10 things you should know when
planning a Destination Wedding in Italy
from ManiSol Wedding
Welcome to our brand new column on ManiSol Wedding: this is our first article on “Italy Wedding Blog & Resources“, a space dedicated to sharing with you all the things we have learned during these years as lead wedding photographers and videographers in Italy.
Our first article is an extract of our E-Book, Wedding Day Ready, a comprehensive guide to help our couples plan the perfect Destination Wedding in Italy.
Are you ready? Let’s go!
Top 10 things to know when planning a Destination Wedding in Italy
Having a Destination Wedding – especially in a place like Italy – is a once in a lifetime experience. It’s more than a simple wedding day: it’s a complete, immersive experience that you and your guests will cherish forever. A Destination Wedding will allow you to have – generally speaking – a smaller guest list, so you can feel free to invite only the people you care about the most. Moreover, you will get to spend some real quality time with them enjoying an unforgettable weekend. Also, it’s a wedding plus honeymoon all at once!
However, planning a destination wedding may have some extra challenges to consider. The biggest one may be the language barrier: that’s why having English-speaking core vendors is absolutely fundamental! Planning a destination wedding is somehow different than planning a domestic one. Here are our top tips!
1 – Budget for the whole (rather than for the single vendor)
Destination weddings can actually be less expensive than domestic ones, mostly because of the – possible – shorter guest list. Figuring out an ideal budget with your partner is surely the first step to take when starting to plan the wedding. However, the average cost per vendor in Italy may be way different from the price of the same vendors in another state. Generally speaking, you should prioritize what matters the most to you and be flexible in your budget allocation.
2 – Start with imagining the general mood and setting
Even though Italy is not a very large country, the amount of different settings and venues is incredibly huge. We have gorgeous mountains and spectacular seas, colorful lakes and amazing countrysides, art cities and tiny towns, castles, villas, ranches, glampings, and fancy restaurants. No matter your wedding ideas, in Italy you can find the right place for you! A lot of fundamental details depend on the mood and general setting of your wedding. For example, if you want to have a sunset ceremony on the beach, a princess-like wedding dress wouldn’t probably make much sense! At the same time, choosing the venue (or at least the area) will be super useful to start imagining the wedding day in a more precise way, from the choice of the dress to the style of the reception, from the right season to the color palettes, from the type of decor to the menu.
3 – Pinterest & Instagram will become your best friends
Pinterest is the perfect social media when planning a wedding, especially from another country, and so is Instagram. Both work as image search engines, and you may find decor, vendors, and even venues you had never heard of. We love it when our couples share their Pinterest boards with us: it gives us the vibe of the wedding at first glance, and it helps us understand their taste even better.
4 – Schedule your Pre-Wedding Site Inspection(s)
Once you and your fiancé have come up with a general idea for your wedding and have chosen a preferred area, it’s time to schedule your site inspections! From our experience, even though it’s totally possible to plan a wedding without coming to see the area even once, at least one in-person visit is always recommendable. This will help you choose the venue you like
the most, see the places and colors in person, and understand the logistic of the area a bit better. The peak of the tourist season in Italy is from mid-June to the end of September: keep that in mind when scheduling your visits. In-person visits can be really important to taste the menu, have a hair/makeup trial, and even schedule an engagement session to get to know your photographer and videographer.
the pre-wedding site inspections can be a perfect time to plan an engagement session!
5 – Go Local when selecting your vendors
Even though we do shoot and film weddings in other countries as well, we highly promote the booking of local vendors when planning a destination wedding in Italy. Besides the legal issues – it is not technically legal for a non-European vendor to work at multiple weddings in Italy, let alone spending the whole summer doing it without a working permit – having local vendors can help you a lot when planning a stress-free event. Local vendors have their local network, and can offer you backup plans if anything happens; they surely know the logistics of the area better, know the best places and best time of the day.
6 – The Importance of Flexibility
If COVID-19 has taught us something, it’s the importance of being flexible when planning your destination wedding. Our advice is to always make sure your vendors and venues have flexible plans and precisely state what would happen in case the wedding day is rescheduled. This may sound needless to say, but always make sure you sign a legally binding contract with each vendor.
7 – When you should start planning a Destination Wedding in Italy
A common thought is that destination weddings are way longer to plan than domestic ones. However, this is not always the case- while early planning has some clear bonus points (more choice when choosing the date, vendors, and venues, more time to set up every detail and arrange with your guests trip and holidays) it is perfectly possible to plan a stunning destination wedding in less than three months. If you want to get married soon, make sure you are flexible with your wedding date and location choice – for example, you may want to get married on a weekday rather than a weekend, or be more flexible with the choice of the mail wedding venue. This couple, for example, comes from Switzerland and got married in Lake Como in September 2020 – they planned it all, from the proposal to the wedding day, in six weeks!
8 – Don’t settle for the obvious choices. LIVE LOCAL
When we talk about “Italianness” with our foreign couples and friends, they always think about pasta, wine, pizza and Caprese salad (for some reason).
However, the Italian cuisine is incredibly rich and tasty besides these typical choices – when you go out for dinner in a foreign country, do you settle for the touristic food or look for something more true and really typical to the place you are visiting? This is only a metaphor, but it perfectly applies to wedding planning, too. The obvious choice may not be the one that really works for you, and you can live amazing and local experiences by simply asking your vendors. Every area has its own cultural traditions that are deeply connected with the seasons as well – discovering them with your partner and your guests will make your wedding an even better, fuller, and memorable cultural experience. Don’t settle for a metaphorical pasta alfredo when planning a wedding, and have some fun discovering more!
9 – Include your own traditions
Just because you are getting married in Italy, it doesn’t mean you have to plan a typical Italian wedding. Including your own traditions – may them be family or cultural ones – is something we always recommend. Besides, you can also get inspired and create your own unique new traditions to be passed on to future generations!
one example? Yes, Italy can be the perfect destination for an Indian Wedding!
10 – Enjoy every moment.
The beauty of a destination wedding is that you will be able to live a gorgeous vacation, create amazing memories, and visit new places with the people you love the most. When choosing vendors you trust, you can simply relax and enjoy every moment of a one-in-a-lifetime experience. Have fun – we got your back!
Thank you for reading our 10 things you should know when planning a Destination Wedding in Italy!
We hope you enjoyed this, and we hope this guide can be useful for your wedding planning. If you want to know more, you can download our free, comprehensive e-book, Wedding Day Ready. You can find it here: