Destination Weddings – Venice, Italy

Destination weddings make up around 16% of all UK nuptials. There are a variety of reasons for this, which we’ll look at.  I also have a beautiful Venetian Wedding to share with you courtesy of Roberta Sabbatini who is the Italian Wedding Expert.

Weather

Destination weddings offer a higher likelihood of having a decent day weatherwise. Yes, you should still have contingency plans but the chances are that the weather will be kind.

Cost

The average cost of a wedding in the UK is a whopping £27,000! However, with  destination weddings you can get much more within your budget. For a start, combining the wedding day with the honeymoon will save money.

Check out the packages available for the hotel of your choice. If you book a fortnight rather than 10 days for do you get some extras thrown in for free? Shop around and ask for discounts to get what you want at the right price. Having said that, bear in mind that if you’re dealing with a small business there may not be much wriggle room on the price. But the large hotels/resorts may well be able to accommodate you.

Avoid peak times such as school holidays, Christmas etc. to bring the cost down. Using local flowers will also keep the cost down. They will also be more in keeping with your destination than imported flowers.

Guests

You can legitimately cut down on your guest list with destination weddings due to budget constraints. And you have a good excuse for a big party later on when you get home which will be far cheaper than a huge wedding reception.

Do bear your guests in mind when planning. Negotiate with the hotel for preferable rates for your guests. You should also investigate other accommodation options for them to suit a range of budgets. You should send out your invitations far earlier for destination weddings. This will allow your guests to organise time off work, flights, etc. One thing to consider also is that your guests are also likely to combine your wedding with a holiday, so you will probably be spending at least some of your honeymoon with friends and family.

Destination 

The choice for destination weddings is generally a reflection of the couple. Either their style or their love of a particular place.

An Orthodox Bride In Venice

The Setting

Destination weddings - Venice, Italy, Venue

One by one the 120 candles are being lit and the 160 guests make their way in.

The noise of the chatting turns into silence and the sudden quietness is a loud empty moment made of unspeakable wonder. Guests are mesmerised by the beauty of the settings: the long white candles, white as the hydrangeas that laid inside gold cups, against gold table settings, give a sense of beauty and elegance that transcends any spoken attempt of describing that what is before the guests’ eyes. Some take pictures,some take pictures of those taking pictures and it’s like a flash back. The first attempts to frame for ever a memory of this wedding was two nights earlier.

Destination weddings - venice, italy, candles

Long olive leaves were laid all across a long table with shimmering candles lighting up the night. At the background a church not more in use and the view of Venice’s lagoon. It was the rehearsal dinner that Hannah wanted just for the dearest and closest. The first warm welcome to her friends and family that made it all the way from the UK and Cyprus and other parts of the world, to celebrate the most important day of her life.

Destination weddings - venice, italy, olive branches

Only birds and a soft background music can be heard as the evening flows by.

The Food

Excitement as well as tension is tangible. The following day will be the big day. Details are being finalised and last guests arrived. Busy waiters make their way up to the roof terrance preparing for the welcome buffet dinner. It will start at 5.00 sharp. Sizzling pans cook live pasta in different sauces;  fragrant  homemade bread and local cheeses are sitting on the table at the corner for people to help themselves; a  waitress is cutting slices of fresh prosciutto on demand; cocktails and nibbles are being served by passing waiters while strings of a background violin are plucked to a soft music.

Destination weddings - venice, italy, nibbles

It might rain…we all wake up to a ruffled sky. It’s the wedding day, worry is a fine string that runs in everybody thoughts. We trust the sky’s promise to clear out later in the day.And so it is. Heads pop out of shops and diners stop eating and stand up. They are all giving way to the Bride. She has just stepped out of the boat and walking to the church, arm around her father’s arm.

The Ceremony

It’s a traditional Orthodox Ceremony celebrated in the Church of the Greeks in Venice with the Bride and Groom walking in circle with the celebrant while a corner of vocalists sing words of love.

Destination weddings - venice, italy, orthodox ceremonoy

The last course – the one of many as per the Italian tradition banquet – is being served and the guests one by one make their way to the dance floor. The night is deep and the violins are now playing the traditional greek dance while guests take their turn to pin money on the newly wed couple and break plates to wish them luck.

Destination weddings - venice, italy, traditional greek dancing

Destination weddings - venice, italy, pinning money on the bride

Destination weddings - venice, italy, cakes

The 120 candles lights are fading away. The sky at the end did not keep its promise clouding over us a brief summer shower. Hannah and Matt promise to love each, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, will indeed last for ever.

Destination weddings - venice, italy, hannah & Matt

Roberta Sabbatini organises events and weddings all over Italy. You can find out more information from her website as well as following her on Facebook and Twitter.