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Ultimate guide to planning your dream destination wedding in Italy

A picture from on of our destination wedding in Italy

Italy, a country renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and exquisite cuisine, offers an idyllic setting for the perfect destination wedding

Whether you’re drawn to the romantic canals of Venice, the rustic charm of Tuscany, or the glamorous Amalfi Coast, Italy promises a backdrop of unparalleled beauty for your special day. 

This guide aims to navigate the essentials of planning a destination wedding in Italy, ensuring every detail is as beautiful and memorable as the country itself.  

Why choose Italy for your destination wedding

Italy stands as an emblem of romance, history, and breathtaking beauty. It’s one of the most sought-after destinations for weddings worldwide. Couples choose Italy for their destination wedding for several compelling reasons. Here they are!

1. Unparalleled scenery. Italy’s diverse landscapes offer a plethora of breathtaking backdrops for your special day. From the serene lakes of Como, the rustic charm of Puglia or Tuscany’s countryside, to the dramatic coastlines of Amalfi and Cinque Terre, each location promises stunning vistas and unforgettable settings for ceremonies and videos.

2. Rich cultural heritage. Celebrating your special day in Italy allows you to immerse yourself in a land rich in art, history, and culture. Imagine saying your vows in ancient castles, historic villas, or amidst the ruins of Rome, each telling its own story and adding depth to your wedding narrative.

3. Exquisite cuisine and wines. Italian cuisine, known for its regional diversity and emphasis on fresh, high-quality ingredients, is a feast for the senses. Hosting your special day in Italy means treating your guests to authentic Italian dishes paired with some of the world’s finest wines, making your celebration a gourmet experience to remember.

4. Warm and welcoming atmosphere. The Italian hospitality is renowned. Locals are warm and welcoming. The joyous and celebratory nature of Italian culture, combined with excellent service, ensures a delightful experience for you and your guests.

5. Perfect blend of elegance and relaxation. Whether you’re envisioning a glamorous wedding in a luxurious villa or a laid-back celebration on a sun-kissed beach, Italy offers a perfect mix of sophistication and leisure. The country’s natural beauty and historic architecture provide elegant settings, while its serene landscapes and coastal retreats offer a relaxed atmosphere.

6. Romantic legacy. Italy’s legacy as the land of love, home to some of history’s greatest love stories, adds a layer of romantic allure to your wedding. Getting married in Italy means joining a centuries-old tradition of romance, from the canals of Venice to the balconies of Verona.

7. Ideal climate. With its Mediterranean climate, Italy offers warm, sunny days and cool, pleasant evenings, especially from late spring to early autumn, providing the perfect weather conditions for an outdoor ceremony and celebration.

Top Italian Destinations for Your Wedding

Choosing the perfect location for your destination wedding in Italy can be as challenging as it is exciting, given the country’s wealth of stunning locales. Here are some of the top destinations that offer an unparalleled setting for your special day.


Known for its whitewashed hill towns, ancient farmland, and kilometers of Mediterranean coastline, Puglia offers a unique blend of rustic charm and elegant simplicity. Venues range from luxurious masserias (farmhouses) to enchanting beachside resorts, providing a truly authentic Italian experience.

Read more: Top 10 wedding locations in Puglia

Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is famed for its extraordinary beauty and iconic cliffside villages like Positano and Ravello. Its breathtaking views and vibrant colors provide a romantic and luxurious setting for an unforgettable wedding.

Read more: The best wedding locations on the Amalfi Coast

Lake Como

Synonymous with glamour and exclusivity, Lake Como offers a serene and picturesque setting. Grand villas and elegant gardens line the shores, offering splendid views and a tranquil atmosphere that’s perfect for an intimate celebration.

Read more: The best wedding locations on Lake Como


Tuscany is the heart of Italy’s charm, known for its rolling hills, vineyards, and historic cities. Whether you dream of a rustic wedding in a countryside villa or a sophisticated affair in a historic palazzo, Tuscany’s timeless beauty will make your day truly special.

Read more: The most beautiful wedding venues in Tuscany


For those dreaming of history and grandeur, Rome offers an unparalleled backdrop. From ancient ruins to baroque churches and grand villas, Rome combines a rich historical tapestry with the vibrancy of modern life.


Venice is the city of romance, with its winding canals, striking architecture, and hidden gardens. A wedding in Venice is a fairytale come to life, offering a magical and utterly unique experience.


With its rich history, diverse cultures, and stunning landscapes, Sicily offers a dramatic and warm setting. From the ancient ruins to the crystal-clear waters and majestic mountains, Sicily is a vibrant and passionate place to begin your life together.

Planning your Italian destination wedding: a step-by-step guide

Planning a destination wedding in Italy is both exciting and complex. Here’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide to ensure your Italian wedding is as flawless as it is memorable.

Dream up your perfect Italian setting

Envisioning your perfect Italian setting is about more than choosing a beautiful backdrop; it’s about capturing the essence and atmosphere that reflect your dream day. Italy’s diverse landscapes—from Tuscany’s vineyards to Venice’s canals and the Amalfi Coast’s cliffs—offer unique settings for every style.

  • Explore different landscapes: whether it’s the rustic charm of the countryside or the historic elegance of city architecture, consider what scenery resonates with you. Each region has its distinct flavor, promising a backdrop that aligns with your vision.
  • Consider the ambiance: the location sets your wedding’s tone. A vineyard might offer a relaxed vibe, perfect for intimate moments, while a grand villa adds a touch of luxury. Think about the atmosphere you want to create, ensuring it reflects the experience you wish for your guests.
  • Reflect on personal Significance: a location with personal meaning can add depth to your special day. Whether it’s a memorable village or a city connected to your heritage, these details can make your day even more poignant.
  • Seasonal considerations: the season significantly affects your setting choice. Spring and autumn provide mild weather and stunning landscapes, ideal for outdoor ceremonies. Consider how the season complements your desired setting, from the natural backdrop to the overall guest experience.
  • Visualize your day: imagine your wedding in your selected setting, from walking down the aisle to the ambiance that surrounds you. This visualization can guide your decision, ensuring the location feels just right.

Understand legal requirements

Navigating the legal requirements for a destination wedding in Italy is crucial to ensure your union is recognized both in Italy and your home country. The process involves gathering specific documents and understanding local laws, which can vary significantly from one region to another.

  • Documentation: couples typically need to obtain a Nulla Osta (declaration of no impediment to marriage), which proves there are no legal obstacles to your marriage according to your home country’s laws. Additionally, birth certificates, divorce decrees (if applicable), and passports are generally required. All documents must be translated into Italian and authenticated.
  • Civil ceremony requirements: for a marriage to be legally binding in Italy, a civil ceremony is required. It can be held at local town halls or authorized venues. Some couples choose to have a civil ceremony in their home country and a symbolic ceremony in Italy to simplify the process.
  • Religious ceremonies: if you opt for a religious ceremony, requirements can vary. For example, Catholic weddings require additional documentation and pre-marital courses. It’s essential to contact the local parish or religious institution well in advance to understand their specific requirements.
  • Legal assistance: considering the complexity of legal procedures, hiring a local wedding planner or legal advisor familiar with Italian marriage laws can be invaluable. They can assist with document preparation, submission, and ensuring all legal criteria are met for your marriage to be recognized internationally.
  • Timelines: start the legal process early, as obtaining documents and approvals can take several months. Each region in Italy has its own set of rules and timelines, so it’s important to research and adhere to local regulations.

Set your budget

Creating a realistic budget early in the planning process is crucial for organizing a destination wedding in Italy. This budget will guide your decisions and help ensure that your wedding day reflects your desires without undue financial stress.

  • Overall costs: begin by researching the average costs of weddings in your chosen Italian location, keeping in mind that prices can vary significantly between regions and seasons. Include venue rental, catering, photography, accommodation, and travel expenses in your initial calculations.
  • Hidden expenses: don’t forget to account for potential hidden costs such as taxes, service charges, and tips. Currency fluctuations can also impact your budget, so consider this when planning expenses in euros.
  • Prioritize: determine what aspects of your special day are most important to you. Is it the location, the food, the photography? Allocating more of your budget to these priority areas can help you decide where you might be willing to compromise or cut costs.
  • Contingency fund: set aside a portion of your budget (typically 10-15%) as a contingency fund for unexpected expenses. This can cover last-minute changes, additional guest accommodations, or other unforeseen costs.
  • Financial contributions: if family members are contributing financially, clarify these contributions early in the planning process. Knowing the total budget will help you make informed decisions and avoid misunderstandings later on.
  • Track spending: keep detailed records of all expenses, quotes, and contracts. This will help you stay on budget and negotiate with vendors. There are many helpful wedding budget planners and apps available that can assist with this task.

Setting a clear and comprehensive budget from the start will allow you to plan your wedding confidently, ensuring that your celebration is both beautiful and financially manageable.

Choose your date wisely

Selecting the right date for your wedding in Italy involves more than finding a day that feels special; it requires considering factors that affect your wedding’s atmosphere, your guests’ comfort, and the overall cost.

  • Weather patterns: Italy’s weather varies from north to south. The summer months, particularly July and August, can be extremely hot, making late spring (May and June) and early fall (September and October) more comfortable and visually appealing for a wedding.
  • Tourist seasons: the peak tourist season from June to August sees popular locations crowded and prices for venues and accommodations spike. Opting for a date in the shoulder seasons can help avoid crowds and reduce costs.
  • Local events and holidays: check for local festivals, holidays, and events that might coincide with your wedding date. These can add a unique atmosphere but might also affect availability and pricing for venues and services.
  • Venue availability: the most sought-after venues in Italy often book up quickly, sometimes years in advance. Check their available dates before finalizing your wedding day to ensure you secure your preferred location.
  • Guest convenience: consider travel ease for your guests, especially those coming from abroad. Avoid dates that clash with major events or peak travel seasons, which can make travel more expensive and complicated.

By carefully considering these aspects, you’ll choose a date that ensures a beautiful, comfortable, and accessible celebration for everyone involved.

Secure your dream venue

Once you’ve chosen your ideal location and time of year, book your venue as soon as possible. Popular Italian wedding venues can be booked up to a year in advance, especially during peak seasons. Whether it’s a rustic villa, a historic castle, or a scenic vineyard, securing your venue early is crucial.

If possible, visit your shortlisted venues in person before making a decision. Pictures can be deceiving, and visiting allows you to get a true feel for the place and its staff.

Hire a wedding planner

Hiring a planner can be a game-changer for organizing a destination wedding in Italy, especially when dealing with the complexities of planning from afar. A local expert can navigate the intricacies of legal requirements, recommend reliable vendors, and help bring your vision to life.

  • Local expertise: a planner with local knowledge can provide invaluable insights into the best venues, vendors, and practices. They understand the local customs and regulations, ensuring your wedding complies with Italian laws and traditions.
  • Stress reduction: planning a wedding in another country can be overwhelming. A wedding planner takes on the heavy lifting, from coordinating vendors to managing schedules, allowing you to enjoy the lead-up to your wedding.
  • Budget management: planners can help you make the most of your budget, advising on where to splurge and where to save. Their relationships with vendors and venues often mean they can secure better rates or extras that you might not be able to get on your own.
  • Creative vision: experienced planners bring a wealth of creative ideas to the table, helping to translate your dream wedding into reality. Whether you desire a traditional Italian wedding or something uniquely personal, they can make it happen.
  • Day-of coordination: on the wedding day, your planner will be invaluable, ensuring everything runs smoothly, managing any unforeseen issues, and allowing you to focus on celebrating your love.
  • Language barrier: for those who don’t speak Italian, a local planner can be essential for communication, preventing misunderstandings and ensuring your wishes are clearly conveyed to all parties involved.

When selecting a planner, look for someone who resonates with your style and vision, has a robust portfolio of successful events, and comes highly recommended by past clients.

Select your vendors

Choosing the right vendors is crucial for bringing your destination wedding in Italy to life. From florists to photographers, each plays a vital role in creating the atmosphere and capturing the memories of your special day. Here’s how to ensure you select the best vendors for your wedding:

  • Research and recommendations: start by researching vendors online and asking for recommendations from your wedding planner, venue, or couples who have wed in Italy. Look for vendors with excellent reviews and portfolios that resonate with your style.
  • Check portfolios and reviews: once you have a shortlist, review each vendor’s portfolio closely. Look for consistency in quality and style that matches your vision. Read reviews from past clients to gauge their reliability and professionalism.
  • Consider language and communication: ensure that the vendors you choose can communicate effectively in your language or have a reliable method of communication. Clear understanding is key to avoiding misunderstandings and ensuring your vision is realized.
  • Schedule interviews: whether in person or via video call, interviews allow you to get a sense of the vendor’s personality and approach. This is crucial for vendors like photographers and videographers, with whom you’ll spend a significant amount of time on your wedding day.
  • Understand what’s included: clarify exactly what each vendor’s package includes, such as the number of hours of coverage for photographers or the types of flowers included in your floral arrangements. Understanding these details upfront can help avoid unexpected costs later.
  • Ask about logistics: discuss logistical details, especially for remote or unique venues. Make sure vendors are familiar with the location and understand any challenges it may present, from lighting to transportation.
  • Review contracts carefully:before signing any contracts, review them carefully to ensure they cover all agreed-upon services, dates, times, costs, and any cancellation policies.

Plan guest logistics

Ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for your guests at your destination wedding in Italy involves thoughtful planning around travel and accommodations. Here’s how to effectively manage guest logistics:

  • Save the dates and invitations: send save-the-dates well in advance, ideally 8-12 months before your wedding, to give guests ample time to plan their travel. Detailed invitations should follow, including travel information, accommodation options, and a tentative itinerary of events.
  • Accommodation options: research and provide a range of accommodation options for your guests. Consider securing a block of rooms at a hotel or suggesting local Airbnb properties, including various price points to accommodate everyone’s budget.
  • Travel information: offer comprehensive travel information, including the nearest airports, train stations, and directions to the venue and accommodations. Include tips on local transportation options, like rental cars or public transport.
  • Welcome packs: consider creating welcome packs for your guests, including maps, a list of local attractions, a schedule of wedding events, and some local goodies. It’s a gesture that can significantly enhance your guests’ experience.
  • Group transportation: if your budget allows, arrange transportation for your guests from their accommodation to the wedding venue and back. This is especially appreciated in remote locations or where public transportation is limited.
  • Activity planning: organize additional activities, such as welcome dinners, guided tours, or a post-wedding brunch, to make your guests’ experience more memorable. Provide details of these events well in advance.
  • Communication: set up a wedding website or a group chat to keep your guests informed about any updates or changes to the schedule. This can also be a platform for guests to ask questions and for you to share recommendations on dining, shopping, and local attractions.
  • Emergency contacts: provide a list of emergency contacts, including your wedding planner’s details, local emergency services, and the nearest embassy or consulate. This can make a big difference in ensuring your guests feel safe and supported.

Incorporate Italian traditions

Adding Italian traditions to your wedding can enrich the ceremony and reception, imbuing your special day with cultural significance and charm. Here are some ways to weave Italian customs into your celebration:

  • Confetti: instead of paper confetti, use the Italian version—sugared almonds known as “confetti.” These are traditionally given to guests in odd numbers, usually five, symbolizing health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity.
  • The Italian Aperitivo: before the reception, host an Italian aperitivo for your guests. This typically includes a variety of appetizers and cocktails, offering a relaxed and sociable start to the festivities.
  • Italian menu: work with your caterer to create an authentic Italian menu. Focus on regional specialties from the area where you’re getting married, and consider a wine pairing with each course to highlight Italy’s renowned wine regions.
  • Serenade: uphold the tradition of the groom serenading the bride the night before the wedding. This romantic gesture can be a surprise or planned, performed by the groom or a professional singer.
  • Ribbon cutting: as the bride leaves her home, she cuts a white ribbon stretched across the door, symbolizing the start of her new life. This can be adapted for the ceremony or reception venue.
  • Bomboniere: gift your guests bomboniere, small tokens of appreciation that usually contain the confetti. These are traditionally given as a gesture of thanks and good luck.

Visit before the big day

If possible, plan a scouting trip to finalize details with your venue and vendors, taste the menu, and ensure everything aligns with your vision. This is also a great opportunity to explore the local area for guest activity ideas.

Enjoy the journey

Remember, planning a destination wedding in Italy is not just about the logistics; it’s about creating a memorable experience that celebrates your love in one of the world’s most beautiful settings. Enjoy the planning process and look forward to the incredible day when you’ll say “I do” amidst Italy’s enchanting landscapes.

By following this guide and embracing the adventure of planning, your Italian destination wedding will not only be a testament to your love but a celebration imbued with the beauty, flavor, and spirit of Italy.

Capture your Italian dream with a professional wedding videographer

As you embark on this incredible journey to plan your destination wedding in Italy, one crucial element that will immortalize your special day is the art of videography. A professional destination wedding videographer not only captures the moments but also the essence, the emotions, and the breathtaking backdrop of your Italian setting in a way that photos alone cannot.

Do you need a videographer for your destination wedding in Italy? Contact us.

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