Italy is a dream wedding destination for many couples. What’s so charming about Italy and why you should pursue a dream of having a destination wedding in Italy – we asked the best wedding photographers in Italy: Gradisca Portento, Stefano Santucci, Valeria D’Angelo and Francesca Angrisano. Also, we touched on which is the best time to get married in Italy, as well as what amount of budget you should reserve for a wedding photographer in Italy.
Gradisca Portento describes Italy as one of the most beautiful countries for a wedding, where culture, hospitality and safety seduce and attract couples from all over the world. Wedding venues in Italy are endless – from the beautiful historic residences on the great lakes to the traditional medieval villages in the Tuscan countryside, from the rural charm of the masserie in Apulia to the historic buildings by the sea on the Amalfi coast, from the Mediterranean maquis and crystal-clear sea of Sardinia to the archaeological and nature trails of baroque Sicily, and these are just a few. There are also incredible places still unspoilt and hidden where it is possible to organise a breathtaking destination wedding. Additionally, in Italy, you can simultaneously get married and enjoy the most varied and stunning honeymoon ever.
She explains Italy is so varied that it can provide brides and grooms from all over the world with proposals for all needs, from the most luxurious to the soberest, while always maintaining high quality. Quality is a great strength; they love to pamper their guests. Not to mention, Italy is high- profile culinary art and wine culture: from typical regional specialities to star-studded haute cuisine, newlyweds can offer their guests an unforgettable experience of countless food and wine-tasting itineraries among vineyards and wine cellars throughout the country.
Gradisca Portento encourages those who dream of a wedding in Italy to forget everything they already know and let themselves be guided by the confidence of the most avant-garde Italian designers, their trained eye for beauty and their artistic sense. You will be surprised how much the quality of your wedding photography will also benefit.
When inquired about the advantages of a wedding in Italy from a photographer’s point of view, Gradisca Portento answers that for photographers from all over the world, Italy is the ideal setting for any wedding: whether it is an elopement, a civil or religious ceremony, a wedding in Italy allows you to have art, architecture, landscape, photojournalism and editorial elegance all in one photo shoot. She adds that the photographer in Italy has great freedom of expression and can photograph anything freely. Unfortunately, this is not so obvious in the rest of the world.
When looking for your wedding photographer, Gradisca Portento advises you to choose according to different criteria: first and foremost, one must like his style and way of telling a story, and he must make one dream of being in his shots. Then, if the preferred photographer is Italian, it will certainly be an advantage to his in-depth knowledge of the territory and, especially, of customs and Italian wedding traditions. Whoever comes to Italy, besides beautiful images, wants to bring home an exotic experience and an engagement or post-wedding photo shoot (when you can go places without rushing around) with a local photographer who could turn it into an unforgettable experience.
Gradisca’s background as a creative person always pushes her to want something more from a style point of view. An Italian wedding can be incredible if the beauty of the location is added to the beauty of the made-in Italy. She would like to thank foreign couples for the respect they show to photographers and the attention they pay to wedding photography. She appreciates when couples look for quality and creativity in wedding photography.
When Stefano Santucci asks his couples why they decided to get married in Italy, he receives various replies. Some couples have a connection with Italy because they are the third generation of an Italian family who arrived in the US, Canada, or Australia in the 1920s, and they wanted to look for their origins. Some couples love the landscapes, the food, and the versatility you can find in such a small country. For some, this is where they met or had their first travel together. They wanted something romantic and spent a beautiful vacation in Italy, which led to the decision to get married here.
Describing the charm of Italy, Stefano Santucci says that a single reply is not enough. Italy understood as a nation, is much more than its parts or regions. It is a lifestyle, a way of thinking, an expression of oneself. He believes that the people who populate this nation can reflect the passion for old glories that have made this country great in history. If you think about it, music, medicine, and every form of art were born here many centuries ago. Probably, this passion and welcoming and warm attitude is in the DNA of Italians and is somehow perceived, and it is one of the reasons why many want to come here.
Stefano Santucci is used to travelling and photographing in many different countries, but most of his work is in Italy, and he’s very glad of that. He admits there are many advantages of living in a very desired place, and the entire world seems to envy nature, the colours, and the simple little things that make Italy so popular. He's very happy to photograph in Italy because it allows him to meet new people and hear many stories. Also, to travel a lot and discover magnificent places, where he would probably never have gone otherwise. At the same time, every wedding is different, just like every couple is different, but one thing that never changes is love.
He believes that celebrating it in such a beautiful setting (from the Alps to Sicily, passing through Tuscany, Umbria, the Amalfi coast, Puglia and many other even more beautiful places) is a great satisfaction and perhaps a way to say – well, we too somehow now belong to this nation and we are a bit Italian too.
Stefano Santucci often travels in Italy and discovers the enormity of the architectural and artistic heritage in the countryside or the cities themselves. There is history in every place. Certainly, this is an advantage for everyone because there are venues of all kinds and infinite beauties that a photographer can't wait to photograph. When asked if couples who elope in Italy should hire an Italian wedding photographer, he answers that maybe it’s best to do so because a local photographer knows how to best capture the landscape and lighting, and knows the best-hidden spots for wedding photoshoots.
Stefano Santucci believes that a good photographer is someone who manages to bring out his personality while photographing someone or something, without applying his vision to it, but being faithful to whoever is in front of him, without distorting it. A good photographer is also someone who can listen. He tells that there are amazing photographers in Italy, he especially admires female photographers, and he would like this category to be more present.
His advice for choosing a wedding photographer is to find the right aesthetics, the right personal relationship, the right eye and the right professionalism with a photographer. It is necessary to create a connection, to be accomplices, to understand and trust each other. Let the creative spirit run free and thus receive the best memories of that day that will endure for a lifetime. An Italian photographer, perhaps, is more accustomed to this type of passion and dedication, to sacrifices, to always questioning him or herself. He doesn’t want to say they are better, but they certainly live in a place with much more inspiration and surround themselves with more art.
Valeria D’Angelo often asks her couples why they choose Italy, and they always say – well, it’s obvious. For them, especially those from outside Europe, Italy is a completely different country, rich in history and beauty. Plus, Italians are quite nice people! As for photographers, they know their area very well, and they can recommend the best places and the best vendors. Besides, the land is so special (we talk about Venice, Cinque Terre, and the islands of the Amalfi coast) that it is not always easy to move through it. Also, Valeria D'Angelo thinks, having an Italian photographer, with an Italian vision is the icing on the cake for a complete Italian wedding experience.
Francesca Angrisano believes that every wedding location, in Italy or elsewhere, and every wedding couple is different and beautiful, with a new challenge each time to always try to give the best and create sensational images. She loves to travel and discover new places, although she equally loves working for foreigners who come to get married in Italy. She loves her country, it is rich in history and charm, Italians eat well, and they know how to welcome foreigners, so she can only thank those who take long trips to come here. For her, la Dolce Vita has always been the perfect representation of beautiful Italy!
To avoid risks, a wedding, especially a destination wedding, should be prepared at least a year in advance, says Gradisca Portento. As soon as the wedding date is set, the photographer should be booked. Stefano Santucci recommends booking a photographer even sooner – 18 months before the wedding.
A year in advance is a safe time to reserve a photographer, but that can vary depending on the day when the wedding takes place. Valeria D’Angelo explains if the day is Saturday during the wedding season, it would be better to contact the photographer a year / 1,5 years in advance. If the day is a weekday, even four to six months in advance is fine.
Francesca Angrisano adds that sometimes the couple books a wedding photographer two months in advance, but she advises not to book the photographer at the last moment to avoid having to settle for someone who wasn’t your first choice. Speaking about costs, Gradisca Portento explains that the photographer in Italy can work with hourly packages or with customised quotes according to the couple’s requests, but normally the cost of the wedding photographer covers 8,5 to 10% of the overall wedding budget. Costs can significantly vary depending on various factors, but Stefano, Valeria and Francesca specify that usually a price range professional wedding photographer is 3 000 – 10 000 EUR for a single day of coverage.
The busiest wedding season in Italy starts in April and ends in October, but the most popular months are May, June, July and September. From the middle of July until the middle of August, temperatures hit the highest points and are 36 – 40oC. Considering the hot Italian summer days, ceremonies usually are set up at 18:00, and dinner starts at 21:00.
For Gradisca, the best month to get married in Italy is June, because of the endless light. Stefano’s favourite month is September and the beginning of October. Valeria suggests the end of the wedding season, but Francesca encourages her to get married also in the winter because Italian winters aren’t cold at all.
Author: RENATE BERGA