I was just wondering if anyone had an idea about wedding costs (the more detailed the better) in Italy. We're thinking about either Bologna or Maratea in October 2011.
This isn't a standard destination wedding in that my almost-fiance's background is Italian, so he has a lot of family there and so we're sorta going for a full-sized wedding but in another country. We'll probably have around 125 guests and a budget of 50,000 USD. He is going to contact family for information, but I wanted to get an American perspective.
Any information would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
I can't be of specific help, but I'll just tell you that, in my opinion, everything costs more in Europe than it does in the US.
Why? They add VAT (Value Added Tax) to most purchases, which is like a sales tax, but stiffer. In general, Europeans pay less in income tax but more in sales tax than do Americans. Thus, visitors end up paying more, bottom line, for things since VAT is always included. Last I checked, VAT in Italy is about 20% or so.
In other words, when you think of what $50k will get you in the US, figure on spending $60k for the same thing in Europe. I hate to be a wet blanket, but that has been my personal observation after years of travel in Europe. Everything is more expensive There than it is Here.
Next suggestion: Be sure to get all your paperwork well in advance. Countries such as Italy usually require all kinds of stuff: apostilled birth certificates with certified translation, etc. You can't just walk in and get a marriage license based on your own sweet smile as you can here. Do your research ahead of time and find out exactly what you will need and make plans, now, to start getting it together.
There have been a few messages on this board, recently, from young ladies in a panic because their planned Mexican weddings were in jeopardy due to lack of official paper work.
You have probably already thought of that, but I figured I'd mention it.
I got married in Rome, Italy and found a great hairdresser from one forum. Have to say that she was more than just a hairdresser and makeup artist :))) I got from her all other contacts and after 3 months everything was organized, so so easy!
Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org