foreign culture, and different customs makes it virtually impossible without an intermediary. A professional Italian wedding planner will help you every step of the way. He or she, will ensure that your wedding vision becomes reality by bringing all of the different elements together on your big day. Still not sure why this is important? Here are 9 Reasons To Hire a Destination Wedding Planner In Italy.
  3. Scouting and selecting your wedding venue can be equally fun and daunting as there are many things to consider like availability, capacity, proximity, logistics, vendors, and many other things. We highly recommend using the help of your wedding planner, as well as using tech tools like our Smart Venue Search for some inspiring venue “shopping”.  

Choosing the right venue and wedding planner is crucial, and is the start and foundation of your wedding plans, so research, read reviews, ask the right questions, and read about where to get married in Italy, how to choose a wedding venue in Italy, etc.

Photographer Matteo Crescentini Studio | Floral Design Sartoria Floreale

6. Sending out your Save The Date cards (more like emails)

Now it is time to send your Save The Date. No, it is not too early. The earlier you send them, the better chances for you to be surrounded by everyone you love. All they need to know at this point is the wedding date so that they plan their vacation days, and the location to book their plane tickets at the fairest price.

Photo courtesy of Guya Weddings – Charming Events

7. Let the (fun) part of planning your wedding in Italy begin!

Right after your venue and wedding planner, the two other important decisions are hiring your Italy destination wedding photographer and your florist in Italy. We specifically started with these two vendors as the former will be capturing every little detail, emotion, and moment, giving you the means to hold these memories forever. While the latter’s expertise, taste, and service quality will affect your whole wedding’s theme and aesthetic! So, choose them wisely.

Then you can go ahead and start choosing your catering (you will be in Italy so this task will be easy!!!), DJ and music list, your wedding song, wedding gown, and the list can go on and on and on… 

Before making any decision and hiring any vendor, make sure to always ask yourself if their vision matches yours! Otherwise, move to the next available option!

Floral Design Flowersliving | Photographer Facibeni Fotografia | Planning Silvia Slitti Luxury Events

8. Organize your guests’ accommodation and entertainment

While planning your destination wedding, don’t forget to take into consideration planning, organizing, and providing updated information to your guests. To be able to celebrate together, reduce the hassle of logistics, and spend this trip as one family, make sure you provide your guests with:

  • Information about logistics like the nearest airport, how to get to your venue, the wedding festivities program, etc.
  • Accommodation options, especially since you may be able to get away with an interesting group rate since you are ensuring a minimum number of guests!
  • A list of beauty salons and hairdressers available in the area. They surely want to look great when attending your wedding!
  • A list of fun activities and unique experiences that they can enjoy during their free time

As you know, guests tend to have higher expenses when attending a destination wedding versus attending a local one. We encourage you to organize and host a cocktail, a pre-wedding welcome party, a post-wedding brunch, or even perhaps organizing a fun wine tasting day in the area for your guests, as a thank you gesture for all those who traveled far to be part of your special day. All the more reasons to host parties!
Read more on this topic, and which expenses you will need to cover here.

Venue Villa Pazzi Al Parugiano | Photographer Benedetto Photos Wedding

 9. Say I DO!  And most importantly, enjoy every second of this day, as it will quickly fly by!

Want more tips on planning your destination wedding in Italy?

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Featured image Photographer ManiSol Wedding in Venice, Italy

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