It’s no secret that Italy is one of the most beautiful countries on Earth–which is why it’s no surprise that it’s one of the hottest spots for destination weddings. With incredible architecture, delectable cuisine, stunning coastlines, and vineyards galore, it has something for everyone. But like with every other kind of destination wedding, there’s a lot that goes into planning.
From ensuring that you’re legally married to choosing the perfect venue for you and your significant other, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about hosting an Italy destination wedding. So pour yourself an Aperol Spritz and get ready to get to planning.
Top Cities For An Italy Destination Wedding
The Amalfi Coast is arguably one of the most popular destinations for an Italy wedding. Villages like Postino, Sorrento, and Ravello boast scenic backdrops, incredibly blue waters, colorful buildings, and a wide variety of venues–both luxurious and budget-friendly. And because all the villages are right next to one another, it’s easy to hop around if you’re looking to explore all the Italy coastline has to offer.
Located in southern Italy, Puglia has a little bit of everything. Beautiful weather, Instagram-worthy ocean views, a laidback atmosphere, and medieval architecture make it the perfect spot for anyone searching for a traditional Italian affair.
If you and your significant other are big wine drinkers, you’re sure to love Tuscany. With hundreds of villas to choose from, everywhere you tie the knot in Tuscany will be met with views of rolling green hills. The delicious wine and food are just an added bonus. Not to mention the fact that there are two major international airports nearby, so it’s easy to get to and navigate once there.
Although Lake Como is a little more difficult to get to, it’s worth it once you see the scenery. Littered with beautiful villages like Bellagio, Menaggio, and Tremezzo, Lake Como is home to some of the most beautiful views in all of Italy. It has many larger venues for those having big weddings, but it’s also known for its small villas ideal for micro weddings and elopements. And what’s more magical than a boat ride at sunset after saying “I do?”
We know that not everyone is looking for oceanfront weddings. If you’re more interested in a city wedding full of culture and rich heritage, Rome is the city for you. It has a never-ending list of historical monuments that date back thousands of years, along with lush gardens and incredible restaurants.
Best Time Of Year For An Italy Destination Wedding
The weather in Italy can vary drastically depending on the region. However, most weddings in Italy take place from April to October. This is when the temperature is the mildest, with plenty of sunshine. If you are more inland, it can get warm during the summer, so it’s best to look at your particular destination.
Because of this popularity with tourists, these months also happen to be peak season, which means less availability for venues, vendors, and lodging, and higher pricing. If you want to save a little money, consider the shoulder seasons, right before and after the summer. Just be mindful that you may be met with chillier temperatures and rain.
What Does An Italy Destination Wedding Cost?
Because traveling to Italy is more expensive than other destinations, Italian destination weddings are typically cheaper because they tend to be smaller–though this is not always the case. The overall cost is anywhere from €20,000 – €35,000. However, take this number with a grain of salt. It truly depends on how many guests you plan to have, where the wedding takes place, etc.
It’s also wise to remember that the euro is worth less than the USD, which means things will cost a little more. To help you stay on budget, check out our free budget planning tool, where you can track all of your spending during the planning process.
What Costs Should You Cover For Your Guests?
As with any other destination wedding, the costs you cover for your guests are entirely up to you and your significant other. Typically your guests are in charge of paying for their own airfare, lodging, food, etc. Because of this, your guest list may end up trimming itself naturally. Don’t be offended if people can’t make it for financial reasons.
The one thing that we do recommend is setting up a hotel block for your guests. This gives them a discounted rate at a hotel near the venue so they can save a little money and be close to all the fun.
When Should You Send Out Save The Dates & Invites?
If you’re hosting a destination wedding, it’s crucial to send out save the dates as soon as possible. Ideally, this would fall about eight to twelve months before the big day. After that, you’d want to send out invitations about six months before the wedding. This ensures that they have plenty of time to plan accordingly.
When Should You Begin Booking Your Vendors?
The earlier you book your vendors, the better. If you’ve had your eye on a particular vendor for some time now, reach out to them ASAP to ensure they’re available for your date. And don’t be afraid to bring a vendor from home if they’re willing to travel. Just remember that you will have to pay for their travel expenses.
Should You Hire A Wedding Planner?
We’re firm believers that wedding planners are vital to help keep wedding stress at bay–especially when planning a destination wedding. They are familiar with the location, its vendors, the legal requirements to tie the knot in Italy, and know tips and tricks that can save you money in the long run. Not sure how to find the perfect wedding planner for you? Check out our directory of wedding planners from Italy.
Legal Requirements For An Italy Destination Wedding
There are a lot of legal requirements that one should keep in mind when planning an Italy destination wedding. That’s why many people choose to tie the knot in their home country before they jet off and have a symbolic ceremony. However, if you are looking to legally marry in the country, you need some documentation:
- A valid passports
- Birth certificates
- Divorce papers or death certificates, if relevant
- An affidavit sworn before a consular office in your home country
- An Atto Notorio signed by two witnesses (can’t be family members)
- A declaration of intent to marry
If you’re planning on having a religious ceremony in a church, you also need further documentation. You must also incorporate a civil ceremony if it’s a non-Catholic religious wedding before you can celebrate in a house of worship.
Sound like a lot to keep up with? We know. That’s why many people choose to get married at home before they do so in Italy. Our advice is to research your destination’s legal requirements early in the planning process to ensure you have everything you need. This is another reason planners are so helpful.
Ways To Incorporate Italian Culture Into Your Wedding
If you’re planning on saying “I do” in Italy, they suggest not wearing gold (beyond your ring) on your wedding day. The Italians believe that it brings bad luck to the couple.
You may have heard of guests throwing rice at the couple as they make their way down the aisle after pledging their love to one another, but did you know that originated from the ancient Romans? It was thought to bring fertility, wealth, and good luck to the newlyweds. It’s a practice that’s still around to this day.
Confetti and Bomboniere
Italian confetti is not what you likely think it is. Rather than small shreds of paper that you throw when celebrating, Italian confetti is candied almonds handed out as a wedding favor at the end of the night. When placed on the table in a small bag or box, it’s known as a bomboniere. Tradition says that confetti should be given away in odd numbers–three, five, or seven pieces per guest.
La Tarantella is a popular Italian folk dance involving guests holding hands in a circle and moving clockwise until the music speeds up and they change directions. What was once thought to cure symptoms of a spider bite is now performed to wish the couple good luck in their future together.
Millefoglie Italian Wedding Cake
While Italy doesn’t have a traditional wedding cake, there is a dessert they love to eat when celebrating, known as the millefoglie (aka “1000 layers”) cake. This cake is made of layers of puff pastry filled with cream and topped with fresh berries and powdered sugar.
We know that nailing a budget down for your Italy destination wedding can feel overwhelming. That’s why we’ve broken it down for you and created a free budget spreadsheet so that you can keep track of your expenses and have the wedding of your dreams.