Every couple who intends to crown their love with an Italian wedding cannot fail to ask themselves, “How much does a wedding in Italy cost?”. I’ll be honest: clarifying the budget for a destination wedding in Italy is the starting point of any winning organisation. Why?
Because knowing how much we can spend helps us set priorities without leaving anything to chance. For this reason, we will discuss the importance of correctly structuring the budget before discussing specific costs.
I will not be able to tell you how much a wedding in Italy costs definitely: no number would be realistic. The wedding cost can vary from a few thousand euros to hundreds of thousands, according to our wishes and finances.
Rather, we will list all (or almost) the costs each couple will have to face for their Italian wedding. For some of these costs, I will try to give you a reasonable budget – for good quality services – based on my experience.
Keep this article handy when you start working on your wedding budget. I promise you it will be very useful so as not to forget any minor or significant costs.
Let’s start with the heart of the question of how much the wedding costs: the budget.
Wedding in Italy budget: what it means and how to do it
The budget is the total amount you decide to allocate for your wedding day. It is an overall cost you must be clear about before beginning the to-do list!
Start thinking about your wishes and how much you want and can spend.
Tania, how can I define a budget before seeing the costs?
As a wedding planner, I cannot recommend setting a budget above your possibility. For this, you should start with what you can dedicate to marriage.
Many couples fall into a pitfall of allocating a massive part of the budget to the reception and food. Underestimating other costs or cutting essential elements!
The reception shouldn’t take up more than 50% of your budget.
What if there are no compelling options for which this percentage is sufficient? Your wedding planner will help you find them.
Even if the classic Italian wedding banquet with table service is – still – the most popular reception method for my couples, you should know that there are many, many others. Equally elegant, fun and exciting.
Building a bespoke wedding banquet that fits perfectly into your budget will give you the ability to have the resources you need to make everything else perfect and just as you have always wanted.
Because the cost items, as we are about to see, are not few. Let’s find out!
How much does a wedding in Italy cost: 22 cost items for the newlyweds
Let’s finally talk about numbers!
I chose to tackle the issue of costs in this form because all couples forget some costs when making a budget. Or they simply do not consider or know something.
Let’s see (almost) all the costs together.
Cost of wedding invitations: how much do the invitations cost?
Invitations are the element that kicks off the wait for your wedding. It is essential that they immediately make it clear what the mood of the event will be.
Costs for wedding invitations vary according to the following factors.
- The presence or not of save the date
- Number of invitations
- Printing paper
If the paper is handmade, the cost will be higher. And if it’s a particular paper, it’ll be even higher. Think about the cost of some types of paper, which, for example, contain natural flower seeds, which can be planted!
- Writing method
Most invitations are printed on paper, but some are handcrafted by calligraphy professionals. In this case, the costs are very high. However, I have also seen cards engraved on plexiglass or thin wooden plates. And here we go to costs suitable for a luxury wedding.
Do you see why giving a range is really difficult? I can tell you that for a medium-quality personalised invitation in Italy (not stock) printed on classic cardboard, the cost cannot go below € 5 per copy.
Invitations are not the only graphic element of your wedding. When determining how much the wedding in Italy costs, we must also include the costs of the wedding stationery.
In some items below, we can decide not to use printed products but physical ones (e.g. a wooden engraved table sign). In this case, the cost will be higher.
- Tags for the tableau de mariage
- Table cards
- Mass booklets
Often menus and table cards are provided by the location or catering. But just as often, these are standard and rather basic products. For this, it would be better to customise them!
Ceremony and reception location
If you have chosen to rent a location for your wedding in Italy, this will be one of the highest-cost. Again, establishing a range is impossible.
If you have chosen to get married with a civil ceremony in a location other than the town hall or with a symbolic ceremony, the cost of renting this place will also have to be calculated.
If you have chosen instead the classic church or municipal house, flanked by a restaurant with kitchen service, you probably won’t have any rental costs in your budget.
Catering or restaurant: not just food
Whether you have chosen catering or an all-inclusive restaurant, food is usually the highest cost. An Italian wedding menu starts from a minimum of € 85 to well over € 200 per person. Fish is more expensive than meat!
To drink? When choosing the catering and restaurant, you should pay close attention to drinks. If you have a limit (for example, of bottles of wine), you should ensure that it is not exceeded.
With an all-inclusive offer with an open bar, you would pay more initially, but there will be no surprises. Only you know your guests… consider carefully.
The cake is also an essential cost. Does your restaurant or catering include it in the price? Or do you have to rely on an external pastry shop? In these cases, the costs are usually higher.
Mise en place and tablecloths
Does your catering or restaurant offer you a tablecloth that respects the theme of your wedding and your wishes? This may not be the case, but often the only choice included in the price is the mise en place with white ceramic, classic crystal and white tablecloths.
Undoubtedly beautiful and elegant, but not for everyone.
If you want to give an extra touch to your mise en place, you must consider relying on a rental. The rental of plates, glasses and tablecloths has a very different cost based on your chosen materials. My advice is always: select the ones you love!
It is the most important day of your life.
In this case, it would be good to include in the budget also an extra sum for any penalties in case of breakage of dishes and glasses. Because it is very realistic for it to happen!
The dresses: a very variable cost
How much do wedding dresses cost in Italy? Costs can vary significantly here, but we should reserve at least € 2000 for clothes.
It will be challenging to find a beautiful wedding dress for less than € 1500 while a good tuxedo could be slightly cheaper. But also much more expensive!
The question here becomes: how much are you willing to spend to see yourself fabulous?
The accessories: bride and groom
The cost of accessories can sometimes exceed that of clothes.
In the case of the bride, we are talking about:
- jewellery – earrings, bracelets, rings, tiaras, hair accessories
- intimate bride
- stockings, gloves, garter
For the groom, we have instead:
- tie or bow tie
Did I forget something? Perhaps! It depends on you. But let’s not forget anything when we make the budget!
Aesthetics: make-up, make-up, bridal preparation
When we ask ourselves how much marriage in Italy costs, we cannot ignore the expenses for aesthetics. Not only of the bride but also of the groom!
If facial cleansing and pre-event relaxing massages can be cut, a hairdresser and make-up artist are vital. In Italy, you could spend about 500€ for the bride and 50€ for the groom.
Bridesmaids’ dresses: who buys them?
Bridesmaids’ dresses are usually a cost to the bride. Especially if she chooses them. A realistic budget could be at least € 150 per bridesmaid.
Car rental: how will you arrive at the ceremony?
Even the car is an important cost that hardly falls below € 400. Do you have a friend or family member with a nice car? You could ask him as a gift to be your driver on your big day. He will surely be happy!
But try not to give up the car of your dreams for a few hundred euros.
They will be unforgettable memories.
Cost of photographer and video maker? Maybe more than you think
The photographer and the video maker are expensive. A wedding photoshoot cannot cost less than € 1500. If we add the cost of the video maker, we will reach at least € 3000.
My advice is: never save on photos and videos. Photographers and video makers will forever impress the moments of the most important day of your life.
Better to choose experienced professionals.
The photo album in Italy
Many couples do not know that in Italy, the wedding album is often not included in the photoshoot but is an additional cost. Photographers will let you choose between different options once they have seen your photos. A handmade album realised by an artisan, bound in silk or leather, will cost you around € 500.
But you will leaf through it all your life, show it to the people of your heart and, if you want, to your children. It is worth it.
Florist costs: how much do flowers cost in Italy?
The florist is a cost item that hardly anyone forgets.
Here the costs really vary a lot based on:
- Quantity of flowers
- Type of flowers – some are very expensive
- Flower seasonality – choosing flowers that bloom in a season other than when the wedding is celebrated means buying them abroad. For this, the costs are higher!
- The complexity of the compositions
- Trends – pampas have become much more expensive precisely because they are so trendy!
If you want to make the most of your flower budget, my advice can only be to rely on the hands of an expert florist or your wedding planner.
Not just flowers: decorations
Will the only decorations of your ceremony and reception location be flowers?
This is rarely the case!
Fabric drapes, ornamental vases, candelabra, lanterns, hanging candles, and rental furniture must be calculated in the budget. In this case, only the wedding planner can support you to get the best products for the correct cost.
The rings: gold or diamonds?
The cost of the wedding rings is clearly one that cannot be eliminated. However, we can even choose to “save” with a classic white or yellow gold wedding band. Or, on the contrary, give us personalised handmade or diamond-studded wedding rings.
We can safely say that for a couple of gold wedding rings, it is difficult to spend less than 500 €.
The soul of the party: music, entertainment, SIAE
There is no wedding without a party. This is why when we ask ourselves how much a wedding in Italy costs and how much budget we should give to the fun aspect.
From the acoustic duo to the DJ making your party memorable and hilarious for all guests, costs can vary (again) a lot. It also depends on how many musicians you choose.
Having a duo in the church, a band for the first reception, and a DJ for the party will cost you much more than choosing a cover duo that covers the entire duration of the wedding.
Do your maths here and choose only what you want in the depths of your heart; music is vital!
Animation is not mandatory, and in many Italian weddings, it is the first cost that is cut.
However, if you have many children among your guests, it would be good to consider it. Spending a day in peace for your guests with small children will be a plus that everyone will remember with pleasure. Here the costs can vary from around € 300 to over € 1000.
SIAE cost: an obligation for Italian weddings
The SIAE is a cost that must be covered for your music party to fall under the copyright protection law. Often it is the locations that take charge of it. Many times, the spouses have to pay for it independently. Especially when renting a location with separate catering!
The costs vary according to the number of guests and the presence or absence of a DJ, which is an additional cost. Find all references here.
Wedding favours: how much do they cost in Italy?
I can assure you that wedding favours are among the aspects less considered by couples of future spouses. Everyone knows they have to (and want to) give them away, but no one realises how much they can cost. If your guests are many, the costs will be important.
For a classic wedding favour with a simple box of handmade sugared almonds – of good quality – we start from about € 3 per favour. For the objects, we go up to a minimum of € 5-10.
If, on the other hand, we want to make tasty – and certainly appreciated – gastronomic favours, prices can rise to well over € 10 per guest.
Here we have created some gastronomic favours at this wedding that you should just drop by and see.
And how much does an Italian wedding planner cost?
Here I will be quick: a wedding planner can offer different types of services at different costs. Simple coordination, location scouting or all-inclusive wedding design, to name a few. I wrote an article dedicated to the wedding planner’s cost here.
But if you want a precise quote, write to me and tell me about your dream wedding!
How much does the wedding cost in Italy? From (almost) 0 to… a lot
Asking how much an Italian wedding cost is natural and fair. My advice, however, is to slightly modify the question and ask yourself: how much can and do we want to spend to fulfil our dream on the most important day of our life?
Putting things in perspective, knowing your real availability and the uniqueness of this day, will help you to structure a correct budget.
The role of the wedding planner will be very useful for you to understand your priorities and desires and put them on the ground according to your real budget. Don’t worry: you can always have a fantastic wedding. Write to me and let’s start studying yours together!