How To Plan a Wedding in Italy - 7 Helpful Tips to Get Started

June 7, 2021

Italy has forever been a place of wonder and romance. Home to some of the world's most celebrated works of art, architecture, culinary creations, unique style and exquisite landscapes.

Exploding with culture being the birthplace of the Renaissance and having more Unesco World Heritage cultural sites than any other country on Earth. Italy is truly the perfect place to plan a wedding.

Planning your perfect day can be overwhelming so here is the perfect breakdown of how to plan a wedding in Italy:

Choose a local wedding planner

Pick your dream venue

Decide on the number of guests

Curate your ideal menu

Time of year

Have a unique Italian flair

Legal and religious considerations

Choosing a Wedding Planner

When you are planning a destination wedding in Italy it is always a good idea to have a wedding planner. Finding one that will work well with you and deliver your aesthetic within budget can be challenging to find.

So here is what we suggest:

1. Find a local wedding planner - having a local planner is indispensable. They know the lay of the land and should have connections to offer you more than commercial options on every aspect of your wedding package. They could even help you save money!

2. How many weddings have they done?- It is imperative to have a planner that is experienced. The more weddings and events they have done the better!

3. Look at their portfolio good wedding planners will have an endless portfolio displaying varied types of weddings. Look for their signature and the vendors they use, does their level of execution meet yours?

4. Find someone you trust This is your big day and your wedding planner must be someone you trust to make it happen and reduce the stresses that come with it. Finding someone you can lean on and gel with will be a saving grace.

For more on the importance of hiring a local wedding planner.

Valentina, our founder and senior event planner, gives instruction to the waitress.

Picking Your Dream Venue

Picking your dream venue is one of the most important steps in how to plan a wedding in Italy. In Italy, the venue options are endless, from elegant villas, beachside balls to gorgeous grottos.

Finding what will be ideal for your big day can be overwhelming- here are our top tips to make it easier to pick:

1. Talk to your Planner - before you lose yourself down a rabbit hole of links searching for the perfect place, ask your planner. Planners will generally have a list of possible venues. They will know the capacity and capabilities of the space. Also, they may have ideas on how to transform a certain space to make it uniquely you and meet your other criteria.

2. Is it your taste?- Choosing a venue that fits your theme and has the vibe you want to deliver. If you want your guests to feel close and cosy an outdoor wedding may not be best suited.

The same is true if you want a romantic, classic look a Villa filled with fresco paintings may fit the brief for instance. What is important is that you are true to yourselves and fits your taste as a couple and that you are not just recreating a Pinterest board.

3. Know your Guest List It is helpful to have a rough grasp on the number of guests you will be expecting. This will dictate the size of the venue and the layout.

4. Budget - this possibly may be the biggest decider on the venue selection. It is not just the renting of the space that you have to think of but also to consider, floral and decor that will be needed on top of that.

It is essential to find out what is and is not included in the venue cost i.e. tables, chairs and linens. This may also affect your budget whether or not you will need to bring in more vendors.

How to choose where to get married in Italy, and our top pics for where to get married in Tuscany.

Bride and Groom look over the Tuscan landscape and villa grounds. The bride’s veil flows in the sky.

How Many Guests

Having a rough idea of the expected number of guests you wish to have at your wedding will help you not only with selecting a venue but to have better control of your budget.

The more guests you have the bigger the budget should be.

Having large weddings and sharing your wedding day with the world is amazing, the more the merrier. In saying this it is a special moment for you and your partner so being surrounded by your nearest and dearest is essential.

Often the guest list gets out of control so here are a few ways to get to grips with it when planning your wedding:

  1. Write two lists Your 'Need to Have' and 'Nice to Have' lists. Your Need to Have list is composed of people you can not imagine celebrating your wedding without - your immediate family, close extended family, best and long time friends.

Your Nice to Have list is composed of further extended family, colleagues and friends that you are not that close to. If you need to cut, look at your Nice to Have list.

2. Parent’s Invites Often parents are just as excited as you and your partner are for your union. However, this can get out of hand as they extend an invite to too many people that you may not be close to. A good way to be respectful and ensure everyone's happy, is if you agree to give them a limited number of invites that they can send out.

3. This is your wedding- It is okay to say no to people. To keep your numbers at bay you can limit the number of people who can bring a plus one. Perhaps only extending the invite to guests who are in a relationship or who have a plus one you know will get on with your other guests.

The last thing you want is your guest having to babysit their date and not spend time celebrating. Talking about babysitting you can also decide whether or not you want children present. This can also limit your numbers.

Food to Consider

Italy is exploding with flavour, with globally celebrated dishes rooted in tradition. Italians are fiercely proud when it comes to cuisine and their region of origin. They have every right to be, it is delicious.

It is important when planning your Italian wedding to infuse this passion into your menu. There is nothing better than local, fresh produce, to completely immerse your guests in a true Italian experience.

Depending on the region you decide to get married there are different flavour profiles for food and drink that are unique to that location.

The North including the region of Lombardy flavour profile is warm and cosy, comprising of dishes like Risotto and Pizzoccheri. The famous Panettone, the essence of Italian Christmas originates from this region.

Sprits are the perfect drink for an aperitif in the north of Italy Campari being born and still being produced in Milan. Aperol is a staple throughout the country but it does taste extra good in Venice.

Central Italy includes the Tuscan and Lazio regions rich in flavour. Celebrated for its production of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, truffles, Prosciutto, steaks and cheese. The home of beloved recipes like Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Cacio e Pepe and many more.

Admired for its Chianti wine region - a glass of red pairs perfectly with the rich pallet of flavour.

Southern Italy has diverse dishes to offer. Naples is the birthplace of Pizza, sweet cannoli founded in Sicily and the endless pasta seafood dishes all along the coast.

Southern Italy boasts its culinary creations and is topped off by the iconic tot of Limoncello from the Amalfi coast to digest.

You may even consider traveling to these destinations to try the food before you decide which region you want to have your wedding. Sampling the local food and cuisine is a very important step when starting to think about how to plan a wedding in Italy.

Time of Year

The perfect time to say "I do" when planning your Italian wedding. Having a Mediterranean climate of dry, hot summers and cool, wet winters.

Depending on what you are after the time of year is important to remember and note if the weather will work in your favour when planning your wedding in Italy.

Typically May and September are the most popular being at the tail ends of summer, the weather is pleasant, not overly hot. June, July and August are also favourable as there is less chance of rain but can be hot and humid.

Unique Italian Flairs

Another reason to plan your wedding in Italy may be to incorporate a unique Italian flair into the celebrations. This can not only be done through the catering but infused into every element.

Location: Choosing a typical Italian Venue such as "masserie" in Puglia or Renaissance villas in Florence

Decor: Including local produce like lemons, olive branches, basil or Sicilian maioliche

Entertainment: Pre and post-wedding activities can embody the Italian dolce vita, with Italian vintage or supercar tours through the countrysides. Vespa tours in the cities or a Pizza night for the rehearsal.

Local Favors: Bomboniere made with Murano glass, Amalfi Limoncello, Tuscan or Apulian olive oil or bottle of Italian wine to thank your guests.

Table set up decorated with Italian tomatoes and Basil

Legal and Religious Considerations

Legalizing a marriage varies according to your residence. If you are concerned with the legalization of your marriage being a destination wedding, you can either:

1. Get legally married in your home country and have your ceremonial wedding abroad.

2. Talk to your wedding planner, who can lease between the two embassies to ensure the paperwork is in order. If you are planning a religious wedding in Italy it is also possible to arrange the appropriate officiant for the ceremony no matter your religion.

Start Planning Your Wedding

This article provided everything you need to consider for how to plan a wedding in Italy.

Planning a wedding in Italy is an exciting adventure that will leave you with unforgettable memories. It can be overwhelming to start the planning of it all, that is where VB Events steps in, to take the pressure off you and point you in the right direction! Book a free consultation now.

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