A Scandinavian Wedding in Florence

A&C_237The wedding of Swedish couple Anna & Christian was one of my favorite Tuscania Event weddings for several reasons. Scandinavians generally request their guests dress black tie and they hold much importance to speeches throughout the event. The end result…..hot tuxedo clad guests (and of course tall beautiful women) and a wedding filled with great speeches and emotion. This is the story of their beautiful wedding in the hills of Florence.

Location

How can you go wrong with a brand new 5 star hotel in Florence? Tuscania Events organised the first wedding here at Villa Tolomei.

Getting Ready

The Villa’s rooms were breathtaking and a perfect backdrop for pictures! The bride was simply breathtaking in this understated yet elegant gown. In this case, less is certainly more!

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A&C_092The Groom

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Ceremony

Anna & Christian opted for a beautiful symbolic ceremony in the front garden officiated by their own Swedish pastor.

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I can’t forget to include the best looking guests ever! Who doesn’t like a man in a tux?

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Cocktail Hour

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Dinner

The reception dinner was held in the back of the villa with views over the tuscan countryside and Florence.

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What can I say? Beautiful location, beautiful couple and a well dressed crowd makes for an unforgettable Italian wedding. For more information on Villa Tolomei or to discover the right location for you, please contact us at wed@tuscaniaevents.com

Many thanks to Emma from Innocenti Studios for capturing these beautiful moments!

Let the dream begin…….

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How much does a wedding in Italy cost?

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One of the most frequently asked questions I get as a wedding planner is “how much does a wedding in Italy cost?”. This is certainly one of the most important things to think about when determining if a wedding in Italy is right for you. You may be pleasantly surprised!

Although I tried my best to be as accurate as possible, these price estimates should be used only as a baseline reference as there are many variables to consider.

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Location/Accommodation

It is very difficult to give an exact idea of what you may spend for accommodation as it all depends on type of accommodation  you choose. Generally the most budget friendly accommodations are self catering villas and the most expensive solutions being a full service luxury hotel. Prices for self catering villas can range from 50 euros per person per night and up and luxury hotels from 150 euros per person per night and up.  However prices for accommodation can greatly fluctuate depending on length of stay, amount of amenities available and location.

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If there is no on site restaurant on location which is the case for the majority of locations expect to pay from 90 – 130 euros per person. Then there is the 10% VAT tax to add. Within this per person price would include the following: an abundant cocktail hour, dinner (2 first courses and 1 second), wine and water, dessert, all tables, chairs, cutlery, glassware, linens, and wait staff (there may be some small increases per person if you have specific chair or plateware requests). Generally open bar is quoted separately. Food costs are lower if the location has an on site restaurant (prices from 75 euros and up). And I forgot to mention the most important part…Italian food is abundant and absolutely amazing!! You definitely get more for your money in Italy.

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Location Rental Fees
Location rental fees are additional fees charged for the use of indoor or outdoor areas for a reception party. Depending on the location you select you may pay zero (sometimes a rental fee is waived if you rent the location exclusively for a given amount of time using all their accommodations) to 5500 euros plus 22% VAT. The wedding rental fee obviously fluctuates depending on level of location (luxury location vs more rustic) and the day of the wedding (weekday celebrations will have a lower rental cost than a saturday for example). Also, additional rental fees may apply if there is an on-site chapel, special courtyard etc. These costs vary widely depending on location.
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Ceremonies
Civil weddings
Whether your civil ceremony is allowed on site or you select one of the many beautiful town halls you can expect to spend anywhere from 300 euros to 5000 euros. Above is a civil ceremony held in one of the Monumental villas in Lucca and below at the town hall of Volterra.
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Church weddings
There is not a fee per se for a catholic wedding but you certainly can not forget to make a donation. I would say a suggested donation should be approximately 100 euros for the priest and  300 euro donation for the church.
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Symbolic weddings
Symbolic weddings can be held in an area of your choice. The costs here could be a rental fee from the location or payment of the celebrant which can be from 250 to 1500 euros depending on several factors. Ministers will charge more than an ‘actor’ celebrant.
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Document Fees
There are some document fees involved to perform a legal wedding which are from 150 euros (but vary according to nationality).
Music
Music costs will depend entirely on what you like….live music vs DJ (DJ being the least expensive). You can expect to spend a minimum of 1000 euros for music to cover the entire day. There is also the obligatory Italian music tax or SIAI that needs to be paid which ranges in price depending on your location, type of music and number of guests but I would safely say a minimum of 250 euros.
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Photographers
Italy is cheaper than the US and possibly other countries and we have some extraordinary photographers on our preferred vendor list. From 1800 euros plus 22% VAT and up depending on hours of service and number of photographers.
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Flowers
 I love flowers and the amount you spend is based entirely on how important flowers are to your event. But I would say a minimum 1000 euros. You can obviously spend less if your group size is small or if it is a simple elopement. In general the costs of flowers I believe is pretty competitive with other countries. Same flower bouquets and using simple arrangements or planted flowers vs cut are a great way to cut back on overall floral costs.
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Printing
I can not give an accurate estimation on printing costs but in my experience printing costs tend to be cheaper in other countries so when possible you may want to think of printing as many things from home. Menu printing is often done by the caterer chosen and is sometimes included or priced separately.
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Favors
The cost for wedding guest gifts or favours all depends on what you select: a small bottle or oil, wine, watercolor painting,  something ceramic, etc. One of the great advantages here is that there are many Italian artisans to choose from. Pricing from 5 euros and up depending on gift choice.
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Hair & Make-up
In Italy it is less expensive to get your hair & make-up done in a salon vs an on site service. Salon rates are from 250 euros and up (Bridal hair & make up trial and on wedding day). On location from 400 euros (Bridal hair & make-up trial and on wedding day ).
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Additional Vendor Costs
Transportation
Transportation is too difficult to quote without my specific information as it all depends on guest number, type of vehicle etc. For a specific quote you can email us at wed@tuscaniaevents.com
Additional Rentals
Depending on the location you choose and environment you want to create there could be additional furniture rentals. For example, a very cool after dinner bar and dance area with couches etc. This is not a certain cost but only a potential cost depending on the venue and your preferences.
Wedding Planner
A wedding planner is never more important than when planning a destination wedding. Our knowledge of the local language, our assistance with necessary documents to perform a legal Italian wedding and our knowledge of high quality vendors of all budget levels are truly indispensable to ensure your experience is stress free. Since planner fees vary according to size of wedding, type of ceremony etc. it is best to email us directly for a free quote.
Again, this list should be used as an overall reference as there will be many variables that will affect the overall cost. In order to get a better idea of your potential wedding costs, feel free to e-mail us at wed@tuscaniaevents.com with your projected wedding date, number of guests and overall inspiration.
I would like to thank Jules for his wonderful photography and Tuscania Events couple Gaia & Marco for choosing us!
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What to expect at an Italian wedding reception dinner

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There are  many  brides-to-be who have decided to have a destination wedding in beautiful Italy but have no idea of how a typical italian wedding reception dinner is organised. The most important thing I can say is…..you will not be disappointed. Although there are many different caterers to choose from according to budget level and expectations, italian food is well, just amazing! When the venue of your choice does not have restaurant, you will be required to hire an external caterer who should be familiar with the location and generally will set up a mobile kitchen on site. The wedding dinner will consist of four very distinct phases: cocktail hour, dinner, cutting of the cake and after dinner. Cocktail hour starts immediately after the completion of the wedding ceremony and generally consists of a drink table and a few food corners (cheese, amazing tuscan deli meats etc) and waiters passing finger foods on trays. The most typical cocktail drinks offered are prosecco (sparkling white wine), fruit cocktails, water and fruit juice. Depending on your budget you can have a small offering of finger foods to many different food corners. Sometimes there is so much great food during cocktail hour that there is no room for dinner! Cocktail hour lasts generally for 1 1/2 hour and the area with which cocktail is served is usually in an area different from the dinner area.

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Let’s move on to dinner. Unlike wedding celebrations in the US or UK for example, your guests do not make a menu selection during dinner. The dinner begins with 2 first courses (a pasta and risotto for example) and 1 second course (meat or fish) all of which was chosen in advance by the couple. Obviously guests with special dietary needs will be given appropriate alternatives. Both red and white wines and water is served throughout the dinner service. Since there is typically 20-30 minutes between each course, a dinner service can easily last 1.5-2 hours.

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Cake cutting (if you choose to have a prominent cake cutting) is usually celebrated in another distinct area. Depending on the caterer and budget the cake cutting can be followed by a rich dessert buffet with coffee and various Italian liquors or simply cake and coffee served at the table. The first 3 phases are typically included in the quoted per person price. The After dinner party is quoted separately as there are many different options and you have the possibility to include the open bar or have a cash bar if necessary. The after dinner area is designated in another chosen area and often indoors (going indoors often allow a longer party with loud music). The after dinner often has a different look than the wedding dinner – at extra cost you can have illuminated bars, a sofa lounge area etc to create a more party like atmosphere. Again, this all depends on your particular preferences and budget level.

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This is the basic flow of an Italian wedding dinner. One very important thing to note, unlike catering companies in other countries the per person price quoted will include also all basic linens, tables, chairs, table settings etc to choose from. Considering the quality of the food and all the extras included often a destination wedding dinner can be more affordable than you think.

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