You’ve booked the venue, tasted the menu, bought the dress, selected the florals, hired the photographer, arranged for travel and accommodation, booked a rock band… What now? What more would your guest be needing to enjoy their stay in Italy?
Good company is the key ingredient to any wedding.
Trust me. No matter how perfect the planning and the designing, a wedding atmosphere is made (or, alas, broken) by the people attending it. You want your guests to be among the people you care the most about, and who care the most about you. And you want to make them happy and comfortable, ready to enjoy themselves.
When planning a destination wedding you will definitely want to add the extra perk to the wedding festivities, to make up for the extra expenses guests will need to sustain to attend it all. You can think of at least four ways to do this:
1. by arranging accommodation in advance, booking different accommodation options to suit any budget, and arranging for special prices and discounts. It might just be that breakfast is on you, or that by booking through you your guests can enjoy a special discount. Please note that most hotels in Italy will be happy to provide discounts for large group bookings, especially if you’re renting their events hall for the wedding reception, but with regular venues you might need to cover part of the rate to achieve the same result;2. by assembling a welcome bag packed with an informative booklet about the week-end activities and the area, a few grocery items (in case of self-catering accommodation), a couple of small themed gifts, like local produce;
3. by planning a few side activities to keep guests entertained. Wine and olive oil tastings are very popular among people getting married in Italy, but a cultural sightseeing tour is also a great idea;
4. by creating a thoroughly informative website where guests can access every kind of useful information about the wedding at any time. Make sure it’s responsive and no Adobe Flash is involved in the programming so that all info will be accessible via mobile devices as well.
But when you’re planning a wedding in Italy you might want to consider a few more elements:
1. try not to overload your guests with too many side activites. Italy has so much to offer, everywhere, that it’s easy to be swept away by the limitless opportunities. Please, consider that for many of your guests travelling to your wedding will be an holiday, so don’t arrange more than one activity a day. You can always source info about all kind of acitivites and insert that in the informative booklet you’re giving to guests. Thus they will be free to choose whether to spend their days laying by the pool or running around like crazy tourists, taking in as many sights as possible!
2. most wedding venues in the central and southern regions of Italy (Tuscany, Umbria, Puglia in particular) are quite isolated and difficult to reach. Try and plan your wedding minimizing commuting, and consider investing money to hire a coach or a minivan to keep on standby all throughout the week-end. If that is unfeasible, try and select your venue also according to its location.
If you follow these simple advices, your destination wedding in Italy will be a veritable feast for both you and your guests.
But try and keep your focus on what matters the most: you’re getting married and your friends will be there because they love you. There is no need to impress anybody!