Tips from Italy’s leading wedding planner: How to organize an Italian Wedding

Italy, the land of romance, colors, flavors and charm has become the ultimate destination for couples to seal their love with an exclusive intimate wedding.

The intricacies of putting together the perfect event can be difficult to navigate from afar and depending on the wedding location, language could prove to be a barrier.

Italy’s leading wedding planner Elena Le Fosse, owner of HeraEl, has graciously offered to share some tips with our readers on how to organize a memorable Italian wedding.

Get an expert wedding planner

According to Elena coordinating an event from another country can hold many unexpected surprises for the couple on their wedding day. Your wedding planner speaks the language, can advise on locations and help book the desired dates. Most experienced wedding planners in Italy have established relationships with locals and can negotiate prices and services.

Every couple dreams of having an exclusive wedding experience and that is why Italy has overtaken other popular destinations, because it offers more than just standard locations for weddings. Elena warns against couples choosing a wedding planner who offers standardized carbon copied packages that are the same for all other events, like baptisms, birthdays and First Communions. She believes in offering a customized experience, which can be tailored to the couple’s budget.

Choosing a location and venue

Italy is steeped in history and is dotted with historical buildings. Locations can vary from seaside to lakeside, mountains or plains, natural vegetation to beautifully cultivated orchards and vineyards, romantic cities or quaint villages. Spoilt for choice, couples can often become confused. An experienced wedding planner has the ability to listen to their needs and the desired date and will be able to suggest some exclusive locations that they might not have even considered before.

Wedding ceremonies can be civil or religious and there are no restrictions for non-Italian residents. There will be some paperwork required and the wedding planner is the person to get all the information from. Those planning a religious ceremony will have to make sure that this process is started from at least six months in advance.

Anything from five star hotel venues to private villas can be arranged as venues. For weddings in villages, many couples prefer the local restaurant on the square.

Flowers, food, music and drinks

Once you have decided on the setting for the ceremony and the venue, you will need the expertise of an exclusive wedding planner to negotiate and execute the finer details perfectly. Food options will vary according to the region. Italy is famous for its regional cuisine and styles vary from North to South, but only an expert can advise on what each region has to offer.

Designing a wedding theme need not be a challenge as each particular region in Italy offers its own colors according to the season and the personalities of the couple.

According to their budget, weddings tend to be cheaper in Italy than other countries; couples often like to hire live local musicians, have fireworks displays and other surprises for guests.

Accommodation for everyone

Typically most guests will arrive from the day before the wedding. Elena recommends that from the outset, the wedding planner will need to know an approximate amount of guests and their accommodation needs. This will also play a role in the choice of venue, since some villages have limited rooms and often guests will want to incorporate the wedding with the chance to take a mini- break from work.

If activities need to be organized for guests on the day after the wedding, every good wedding planner will be able to offer a few suggestions according to the region and should also be able to help in matters such as transportation and bookings.

Keeping in touch

Communication is essential and the specialized wedding planner has to ensure that the couple is kept informed at every stage of planning, especially since they are so far away.

Hera El typically organizes up to ten intimate weddings a year preferring to work with small groups. Elena feels that every couple deserves to spend the most important and memorable day of their lives surrounded by people who truly love them. She came to this decision after watching many a stressed bride and groom having to circulate with guests for hours only to be criticized later.

Since then she has concentrated on offering weddings at local venues for couples who want to experience their wedding like Italians do it. The experience should be Italian, intimate and exclusive, according to her.

Elena has helped organize weddings for couples from Switzerland but mostly for people from as far as Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. There is a growing interest from couples living in the Middle Eastern countries of Israel, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates placing Italy firmly at the top of the list of popular wedding destinations.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.