Planning your Destination Wedding – Guest Post – Extraordinary Weddings

Today I share a little advice on planning your Destination Wedding.

Respected Wedding Planner Barbara  Gourdain of Extraordinary Weddings based in Piemonti, Italy shares her tips for ensuring your nuptuals abroad are a beautiful experience.






A consultant is the best way to make sure your wedding is everything you imagined. Choose a Wedding Planner who is based locally in the country where you plan to get married.

They will be able to advise you on everything from logistics to bureaucracy because they know the sites, the area, the vendors, the logistics – and they have the knowledge and experience to make your day a memorable and happy one. Also, make sure your wedding planner uses a contract.

A contract is a great way to protect both the client’s and the Wedding Planner’s rights and ensures that the services are performed in a professional and reliable way.

The role of a Wedding Planner is also to support couples by giving advice, ideas and assistance for the organization and smooth running of the wedding ceremony and reception.





A great place ro start is to include such things as the geography, temperature and infrastructure.

Many brides and grooms make the decision that they want to have a ‘destination wedding’, but soon find out that it’s not an easy task to find a location that will please both their friends and family and still leave them happy with the big day.

It’s important to bear in mind the season you would like to get married in.




Planning a  trip helps you to have a much better idea of things by seeing them in person and gives a chance to meet the planner, the florist, the caterer and other vendors and see how easy or not is to get to the venue.

If you can’t make it beforehand, make sure your Wedding Planner knows the site and can provide photographs and all the necessary information.




Create an image of the day in your mind and try to communicate it to your planner and describe the feeling you are looking for your wedding (ideas, magazine cut-outs, internet images, colour and fabric swatches are very useful) so that they will be able plan your wedding starting sourcing the venue that makes your heart bit or you would love/die for, creating a “never-want-this-day-to-be-over” ambience and style and design it to match your personality.


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If you’ve left the wedding arrangements to the last minute, you need to be aware that the paperwork takes months to be finalized.

In the case where the couple may each come from different countries, a legally binding ceremony may require even more documentation and is something for which we advise you to seek professional assistance.

A Wedding Planner who specializes in destination weddings can ensure that all these legal requirements will be in place and knows all the particulars about how and when to provide the paperwork.

It’s important to note that in Italy it’s possible to get married in a venue which is managed or owned by the Town Hall. This doesn’t mean grimy, depressing buildings, and in fact many are castles, lakeside villas and sea view terraces.

The choice and possibilities are fabulous.




Get an accurate idea of the guest list early on.

It’s your big day, but to ensure your loved ones enjoy the day too, it’s important to consider their needs (from children to senior guests).

Think carefully about the accommodationfor your guests when choosing your venue and how close it is to the airports.

Some areas of Italy have poor public transport, which means your guests will have to be very independent and hire their own cars. Otherwise you will have to include in your budget, transfers to and from airports and, during the wedding day, to and from their hotels and the reception venue.

If you’re not in the fortunate position of being able to pay for your guests’ accommodation, make sure there are affordable options, and if possible, coordinate the necessary transfers.

Consider whether hiring accommodation at the reception venue is a viable option or if leaving it up to the individual guests to choose their accommodation from the list of quality and cost-sensitive options provided by the Wedding Planner.





If you’re using a Wedding Planner, make sure that they are willing to make the cost breakdown transparent. By having a breakdown of each item you can be sure of seeing you are getting value-for-money.

Our method stands out as we are very transparent and itemize each service so helping the couple with their budget avoiding any hidden costs or surprises.

It’s difficult to compare overall package prices, which include all services such as the reception, hairdressers, DJ and so on.

It’s impossible to compare prices from one country to another, and even those of Italy because many services differ.

The Italian wedding market is slightly different to the UK market and prices can also vary from region to region in Italy itself.




Get your Wedding Planner to assist you with this. By knowing your overall budget, a wedding planner (who knows the general costs) can advise you about the appropriate venues and services.

Make sure that when budgeting you prioritise what the most important elements are including amazing scenery, amount/quality of food, many and impressive decorations at the Town Hall and wedding reception and type of wedding car.

We appreciate that everyone wants to have a ‘dream-come-true wedding’, but practical budget considerations mayrequire elements of compromise and flexibility which your Wedding Planner can provide.

The role of the wedding planner is not only to help you save money, but to ensure that everything will work in an enjoyable, coordinated and appropriate way, at the same time keeping the clients in-the-loop regarding costs so that the right decisions can be made in a timely manner.






Consider your transport arrangements when choosing your wedding dress and talk to your bridal shop.

You need to know how your dress is going to fold and whether the fabric can be ironed or steamed later.

Don’t forget that everything you carry there you have to take on your honeymoon if you are combining it with your wedding.

One thing to consider: if you are already marrying in an amazing place, why not stay on and enjoy all it has to offer without the hassle of travelling again?




Its lovely to plan a welcome dinner for the evening before the ceremony

Itʼs a chance for everybody to do some much-needed unwinding from their travel and to get together before the ceremony – an opportunity which otherwise can get missed in the rush of preparing for the day ahead.

If you are having a formal meal for your reception, a welcome barbeque (accompanied by lots of local wine, naturally) is a fun way to relax, or perhaps you could take the chance to visit a popular restaurant in the nearest town to give your guests some local flavour.

We recommend an event like this to set a warm and relaxed tone to your proceedings before the big day!




Extraordinary Weddings offers couples Full and Partial Event Planning so where your wedding is small or large, civil ceremonies to full church weddings and post wedding celebrations.

Full-event planning is a highly personalised service combining advice, ideas, coordination and overall responsibility for the organisation and smooth-running of the wedding ceremony and the reception.

Based in Piemonte in Northern Italy,  a wonderful, undiscovered destination that it is surrounded on three sides by the Alps and is known for its excellent food, world famous wine and entertainment. 

The views of the rolling vine covered hills in front of impressive alpine mountains makes Piemonte a truly stunning location to get married.

Being Italy based , Extraordinary Weddings can help you organize the celebrations in a stress-free way by finding for you the best locations and venues, the optimum catering, quality photographers and media specialists, flower arrangements and unique ideas. By combining great taste with the finest of wedding details, your Big Day will be an even more special occasion.


Thanks so much to Barbara for sharing this invaluable advice. Piemonte looks a stunning place to be married and for me there is always renewal of vows and what a beautiful location.


This Advice can be transferred too to the Scottish and UK Market and the advice still applies here for foreign nationals.

Getting a wee bit help for creating the day that you want, but not where you live, is advisable.

Should anyone wishing to Marry in Scotland but not resident here wish to have a chat I would be delighted to oblige and can be contacted at




UK Wedding Blogger with an eclectic style based in Glasgow

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