Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Italy: The Venue Selection Dilemma
Selecting the perfect venue for your big day is an essential task and usuallythe first step in your wedding planning process. When I ask my couples to describe their ideal venue in Tuscany, they often mention a villa or a castle setting. No surprises there: in Tuscany, there are countless villas and castles, many with rich histories spanning multiple centuries.
And indeed, it is sometimes hard to choose one because of the abundance of options.
Unless you have your heart set on a particular venue, there are few things to consider, and here are the most important factors:
How far is the venue from major cities/airports? Is it easy to find? What points of interest/activities are located nearby? Remember, your guests will be joining you for a few days, and as a host, you should be ready to offer them a variety of things to do.
Many venues in Tuscany offer accommodation and some actually require you to stay for 2-3 nights. Think about whether you want all of your guests to stay with you, or in separate accommodations. Who will pay for the lodging rentals? These are the questions to review before making your choice.
What types of amenities and comforts would you and your guests require? Would you need an air conditioner? Modern bathrooms? A pool on the property? Will your guests have to climb stairs to go from point A to point B? Can you have breakfast and lunch on the property?
Reserving castles and villas comes at a wide range of prices. This is related to the level of accommodation the venues offer, as well as their convenience, and popularity. There are 5* luxury properties, simple and charming rustic options, and everything in between. It is essential to learn as much as you can about your venue, especially if you can’t come and visit it in person beforehand. I recommend reading reviews and finding images and videos online. A discussion with a person familiar with the venue can also be useful, as well as direct correspondence with the management.
Try to see how each venue fits in with your priorities and vision. Prepare a list of questions to ask the management, and also ask yourself: What experience do you want to offer your guests? What view would you cherish the most from your venue’s window or your ceremony location? Would you enjoy a pool or a bike ride in your spare time? Would you like to treat your guests to a cooking class or a wine tasting? What restaurants are located nearby? Can you hire a private chef?
When I organized my milestone birthday celebration, I selected a villa located on Florence’s outskirts, Villa Le Piazzole. I wanted my venue to be conveniently located - not too far from the airport - as I knew that my parents and a few friends would not be able to drive.
Knowing my guests would love to explore Florence, and the incredible Uffizi Gallery –I organized a few guided tours and hired a fleet of busses to transport all of my guests comfortably to and from. There was a wonderful Renaissance feel to the trip, and my guests will never forget the beautiful rolling hills of Tuscany.
Now, my husband and I are planning our Silver Wedding Anniversary. Where? In Tuscany of course! And for this celebration, we selected a beautiful castle. I am impartial to castles, and always visit new locations when in Italy (and elsewhere in Europe), whether they function as venues, private properties, or museums.
This time, we had different priorities when considering a venue for our event: we wanted to create a more luxurious feeling, offer excellent wine tasting experiences, etc. I cannot reveal any names of places yet, because everything will be a surprise! But I will certainly dedicate a special blog post to our celebration after the fact.
In this blog, I am sharing a few photos of my events in both villa and castle settings. Many of my clients fell in love with their beautiful villa venues, while others saw their dream weddings come to life in majestic castles.
Before you make your vital venue decision, make sure you do your homework! I am here to help streamline your research process and would be happy to guide you through your spectacular wedding planning journey!