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Get to know your future planners

Get to know your future planners

Frequently Asked Questions about Distinctive Italy

Since 1997 – 26 years! We were one of the very first two agencies to plan weddings in Italy. We cover the entire country including planning weddings in Sicily and weddings in the Alps and North of Italy.
How many planners are part of your team?
We have 6 experienced senior planners plus a concierge coordinator. In addition, we have a team of 12 on site assistants throughout various regions that provide additional support to our senior planners during events. Your Italy wedding will have thorough coverage as far as managing ALL vendors, logistics and services. The size of the team depends on the complexity of the event and the number of guests.
The planning is done by our experienced Senior Planners (Stefania, Mariana, Jacopo, Simona, Elizabeth, Junko), while Rosanna manages the company.
What is the process of hiring you as our planners?

1)      Your destination wedding in Italy starts with a complimentary ZOOM or SKYPE or WHATSAPP consultation. During this time we review all aspects of your wedding in Italy, your budget and answer any questions you might have.

2)      After the consultation, we follow up with a thorough proposal and some preliminary venue suggestions based on your wedding vision and budget.  

3)      Should you then decide to purchase the Venue Sourcing package – our amazing location scouting assistance – we will forward to you a list of venues that meet your criteria which will be narrowed down to a specific number to be viewed with our team when you come to Italy to view the locations. The venue sourcing fee is refunded back to the planning fees if you confirm our services once you choose your venue. We have culled the finest selection of wedding venues in Italy!

“The venue sourcing process was superb.  From the initial Skype with Rosanna you were able to quickly identify our priorities, and allowed us to shortlist 4 or 5 venues which were all amazing.  The day spent looking round the venues was fantastic and allowed us to visualise how our wedding would look.  The whole DIW team was so professional and efficient throughout this process we had no hesitation in confirming you for the wedding planning services.” Alexandra and Neil 

4)      After you have found your dream venue for your Italy wedding a contract is signed with Distinctive Italy and with your chosen venue and non-refundable deposits are forwarded to each party.  The planning team then sets up and launches the planning process and we begin! You will have a dedicated Senior Planner to follow through with all of the details.

What does your Venue Sourcing – Location Scouting service entail?

The success of a wedding starts with finding the right venue!  Once that is done everything else falls into place. The venue determines the style of your event, the budget and is the most critical of all decisions for a destination wedding in Italy.

  • Our venue sourcing includes access to exclusive venues not listed on our website, which is by no means comprehensive!  
  • Itinerary and appointments for viewing locations with our team for a day (if you decide to come to Italy)
  • The fee is credited back to the wedding planning fee once our services have been confirmed with contract and deposit
  • The venue information is very thorough and provides you with pricing, links, photos and general details allowing you to narrow your selection for your visit.
  • As professional wedding planners we only recommend those venues that we know are well managed and offer above standard service. Web sites are not always a good way of evaluating a venue
  • During the venue selection process we will also provide you with an overall idea of what to expect in terms of total wedding budget for the key venue you are most interested in.

We pride ourselves in a knowledge of some of the less discovered gems that are available.

What are the two most important factors in planning a wedding in Italy?
  • Determining your total budget for the wedding day and any other supporting events
  • Choice of venue

The budget is key in determining if a destination wedding in Italy is feasible and we do not shy away with discussions about this very important topic.  Beware of agencies that are not willing to have in depth discussions on whether you can afford the wedding you dream of. 

The choice of venue will ultimately determine much of your budget as venue hire fees and catering or menu costs are associated with your choice of venue.

Our complimentary preliminary consultation gives you the opportunity to review your wedding details with our team and ask important questions related to overall costs and the best regions for the type of Italy wedding you are planning.

Do you work with venues not listed on your web-site?

Of course! It would be impossible to list all of the wedding venues in Italy we work with on our web site.  We have a limited selection listed and others that are available exclusively via our venue sourcing service. 

We are happy to work with any venue that meets our standards of quality and service. However we only work with vetted venues. Web sites and Instagram accounts don’t always tell the whole story. We decline to work with Italy wedding venues that do not offer good customer service, regardless of their ranking.

Can I hire you to assist with a few services – I have already managed most of my wedding?
Our agency only handles the entire event. We are not “day of” coordinators. It is not possible to ensure a smooth running event unless we are involved with every aspect of the planning from the start and can manage the vendors directly. Day of coordinators have very little power to manage service providers if they have not hired them or worked with them before. Lastly, our vendors work with us as a very cohesive team and this is one of the key reasons for our success.
Why should I hire a planner vs plan my own wedding?

So you can enjoy the planning AND wedding day from beginning to end stress free, enjoying every minute!  On your wedding day you do not want to be involved in behind the scenes logistics, problem solving and the MANY details that will converge together and require full attention.

  • We chase the vendors, manage the calls and emails, request proposals and present everything to you in English
  • We know the venues: what type of management lies behind them and which will meet your criteria and budget
  • We know our vendors: which catering REALLY delivers, which band can rock your party and which floral designer is going to interpret your dream vision 
  • We can anticipate problematic situations in advance, and find solutions to solve them.
  • We prepare you prior to your arrival to know what to expect on your wedding day down to the smallest detail so you can relax and enjoy every moment
  • We craft your vision and bring it to life!
Who will be with us on the Wedding day?
We ensure comprehensive coverage of your wedding days to manage every aspect of your event. A Senior Planner will be present plus additional planners depending on the number of guests and complexity of the wedding. On your wedding day we take care of managing all of the vendors making sure you are not stressed with any decisions. Our team members will handle it all: from logistics to setting up the floral décor and also keep you informed of progress.
Do we get a rough sketch of the final wedding day?
We are one of the few wedding planning agencies that provides an exhaustive wedding program to our couples prior to departing for your Italy wedding, along with detailed timeline. Prior to that you will receive regular updates and recaps and be kept up to date on a regular basis.
Does your fee include co-ordination of events pre/post- wedding day?
Our fee includes the planning of pre/post events for your wedding in Italy but there is an extra charge for the team’s on site presence to oversee additional events outside of the wedding day (which is included). This can vary depending on what is required, number of guests and logistics of the days.
How many days do we need to be in Italy prior to the wedding?

If you do not have any last minute paperwork requirements to complete then you can arrive whenever you wish but with enough time to recuperate from travel and be completely rested.

If instead you have civil paperwork to be finalized, the timeline will vary with each citizenship and type of ceremony. For civil - US/Australians and some other nationalities you must be in Italy a minimum of 4 weekdays prior to the wedding day to complete final steps. For British/Irish for example 2 weekdays prior is generally sufficient.  We confirm these details during the planning process.

Do you assist with all paperwork – religious and civil?
One of the primary reasons to hire an agency for your wedding in Italy is to assist with the paperwork process. This is a key task. Distinctive Italy has extensive experience managing Italy’s civil wedding paperwork documentation for citizens from all over the world. We walk you through the entire process and once in Italy accompany you to the necessary offices acting as translators. Civil ceremonies in Italy require a translator by law and this service is included in our fees.
Will my civil wedding in Italy be legally recognized in my home country?
Absolutely yes! You will receive an official wedding certificate that you will register with your local authorities.
Do you assist with tastings and meetings with vendors during the planning?
Included in our planning fees is a second meeting with our team and key providers who will make your wedding in Italy unforgettable. This occurs once the planning phase is well under way.
Do you have a preferred vendor list?

When couples hire an experienced planning agency it is also because they wish to take advantage of their knowledge of who the best vendors in the industry are. 

There are many dynamics going on during a wedding and the most important of these is the way that the professionals hired are able to work together to create a flawless event.  This is the reasoning behind our preferred vendor’s lists. Our vendors work as a team – they know and meet our expectations and if they were not to deliver they will also know they would never be rehired. In addition, repeat business allows us to negotiate the best rates and going the extra miles.  We carefully vet our vendors who are the best in the industry.

Do you assist my guests with travel and hotels?
Our team will assist your guests with group rates and manage all of the logistics of the events. We have a concierge office that manages sourcing group hotel rates, airport transfers for guests arriving in groups and also all of the transfers for your wedding day if required.
What is the SIAE music tax

The SIAE tax is a copyright tax due to musicians and artists for music that is less than 100 years old. SIAE stands for: Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori.  The royalties are collected and paid to the artists, musicians, publishers who have the copyright to the specific work of art (as in a song for example). The SIAE ensures that the musicians are paid for their music and the tax is due for each event where the music is played. So if you have multiple events with contemporary music it will be due for each one.

The cost depends on the type of event, number of guests and music services and is quoted specifically but generally starts at Euro 350 and goes up from there.  There is a specific registration process that is required and paperwork that needs to be completed and final document to be procured.

Non payment can result in your event being shut down, definitely not something you wish to happen!  Venues will require confirmation that the SIAE tax has been paid as they do not want to incur penalties or fines.

SIAE personnel regularly investigates events to check if the tax has been paid and if they do not have a copy of the bordereaux (a document that shows proof of registration and payment) they can and will stop the party.

Distinctive Italy handles the SIAE for you.

What is your booking and cancellation policy

To confirm our services a contract is provided with non-refundable deposit. The deposit will vary depending on the size and type of event. Should you at any time decide to cancel your wedding, charges apply and these will increase the closer the cancellation is to the date of the wedding. The cancellation is effective immediately upon receipt of an email and must be in writing.

Distinctive Italy is not liable nor responsible for causes beyond the reasonable control, including but not limited to national or worldwide epidemics/pandemics, fire, weather, floods, embargoes, war, acts of war, insurrections, riots, civil commotions, strikes, lockouts or other labour disturbances, acts of God or acts, omissions or delays in acting by any governmental authority, fear of anything, etc.

Is it possible to have a civil ceremony at my location of choice?
Yes, we have civil officiants – Pastors and non-religious civil celebrants that can perform a civil wedding at your location of choice without having to go to a town hall. More and more locations are also obtaining permission to celebrate a civil ceremony on site. The ceremony can also be personalized with music, personal vows and readings.
Do you sell Italy wedding packages?
Primarily everything we do is bespoke. Just as no two couples are the same, so no two weddings can be. We create, design and plan weddings based on your vision! We offer a few elopement packages for couples who wish to elope to Italy. Otherwise most of our events tend to me exclusive, larger celebrations over a number of days.
DIW operates by charging planning fees. In addition, vendors in the wedding industry provide commissions. Like other professional agencies (travel, design, construction, etc.) DIW works closely with select vendors and the expense to the client does not exceed what direct bookings would cost. Planning your wedding with DIW saves VAT on many services, for all clients based outside of Italy, up to 22%.
How will I communicate with my planner?
Distinctive Italy is one of the few planning agencies that has invested in a wedding content management system that is state of the art. It combines very unique features to streamline the planning system for our very busy couples. In addition, we provide prompt and steady email and Skype or ZOOM communication throughout entire the planning stage when you prefer to touch base in a more personal manner.

“We found Distinctive Italy Weddings through a simple google search, and when we think back of the day we believe we were very lucky to have landed on your site and without knowing it at the time, we were in the safest hands that could be.

Leaving the best to last, our wedding planner, Raffaela. I got tears in my eyes every time I looked at you at the wedding. I couldn’t believe how you had managed to put all that together, with such beauty and perfection, with us being miles away from you and simply coordinating by correspondence. We were truly touched with your sincerity and exceptional service. I will never forget your calming voice in my ears saying “don’t worry” at every occasion, reassuring me that all will be fine and indeed it was not just fine, it was marvelous, and flawless! Thank you for planning our wedding with so much care, so much detail, and so much perfection. You and your team, Stephania, and the rest of the crew, came together and prepared a wonderful event, one that my guests called the wedding of the Century.. and for Dany and I, you are in fact the planner of the Century. We will always look back to this day and have you to thank for making it an incredibly remarkable and unforgettable celebration of our love. 

With much gratitude to you and the Distinctive Italy Weddings team, 

Lena and Dany – Italian Riviera Wedding