Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, John Legend and Chrissy Teigan, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West and George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin… here we name but a few celebrities who all decided to tie the knot in Italy; a country well known for its romantic history and of course ‘la Dolce Vita.’ With its indisputable reputation for incredible food and wines, coupled with breath-taking vistas, it’s easy to see why Italy remains an undoubtedly fashionable and popular choice for couples today wanting an A-list wedding without the A-list budget! Here Victoria from Sophisticated Wedding’s offers her top 10 tips to plan an incredible Italian wedding.
1. Ensure you enlist the services of a reliable and hard-working wedding planner
It may seem obvious that this is the first thing on my list but it is absolutely invaluable. Your wedding day is one of the biggest days of your life; don’t leave it to chance that you will be able to coordinate every finer detail of your wedding yourself. You should appoint someone with extensive knowledge of the local area, Italian speaking, who has great relationships with local people… which means you can save money, as well as time and stress!
2. Beware of wedding ‘packages’
I believe that your wedding should be customised to you as an individual. That means your choice of ceremony venue, reception venue, flowers, cars etc! Your wedding should be tailored to you. Often packages are made to sound like they include a lot more than they actually do! Beware of hidden fees and ensure that each element of the package is worth what you are actually paying!
3. Legal Paperwork
This is usually the most stressful part of an abroad wedding, particularly when you are not familiar with the procedures. Check out this youtube video to get a head start on the documents you will need to prepare in the UK.
Ask your wedding planner about when documents need to be received in resort and ensure that you are well prepared in plenty of time.
4. Which location?
There are many things to consider when picking the exact location you want to marry in. Do you want an intimate ceremony to include just close family/friends or do you want a venue that can accommodate a larger group? What time of day would you like to get married? Do you want something historical or a terrace with an incredible view? Do you want a civil (legally binding) ceremony or a symbolic ceremony with personalised vows? Italy offers some spectacular locations, it’s well worth taking some time to explore all of your options as to what location best suits you!
5. Which reception venue?
There are some incredible venues, particularly in the Amalfi coast, for all budgets, from exclusive villas to five star hotels to smaller restaurants. There are many options you can consider, so think carefully about your number of guests, the style of dining you prefer and timings of the day. In my opinion lots of reception venues appear to be more expensive than they actually are! How about having your wedding reception on a yacht and watch the sunset over the bay of Naples whilst sipping champagne with your guests on board? Bliss!
6. Think about the finer details and of course the budget!
Weddings abroad are typically a lot cheaper than getting married in the UK. This gives you an extra budget for all of those special extras, to create a truly Italian feel to your wedding day, such as local musicians, ice-cream carts or even fireworks! Or how about a traditional Fiat 500? A real Italian style icon! Wondering through the piazzas with a reportage photographer makes for the best wedding photos too!
7. Guests and accommodation
Think about the needs of your guests as well as yourselves when looking at accommodation available. Centrally positioned hotels do tend to be the most expensive, but there are always deals to be had! Be brave to ask if there are special offers or ask your wedding planner if they have access to special rates?
8. Plan a pre wedding visit
Picking a venue can be difficult, especially if you have never been to Italy before. It’s often worth selecting your top venues and booking in to see them well in advance, so you feel satisfied you do have the wedding venue of your dreams!
9. Think about post wedding activities
Not only is it your wedding day but after, you get to spend time with your new husband and family and friends; so make the most of it by booking some memorable excursions. A boat trip to the fashionable island of Capri is one of my favourites, undoubtedly the best way to see the island and the Blue Grotto is a must! You climb on board a rowing boat and enter the cave through a tiny hole. The sunlight, passing through an underwater cavity and shining through the seawater, creates a blue reflection that illuminates the cavern. Truly breathtaking! If you’re lucky you may even be serenaded by your guide!
10. Enjoy planning and smile!
The Italians, in my experience, can never do enough to help you! They are true professionals! Enjoy every aspect of planning your wedding day; it doesn’t need to be stressful!