So the question was popped and you said „Yes!“. It is time to plan your wedding. If you find yourself thinking about destination wedding, then this is the right place for you. I love destination weddings, they can be so different. Each place, each country has its own magic. Whether you want to go to sunny Greece, wonderful south French coast or charming vineyards in Italy, there are things you have to plan for in advance. Yes, you can just choose a date and fly away to get married. But maybe you want to enjoy classic wedding with your family and friends, only not home. As a wedding photographer, who mostly travel for the weddings abroad, I thought of few useful things for you to consider if you are going to have a destination wedding.
Tell ahead to your family and friends
If you are going to invite your family and friends for your destination wedding, you might need little extra time ahead than usual. Preparing for a trip like this take some extra time. They have to consider traveling time, distance of the location and finances. Not everybody will be able to say yes and that is okay. But telling your guests ahead of time will give them opportunity to find the best deals for flight tickets and accommodation (if you are not providing it for them).
Choose the right season
If you chose a country popular amongst the tourist, you have to accustom your plans accordingly. E.g. If you pick the most popular beach in the city as your ceremony venue in the middle of summer, the chances are you will have a lot of uninvited guest around, some photo bombs and overall atmosphere could be tense. Of course that doesn’t mean you should not get married in summer on a beach, if that is what you want. But it is good to select a place that you know you will have your privacy and will be right for this type of event.
Many brides choose to have their wedding in Tuscany during the summer but September is usually the most requested month. If you plan your wedding in Tuscany in September instead, the first thing to be aware is that August in Italy is a month where's everything on standby. Everyone goes on vacation. Many cities and services are quite hard to reach and to obtain. Many people go for a holiday, many shops are closed and many restaurants and Villa are closed, at least for the central week of August. Keep in mind that you will probably have approximately one month less, to plan your wedding in Tuscany. Take into account also for a few turtle-like response time which can be a little frustrating. Despite that, plan a wedding in Tuscany is an amazing choice and it's very hard for me to tell you which city or venue I'd like to recommend, one ceremony choice that I believe would be very special is in a roofless 13th-century abbey in the heart of Tuscany is San Galgano church.
Read the references
Selecting vendors you cannot visit in person might seem hard. That is why you have to rely on good references or personal recommendations. Read about them as much as possible; do not settle for the first one you find, be picky. It is your day, your money you are spending so take your time. If your situation allows it, you can plan a trip to your chosen country to check the location and vendors in person.
Prepare for weather changes
Weather is the one thing nobody can plan for entirely. But having a bad luck with the weather situation aboard can be little trickier than at home. So the best thing is to plan for all possibilities and pack rain boots and umbrellas as well as sunscreen.
Research requirements for getting married in your chosen country
Last thing you want is to go through all the planning, traveling hundreds of miles, spending a lot of money for the wedding and then realize you do not have all the paperwork or documents required for you to get legally married in that country. Every country has its own rules when it comes to destination weddings. This also applies on your own country. So visit the official websites of the competent authorities in your country and also of the country where you will get married.
Plan for extra expenses
Planning the wedding abroad can get expensive. It really depends on where from and where to are you traveling; how many guest will you have; how long are you going to stay and so on. Budget in some extra money for unexpected situations like: last minute change of hotels, extra activities for guests, importing your decorations from home or travel costs for family members.
And if all this sounds really overwhelming to you then a simple solution is to hire a professional who will help you plan everything. Professional wedding agent who specializes in destination weddings can save you a lot of trouble and also money. And also it will help you enjoy everything a little more, which is always a plus.
So, are you ready to have a great adventure and get married? I hope this tips will help you plan the best destination wedding. Let us know where are you planning to go.
Wedding in Florence
I had the pleasure and honor to be hired by Michelle and Alan for their wedding in Florence. They are Irish and they're living in Australia. They also choose to have their wedding in Tuscany and the church they choose is the "Santi Apostoli" church, an amazing medieval church right in the center of Florence, very very close to Ponte Vecchio. I'd be very glad to warmly recommend the villa they choose for their wedding reception in Florence, which is Villa di Maiano, just 5 km from Florence center; Michelle & Alan did their reception there and the panoramic view of all the city of Florence is amazing from the Villa's garden. We had a lot of fun taking wedding pictures around Florence!
Here's their wedding video too.
Still in Florence area, the Castello il Pelagio and Fattoria di Paterno are two gorgeous venues, surrounded by Tuscan and Chianti hills and amazing landscape. Laura and Ian choose Castello il Pelagio for their wedding and they said it was the best choice they did, related to the wedding.
Ozlem & Jan, from Germany, choose Fattoria di Paterno instead, and their wedding was really full of emotional moments!
Wedding in Siena
Just last week Deborah & Colin choose Castello Vicchiomaggio in beautiful Tuscany countryside for their wedding in Tuscany. It's really a venue with a view! Castello Vicchiomaggio is in the heart of Chianti-shire, close to Greve in Chianti, 18 Km from Firenze and 38 Km from Siena. It's a very good spot if you'll like to explore Tuscany because San Gimignano, Greve in Chianti, Monteriggioni, Volterra, Le Crete Senesi, and Pisa are not far at all. The castle has the church too, just outside of it, it was the perfect venue for their wedding in Tuscany!
The bride was really happy and full of emotions. The ceremony was very nice, they exchanged the rings and the coin (an Irish tradition). Then they light the candle. The weather was very good (as usually is in Italy) so the reception was made on the patio, with delicious Italian food and a lot of good Italian wine. There were many emotional speeches, as usual for an Irish wedding and the groom had a lot of fun. Deborah wedding dress, her veil and her smile and most of all her happiness, made the day awesome for the groom and for the guests too. Here just a few pictures of their wedding in Siena.
Wedding in Cortona
Despite a wedding in Lucca, a wedding in Siena or a wedding in Pisa are all very beautiful, there's still a huge amount of small medieval cities and villages almost unknown to tourists such as Cortona, surrounded by sunflowers or the medieval city of Montepulciano instead? These two small cities are really two pearls of Tuscany. Thousands of couples choose to tie the knot in Tuscany in these cities. Linsday & Seth planned their wedding in Cortona, Tuscany from the USA. There were sunflowers everywhere! The weather was perfect, sunny and not too windy. The ceremony was in the garden at the "Podere Nonno Fernando"close to Cortona and after the ceremony, we went for a walk in the center to taste a delicious Italian ice cream.. hmmm.. yummy!
Wedding in lucca
Alexandra & Pierre are really a lovely couple from France, they did look each other, smile each other, all day long.. they choose one of the oldest and most beautiful churches in the center for their wedding in Florence, Santi Apostoli church, and for the wedding reception Villa NoveDieci, close to Lucca. He was almost crying and she had few tears as she couldn't keep her emotions, despite she did her best to.
The reception of their wedding in Lucca was with champagne and oysters, surrounded by closest friends, which were talking and chatting and having fun all night long. It was a real pleasure to chase the most emotional moments of the day and there were so many!
Wedding in montepulciano
Emma & Ben choose to have their wedding in Montepulciano town hall and the bride were at Borgo Tre Rose for getting ready and for the reception too, that's what they wrote about our service for their wedding in Tuscany: "We were extremely happy with the service provided by Giuliano, and we absolutely love our final photos. A flawless and very high standard service. Highly recommend." and here just a few shots of their wedding day.
This is just a small list of all the most amazing cities, castles, medieval villages and hills you can choose for your wedding in Tuscany, it's just an example of few stories I've been involved in and families who start and share beautiful moments and emotions!
Which would be your favourite church or venue for your wedding in Tuscany? Which church or spot is still in your mind and probably in your heart too? As a wedding photographer, I've seen a lot of beautiful venues all around Italy and wherever you will choose to go, don’t let your wedding photography to chances! My wedding photography style is photojournalism which is very discreet and creative, I’ve done hundreds of weddings in Italy with couples from every culture and arriving from every country and I’m completely at your disposal to talk about your wedding in Italy. Write me please just your wedding date, to check my availability and I'll love to help you to plan your wedding here and to find the perfect deal for you.