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By following our comprehensive wedding planning checklist that covers every essential detail, you will ensure your special day unfolds seamlessly.

A wedding planning checklist is an organized list of tasks and considerations that need to be addressed during the wedding planning. It serves as a guide to help engaged couples stay on track and manage the numerous details involved in creating their dream wedding. The checklist is divided into various categories and includes tasks to complete at different stages of the wedding planning timeline.

In curating this guide, we turned to the expertise of renowned Italian destination wedding planners Sara Tusset and La Petite Italienne Weddings. Their knowledge and experience in orchestrating unforgettable celebrations in Italy provide invaluable insights for fundamental points on our wedding planning checklist.


Furthermore, recognizing the importance of selecting the finest wedding vendors to bring your vision to life, we've picked the best in the Italian wedding industry. We provide your wedding vendor checklist to ensure you book every professional you need on your wedding day. From talented photographers and videographers immortalizing every magical moment to florists crafting exquisite arrangements and a cake designer who understands the art of creating edible masterpieces – we've got it all covered.

Destination wedding planning checklist and timeline

We offer a sketch of a wedding planning checklist that covers key tasks over a 12-18-month timeline and provides a comprehensive foundation to ensure a well-organized and personalized wedding experience.

12-18 months before the wedding:

  • choose a location that suits your vision and budget;
  • research the marriage license and other legal requirements for weddings in the chosen destination;
  • set a budget that includes travel expenses;
  • consider hiring a local wedding planner;
  • if possible, make a trip to the destination to see the venues and meet with vendors.

8-12 months before the wedding:

  • reserve the ceremony and reception venues according to availability, capacity, and logistics;
  • create a guest list;
  • send save-the-dates to notify guests well in advance to allow for travel arrangements;
  • research and contact local vendors for catering, photography, floral arrangements, etc.

6-8 months before the wedding:

  • design and send invitations and create a wedding website;
  • plan transportation for the wedding day and any pre-wedding events;
  • choose wedding attire.


4-6 months before wedding:

  • confirm the number of guests attending;
  • confirm details and logistics with all vendors;
  • develop a detailed itinerary for the wedding weekend, including pre-wedding and post-wedding events;
  • plan rehearsal and welcome events;
  • ensure you have all the necessary paperwork for the marriage license.

2-4 months before the wedding:

  • send reminders to guests of travel details, accommodations, and any activities;
  • ensure you have all necessary documents, attire, and wedding-related items;
  • confirm travel plans for yourself, your bridal party, and other key participants.

1-2 months before the wedding:

  • finalize seating chart;
  • provide final counts and details to all vendors;
  • share the detailed wedding weekend itinerary with guests.

1 week before the wedding:

  • arrive at the destination a few days before the wedding to finalize details;
  • confirm final details with local vendors;
  • conduct a rehearsal for the ceremony;
  • participate in any planned pre-wedding events.

It's important to note that while our wedding planning checklist provides a comprehensive foundation for your destination wedding in Italy, the specifics of each checklist may vary based on your unique preferences, priorities, and the distinctive details of your celebration. Every couple's journey is distinct, and customization is key to crafting a wedding that reflects your love story.

For those who choose the services of a wedding planner, many of the logistical points mentioned earlier will be overseen by your experienced professional. This allows you to focus your energy on creative and conceptual aspects of your celebration, making decisions that will bring a personal touch to your special day.

Wedding planning checklist – the first stages

Next, we will delve into the first and most crucial stages of wedding planning, guided by the expertise of Italian destination wedding planners Sara Tusset and La Petite Italienne Weddings, ensuring you lay a solid foundation for the wedding of your dreams.

When and how to start planning a wedding in Italy?

We start with an Italian destination wedding planning timeline. Sara Tusset says that it considerably depends on the type of wedding you’re imagining. She specialises in elopements and micro and intimate weddings. For example, for an intimate wedding in Rome, you can start organising about 6 months before, while for an elopement even a month before.

Wedding planner: SARA TUSSET

Elaborating further, Sara Tusset says that the first thing to do is to buy the plane tickets and then find the location to host the wedding. If there are more than 40 guests, you need to start at least a year earlier for Rome and even longer if you have chosen Tuscany as a wedding destination. After choosing the location, an important vendor to select is the photographer. If you work with Sara Tusset, she will select the best suppliers perfect for the couple.

Evelina Mitali from La Petite Italienne Weddings says that planning a destination wedding in Italy could start one or two years before the date. The first vendor to contact is the wedding planner, and the most important things to decide first are the budget you want to invest on your wedding day, the number of guests you want to invite, and the season and month you want to get married.


When to get married in Italy?

Speaking of the best time to get married in Italy, Sara Tusset shares that the best period to organise a wedding in Italy depends on the place you have chosen. April, May, and June are perfect for the whole peninsula. Sara also shares that October in recent years has become the new June because of the perfect weather and bright sunshine. The months to be disregarded for an Italian wedding are November, January and February because they are cold and very rainy. December, on the other hand, can be a good month, cold but with a festive atmosphere, with illuminations in many cities. Sara recommends a winter wedding in Italy.

Wedding planner: SARA TUSSET

Evelina Mitali from La Petite Italienne adds that in the north of Italy, it's best to get married between the end of May and the beginning of October, which is the spring and summer season period. In the south of Italy, for example, in Amalfi Coast or Sicily, you can also choose April and the end of October because the temperatures are higher. If you dream of a winter wedding full of a warm atmosphere, sparkling lights and magical feelings, Venice is the perfect choice.

How to choose a wedding venue in Italy?

Next up, finding the perfect location and venue for the wedding. When asked for recommendations, Sara Tusset shares that she’s well experienced in planning weddings in Rome. She explains that Rome is very different in structure and culture from Tuscany. Rome has a vast choice of locations, from Dolce Vita hotels to luxury venues. In Rome, they have villas like Villa Aurelia and Villa Miani, where luxury is at its best. Sara Tuset personally creates each event on the characteristics of the couple, choosing unusual and unconventional locations. In Tuscany, they have the most beautiful villages in the world where rustic blends with modern.

If you are wondering about an elegant, sophisticated and timeless wedding, Evelina Mitali recommends Venice as the perfect destination for your big day. She believes that Venice is the most romantic city in north-eastern Italy: with its lagoon, canals, gondolas, ancient buildings and luxurious palaces, Venice offers a unique atmosphere for your unforgettable day and an exclusive experience.


Legal requirements for a destination wedding in Italy

When inquired about the legal considerations, Sara Tusset explains that, for foreign couples, it is possible to marry in Italy civilly, symbolically and in a religious ceremony. However, the procedure for civil marriages is very complex and has much higher costs than a symbolic marriage. Because of that, most couples choose the symbolic rite.

Setting an Italian destination wedding budget

Touching on the wedding budget, Sara Tusset sketches that for an elopement, you start at 10,000 €, and for a micro wedding of 10 guests, you start at 25,000 €. As she explains, this allows for quality and professionals who will know how to make your day magical. She emphasizes that the Made in Italy wedding must be a real experience and not just another day.

Wedding floristry: ATMOSFERE BOTANICHE

Evelina Mitali from La Petitte Italienne Weddings reveals that it's difficult to indicate a minimal budget because it depends on many factors: the number of guests, the region, the duration of the wedding, the food, the decorations and the location rent cost, which can be very different from region to region. As she elaborates, Italy is small, but there are so many peculiarities that differentiate the areas of the country: getting married in Venice is different from Puglia or Sicily. However, she suggests starting from 35/40,000 € considering only the wedding day costs, excluding accommodations and transportation.

At La Petite Italienne Weddings, the first thing they do is listen carefully to their clients to capture their ideal vision of the wedding, understand their needs and desires and indicate an estimated value of investments they have to take into consideration. La Petite Italienne Weddings can suggest the right areas of Italy and wedding venues that perfectly match their wedding vision and budget.


Planning a destination wedding in Italy – the challenges

Speaking of any possible hiccups and challenges when planning a destination wedding in Italy, Sara Tusset agrees that couples planning a destination wedding on their own have many challenges, such as language and time zone. Moreover, most of them take advice from non-expert suppliers, and this can compromise the whole event.

Sara’s advice is to always rely on a local professional who can be the link with the couple. Selecting venues and other suppliers is very important so that the couple can avoid stress and avoid bad suppliers. If the couple is not physically present in Italy during the planning process, Sara makes appointments with Italian vendors, takes photos and videos, and then sends them.

Wedding floristry: ATMOSFERE BOTANICHE

For her, quality is fundamental to the success of a Made in Italy wedding, and knowing the area is important to best advise the couple in their choices.

One way to ensure you stay on track when planning a wedding is following a wedding planning checklist. You can coordinate your and your wedding planner’s checklist to ensure a smooth collaboration.

Making creative decisions

A wedding involves both practical and creative side. As mentioned before, if you work with a wedding planner, you will be able to focus on the final decisions and your creative vision. However, your planner will help you generate and choose the best ideas.

Speaking of the beginning of the creative process, Sara Tusset explains that she usually asks about the couple’s story, what they imagine for their day and what they would like. Most of the time, they send her inspirational images. During the first video call, they get to know each other, and they tell her about their tastes and dreams.


Accordingly, Sara tries to create a mood board that represents everything that will be created. In each board, she always includes some novelty and trends to make their wedding precious and unique. For those who wish, she creates a sketch of the ceremony and reception, which serves to show how the couple’s dreams will be realised. After, it will be given to the couple as a gift.

When asked for advice for choosing a wedding style, theme, or colour scheme, Sara Tusset shares that she starts with what the couple wants and advises them on new fashions and styles. She describes her style as modern but contaminated by a retro style.

As she’s noticed, the couples who contact her want to live the Italian tradition to the fullest. Thus, one of her tips for those who want to get married in Italy is to read up on the place they choose. Her other advice is to create what you dream of and trust your chosen wedding planner, who will surely make your day fantastic.


Evelina Mitali from La Petite Italienne Weddings adds that the wedding design is a special part of the planning process, and they spend a lot of energy making a unique project for their clients. To define the design, they start with the personality of the couple, the colours they prefer, and the atmosphere they want to create.

Other times are the particularities of the wedding venues that inspired them: it can be a painting, the nature around them, or the architectural aspect of the building. For them, each project is different, unique, with curated details and full of harmony. La Petite Italienne Weddings always offers their clients two or three different design mood boards to choose between, and, after their choice, they develop the entire project with a detailed plan and executive costs.


Wedding traditions in Italy

Speaking of Italian wedding traditions, Sara Tusset clarifies that Italian weddings differ from destination weddings. They are usually weddings of large numbers, 120/150 guests and more, and the couple's parents actively participate in the planning process.

A traditional Italian custom for the bride and groom is not to see each other the night before the wedding. Also, the groom must not see the bride's dress at all. Many Italian brides follow an old rule. Additionally, they must have something old (a symbol of the life they leave behind), something borrowed (a link to their origins and affections), something new (a symbol of a new life), something given as a gift (a gesture of love from loved ones) and something blue (to represent purity).

Wedding planner: SARA TUSSET

Another curiosity of Italian couples, mostly from the central south, is the serenade. The night before the wedding, the groom, accompanied by singers and musicians, goes to his beloved's house and declares his love for her in music. The whole neighbourhood flocks to witness and celebrate the bride and groom-to-be.

Wedding trends in Italy

When inquired about current wedding trends in Italy and what can we expect from 2024, Sara Tusset says that there will be brightly coloured weddings and cheerful shades of flowers. Additionally, pearls and bows are the real stars of 2024.

For her brides, she always looks for new ideas and tries to include trends reworked by the typical Italian taste. As Sara Tusset always tells her brides, there are no rules at weddings. The wedding must reflect the couple and talk about the couple, all created with originality, not blindly following trends. However, in her 2024 weddings, there will be modernity, elegance, colours and novelty.


Evelina Mitali from La Petite Italienne Weddings agrees that there will be lots of colours, enhanced by personalized textiles and creative patterns. On the other side, in the weddings of 2024, we’ll see a black-and-white mood, an intimate and evocative atmosphere, artistic and ethereal touches, minimalistic approach.

Wedding planning checklist – all the vendors you need to book

Here's a general timeline for booking wedding vendors, organized in a suggested order. Some vendors may need to be booked earlier or later depending on factors like your wedding date, location, and the vendors' availability. Always communicate with your chosen vendors to ensure you secure their services promptly.

Wedding planner (book as early as possible, ideally 12-18 months before the wedding)

Brilliant Weddings Sicily, founded by Simona Parisi, specialize in creating dreamlike experiences and crafting bespoke styling. As wedding planners, they take pride in infusing the essence of the Mediterranean lifestyle into every celebration they curate. At the heart of Brilliant Wedding Sicily's approach is a commitment to turning your wedding into a masterpiece, weaving together elements that exceed your expectations.


Wedding venue (book 12-18 months before the wedding)

Wedding photographer (book 10-12 months before the wedding)

Andrea Gilberti seamlessly blends the influences of fashion and still-life photography with the storytelling essence of reportage, infusing his work with a refined perspective. For Andrea, each photo book is a chapter in his evolving narrative. Through his lens, weddings become more than mere events—they transform into visual stories that encapsulate the nuanced beauty of the moment.


Francesca Floris goes beyond the mere capture of beauty—she creates poetry through her lens. Her craft is an alchemy of light and emotions, where moments come to life in glances and silences. On a wedding day, Francesca believes in the importance of allowing moments to unfold organically. As a photographer, she possesses the artistry to discreetly capture the essence of these spontaneous moments.


Wedding videographer (book 10-12 months before the wedding)

Alessandro Pardi is an Italian wedding videographer who approaches his craft with a distinctive vision—to create something personal and unique for every couple. With an artful perspective, Alessandro believes in letting moments unfold organically to tell a story beyond the surface. For couples seeking the finest Italian wedding films, Alessandro Pardi makes each film with genuine care and artistry in the most beautiful locations Italy has to offer.

Three Seconds Film transcends wedding videography into an immersive, exciting, and surprising cinematic experience. These films are not just visual records; they are a journey back in time, evoking the genuine emotions experienced on your wedding day and offering a true reflection of your identity as a couple. What sets Three Seconds Film apart is its commitment to creating films in a reportage style with cinematic shooting focused on emotion. They are storytellers who revel in filming people unafraid to express their true feelings—laughter, tears, and emotions, all woven into a tapestry of genuine personalities.

Poeticæ is a dynamic and modern Italy wedding videography studio dedicated to crafting high-end visual narratives that immortalize your love story. Their approach is grounded in an authentic bond with the couples they work with, ensuring a deep understanding that allows you to feel entirely at ease. Poeticæ embraces modern tools, incorporating aerial shots to add an extra layer of richness to your video. While they have a fondness for natural light, they also venture into the realm of experimenting with artificial light.

Caterer (book 10-12 months before the wedding, especially, if your venue doesn't provide catering)

Wedding florist (book 8-10 months before the wedding)

Motif Floral connects contemporary sophistication with timeless elegance. Specializing in crafting exquisite floral arrangements, Motif Floral brings to life the beauty of locally sourced and seasonal blooms, creating organic and stylish designs that resonate with modern flair. With an unwavering commitment to curating bespoke floral arrangements, Motif Floral ensures an unforgettable experience. The result is a harmonious blend of modernity and timeless Renaissance elegance. Motif Floral is your partner in wedding decorations, offering expertise in adorning ceremonies, tables, and every element in between—flowers, candles, bridal bouquets, jewellery, hair accessories, and more.

Wedding floristry: MOTIF FLORAL

Atmosfere Botaniche elevates wedding floristry to an art form, specializing in creating unique and refined naturalistic atmospheres. Picture clouds of flowers in delicate hues, carefully selected essences, and elegant accessories expertly placed to enhance the charm of the venue. What sets Atmosfere Botaniche apart is a commitment to difference. The flowers are not just chosen; they are meticulously selected, grown, or gathered throughout the year and even just before your special event. This continuous research and experimentation result in the rarest and most seasonal essences, ensuring a setup that is genuinely new, original, and harmonious. The elegance of the compositions, the attention to natural shades, and the uniqueness of the flowers will undoubtedly impress your guests.

Wedding floristry: ATMOSFERE BOTANICHE

Introducing Michele Castelnuovo Flowers, where the world of weddings becomes a canvas for artistic brilliance and botanical mastery. With a foundation in higher art training, fine arts experimentation, and a deep understanding of style, beauty, and wedding design in the enchanting landscapes of Italy, Lake Como, Tuscany, and beyond, Michele Castelnuovo Flowers is a name synonymous with floral excellence. The style of Michele Castelnuovo Flowers is a dynamic blend of vibrancy and versatility. Michele is drawn to extreme botanicals, yet he equally appreciates the formality of classic arrangements.


Matteo De Luca brings a unique blend of art, passion, dexterity, and technique to every event, infusing them with a touch of natural beauty. Matteo's journey into the world of flowers is a testament to his love for nature and a keen appreciation for beauty. This profound connection led him to combine art, passion, and technical skills in a profession that allows him to express his creativity to the fullest. Matteo De Luca's floral design projects are a testament to his commitment to creating unique and refined arrangements that transform venues into captivating scenographies for the most important events. From the initial meeting to production, Matteo personally oversees each project, ensuring that every detail is perfect.


Entertainment (DJ or band) (book 8-10 months before the wedding)

Wedding officiant (book 8-10 months before the wedding)

Wedding dress and attire (buy 8-10 months before the wedding)

Hair and makeup artist (book 6-8 months before the wedding)

Stationery (invitations, save the dates) (order 6-8 months before the wedding)

Wedding cake (order 6-8 months before the wedding)

In DAZERO Offelleria, cake styling becomes an art form, infusing each creation with a touch of exclusivity, contemporary flair, and timeless elegance. The goal is to transcend traditional boundaries and reimagine the authentic flavours of classic Italian pastry. With a commitment to excellence and a passion for sweet creations, DAZERO Offelleria brings a touch of magic to your special day.


Transportation (arrange 4-6 months before the wedding)

Accommodations (arrange 4-6 months before the wedding)

Rental items (book 4-6 months before the wedding)

Wedding rings (buy 3-4 months before the wedding)

Favours and gifts (order 2-3 months before the wedding)

Finally, one month before the wedding confirm and re-check all the details with all the vendors.

Wedding planning checklist for a stress-free wedding planning

As we wrap up our wedding planning checklist, it becomes clear that crafting the perfect celebration requires a delicate balance of meticulous planning and inspired creativity. Remember that flexibility is key, thus, embrace the process, lean on the expertise around you, and savour the joy of curating your wedding.

Author: Renāte Berga

Wedding planners in Italy: Sara Tusset, La Petite Italienne, Brilliant Wedding Sicily

Wedding florists in Italy: Motif Floral, Atmosfere Botaniche, Michele Castelnuovo Flowers, Matteo de Luca

Wedding cake designer in Italy: DAZERO Offelleria

Wedding photographers in Italy: Andrea Gilberti, Francesca Floris

Wedding videographers in Italy: Alessandro Pardi, Three Seconds Film, Poeticæ Studio


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