Italian destination weddings don’t have to break the bank - it is possible to save money without sacrificing style or class. Here are some insider tips to help with your budget and make your dream Italian wedding more affordable and possible.
1. Get married outside of the main tourist areas
The big-name Italian locations are massive draw cards for couples wanting an Italian destination wedding, and they truly deserve their reputation. However, Italy is packed full of equally stunning, charming locations that don’t come with the internationally-renown name, or the corresponding price tag. Want to get married on a lake? Why don’t you check out Lake Maggiore instead of Lake Como? Want to get married in a beautiful countryside setting? Consider Umbria, which is full of cute hilltop owns and beautiful lakes instead of Tuscany.
2. Choose a villa that doesn’t charge a hire fee
Many villas not only charge you per-head, but also come with a set venue hire fee on top of this. Save yourself a few thousand Euros by choosing a villa that skips this fee altogether.
3. Only have a symbolic ceremony in Italy
Symbolic ceremonies are much cheaper in Italy than legally binding civil or religious ceremonies. Italy has strict rules about locations for legal weddings (which normally come with a hefty rental price tag). But you can hold a symbolic ceremony just about anywhere, and its not hard to find a location that won’t incur additional costs.
The paperwork required for legal weddings in Italy is also quite detailed, and couples regularly pay around €1,000 for assistance to make sure everything is correctly interpreted and filed. You can avoid a lot of this cost by getting legally married in your own country, and simply have a beautiful symbolic ceremony in Italy, which requires no paperwork whatsoever.
4. Get your wedding planner to find the perfect venue for you
Traveling to Italy to inspect different wedding venue options is a lot of fun. But it’s also a quick way to add more expense to your wedding budget. So use your Italian-based wedding planners to do the running around work for you instead. We love going to venues and doing a walk-through with our couples via FaceTime.
5. Find a venue that will allow you to use outside caterers
Many venues in Italy won’t let you work with outside caterers. While it is sometimes cheaper to use a venue’s in-house team or a company from their recommended list of vendors, it can at times work out more economical to source elements of your own catering. For example, it can be easy to source a much cheaper wedding cake from a small local supplier, rather than pay for a cake that your venue has supplied and marked up.
6. Get married on a weekday
This rule applies to weddings in many countries, and it’s no different here in Italy. You can always get cheaper prices by marrying on a weekday. And as your guests are most likely taking some leave and making a holiday out of your destination wedding, a weekday wedding is often a perfect arrangement.
7. Have a religious wedding at your villa’s chapel
Many country villas have their own private chapel, as aristocratic families of old worshipped on their private estate. These chapels often come at a much lower fee than churches in major cities, so it’s an option worth exploring if you’re seeking a beautiful countryside wedding.
8. Use flowers that are in season
This is a standard piece of advice for planning weddings in any country. Familiarise yourself with Italy’s flowers in different seasons, and pick your favourites from the list to help keep your floral budget low.
9. Don’t use drone footage with your wedding video
Does drone footage look incredible on your wedding video? Absolutely, yes. Does it cost a lot more to get drone footage? Absolutely, yes. Can you still have a beautiful wedding video without drone footage to help save money? Again, it’s a yes.
10. Create your own music playlist
Yes – DJs and bands are absolutely fantastic! And homemade playlists are often a sure-fire way to guarantee a dance-floor that fizzes out quickly. But sometimes couples have friends who actually are geniuses at putting dancefloor playlists together, and they’re happy to keep an eye on the dancefloor mood to ensure the playlist is juggled around if needs be on the day. If you’re one of those couples: you’re in luck. Your friend - if they’re willing to help you out, that is - has just helped you save hundreds. So make sure you buy them a thank you gift!
11. Pay for an additional suitcase on your flight and bring decorations from home
Many couples find it difficult to find the gorgeous little decorative touches they want once they actually arrive in Italy. And often these small items can be purchased much cheaper back in your home country. So why not pay for an additional suitcase of luggage with your airline and bring the items with you? It can save you a whole lot of running around once you actually arrive in Italy, and it’s a great way to control your spending, giving you plenty of time to buy items at a good price.