How to plan a wedding abroad in Italy

CONGRATULATIONS ON PLANNING YOUR WEDDING!

You’re all set to start planning your wedding, you have a destination (Italy) in mind, but you’re unsure of how to go about it.  Will everyone be on board? How will I get the venue? food? So many questions, but not many of answers on planning a wedding in Italy.

Let me ease your mind – there are many moving parts, but it’s not as difficult as you may think! As someone who has done it themselves I can say it was both the perfect wedding, and was worth any issues that I came across.

One of the most overlooked and easiest things to do early on, after you’ve decided on who will be coming to the wedding is….

 MAKE A LIST AND A TRAVEL SITE!

As all former brides will tell you, having a TO DO LIST is essential for all wedding planning. To avoid miscommunication, make a travel site to answer everyone’s questions and update your guests.

(1) Make a TO DO LIST – month by month. A local wedding takes time to plan, but a destination wedding requires good timing and precision in decision making. Avoid keeping things until the end and use wedding app. I personally used the Knot as it already has a pre-filled schedule which you can adjust and modify to suit your needs.

(2) Check all legal requirements. For a wedding in Italy, it’s good to get in touch with the local pastor to determine exactly what will be required and what you need to complete before your wedding day. Always ask for double copies of all legal documents and certificates in case anything gets lost in the mail. It all depends on whether one or both of you are Italians or neither of you. Follow the rules as required or else you may not come home legally married!

Option 1: Send all your documents to Rome, maximum 3 months in advance (or else they expire). For Canadians, all the information is updated on the Canadian International wedding requirements website: http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/italy-italie/consular_services_consulaires/marriage-mariage.aspx?lang=eng. For other countries, your requirements may be different so make sure to check!

Option 2: Discuss with your local parish the option of completing the legal paperwork at home (civil service only). As a Catholic, this simplifies the process abroad and allows you to complete all the paperwork at home. If you opt for this option, it requires once again that all paperwork is completed within 3 months. Since it takes approximately 3 months to get your wedding certificate, you can request a speedy process by paying an extra fee (although no guarantee it will arrive on time).

More information can also be found on: https://www.italianweddingevent.com/wedding-requirements-for-italy/

(3) Rely on family and friends. We were blessed to have friends in the region who were able to visit different venues and put us in touch with local vendors of their choosing. If you’re not too picky and open-minded, you’ll be amazed at how much help people will offer. Make things as simple as you can and ask for help. Otherwise, an alternative option is to hire a wedding planner in the region to take care of all those details.

(4) Flights (discounts & such). We contacted two airlines who offered 10-15% discounts on selected flights. It never hurts to offer your guests promo codes and reductions on pricing.

(5) Beauty & Health Tips. Once you have secured local vendors, make sure you have at least 2 locations for all guests. Secure your own appointments first, including your bridal party’s and allow others to choose on their own. In Italy, pricing was extremely fair and it allowed many to plan their schedule accordingly.

(6) Group & Honeymoon Tours. Another aspect of a wedding is the honeymoon. A wedding abroad also requires that you look out for your guests. Therefore, we got in touch with a company (Zicasso) that planned a magnificent 1 week trip around Northern Italy for those who were interested. As for our honeymoon (as you can view in a separate post), we also decided not to fret about it and let someone else plan an incredible trip for us. It was definitely worth exploring Italy with a customized tour that left us amazed and satisfied to the fullest!

(7) Choose hotels that can accommodate all guests. As mentioned in (5), always plan ahead and have at least 2 locations for your guests. We had a deluxe option, a moderate option, and a budget option for all our family and friends. Most hotels also offer group discounts, so make sure to inquire ahead of time.

(8) If possible, visit the destination months in advance. Luckily, my father and I were able to secure a very affordable flight to make our way to Italy about 6 months in advance. We met with local vendors, to compare pricing for all the necessary arrangements and to make sure that the hotels were suitable for our guests. Everyone was extremely friendly and reassured us that everything would be taken care of.

(9) Travel must-haves. Aside from documents and pre-arranged bookings, check that your airline allows wedding dresses on board, that you’ve packed a 911 bag with all the necessary pins and needles needed. Before you go, check where the nearest shops and markets are in case you need any last minute items. Don’t forget to inform your guests as well.

(10) Let go. In the end, this is YOUR wedding date. Even after all this work of planning a wedding in Italy, things never go as planned, but this will be the one moment in time that will be remembered forever. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, make a music playlist if you must, share your vision with your photographers, and last but not least, ENJOY YOURSELF!

planning a wedding in italy

Hi! Bonjour! I’m Sophia, a traveler since birth, a lover of nature and culture and a linguist! I want to share with you all the wonderful things you can do and experience if you just set your mind to it and travel!

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