Don’t underestimate the amount of time you will need to devote to research. It has often been quoted that planning a wedding can take up to 1000 hours – yes, believe it or not, a cumulative total of 6 whole weeks of your very valuable time.
For a destination wedding, the number of hours spent research and planning are likely to be much higher – especially if you decide to go it alone. Researching and selecting a location and potential venues, finding out costs and building your list of trusted suppliers requires some serious time investment.
We can make this initial stage of wedding planning so much more fun for you, as we use our 10 years of expertise and experience in organising weddings in Italy, to advise and inform you and provide our varied and comprehensive list of trusted services and suppliers.
When is it advisable to start planning?
There are so many things to do, it can be impossible to decide just where to start! The initial excitement of deciding to marry in Italy is then followed by the ‘how to’ and ‘when to’ stages: when do you start the paperwork?
- When is the right time to start your venue search?
- How do you select and book suppliers?
- How and how soon can you book a civil or religious ceremony?
- These are just some of the many major and minor planning ‘to dos’
We have managed many scenarios over the years – our experience in how to approach this initial phase will help remove any uncertainty and allay any concerns, so you can focus on the excitement of planning and creating a wedding in Italy without any worries!
The options we can offer to couples who may not have flexibility in their choice of wedding date, or who cannot meet specific legal marriage requirements, are just two of the many reasons why a wedding planner is an absolute ‘must have’ for a destination wedding.
Email has become a prolific method of communicating but in Italy it is not always the best or most efficient way of getting a prompt and precise response.
By using our comprehensive, tailored service, Accent Events becomes your UK & Italy centre of communications, we will liaise between your wedding professionals and you, updating you regularly and in detail about what is happening and providing a responsive, professional contact to answer any initial and/or urgent questions or concerns.
The complexity of the legal requirements that must be met in order to marry in Italy are relative to personal circumstances – for some nationalities it is relatively simple to produce the documents required, while other nationalities have a more involved process, often both in their home country and in Italy.
A destination wedding planner will inform and guide you on the legal requirements and options based on your specific circumstances so you are fully aware of what is and isn’t possible, the documents you will be required to produce and the process you will be required to follow in order to marry in your chosen way.
If it isn’t possible to meet the requirements for your chosen marriage type, a destination wedding planner can present all of the alternative marriage options available to you.
Budget & Payment Schedule
It is sometimes assumed that a destination wedding in Italy will be less expensive than a wedding at home, however this isn’t always the case.
As Italy wedding planners, we always listen to our couples expectations and give an honest response to their questions. We value the relationship we have created with the wedding professionals with whom we work. This relationship allows us to offer our clients the most trusted and highest quality products and services at very competitive prices. Our fully transparent approach to both our clients and suppliers ensures our clients benefit from direct, best offers from our suppliers without hidden costs or commissions.
Naturally, there are costs associated with the wedding organisation and arrangements and with our tailored service, we are able to provide you with a guideline budget breakdown on the services you will require. We also include what are often referred to as ‘hidden costs’: taxes associated with some of the wedding services, time-dependant costs which are subject to increase out of hours or if timescales or deadlines are not met (such as late night transport; set-up and take-down costs).
We devise a payment schedule detailing payment dates, deposits and balance payments to help our brides and grooms with their budgeting. We also provide advice on payment methods and timescales, to make the most of currency exchange rates and limit fees.
From New Year to Christmas-time and from city to coast, your wedding can take place throughout the year and in any of Italy’s delightful and diverse regions. Choosing to marry out of season has many advantages but there are also some very important considerations. Seasonal locations often go into hibernation for the winter – from October to March – and many of the wedding professionals who have worked continually throughout the peak wedding and holiday season months may now be on holidays of their own.
Placing your wedding planning into the experienced hands of a specialist planner allows services to be secured for you which would otherwise prove difficult if attempting to arrange your own out-of-season wedding.
Weather and other natural phenomena
Always plan with the weather in mind. Italy’s different locations come with their own micro climates – coupled with the very unpredictable global weather we have experienced over recent years. An expectation of brilliant sunshine on your wedding day will likely be fulfilled, but can often have an unexpected reaction if not! The emotional impact of a grey sky, strong wind or rainfall is very real.
The practical impact of unfortunate weather conditions on a wedding day, is our responsibility – although we always hope for the best, we also prepare for the worst! We make you aware of and ensure you are totally happy with the contingency – likely indoor – options for your wedding and, most importantly, we devise a solution that will allow you to enjoy you day and will enable your photographer to capture those magical memories, come rain or shine.
Weather and natural phenomena can also affect travel plans – monitoring the weather – including volcanic ash cloud activity – is very much normal routine for us!
When deciding on a date for your wedding in Italy it is worth checking regional and national holidays, festival days and closures – as there are several such days in Italy – as well as being aware of and updated on national and regional strikes which all have the potential to upset travel plans and/or the availability of services leading up to your wedding.
Couples often approach a destination wedding as they would if they were planning their wedding at home. Typically, and understandably, they work to a given wedding format for the order of events – using what is acceptable at home as a frame of reference – assuming the same will be acceptable in Italy. While this isn’t necessarily wrong, it can lead to misunderstandings, issues and potentially unachievable aims or expectations.
Language isn’t the only potential barrier when you choose a wedding abroad. When planning a destination wedding, it’s important to take cultural characteristics and differences into consideration. Each country has it’s own traditions, practices, procedures and approach and so not all cultural behaviours and traditions translate or relate.
For example, as late night – or all night – open air parties are not typical for Italian weddings – where couples often marry in the morning and celebrate throughout the day with a relatively early finish time and where the reception meal is the main focus of the event – wedding venues and hotels in Italy are required to abide by strict noise governance. In most cities and towns, music must stop at 11.30 pm for outdoor events.
If the reception and party is the main focus of your wedding day – we can offer a portfolio of venues where the nature of their business and geographic location will allow your happy feet to remain on the dance floor, dancing ’til dawn, without causing any complaint or disruption to your event or those in close proximity.
And while it is possible to marry almost all year round in Italy, certain dates – public holidays and festivals – at national and local level mean a wedding will not be possible or that only limited services will be available to you.
We will ensure you are fully aware of all and any dates that may be an issue for your chosen location and for the wedding you are planning.
Certain venues – particularly for civil or religious ceremonies – have strictly-adhered-to rules and regulations that aren’t explicitly stated and, if not applicable back at home, may lead to embarrassments, issues and disruptions to the events of your wedding day. To ensure you and your guests are fully in the know and to ensure you wedding day events flow perfectly and seamlessly, we will provide all of the facts and information you require.
If you would like your wedding to have a quirky or alternative style, our team are on hand to advise you on what is possible and permissible. And we will also offer you ideas inspired by Italy and/or your chosen wedding location to help make your day even more unique and special. We are thrilled to realise dreams and make thing happen that may never have been done before – so rest assured, if it can be done we will use our talents, and those of our superb network of wedding professionals to make sure it is done!
How do your guests fit into the fairytale?
The destination wedding format is frequently a 3-day event: welcome, wedding day, farewell. At the very least, guests will be staying 2 or 3 nights – some may stay longer so keep arrangements easy and relaxed as this will help to ensure a very enjoyable and memorable event for both you and for your guests.
Consider aspects such as the ease of arrival once in Italy and try to avoid long onward travel to the wedding location. Think about your guests’ requirements in relation to age, mobility and access and any specific needs they may have. Take into account questions such as:
- What are the transport options to get to the location?
- Is there a choice of accommodation near to the venue?
- What amenities are nearby?
As destination wedding planners, we will prompt such considerations and assist and guide you in planning to and around the requirements of your guests.
Menus, Allergies & Dietary Requirements
Most Italian wedding reception venues’ menus cater for an international audience – but it is still worth considering aspects such as: the number of courses, portion size and venue ability to cater for specific dietary requirements such as special requests and severe allergies.
As experienced wedding planners we will guide you in selecting the perfect menu for your wedding day and assist you in fulfilling any special or specific dietary needs or wishes.
The big DIY debate
Do-it-yourself remains a huge wedding trend and as creative people we love these projects! DIY is definitely an area of wedding planning that inspires couples to reflect their personal style in the details of their wedding day.
Making and sourcing your own unique decorations is one way of helping your budget. However when you plan a destination wedding, you need to consider how your wonderful decorations and creations will be transported to Italy and who will be responsible for the on-the-day venue styling. While most venues offer at least limited styling with in-house decorations, few will take responsibility for theming or styling your venues with elements you have provided.
And don’t forget, what goes up must also come down! Taking down decorations can take almost as long as putting them up and is often time-dependent if a venue has a wedding the day after yours.
Ceremony venues don’t offer any styling or decorating assistance and can often have other weddings before and after yours, thereby allowing a very limited period of time for pre-ceremony decorating and post-ceremony undecorating.
Of course you cannot spend those wonderful pre-wedding hours preparing your venue or venues and if you don’t wish to involve family members and friends, you may decide that DIY is a don’t!
Our onsite team in Italy is there to help. Via our venue styling and decorating service, we will decorate (and undecorate) your venue(s) to your – achievable – wishes and within the allotted timescales. Additionally, we can also take delivery of any decorations you wish to send from home or collect them from you on your arrival in Italy (so they aren’t cluttering up your suitcases and hotel room).
We are also able to source decorations for you locally to save on shipping costs and transportation requirements and we can assist with theming ideas and advise you on what will work best in given settings.