Weddings in Italy
Weddings in Italy. Thinking about getting married in Italy?
Don’t make any plans until you read this article first! Discover the mistakes you need to avoid to ensure your destination weddings in Italy goes off without a hitch.
Visiting the ‘Land of Romance’ …
“Italy” means romance to legions of Americans raised on old movies and modern thrillers.
From the amazing beauty of Puglia to the ruins of Rome to the canals of Venice to the narrow streets of Florence … quite simply, few countries can offer more beautiful backdrops for a wedding than Italy.
Then when you combine the incredible settings with the sensuous food and inviting music of the Italian culture … it’s little wonder that Italy has become one of the world’s favorite wedding spots.
Still, despite all the advantages that destination weddings in Italy offers, there are areas of concerned about.
For instance, language differences can make planning a wedding in the country difficult for non-Italian speakers.
Also, the country has gained something of a reputation for being “charmingly disorganized” which can be a great cause of stress for a bride looking to stage her dream wedding.
So let’s take a closer look at destination weddings in general and on the specific mistakes you need to avoid to ensure you have a wedding to remember in Italy.
The Lure of a Destination Wedding …
Hosting weddings in beautiful distant locations is all the rage these days. These “destination wedding” can combine group vacations, the nuptials, and the honeymoon all in one.
This option might not be the best idea for anyone who wants to get away from everything, and everyone, for their honeymoon. That can be mitigated by an agreement to take a second, perhaps smaller, honeymoon in the near future, perhaps after six months or a year
Couples often favor destination weddings because they provide a more communal experience – the wedding party lasts for days or even a week, rather than just an afternoon and evening.
The memories created by a week in a beautiful country like Italy with friends and family, capped off by a wedding, can last a lifetime. Destination weddings are hard to beat in terms of a group bonding experience.
However, destination weddings can also have drawbacks.
Some couples may feel the carnival atmosphere inherent in many tourist spots distracts from the main event — the wedding. In Italy, that can be the case if you plan on getting married in oft-visited places like Florence, Rome, Venice, and Lake Como – which is why smaller places like Puglia have become in demand.
Destination weddings also generally restrict the guest list more than a hometown affair would. (For some couples this is a plus. Many people enjoy a tight-knit group of only their nearest and dearest friends and relatives.)
But the most common concern is the simple question of money: a destination wedding costs more, generally, for everyone.
Though some couples and their families will have the resources to fly the guests out and put them up in hotel, not all who desire a destination wedding will. (It is common, though by no means mandatory, that the family of the bride picks up the housing costs for the bridesmaids, while the family of the groom does the same for the groomsmen.)
In any case, it is best to try to keep costs low enough so that no one in the wedding party is put in a bad position. If it seems like a destination wedding is going to be prohibitive to many of your closest friends (or any family), then perhaps you should be willing to compromise. In any case, planning your wedding in the “off-season” of the particular destination will save everyone money – not least of all yourself.
Hotel and even flight discounts may often be found for large groups, so the couple and their families may want to coordinate the travel of the entire party, or direct everyone to the same travel agent or planner.
Whether the bride and groom are subsidizing their guests’ travel or not, they should assist the invited in any way they can. This includes sending out reminders, providing instructions, and keeping a close eye on who’s made the necessary arrangements and who hasn’t.
Things like passports, necessary vaccinations, dietary needs, etc. should all be considered. This will often prove one of the most trying aspects of the destination wedding – wrangling dozens of guests to a far-off local over a period of months. (We’ll reveal later in this article a way you can avoid all the planning-related stress that accompanies a destination wedding and ensure you have the time of your life.)
Still, it’s important to keep in mind that whether you do all the planning or not once you’re there, relaxing in a beautiful place with all the people you love most in the world, you’ll realize why you put in so much effort.
And, chances are, you’ll have one of the best, most satisfying experiences of your life!
Choosing Where to Get Married …
Once you have selected a destination, you will need to find a location to hold your wedding.
Depending on the date of the wedding, you’ll want to book most locations at least a year in advance. If the wedding is in the “off-season,” September-May, then it may be made a little later, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Book as soon as you know the dates and have decided on a place. (Some extremely sought-after sites may have two-year waiting lists or more.)
For some people, especially the highly religious, the decision of where to get married is an extremely simple one to make: a place of worship is the obvious choice. For those who would like to get married in a place of worship, but aren’t practicing members of any faith, the best course of action is to visit or call facilities in the area and speak to the clergy or their support staff about the possibilities.
Some places of worship allow only members of the congregation, others are open to one and all, and most fall somewhere in between. Sometimes those outside the congregation merely need to pay more; in other cases, some kind of testament of faith must be made. If either partner is uncomfortable with this, then a more lenient place of worship should be chosen. Local clergy will often be able to give advice in this matter.
If a couple decides against being married in a house of worship, many options still remain. There are country estates available for rent, public parks (or similar) facilities, hotels, halls, or private nature sites and much, much more.
Where can you look for options? The local tourist board or chamber of commerce will be able to aid you in your search. So will the Internet, the best source of most information today. Wedding websites will often contain searchable listings of local wedding sites. These will usually be ranked, and even discussed, by visitors to the site.
A hired hand might also be helpful in your search. Consulting with a local wedding planner – like Princess Apulia – can prove invaluable, as they will generally know the best of what’s available in their area.
If you find the person with whom you’re consulting is fixated, pressing you toward one particular site, not listening to what you want or discussing a range of options, then be prepared to look elsewhere.
Once you’ve decided on your facility, do a thorough investigation of the costs involved and question the manager or owner carefully on the details.
Hidden costs in venues are not uncommon. Eventualities, such as rain-outs, should be considered and discussed. If the facility is also involved with the food and drink arrangements, or staffing, you’ll have to be extra careful, making sure you understand exactly what they offer. Watch for parking fees, attendant fees, tips, damage liability, etc.
The rules of some venues can also be very strict. For instance, if you know there will be a contingent of smokers in your wedding party, you want to be sure they’ll have somewhere comfortable to indulge as the day wears on. Rules on alcohol, dress, noise level, conduct, and anything other potential issues you can identify should also be discerned. All this should be done before any money is put down on a place (most will require a deposit — often non-refundable past a certain point, and substantial).
So Now Let’s Look at Common Mistakes That Are Made That Can Turn a Dream Destination Wedding into a Nightmare …
Mistake #1 – Not Getting it in Writing
Vendor contracts are essential – especially when you are traveling to a foreign country. Everything that you are expecting should be written down on paper to avoid language barrier miscommunications or other misunderstandings.
Mistake #2 – Not Planning for the Weather
Just because it is sunny and warm where you live doesn’t mean it is going to be the same in Italy. Be sure to study the weather in the location you are visiting and then be sure to inform all guests as to what they should expect so that they can prepare accordingly.
Mistake #3 – Not Carrying-on Your Wedding Dress!
Unfortunately, bags getting lost or delayed has become far too common for many airlines today. To avoid an ill-timed mishap, put your dress into a carry-on and keep it with you on the trip. Also, don’t plan on flying in on the day of the wedding. Arrive early so that you have some time to get adjusted and can take care of any unplanned happenings with plenty of time before the wedding.
Mistake #4 – Not Sending Wedding Invitations Early
A big destination wedding is going to take some planning for all involved. So be sure to give your invitees plenty of time to determine if they will be able to make the trip. People have prior commitments and the more notice they have, the more likely they’ll be able to attend your wedding. Also, set a reply date of at least a full month if not more before the wedding as many international hotels require final room block numbers at that time.
Mistake #5 – Assuming It Will Be Just Like Home
While the Internet has made the world seem much smaller, there are still a lot of differences between countries. Don’t expect everything to go like it does at home. Read about the country’s customs and be prepared to make adjustments to fit the country’s culture and expectations.
Mistake #6 – Not Doing Your Homework!
Some countries may have a residency requirement before you can wed – sometimes it’s a day, sometimes a week, sometimes longer. Be sure to check into that and also be aware of cultural holidays, festivals and other events that might be taking place while you are there. You’ll also need to make sure of the legal requirements and ensure they are being met appropriately.
Mistake #7 – Overlooking Important Details
One of the biggest destination wedding mistakes is not competing important tasks – like securing the right number of hotels rooms or arranging adequate transportation for everyone. There are so many tasks related to staging a destination wedding that it is easy for some to get overlooked, which leads to chaos and additional stress on or near the wedding day.
How to Avoid These Common Mistakes & Save Yourself a Lot of Stress
One way to avoid the mistakes listed in this article is to hire a local professional wedding planner who specializes in destination weddings.
Remember, planning a wedding can be very stressful – there’s a lot to do to prepare for the big day.
A great wedding planner – like Princess Apulia – can help you with most (if not all) of the tasks involved in planning your wedding. From vendors, accessories, etiquette and even the smallest of details, this expert will have the skills and contacts necessary to make your day come together seamlessly.
You’ll enjoy the lead up to the wedding much more and your event will be guaranteed to run smoothly.
The truth is the pressure to plan a wedding can eat away at some brides. A wedding planner like Princess Apulia can alleviate the stress and make your wedding more enjoyable.
Hiring a wedding planner is an especially great idea for brides who are having a destination wedding.
If you’re miles or time zones away from a location, it’ll be helpful to have someone on your team who’s familiar with the area as well as local vendors and venues.
Not only will a wedding planner help you get more bang for your buck, he or she will also be able to represent you at meetings with your vendors before the big day.
A planner who has knowledge of the area is also handy for helping organize all of the details you’ll need to cover for your guests, such as hotel accommodations, welcome baskets, maps and directions, and a list of fun things for them to do during their downtime.
To learn much more about Princess Apulia and about having a destination wedding in Italy of your dreams, >>> click here