Are you thinking of getting married in Italy? Do you like the idea of a destination wedding which brings your friends and family together over the course of a few days? It all sounds amazing, but there are issues that you need to consider before deciding to go this route.

Elegante by Michelle J specialises in planning luxury Italian weddings for UK based couples: in this blog post, Michelle discusses these issues:

  • Attending a destination weddings can be costly for your guests – both in financial terms (cost of flights, accommodation etc) and in terms of time as it will generally mean taking leave from work; Michelle always advises her couples to try to make it as easy as possible for your guests by choosing a location that is relatively easy and reasonably priced to get to ….. so accessible via the budget airlines, short transfer time from the airport, accommodation options that are reasonably priced, plenty to do so they could choose to turn it into a mini-break.
  • Michelle also suggests that you should consider “entertaining” your guests throughout the wedding weekend ie not just on the wedding day. In particular, you might want to think about hosting a welcome event the evening before the wedding – this could just be drinks but you may want to make something more of the occasion and offer food and entertainment
  • Give your guests as much information as possible in advance about the events taking place and things that they can do themselves so they make the most of their time away. Also provide information about flights, hotels and so on; in fact Michelle usually advises her couples to set up a website for their destination wedding, giving all guests easy to access to lots of information which can be constantly updated as the wedding date gets closer
  • Ultimately, if your guests go home having had an amazing time, they won’t mind (or even care) about how much it cost them and the leave they have been obliged to take from their work; but if they have just an “average” time, and the weekend is nothing special, they might end up being resentful about being “forced” to attend a destination wedding
  • Please think about how you will feel if certain of your friends and family choose not to attend due to cost considerations. If this is likely to be an issue for guests who you really want to be at your wedding, you might need to think about making a financial contribution to their costs
  • Do you have friend and family who, due to health or other reasons, would find it impossible to travel overseas for your wedding? If you really want these people to be at your wedding, you might need to reconsider if a destination wedding is right for you.

Moving on now to other considerations, not necessarily related to your guests:

  • In terms of costs, you need to consider exchange rate fluctuations; this could have a significant impact on your budget if the rate changes significantly between when you first book your wedding and plan your budgets and the actual wedding date
  • You also need to build into your budget the cost of planning trips; typically you will want to visit two or three times to meet with the venue and suppliers, each trip lasting 2-3 days.
  • You should also bear in mind that these planning trips need to be allowed for when planning your leave from work, as they will mainly need to take place during the working week, which is when your suppliers will be available to see you. At the weekends, they are likely to be working on weddings and will therefore not be available for planning meetings
  • Think about whether or not you might wish to bring out suppliers from home, for example, your hair and makeup artist, photographer, band. All of these services will, of course, be available at your location, but we do find that couples often find that they prefer to bring certain vendors from the UK. For example, if you book a UK based hair and makeup artist, it will be much easier to arrange trials and in all honesty, the hair and makeup styles are also more likely to be to your liking. If you do take suppliers with you, they might charge a premium (as they will most likely be away for a couple of days) and you will need to cover all of their expenses.

Leaving all of this aside, an Italian wedding will be absolutely amazing…… gorgeous venues, fantastic food and service, beautiful hotels, the most romantic destination… and your guests will remember the day (and indeed the weekend) for a long time to come and furthermore, planning it will also be a lovely experience.

If having read this, you would like to explore the possibility of using a London based planner for your luxury Italian wedding, please contact Michelle of Elegante by Michelle J to arrange an initial consultation or inspiration session.

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