As far as wedding trends go, destination weddings in Italy are more and more popular. The romantic possibilities across the boot make many couples dream of experiencing medieval flair and scenic vineyards, renting a castle or a luxury centuries-old villa as their wedding venue. In addition to a magnificent location, stellar on-site service, experienced wedding planners and world-renowned food and wine will definitely help orchestrate the perfect event.
Let your imagination fly while reading the 8 golden rules for all those dreaming of holding their special day in a luxury Italian villa!
1. Place and date
When choosing the best place to get married, most couples would say Tuscany is the perfect destination, which, together with Umbria, offers an infinite variety of scenarios, suitable for all needs and every sensitivity. Luxury villas in the Tuscan and Umbrian countryside are the favourite setting for five-star weddings of foreigners who choose Italy to hold events that look like they belong in fairy tales. However, there are several other intriguing locations on the Peninsula capable of giving character and originality to the ceremony and reception. These locations will enhance the personality of the couple and provide the ideal setting for their perfect day: Amalfi Coast and Lake Como, or the historic and artsy cities of Venice, Florence, and Rome. No other destination comes close to Italy in terms of romantic ambience.
Another aspect to take into consideration is transportation. How will guests get to the villa of your choosing? If you plan on having several international guests, it is recommended to pick a region with a major airport.
Speaking of the date for the special day, what comes first? Picking a wedding date or choosing a venue? Some couples wish to get married during a particular time of year while others are more interested in finding the perfect venue and choosing the date according to the villa’s availability. It is preferable to be flexible with dates so that there are more options to discover and chances to find the venue of your dreams.
2. The villa
When searching for the picture-perfect venue for your special day, it is helpful to know the number of guests so as to choose the most suitable villa that can comfortably host that number in the outdoor and indoor spaces.
Depending on your budget and the aesthetic you want to go for, you can choose between a more rustic location such as an agriturismo, which is a typical farmhouse or vineyard, or an elegant villa. Alternatively, why not celebrate your union in a castle and feel like a princess in medieval Italy for one day?
You have plenty of options throughout the most charming regions of Italy to experience the Italian wedding of your dreams.
3. Wedding budget
Figuring out your wedding budget is hard work, requiring time and energy. That is why it will be much easier if you hire a wedding planner who works in Italy. Their knowledge of the language, local customs, and best vendors in the area will definitely be of help during the organization of the wedding so that your special day goes smoothly without a hitch. A wedding planner will also be extremely helpful if you want to get legally married in Italy as they can help you navigate the process that can be confusing at times.
Ask your rental agency to put you in contact with a wedding planner they trust. Some of them provide wedding packages for elopements, vow renewals and intimate weddings in Italy that can help you get an idea of the possibilities and costs. Of course, packages can be customized according to your needs and wishes, resulting in a tailor-made solution just for you!
4. When to get married
May and September are two of the most popular months for holding a wedding in Italy, thanks to the lovely weather. June, July, and August are also prime choices if you want warmer weather and a lower chance of rain, but some areas will be more crowded during this time of the year. Every region has something special to offer, but Umbria and Tuscany, in particular, offer a range of colours capable of transforming every season into the perfect moment to tie the knot!
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5. Say yes to the dress
There’s no need to say that Italian wedding designers are amongst the most famous ones worldwide and choosing one of their wedding dresses will surely make you feel like a star ready to make a grand entrance. Italian wedding dresses are made with precious fabrics and reflect the renowned Italian tailoring traditions. If you are planning a picture-perfect wedding in Italy, why not choose a bridal gown made by one of the top Italian designers?
The wedding ceremony is the moment your marriage becomes official! Keep in mind that this will require some preparation since you will get married in a different country. The only kind of religious wedding in Italy that does not require a prior civil ceremony is a Catholic wedding. If you wish to get married in a Catholic church, there are further steps required that involve a lot of paperwork and that a wedding planner can surely help you with.
If you wish to go for a civil ceremony, this can be conducted at a comune (town hall) or at the villa you picked as your wedding venue, in case it has the required license. As the civil part of the wedding is quite dry, many couples choose to have a simple civil ceremony at the comune followed by a more romantic symbolic ceremony at their venue.
Italian people take food extremely seriously! The wedding reception turns into a perfect occasion to present unique and delicious food for your guests’ indulgence. It is not just the quantity of the food, but the quality of it as well. The success of a wedding in Italy is measured mainly by the quality of the food (and wine) on the menu. That is why it is extremely important to choose the right catering that will serve exquisite and beautifully presented Italian food with excellent service. A typical Italian wedding reception usually consists of:
- The “aperitivo”. It typically involves the setting up of food “corners”, buffets serving typical savoury appetizers such as fried vegetables, salumi platters, finger food, mini quiche, cheeses and other gastronomic delights. This moment is usually the perfect opportunity to mix and enjoy the surroundings while sipping prosecco or the popular Aperol Spritz.
- A “primo” course. The first course is usually handmade pasta or risotto, prepared and cooked in many different ways.
- A “secondo” course. The second course can be of fish or meat, according to the local specialities. A side dish will always be served with the second course and is prepared with fresh seasonal vegetables or salads.
- Desserts are usually buffet style and feature the wedding cake. The Italian wedding cake is usually made of a single tier or double tier sponge cake stuffed with chantilly cream. The cake will be covered with a ganache, whipped cream or fresh fruits. Another Italian tradition is to set up a table with the “confettata”, bowls with different types of sugared almonds, called “confetti”, with fillings of hazelnuts, chocolate, pistachios and much more.
8. Enjoy your D-day!
Planning your own wedding in Italy can be challenging; however, rest assured that it is also rewarding to get the wedding of your dreams! Once everything’s arranged, don’t forget to enjoy the special day that will create lifelong memories for you and all of your guests.
Daniela De Luca is CEO at Home in Italy. Home in Italy is a luxury villa rental company offering high end holiday villa experiences throughout the best regions of Italy since 1993.
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