5 tips for a stress-free destination wedding
5 tips for a stress-free destination wedding
You just got engaged and the first questions when you tell this incredible news to your families and besties will arrive:
- When are you getting married?
- Where will the wedding be held?
- Have you decided already who is going to be in your bridal party?
- Have you found your wedding dress already?
- The color, the bouquet, the vibe, the food…..
And the questions will go on and on…
Most of the time this is the first moment that you feel overwhelmed, stressed and confused because you find yourself that after the big excitement and you head in the clouds there are many things to do, and plenty of decisions to make and you do not even know where to start!
So stop for a second and let me walk you trough our tips and tricks to make this process a joyful journey not an exhausting, decision making, lot between numbers race to finally end it.
Why choose a destination wedding in Italy over a traditional wedding where you live?
If you get married where you live chances that everyone will want to have a say are high. Do you want your wedding to be a huge gathering, most of the time having to invite people who you don’t even know because your family wants you to? With a destination wedding you can be sure that you can invite people you really want to celebrate with, taking them on a trip in the most beautiful country in the world. Definitely it will be something to remember for years to come.
And at this point you are about to ask: yes of course, sounds amazing but don’t even know where to start the planning in my own country, and the cost, and the time and and…. Millions of questions, doubt, concerns. So?
1. Think ahead of time
If you are about to say “YES” to a destination wedding in Italy you have to start planning in time. Thanks to internet and video calls though it is not anymore an infinite time you will need. In my experience you will need at least 10 months but don’t start to ask quotes for 2 years before. Why? Because most of the venues and vendors don’t book dates 2 years before. Prices are not accurate, can also change, which can leave bad taste in your mouth even if you do understand that. Would say 12-15 months are a good amount of time for the planning, and enough time for your guests to organize their flight tickets, holidays etc.
2. Determine an estimate / rough budget
Estimate because it can be more or less, almost impossible to stick with it. Let’s say you have a budget of 45K but if needed can be extended to 55k. Weddings in Italy are expensive but a lot depends on the first step of the planning: the region and the venue. Most expensive regions for a lavish wedding in Italy:
- Italian lake region: Northern Italy, Lake Como, Lake Garda, Lake Maggiore
- Amalfi Coast: Positano, Ravello, Amalfi
Whilst these are truly one of a kind, jaw dropping places with outstanding venues they are surely not budget friendly. However if you love luxury and dream about a lavish wedding go for it, you are not going to be disappointed. Those places are truly amazing , easy to arrive from one of the main airports of Italy. Perfect for elegant, black tie weddings to leave your guests breathless.
Italian regions for Luxury/average weddings:
- Tuscany: how much I love this region, we have already dedicated a blog to Tuscany. Here you surely can find everything for a luxury wedding (lower cost than the Italian lake region) or a more simple countryside wedding. Did I mention Florence? One of the most famous for destination wedding in italy.
- Rome: the eternal and most romantic city. Needless to say this city is amazing, filled with history. Also you can find venues for every budget.
- Puglia: Italy’s rising star with its incredible landscapes, historical masserias and mouth watering food and vine. And I didn’t mentioned the millennial olive groves yet.
For average/lower budget weddings:
- Umbria: this hidden and unknown gem is located in central Italy, called as well the baby sister of Tuscany because of their similarities. Less famous than Tuscany but nothing to envy of the big sister.
- Marche, Abruzzo and other regions of italy which are less famous and having less experience with destination weddings than the ones above but if your budget is lower they are not going to disappoint you. These region’s hospitality, cuisine are just as amazing as the other and you can feel the true authentic Italian vibe.
3. Distribute your budget
After you have determined your budget, let’s see what to do with it, where and what you are going to spend. There are no golden rules or “must-haves” to follow. At this point, you have to decide what are the most important things for you, where you want to spend less because you don’t really care, and where you want to splurge. When you are making these decisions, be sure to consider the overall budget, not just the individual service itself. For example, photography can cost anywhere from €2,000 to €5,000 (under that, you risk your memories). Flowers can cost from €1,000 to the sky. And of course, there are also the costs of wedding attire, hair and makeup, hotel, travel, music, etc. There are many things that you can decide whether or not to spend on, such as wedding favors, car, transportation, fireworks, and entertainment. These are things that you can live without, but they can still add to the cost and vibe of your wedding. There is no limit to your imagination, but our advice is less is more. Spend good money on things that you will cherish and that will add something to your wedding, not on everything without quality.
4. Finding vendors
This is a point that is more closely related to the previous one than you think. Regardless of whether you splurge or not, find vendors that you like and that are on the same page as you. It is your wedding, so let’s say that if you want posed family pictures and the photographer you are interviewing says that they don’t do them, find another one. Or if you ask the florist for a simple flower arrangement within a €5,000 budget and they send you a beautiful, amazing idea for €15,000, move on. They are clearly not on the same page. Have vendors with you who you can trust. Also be aware that many vendors prioritize quantity over quality. With quantity-oriented vendors, your budget will be respected and safe, but what about you? On the other hand, quality-oriented vendors will surely charge you more, but you will get better quality, better customer care, more attention, and, like in our case, they will be willing to help you out with the planning if needed. Just don’t forget that you get what you pay for.
5. If you are getting lost in the process, don’t panic, ASK
Whether or not you hire a wedding planner, if you have questions, doubts, or just feel stuck, ask immediately. This will help you avoid sleepless nights and stress.
By finding quality-oriented vendors, you can be sure that whenever you need help during wedding planning, they will be there to assist you with their expertise. The only big task you have to do is find them. Trust me, they will make your life much easier and this process enjoyable and fun.
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