How to Budget for your Dream Wedding in Tuscany
This article is designed to help guide you through the process of planning a budget for your destination wedding in Tuscany.
One of the most beautiful experiences in life is getting married… especially in Tuscany. Tuscany is the heart of the most remarkable Renaissance villas, unique in the world and spread among the charming landscape! This region is quite popular for destination weddings because… well, Tuscany has it all! From rolling hills, olive groves and vineyards to snowcapped mountain peaks and serene beaches. No matter where you decide to get married in Tuscany, you will find all you need within your budget. Here are some tips to keep in mind when calculating your budget
What is the average cost of a wedding in Tuscany?
One of the most regularly asked questions I get as a wedding planner is, “how much does a wedding in Tuscany cost”? The simple answer is it is almost impossible to determine exactly because there are so many factors that affect everything. However, it is quite possible to have a wedding within your budget. In fact, a destination wedding in Italy will actually be cheaper than a wedding ‘back home’, as there will be fewer guests to accommodate.
It is important to keep in mind any figures you find online will vary greatly depending on many factors. This article is designed to help guide you through creating your Tuscan wedding budget and has been organized by our team at Unique Events in Tuscany.
Important factors to consider when creating a wedding budget:
These are some important factors to keep in mind that will determine the cost of your wedding. The main items that will affect the complete budget are:
● Where and When
● Venue/ accommodations
Other things to consider:
● Wedding planner
● Hair and makeup
Where & When?
First on the list is to narrow down the region, season and day of the week you would like to have your ceremony. When you have your wedding can make a big difference. By choosing to have your celebration midweek (Monday through Thursday) you will often find more availability at a lower cost. Since many guests will be planning on spending a number of days to come to your wedding, versus just traveling for a long weekend, having a midweek wedding may save you (and them) a lot of money. Also, think about the time of year you would like to have your nuptials. Planning something outside of the “high tourist season” (so think October to April), can also result in a lot of savings – sometimes as much as 10-15%!
Accommodation prices can fluctuate depending on the time of year, location, length of stay, and amount of facilities available. Usually, the best budget-friendly accommodations are self-catering villas while the most expensive solutions are a full-service luxury hotel. Tuscany has countless agriturismos, castles, villas, farmhouses or wineries that can also accommodate the whole party or part of it. If your guests are paying for their own accommodations, then you may likely save a decent amount of money, which could be used towards other activities or services.
Another great aspect of having your wedding in Tuscany is that there are a plethora of fabulous locations to fit any aesthetic and budget. Honestly, this is where a planner could come in very handy, as they will have access to many villas (in many price-points) and may even recommend some of the lesser-known venues, that could ultimately save you lots.
● Large Hotels/ Villas with Accommodation
These hotels/villas are a superb choice for long weekend celebrations with groups from 30 to 125 people. In general, most have a restaurant on-site in addition to the accommodations, so you can save on rentals and catering fees, although you may pay more for the accommodations.
● Weekly Rental Private Villas
Those with groups of 40 or under whose guests are happy to stay for a long vacation should consider this option for a smaller celebration with a tight-knit group of friends and family. This is a great way to keep everyone close and simplify schedules, transfers, etc.
● Historic Villas
One of the more popular options is a historic villa that can be rented for the day. In this scenario, usually, you will stay at another location and rent the villa for the festivities. In general, a local caterer is brought in to provide food and drink as well as tables, chairs, waitstaff, etc.,
Tuscany Wedding Locations
As wedding planners, we know the location of your wedding will impact many other choices.
● Chianti and Siena
● Grosseto and Maremma
● Badia Berardenga Castle
● Locanda In Tuscany
● Albergo Villa Marta
And many more breathtaking locations!
It is important when considering catering costs to know exactly what you will be paying for. Many assume “catering” is simply the food served at the event. In reality, catering encompasses quite a bit more here, including “mis-en-place” (ie. tables and chairs, plates, silverware, tablecloths/ linens etc.). Other things to consider are whether or not the caterers will need a kitchen rental or can use one on-site.
If your reception location has an on-site restaurant that caters food and drink, you may surely save on costs. In addition to having a kitchen in place, you may be able to save on the mis-en-place by using the restaurant’s amenities, however, keep in mind, they will usually be simple and understated.
One very important fact to keep in mind is to remember that your wedding cake and drinks/ bar will be an additional fee.
The cost of photography and videography in Italy, when compared to other countries, is relatively inexpensive and we are fortunate to have some amazing professionals on our favorite vendor list that do phenomenal work. When discussing the cost of photographers/ videographers, there are several questions you will want to keep in mind because they can change your budget significantly. For example:
● Does your photographer/ videographer have helpers? And if so, how many?
● Are they nearby or driving/flying from out of the country?
● Would you like a staged photoshoot with props or a documentary-style album? Or both?
● Does the photographer had a videographer in their company? And vice-versa
Flowers and greenery can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish, and optional at the end of the day. The money you spend is based completely on how important flowers are to your occasion. Some brides want to tell a story with a multitude of different flowers overflowing at all events, while some brides opt to go for a much simpler, minimalist look for their day. Overall, you will find the cost of flowers in Italy are pretty competitive with other countries. One tip to help you save, is use the same flowers and bouquets throughout all of your events, if possible (rehearsal, wedding, reception).
Other options to consider when building your wedding budget:
In general, wedding planners are less expensive in Italy than say, in the United States. They can offer a multitude of options to help you come in at or under budget and can often end up “paying for themselves” with savings to you. They will play a key role in organizing your vendors and can effortlessly communicate your needs in Italian, which will be incredibly helpful. In short, they take the pressure off you, so you can relax and enjoy yourself! (Check out our article outlining “Why You Should Hire a Wedding Planner“)
Hair & Make-up
In Tuscany, it is less costly to get your hair & make-up done in a beauty salon vs an on-site service, however, being pampered in your own space, surrounded by your friends and family can make for an intimate and carefree party before your festivities begin. This time is also treasured by photographers and videographers as they capture the whole “behind the scenes” process of getting ready and record the last bit of time (and maybe nerves) before you and your partner say “I do”.
Tuscany is blessed with several great celebrants that can help you create the perfect ceremony and some include assistance with vows, readings, and even provide suggestions for music. Finding someone you are comfortable with is important, as they will play a significant role in your day. Celebrants can be a great option for a symbolic ceremony. Some will even help if you would like to get “legally” married in Italy, though with the added fees, bureaucracy and red tape, it will cost a bit more, so plan accordingly.
This is an important and not insignificant part of the wedding puzzle. With friends and family likely coming in at different times from all over the world, getting everyone to and from the correct locations at the specified times can be nerve-wracking. Often, a wedding planner will take the reins and offer services and vendors to fit the size of your reception party. This can take one more thing off of your list and you can relax knowing everyone will get from point A to Point B on time.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but simply a starting point for determining your destination wedding budget. While it may seem overwhelming at the beginning, know that you do not have to do it alone. Wedding planners can offer options and suggestions you may not have thought about or that you would never find hiding in the recesses of the internet. The amount of money a good planner saves you can more than cover their cost and take some of the planning pressure off of you, especially when you consider the language barrier.
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