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Don’t know how to start planning your wedding in Italy?

First of all, congratulations on your engagement! Being engaged is such an amazing time, full of cuddles, smiles and laughter, a special moment to cherish with the love of your life and also with your families and friends when you make the big announcement. In this idyllic time, a question starts to pop up at the back of your minds:

“How and where do we even start planning our wedding?”

Before even contacting a wedding planner, here are some questions that may help you get a better idea of where to start in the initial process of planning your wedding in Italy. 

Sit down with your partner, open your favorite bottle of wine and… 

Engaged couple in the gardens of Ravello  

1. START DREAMING — How do you envision your wedding?


The time to unleash your imagination is now. The bride-to-be has probably dreamt about her wedding day from a very young age so she will know for sure what she wants. It is time to discuss this together and make it a combined vision. Think about what the day will be like, what kind of flow you want for the day, who is there with you and where you are.


This phase is extremely important, as you can't start planning your wedding unless you have a clear picture of what you want your day to look like. Think about whether you want the focus to be exclusively on the main wedding day or if you want the celebrations to go on for more days, like a weekend. 


Find inspiration for your wedding day on our Portfolio.

Bride and bridesmaids before the ceremony  

2. THINK ABOUT WHO YOU WANT WITH YOU — How many guests are you planning to invite?


Traditionally, weddings are a shared celebration, you want to bring together your people to celebrate your love. Whether “your people” can be counted on one hand or on hundreds, it’s important to start making a guest list from the beginning of the planning process. 


Are you wondering how to create a guest list for your wedding?

Starting the list is easy, it’s probably your families, closest friends, basically your wedding party! Then think about who else you should invite and who would be nice to have with you on the day. It may be helpful to have a look at your social media (Facebook, Instagram), chats and correspondence, just to make sure you don’t forget anyone. Something to think about is whether you want children at your wedding. Do not feel guilty if the answer is no, many couples prefer to have only adults at the wedding ceremony and reception. In this case, it would be nice to organize childcare and we are here to assist you with this.


Why is it important to start creating your guest list from the beginning? The approximate size of the event is one of the first pieces of information that any vendor will ask to put together a proposal, especially your wedding planner who will help you find the most suitable venue for your dream wedding in Italy! It also helps you allocate your wedding budget wisely.


Many couples think that a big part of the people they invite will not be able to attend, given that they are organizing a destination wedding. From our experience, this is absolutely not true. Not only are people excited to attend a wedding in Italy where the food and wine are exceptional, but you are also offering an opportunity to take a holiday and travel around Italy! This is why we always ask our couples how many guests will actually receive an invitation and we keep this number in mind when we discuss venues with our couples.


For easier reference, we invite you to visit our Venues section where the capacity of each venue is always indicated.

Bridal couple after the ceremony in Ostuni  

3. CHOOSE YOUR SPECIAL DATE — When would you like to get married?


It doesn’t have to be the exact date, unless you have a date in mind that has a special meaning and holds a special place in your hearts (such as an anniversary). Flexibility is always the best approach when scouting the perfect venue for your destination wedding, but you should have a good idea of at least the period or month you want for your wedding celebrations. 

This ensures that you receive the correct seasonal quotes from venues and suppliers, and above all ensures that the vision you have for your wedding can become a reality.


If you have always dreamt of an alfresco wedding dinner with only the stars above your heads, then you had better choose a warm Summer month. If, instead, you love lush greens and Spring colorful palettes, your favorite months may be April or May. If you are in love with the colors of the Autumn leaves, choose a date in September or October. Your Italian wedding planners are here to infuse their creativity into your vision, always respecting natural backdrops and seasonality.


Many couples think that choosing an early Spring or late Autumn date can help them save money. This is only partially true when it comes to hotel accommodation rates for guests and probably airfare, while the most popular wedding venues and the most talented suppliers have the same fees from April through October.

What could instead impact on the budget is choosing a weekday date. Remember that most couples (including Italian couples) want to get married on a Weekend, Saturdays being the most requested dates. 


How to choose the season to celebrate your wedding in Italy

Wedding in Tuscany with the colours of autumn  

4. DEFINE YOUR WEDDING BUDGET — How much would you like to spend for your Italian wedding?


We know this may be one of those aspects of wedding planning that is not fun. However, determining how you want to budget for your big day is essential to make sure that you can make all the big decisions without any stress.


Make sure that you have an open and respectful conversation with your fiancé and anyone else who is contributing to the wedding, as it's still common for the bride's and groom's parents to take care of at least some of the expenses.

Our top recommendation is to realistically set the maximum budget you can afford or willing to spend and once you have the hard figure start setting your priorities.


You are probably wondering “How much does a wedding in Italy cost?”. We understand that you are not familiar with costs in Italy, it is not the country you live in after all. The amount of course varies a lot depending on your vision, on the atmosphere and experience you wish to create, on the final number of guests and on the location you choose.

As a general guideline for an average size event, we recommend keeping in mind a starting budget of € 1,800 / 2,000 per guest if you wish to host a beautiful wedding like the ones you see in our Portfolio using our trusted vendors. Whether or not this figure is in line with your expectations, get in touch with us to discuss your vision and get our guidance. Unless your budget is significantly lower, we will be happy to send you some ideas!


You can find more helpful tips in the section Use your budget wisely.

Bridal couple in a Villa in Tuscany  

5. SET YOUR PRIORITIES — What’s most important to you?


Understanding what matters most to you and your partner will help you spend your money most effectively. We always ask couples to rank the most important wedding components, giving a score from one to five to each. These are design and décor, venue and location, entertainment and music, food and drinks, activities for you and your guests.

Talk about your lifestyle and the things that you love to do. Let those things influence what's important to you about the wedding and the things that are non-negotiable for you. Ask yourselves: what are the top three to five things that you can't live without for your wedding?


Maybe you are thrilled to find the most fabulous dress and want more than one change of outfit, maybe your fiancé is a wine lover and wants the best vintage wines served during dinner, or maybe you want to organize the ultimate dance party with the best music entertainment. Whatever “sparks joy” the most and you are greatly excited about, that should be on the top of your priorities for your wedding.


Explore our Services section for more ideas to make your wedding day special and unforgettable.

The page Italian Wedding Traditions can be a great source of inspiration for your wedding day.

Happy bridal couple during the wedding banquet  

6. IMAGINE SAYING “I DO” — What kind of ceremony would you like to have?


You are about to vow eternal love to each other and when you actually do that is during the ceremony, the most important and meaningful moment of any wedding. 


Whether you choose a fifteen-minute civil ceremony, a traditional religious service or a spiritual ceremony with touching readings, we recommend this to be an expression of you. Neither has more value or more worth. It is entirely down to what feels right for the two of you. Find a ceremony and style that suits your beliefs, your values and ultimately your personalities.


You may want to read more about the different types of Wedding Ceremonies on our dedicated page.

Outdoor wedding ceremony in a garden in Tuscany  

7. IMAGINE THE SETTING OF YOUR SPECIAL DAY — Do you have a preferred region or city in Italy? What sort of venue is ideal for your celebration?


Italy is a country of wonders, and nearly in most towns and places you can find beautiful churches, secret gardens, historical gems, nice views. But not any place combines beautiful wedding venues, excellent facilities, high-end hospitality and exciting things to do in the surroundings. 

Here are the most popular locations for a fabulous destination wedding in Italy: 

  • Amalfi Coast: Breathtaking water views, lemons, colorful towns, Pasta & Mandolino
  • Capri: sailing, dramatic cliffs, boutiques, linen dresses and sandals, 50’s jet-set “Piazzetta”
  • Tuscany: Relax, Rolling hills, vineyards, food and wine, Medieval towns 
  • Florence: Renaissance Art, architecture and history
  • Lake Como: Spectacular views of water and mountains, terraced gardens with flowers in bloom, water taxi ride on the lake.  
  • Portofino and the Riviera: glam, elegant colorful palaces, living your best life enjoying yacht rides and drinking aperitifs on beautiful piazzas. 
  • Apulia: Mediterranean Masserias, Palms, endless expanses of secular olive groves, exceptional cuisine, blue pristine waters, relaxed holiday life.
  • Sicily: Arabian nights mixed with Greek influences, fierce and traditional people, oranges, amazing food, colorful fabrics, untouched beauty. 
  • Venice: Arabian- Byzantine style palaces suspended on water, spectacular golden sunsets, gondola, Carnival, Bellinis birthplace
  • Rome: Eternal city, history in every corner, dolce vita
  • Sorrento: Lemon gardens and hotels on cliffs, home of writers and musicians.
  • Verona: Romeo and Juliet, the city of love
  • Friuli: White wine district and Eastern influences.


Read more details on our page Discover Italian regions and cities to learn about the peculiarities of each area and find the best destination for your Italian wedding.

At the same time, think about the type of venue that better reflects your vision for your big day. Boutique hotels, seaside retreats, charming farmhouses, ancient castles, luxury private villas, majestic palaces, hidden gems… Italy has a lot to offer, and the choice is all yours! Your style, vision, past travels and actual needs should guide the decision, but you can rely on our extensive knowledge of Italy if you are torn or simply still open to suggestions.


Our page Italian Wedding Venues will get you inspired and will help you navigate through all the different options available, providing some practical information and facts about each type of wedding venues. 

We have also created the ultimate guide of Italy’s finest wedding venues divided into three major categories: venues with water view, countryside wedding venues and venues in the most beautiful historical cities in Italy.

Wedding stationery with hand painted map  

8. THINK BIGGER! — Are you planning to host other events in addition to your main day?


Your guests are travelling a long way to join you on the most magical day of your lives, and you certainly want it to be unforgettable! Organizing other events and activities apart from your wedding day is always a good idea. Side events are fun and are key to provide a wonderful wedding guest experience, to make sure yours is “the wedding” that guests will talk about for years. 


How to achieve this? Plan a fabulous welcome event, it’s a perfect opportunity to show guests that you are thankful for them taking days off work to come to celebrate your love abroad and to “break the ice”, as guests who have never met will have the chance to know each other and, generally, people will bond. We have assisted hundreds of couples planning any kind of welcome event, from a casual cocktail party to a more sophisticated dinner. One of our favorite kinds of events are Italian-themed rehearsal dinners, they are fun, memorable and pay tribute to Italy’s traditions. Here are the ingredients to organize the ultimate Italian rehearsal dinner: a typical local restaurant or trattoria, mouthwatering food and wine, family-style serving, a folk band, creative touches such as beautiful custom-made tambourins, typical handmade textiles, colorful pottery and local greens and flowers. 


Thinking about organizing a farewell brunch the morning after the wedding? That’s a great way to extend the celebration and spend extra time with guests before they head home! Your wedding planners at Exclusive Italy Weddings are here to help you with ideas and suggestions to organize your first brunch as a married couple.


You may also want to organize some unique activities for your guests, from a boat day to truffle hunts, wine tastings, cooking classes and more, every experience is more fun when done together! We have cultivated relationships with the best vendors and suppliers for any kind of activity and will be able to assist you in the organization according to your needs and budget. 


Our recommendation is not to get too carried away: it’s nice for guests to have the chance to do something fun with you, but most guests like to also have their own time and organize things to do on their own during their Italian holiday. So focus on one exciting activity that reflects your passions and, with our help, make it memorable for everybody!

Capri boat tour  
Send an Enquiry

Contact us

Contact our expert wedding planners and receive qualified assistance for your destination wedding in Italy
Italy Office  +39 0432 913513


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wedding planning services? Contact us today for a free consultation.

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