how much does a destination wedding in Tuscany cost

This is the question on everyone’s mind: How much does a destination wedding in Tuscany cost? The simple answer: there is no set price. The complicated answer: there are so many moving parts and pieces that go into a destination and every wedding is different. However, we have tallied, according to multiple past weddings, a ballpark PERCENTAGE of your TOTAL BUDGET for each category. Join us as we look at the aspects that will affect the cost of your magical Tuscan wedding.

WEDDING PLANNER

Having a wedding planner that is onsite for your destination wedding in Tuscany will be the best investment you can make. Your planner will walk you through all of the different moving part and pieces of a wedding and make sure nothing is overlooked or forgotten. In addition, having someone on hand, that speaks Italian and can easily communicate with vendors is a Godsend. During the planning process you will have a million questions and being able to have a single point person that can help you understand everything will save you time, money and headaches! In general, consider 5-10% of your total budget for a wedding planner. 

VENUE

After finding a wedding planner, the next item on everyone’s list is the venue. Since venues are often booked months if not years in advance, starting with this makes sense as it will serve as the backdrop of the entire event. Everyone has something different in mind when they think of their dream wedding. Whether you would like a breathtaking villa, a rustic farmhouse or a lush, Italian garden, each comes with its own sets of pros and cons, as well as their own price tags. 

Some couples have very specific taste and nothing but the best will do. For example, a historic villa in the city center of Florence will carry a much different price tag than something a little further from a major city and even more if it is set apart in the countryside. When considering your wedding venue, it is important to select a villa that fits your aesthetic but also fulfills all of your needs. 

Things to take into consideration include whether or not you want guests to stay onsite, if you would like additional events to take place there (for example, a welcome dinner or a pool party). The percentage to budget for a venue is difficult to project because most venues also offer/ require you to book for your exclusive use. In general, consider 5-10% of your budget for just a venue and 15-25% for your venue plus accommodations.  

GUEST ACCOMMODATIONS

Since many of your guests will be traveling into Tuscany from various parts of the world, it is important to take special care to decide where everyone will stay. Many venues have accommodations onsite and can house anywhere from a small handful to over 100 guests. Often times, couples that are not paying for the cost of housing guests will offer a variety of options at different price points. This way, guests can choose accommodations that are within their budget and not have to worry about “breaking the bank”. However, if you are in a position to host your guests for your wedding festivities, consider 10-20% of your total budget.

TRANSPORTATION

It is important to keep in mind that guests not staying onsite will need transportation to any and all events you and your spouse are hosting. Many couples choose to offer transportation in the form of vans or buses. However, this service can get a bit pricey and eventually outweigh any savings you may have seen by hosting guests offsite. Oftentimes guests will choose to rent a car, so that they have a little freedom to come and go as they please. This also let them dictate their own route and timeline. We have seen many guests make a wrong turn and miss the ceremony, so be prepared to have detailed maps and timelines available well in advance. As a general rule, consider 3-5% of your total budget for transportation for yourself and your guests

CATERING

You cannot think of Tuscany and NOT think of food and wine. They go hand in hand! We have some amazing caterers here in Tuscany that run the gamut of what they can offer as well as prices. Some caterers can offer a small array of possibilities, like some exclusively do pizza parties or open bars. However, there are many caterers that offer every tasting or meal you have in mind, from pizza parties and aperitivos to casual pool parties and white-gloved plated service. With vendors striving to source the closest and freshest ingredients possible, it’s hard to go wrong. For just your wedding day, consider 15-25% of your total budget to go towards catering all of your food and drink. If you would like to add a welcome party or a post-event meal, add another 4-8% for each. 

RENTALS

Rental items for a wedding can include a vast quantity of items. Everything from your place settings, linens, table and chairs to dance floors, lounge furniture, rugs, chandeliers and much, much more. It seems the only limitation is your imagination (and pocketbook). Most of the time, couples present their planner with a couple examples of “tablescapes” they love and the planner works with the caterers (for place settings, tables and chairs) and florists (for tablecloths or runners, centerpieces and candles/ candelabras) to try to match the aesthetic and design. The good news is that these are costs are often included in the cost of your catering or florist, depending upon the item. In general, consider 1-3% to go towards rentals.  

FLORIST

The floral designer you pick will have a significant impact on your budget. Florists help  create the mood and feeling of the event and highlight your chosen setting. Remember to think beyond your bouquets and boutonnieres. Florals are important for both the ceremony site (from church arrangements and hand-built floral arches to chair ties and arrangements), and the reception site (including aperitivo arrangements and dinner tablescapes). Your floral designer will work with you to design everything and make sure it is picture perfect for your wedding day. As a general rule, depending on the flowers you choose, if they are in season, etc. consider 5-15% for florals.

PHOTOGRAPHERS & VIDEOGRAPHERS

Of course, you will want to trust only the best photographers and videographers to capture the moments of your special day (or days). Finding a team that creates memories in your personal style is an important task. Luckily, thanks to the internet and social media, there are thousands of photographers at your fingertips. Narrowing down the competition to your style and price point is the next step in the journey. Remember that this team will be in charge of capturing all of the special moments of your day, so do your homework! In general you can expect to budget 5-15% for both a photographer and a videographer

LIGHTING & ELECTRICAL

Electrical and lighting companies are the unsung heroes of the wedding scene. They are the first to show up and the last to leave. They ensure the lighting is perfect for every event, whether it is a fairy light tunnel for a dinner under the stars, chandeliers hanging from inside tents or a magical lighting show for your afterparty. They also make sure that the electrical systems for music and speeches is ready to go at exactly the right moment. As good rule of thumb is to consider 5-10% for all of your lighting and electrical needs.

HAIR & MAKEUP

Everyone wants to look perfect on their wedding day. Hiring a professional hair and make-up artist will ensure you can relax a bit and get in some much needed pampering on the biggest day of your life! And remember, you are likely not the only one that wants to look their best. Often brides will bring in a team of estheticians to offer hair and make-up services to their bridal party but also remember to think of your guests. It is a nice gesture to offer guests the opportunity to sign up for these services well in advance, so no one gets left out on the wedding day! Your hair and make-up artists should account for approximately 1-3% of your overall budget.

MUSICIANS

Music is a beautiful touch that can tie everything together. Absolutely no wedding ceremony is complete without music for your entrance and exit. Make sure you don’t forget a little background music for your aperitivo and dinner and remember to make arrangements for a microphone if you anticipate speeches. Finally, a DJ or band to help you party the night away is the final touch on your magical day. Assuming you are not hiring an international superstar, a solid 4-9% of your budget should be good. 

Celebrant 

Whether you will be using a family friend, hiring a professional celebrant or getting married in a church, this is a big consideration. After all, this is the person that will help you craft the perfect ceremony and vows to the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with. Finding a celebrant that understands your mood and your “vibe” will ensure a perfectly delivered ceremony. This figure can vary quite a bit whether you are having a civil or a symbolic ceremony (or both), but consider 1-3% of the total budget for the celebrant and/ or the official paperwork and “red tape” for a civil ceremony.

Other Considerations

We cannot fit EVERYTHING into this article, obviously, so here are some other items that you may want to consider for your dream Tuscan wedding:

  • Welcome dinner
  • pool party
  • open bar
  • printing
  • vintage car, or vespa rental
  • a photo booth
  • gelato carts
  • babysitters or pet sitters
  • “confetti”
  • welcome gifts
  • guest activities

WHEW! And of course, when you are starting your budget, don’t forget stationary design, wedding attire, travel, of course, the wedding rings! This can really be all over the place, percentage wise. A rough estimate would put it at 5-15% of your overall budget.

And always include a little “wiggle room” for unforeseen expenses. All told, roughly 3-7% of your overall budget should cover this

This article is meant to give you an idea of the kinds of items that will impact your budget and glimpse of the of the team you will need to pull together to make your day perfect for you. Everyone has their own idea of what their “perfect wedding” is. It is impossible to put a price tag on these items because, well, they vary greatly, as you might imagine. 

You don’t have to be a mathematician to realize that the percentages we have suggested do not add up to a perfect 100%. Each category will need to be adjusted to your specific situation – some categories will be higher and some will be lower. Play around and see what works for you and don’t forget to ask your wedding planner for input! They are invaluable for this information! Hopefully we have given you the tools you will need to dig in and start planning your dream Tuscan wedding!

How did we do? Did we “nail it” or did we miss something? Let us know!

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