The first step you’ll take in organizing a destination wedding is choosing a wedding venue in Italy where you want to have everything take place.  Since you may not get to visit your venue in person, you’ll have to rely on the location’s website and any reviews you find online from other couples or guests.
Here are 5 secrets to choosing your wedding venue in Italy.
Map of Manarola

PUT IT ON THE MAP

If you are looking for a beautiful Tuscan setting for your wedding ceremony, an alfresco area for the reception, and enough rooms for everyone to just roll into bed after dancing, then you’ll probably search for the keywords ‘Private Villa in Tuscany‘ to get the stone hamlet of your dreams.
To find out if it is a dream or a possible nightmare, input the location’s GPS coordinates in Google maps and right-click on the pin that drops on the map and choose ‘measure distance’ from the drop-down menu. Zoom the map in or out and measure how far the closest restaurant or town is in case you need food. Then check on ‘street view’ to see whether roads that lead up to the property are paved or dirt and whether the surrounding area is woods or vineyards.

THINK FOOD FIRST

There are clear pros and cons as to whether you should choose a venue that has an in-house catering or restaurant service vs a venue where you will need to call in an outside caterer.  If you opt for the latter, remember to ask your venue about it first. Some locations have a preferred caterers list or in the case of a privately owned villa, the owners may not allow catering companies on the property at all!
PRO IN-HOUSE CATERING
  1. cheaper menu choices
  2. may waive wedding day fee
CON IN-HOUSE CATERING
  1. fewer menu choices
  2. fewer table setups to choose from
PRO OUTSIDE CATERER
  1. wide variety of setups
  2. more flexibility for menu choices
CON OUTSIDE CATERER
  1. more expensive
  2. location may charge an extra kitchen use fee
Wedding in Tuscany Antics

WEDDING DAY FEE

Wedding day fee, wedding rental fee, wedding fee … whatever you want to call it, this is an extra charge applied by most venue managers who have experienced what it means to host a wedding in terms of property usage and damage.  The majority of venues in Italy are at least a century or two old,  so wedding day fees vary from €0 up to €20,000 and beyond to cover wedding day antics.
wedding in Rome

WATCH THE WEATHER

Though you should never plan your wedding based on the weather, let’s be honest: couples choose Italy because the weather is generally warm and sunny.  Even so, if your wedding is planned al fresco, you need an indoor plan B in case of sudden rain and you need to like your plan B just as much as your plan A.
Warning
wedding venue Italy tent
Some locations have massive outdoor space but are limited for indoors, so your plan B becomes a tent.  If your outdoor space is lawn or gravel, you will need flooring, too.  Pricing for tents starts at €3,000 and goes up from there, depending on your headcount.

PARTY ALL NIGHT

You will probably want to check whether the venue has a curfew especially if you are planning a weekend-long wedding with your guests.  Noise ordinance restrictions are common in Italy, more frequently close to cities like Florence, Rome, Venice, but also in highly populated areas like the Amalfi Coast.

NEXT STEP TO PLANNING YOUR WEDDING IN ITALY?

Once your venue is secured, the next step is looking for a photographer to capture the day.
Photo credits from top to bottom:
Jarrad Lister
Bonnie Marie
David Bastianoni
Cristiano Ostinelli
David Bastianoni
David Bastianoni
Cover photo credit:
JoAnne Dunn Photography