Via Gaslago 32, 25050 Polpenazze del Garda (BS), Italy
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About: ginny

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Understanding the New ETIAS Requirements for Travelers to Italy

From mid 2025 – at the time of writing this there isn’t a specific date – most travelers from outside of the EU will be required to have an authorization to travel to Italy (and other EU countries). Read on for more details.


What is ETIAS?


ETIAS, short for the European Travel Information and Authorization System, is a new entry requirement for visa-exempt travelers visiting the Schengen Area, which includes Italy. Implemented to strengthen security measures and streamline border control processes, ETIAS aims to enhance the safety and security of European Union (EU) member states.


How Does ETIAS Work?


ETIAS is an online authorization system that pre-screens travelers before they enter the Schengen Area. Eligible travelers must complete an online application, providing personal information such as their full name, date of birth, passport details, and travel itinerary. Additionally, applicants are required to answer a series of security and health-related questions.


Once the application is submitted, it undergoes automated checks against various EU databases, including the Schengen Information System (SIS), the Visa Information System (VIS), Europol data, and Interpol’s databases. If the applicant meets all the criteria and is deemed not to pose a risk to public health, security, or migration control, they will receive their ETIAS authorization via email.


How Does ETIAS Affect Travelers to Italy?


For travelers planning to visit Italy, ETIAS introduces an additional step in the pre-travel process. While ETIAS authorization is not a visa, it is mandatory for citizens of visa-exempt countries, including the UK, United States, Canada, Australia, and many others. Failure to obtain ETIAS approval could result in denied entry into Italy and other Schengen Area countries.


Fortunately, the ETIAS application process is straightforward and can be completed online from the comfort of your own home. Once approved, ETIAS authorization allows travelers to enter Italy and move freely within the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period for tourism, business, or transit purposes.


Tips for Smooth Travel to Italy with ETIAS


  1. **Plan Ahead:** Apply for ETIAS authorization well in advance of your planned travel dates to avoid any last-minute complications or stress.


  1. **Provide Accurate Information:** Double-check all details provided in your ETIAS application to ensure accuracy and avoid delays in processing.


  1. **Stay Informed:** Keep abreast of any updates or changes to ETIAS requirements and regulations, as they may affect your travel plans.


  1. **Pack Your Documents:** Remember to carry a printed or electronic copy of your ETIAS authorization, along with your passport and other travel documents, when entering Italy.


  1. **Enjoy Your Trip:** Once you’ve obtained your ETIAS approval, relax and immerse yourself in the beauty and culture that Italy & Lake Garda has to offer.


In conclusion, while the introduction of ETIAS does add a layer of bureaucracy to travel planning, it ultimately serves to enhance security and facilitate smoother border crossings. By understanding the ETIAS requirements and the tips outlined above, you can ensure a seamless and memorable experience exploring the enchanting sights and flavors of Italy and most importantly Lake Garda.

For more information and updates please refer here


Below you can see the countries/nationals that require an ETIAS travel authorisation.


Civil, religious or a symbolic ceremony ?

Civil, religious or a symbolic ceremony – what’s the difference ?


Weddings are a bit of a unicorn really. While very much part of our many, varied, beautiful cultures across this world – so therefore something everyone knows about – they are also an event that, for the most part, we don’t actually take part in very often. So if you are thinking about getting married and found yourself searching here for the answer to the question above, don’t worry, you are not alone in being unsure of the answer.


Each ceremony type is like a different genre of a blockbuster movie—civil, the legal drama; religious, the epic saga; and symbolic, the heartwarming indie flick. They’re all ways of saying “I love you” with a twist, showcasing the beautiful diversity of how love can be celebrated and honored. So, pick your script, gather your cast, and let the wedding show begin!


Three different ceremonies, each with its own flair and style, making the union official in unique ways.


Let’s start with the civil ceremony. It’s like the straight-laced cousin at the party, the one who follows the rules diligently. Civil weddings are the by-the-book affair, all about legalities and paperwork. Think a judge or a city official presiding over the “I do’s” while everyone nods in agreement. No frills (but we can always add some, music, poems, singing), just signatures and legal jargon—simple, efficient, and to the point. It’s the wedding equivalent of a plain white shirt: classic, essential, but maybe not the flashiest. If you want simple, and no fuss, and ‘yes let’s have the legal piece of paper’ but the day for you is actually more about the location, the music, the party, spending time with your nearest and dearest then this is for you.


Now, onto the religious ceremony. This one’s the grand performance, complete with tradition, rituals, and a touch of divine intervention. Whether it’s in a chapel, mosque, temple, or any sacred space, religion takes the lead. There’s chanting, prayers, hymns—sometimes even incense adding a mystical ambiance. The couple might exchange vows under the watchful eye of a priest, rabbi, imam, or another religious figure, amidst blessings and holy texts. It’s a beautiful tapestry woven with faith, steeped in history, and often followed by joyful celebrations. It’s like a majestic opera, with all the drama and splendor, but with a touch of sacred reverence. This is what you choose to do if religion is centre stage to your union and an important part of your relationship.

Here in Italy the only legally recognized religious ceremony is a catholic one and at the end of the mass the civil codes of marriage are read as well.


Lastly, the symbolic ceremony—it’s the creative, customizable, and utterly personal choice. This one’s a bit like a blank canvas waiting for the couple’s artistic touch. It can happen anywhere: a beach, a garden, a mountaintop, or even in the couple’s favorite cozy spot which is one of the great attractions of it. Here, the rules are out the window, and imagination reigns supreme. The couple crafts their own vows, includes readings or performances that speak to their love story, and involves friends or family in unique roles. Unity ceremonies—like candle lighting, sand blending, or planting a tree—add symbolic layers to the occasion. It’s like staging a play written just for the two main actors, full of inside jokes and shared memories. The last few years have seen a growth in symbolic ceremonies allowing the ceremony itself to be not about religion and not about law but actually simply about the beautiful union of the two humans taking part.

If you would like to know more about the possibility of having your wedding on Lake Garda then please get in touch.


How much will my Lake Garda Wedding cost?

How much will a Lake Garda Wedding cost ?

It is the million dollar question if you’re considering getting married on Lake Garda of course or indeed anywhere else.

Not that your wedding is about the money, I never want to loose sight of the fact that a wedding is about the commitment that 2 people make to each others, it’s a beautiful and special moment – but at the end of the day it does need to be paid for and what you want to understand is if your budget is the right size for what you want to do.

There are many different elements that go into reaching that final budget and for each one of those there are a number of choices which will affect not just the style and feel of your wedding but also the final cost.

Let’s first consider the elements that go into most weddings :

A fantastic, truth speaking, Wedding Planner like me J

Your ceremony location

Your reception location if different

Your wedding guests

Catering if not included in the location

Legal paperwork or ceremony celebrant if symbolic





Hair & MUA



Extra entertainment

Extra drinks in the evening


I am by no means saying that you need to have all of these things but, even if you take a few out, it’s easy to see that with even just 2 choices for each item there is an endless possible number of financial outcomes. And it’s for this reason that I’ve had couples who have spent €15,000 with me and others that have spent over €100,000.

I still haven’t answered the question have I!!!

But I hope that what I have done so far is helped you, the reader, to understand that your question, while obvious and very valid, isn’t an easy one to answer.

It’s fair to say that the main factors in your costs will be the location that you choose and how many guests you expect to have. With this in mind I’m going to give a few examples of what a wedding might cost in 4 different locations for 50 guests. Why did I choose 50 ? Well not because that’s the number of guests that I think you should have but because I’ve done beautiful elopement weddings for 2 and I’ve done complex events for 150, 50 feels like a good halfway point.

Now to get to these figures I’ve made assumptions about what you will want in terms of flowers, music choices, photographer, hair & MU, transport etc and of course you might end up making different choices. All of these things can be changed (and in fact they will be as we get into the planning) and there is money to be saved by making some different choices or eliminating something I’ve included perhaps but, in my experience, as the planning progresses, money saved on one thing is often spent on another.

So here are a few examples for you :

A charming Italian country house on the hillside above Lake Garda €15,000

An impressive hilltop fortress €20/21,000

A gorgeous lakeside garden €22,000

An incredible private island €45,000

In order to help my couples understand these figures better and work out what is really going to be the best choice for them when they get in touch I send a lot of information and once they’ve had a chance to read through it we have a video call to get to know each other, to understand what they want, what’s possible and what I can help with.

If you would like to know more about the possibility of having your wedding on Lake Garda then please get in touch.



When to book your Destination Wedding

Well the easy answer to that question is as soon as possible once you’ve decided that’s what you want to do for your wedding.

More specifically it’s good to remember that, just as is true for a wedding back home, the sooner you book the more choice you will have in terms of locations, dates and suppliers. Typically, my couples book at least 18 months ahead of time. This is to give themselves time to get organized but of course also their guests. That’s not to say that you have to, I have had couples book as little as 5 months before their wedding but needless to say the whole planning process becomes a bit more intense in those cases.

If you’ve not read my previous blog on How to Start Planning a Destination Wedding then please read it here. Todays blog is more about the order in which you need to book things up for the wedding and when. There are many elements that go into making up a wedding and it can be overwhelming to start with and perhaps you’re not sure where to start but basically it’s like building a lego tower:  we need the large, foundation elements first and then with those as a base we can build on them with the smaller details. This timeline is not a hard and fast rule and if you are able to and want to start sooner on certain aspects that’s no issue at all, I would however say that leaving them later might result in your first choice of suppliers not being available or things simply getting too frantic in the run up to your wedding. It might be useful to print this and cross things off as you action/discard them.


Timeline for making your wedding plans:

Starting point :

  • Venue, Guest list, budget and date
  • Save the date cards/web invites

Next Step : things to do as soon as you can based on when you actually book.

  • Book suppliers who book quickly ie. photographer /videographer and band and/or DJ.
  • Think about guest accommodation if this is something you intend to help your guests with. Ask me for info sheets if I’ve not already sent them to you.
  • Create a wedding website if you like the idea. Ask me for some content. It’s a useful tool but don’t spend too much time on it, the general feedback is that many guests don’t read it all and will still message you.
  • Do you want a professional master of ceremonies ? If not the role can be performed by me or one of your guests.
  • Confirm timings for the day.

9 months out

  • Think stationary. Invites and what you want to include if you are doing paper ones. If you are then you should also ask for a quote for the table plan, table names, menus and place settings if you want it all the same. If you are not doing paper invites consider that you are still going to need some form of table plan, table names and place settings and don’t leave it till the last minute.
  • Start wedding dress shopping – exciting !!!
  • Think about bridesmaids dresses and colour theme.

6 months out

  • This is super important if you are having a legal ceremony. Italy only recognizes certificates issues within the last 6 months so you cannot action it ahead of time. Here’s what to do
  • Celebrant for your wedding. If you are not having a legal ceremony who do you want to celebrate your ceremony and what ceremony text would you like ? I also offer this service, read my blog.
  • Is transport required for your guests ? Get quotes and confirm if required.
  • How is the bride getting to the ceremony?
  • Flowers, we can start with mood boards and some quotes. Be clear when you send images if you want it exactly like that or simply something in that style/colour. In my experience of recent years this is the hardest thing to tie down. Instagram and Pinterest give a lot of inspiration but also raise the bar as far as expectations go. Be prepared for them to cost more than you might think.
  • Confirm your travel dates with me and set a Welcome Meeting date and time. Remember if it’s a legal ceremony you must be in Italy at least 2 working days before the wedding.

4 months out

  • Confirm your menu and wine choices.
  • Childrens menu if required.
  • Decide on your wedding cake style and flavour
  • Confirm your flower choices
  • Confirm your ceremony music. If you are not sure what sort of musician you want tell me what sort of music you want and I’ll make suggestions.
  • Make sure is legal wedding paperwork is complete, or nearly there, to post to me.
  • Favours, if you’re going to do favours think about what you might like to gift. Limoncello, olive oil, scented candle with personalized lable, wooden place settings. Ask me for ideas & contacts.

3 months out

  • Are you having readings for your ceremony? Who will read them and what?
  • Think about a playlist for the evening. 1st dance is obviously important but also think about style of music, it does not need to be a track by track list but a simple likes and dislikes. If you want to list specific tracks there’s not need to provide more than 30 to give an idea of what you’re looking for.

2 months out

  • Confirm final numbers and budget
  • Start working on your table plan, this can take longer than you expect.
  • How many speeches are there going to be and when do you want to make them?
  • Look at what balances are due to be paid

1 month out

  • Go over the check list with me for details and budget.
  • Has anything that was sent by post to me arrived?
  • Pay location/catering balance
  • Send table plan and any special dietary requirements. Include ages of children and if highchairs are required.

Arriving in Italy

  • Welcome meeting with me. We will go to the town hall to sign a verbal declaration (legal weddings only) visit your ceremony & reception venue and run through the plan for the day so we need at least 2 hrs.
  • How many seats need to be reserved at the front of the ceremony
  • What’s your bridal procession
  • Confirm group photo list requirements
  • Re-confirm time for hair & make-up, delivery of flowers and transport.
  • Drop off any favours, table names, table plan, place settings, gifts.
  • Final speech order. Master of ceremonies ?
  • Confirm bar budget, tab or simply if guests are paying for their own.

And mostly DON’T PANIC. I’ll give you a big talking to about this at the Welcome Meeting but remember to enjoy the day. If you have a tendency to anxiety and you’ve not been sleeping get some rescue remedy drops or sweets, they are brilliant. This is your wedding and so much of the time is spent planning it, be sure to ENJOY IT.


How to start planning your Destination Wedding

Are you dreaming of a Destination Wedding but just don’t even know where to start? Where would we go, how would that work and of course what might that cost? I totally get it, you’ve probably never planned a Destination Wedding before so how could you know?  But don’t worry, I can help you, let me be your guide and make the process as easy as possible.


Get clear on your numbers

Planning any wedding should start with the numbers and these numbers are:

  • how many people do you want to invite
  • what’s your budget?

These two factors are quite heavily entwined because generally the reception is the largest expense that you have and since that’s usually a price per person then how many guests you have directly affects the total of your budget. Some couples who have loved the location so much that their budget has dictated the number of guests they invite. Other couples come to me with a clear number of guests they expect to have and then we find a location that fits within their budget for that number of guests. A good tip is to split your guest numbers into lists of ‘essential guests’ and ‘would love it if they could come’ so that you’re really clear on where your limit on numbers is. Also, get really clear about what that budget should include so break the budget down into Destination costs which would be ceremony, reception, photographer, music, flowers etc as opposed to Local costs which would be your dress (exciting!!!), suit, rings, invites, website if you’re having one etc.



Location, location, location

Once you have a clear idea of your numbers then what you need to think about next is the wedding destination. For me you should be considering a destination that is either somewhere really close to your heart or somewhere that you know is going to deliver an amazing experience both for you and for your guests. If you can find a destination that is both then you’ve hit gold. It’s also wise to consider how everyone gets there, are their regular flights from a good choice of airports and is that location going to be somewhere that your guests are happy to have a short break or better still, stay for a holiday? Lake Garda for example has flights from lots of regional airports into Verona, Milan Bergamo and Malpensa. The flights from the UK are under 2hrs and transfer time to the lake is between an hour and 2 hours depending on which airport you fly into and which resort you’re staying in. And the journey to get there doesn’t include any crazy hairpin bends which is always a plus.


Find a Wedding Planner

Once have chosen your destination and have an idea of your numbers you can start looking for a planner to make all of this happen. There are those brave enough to tackle their own destination wedding at a distance and run the whole show themselves but from my own personal experience as a destination bride it was absolute bliss to simply turn up and be told what to do. There was no stress or worry because I had someone who had my back, appointments had been made, timings set and all we needed to do was turn up. You can’t get more relaxed than that in terms of the lead up to what is always going to be an emotional moment. Remember, no matter how laid back you think you might be, when it comes to the crunch, those emotions can totally surprise you and it’s much easier to deal with if you haven’t got to sweat the small stuff.

Wedding Venue

With your wedding planner chosen and once they are informed of your guest numbers and budget they can start making suggestions to you about where you can host your wedding and what that might look like. There are things that you need to consider like what sort of ceremony you want, church, civil or symbolic, which could affect the choice of ceremony venue. Next is style. Are you looking for Italian elegance, modern chic, rustic and relaxed or a garden party vibe. These factors along with what you can spend and how many of you there will be will be how you begin to make a short list and finally a decision on your wedding venue.


Then you need a date. Now the date might already be one that you have in your head as an ideal date but until you’ve looked at the location you don’t know if it’s going to be available. The more flexible you can be with your date the easier it is to make it work. Your date should also take into consideration the month that it falls in, the busiest months here on Lake Garda are July & Aug which isn’t so much about availability because there are also plenty of hotels but you and your guests need to move quicker in order to have a choice. Then I always remind my couples of the fact that once their guests are away from their usual 9-5, somewhere warm, every day is like a weekend. So don’t fixate on a weekend, many of your guests might appreciate a Thursday wedding and the excuse then to make it a long weekend at the very least.


The extra details

Once you have a guest list, location, wedding planner and date fixed then you can get into the extra details which is where you make the day truly yours. These include but are not limited to:





Confirm legal requirements/Paperwork

Your dress


Extra decorations such as lighting or tablescapes

Extra entertainment like a childrens entertainer, micro magican, caricaturist

Investigate accommodation options for guests

Compile guest information, info pack, website, welcome letter, gift bag?

Plan wedding day itinerary

Transport on the day

Your wedding planner will already have a list of tried and trusted suppliers and know how they work and idea of costs so that you can quickly and easily work out what you want to add to your day.


If you think Lake Garda might be just the place for you and your wedding then please get in touch for a free consultation so that I can show you what your Lake Garda wedding might look like.


On the Day Wedding Coordination

Wedding planning is so exciting and can be so much work!

There are so many decisions to make, and it seems like endless choices. I know this only too well because it is my 9-whatever hour all year round planning weddings on Lake Garda. Some couples however want to keep complete control of their day, they enjoy the challenge of sourcing a choice of venues and drilling down on the cost of each and what they offer to make that final decision. Scouring the internet for the suppliers that are just right for them. If you have the time (because you really do need a lot of time), a natural talent for organization and the patience to sift through all of the information to put all the details of your wedding together I applaud you. I have over a decade of experience doing all of that and so I know first-hand what is required to get all the jigsaw pieces of your day lined up so that everything runs smoothly. But however it looks, wherever it takes place, and whether your celebration involves just the two of you or all of your friends & family, on your special day your only “job” should be to enjoy being in love!

You see there is a difference between planning a wedding and the being the wedding coordinator on the day. You don’t want to be checking your watch and phoning your Aunt to make sure the car, coach or boat for your guests arrived. You don’t want to be double checking everyone got of board. Following the ceremony you don’t want to have to be the person directing everyone to the aperitif area or asking them to take their seats for dinner. You defiantly don’t want to be the one answering the questions of the staff about where Uncle Ned is sat so they can make sure he gets his gluten free meal. And at the end of the evening you don’t want to be the person turning off the music and herding everyone back to the coaches or taxis to take them home.

You see, on the day itself, there’s still a job to be done if you want everything to run seamlessly and however much you might have enjoyed the planning and the anticipation, on the day itself, the only thing you should be doing is enjoying the moment.

I am available, for a certain number of events each year, to be your wedding coordinator on Lake Garda. The person who, on the day, everyone uses as their go to, making sure that you are neither bothered with those small little details that come up or that your guests are left to deal with them on their own. A month before we can have a video call so that you can tell me the run down for the day, how, what, where, when. I’ll check your timetable and make suggestions should they be necessary. You can pass on all the supplier contacts so that I can double check that they all know what they need to do and when. 2 weeks before I will check the seating plan has been received along with any menu requirements and double checking any last minute details for numbers, transport and whatever else comes up. On the day itself I will of course be there, I can at some point at the start, introduce myself to your guests so that they know I am available for them so you are left undisturbed, without a single thought of the next stage of the wedding and what time that needs to happen. You can relax, knowing that I will do this for you.

So if you think that an on the day Wedding Coordinator for your Lake Garda wedding sounds like something that you need then please get in touch by e-mail [email protected]


Social Media and your Wedding

I LOVE social media.

I love how it keeps me in touch with friends & family that in the time I’ve been living in Italy I might otherwise have lost touch with. I love how it can help me to get to know my couples a little before their wedding and I really love how it can help me to stay in touch with them in the years that follow. It’s also a wonderful way for me to share what I do and help new couples come into my ecosphere and then book their Destination Wedding with me so I’m a big fan.

But, we all know that social media can also be a hinderance sometimes and I would say the main one is that it’s distracting and can often take out attention off what’s really important – like your wedding day.

To be social on your wedding – or not ?

Over the years, and with the increase in social media, I’ve seen this done it different ways and, just like everything else regarding your wedding, there is no right or wrong way. It’s your day so you get to decide and that’s it in my book. It’s clearly important that you agree on it though so once you’ve read this article have a chat together about what you do, or maybe don’t, want.

Unplugged Wedding

Should you choose not to have social media as part of your wedding be sure to be clear about this with all of your guests and suppliers from as early as possible. Make it part of your invite, wedding website and possibly signage at the venue to remind guests. No one will do it out of spite but we are so used to taking our phones out to snap away at beautiful moments in our lives that it can be easy to forget if it’s not welcome. Have the groomsmen & bridesmaid (and wedding planner) help you with this by gently reminding guests.

If instead you’re embracing social media do it with intention.

Hashtag. Find a hashtag that may not be completely unique but isn’t widely used then, you and your guests can use that every time that you post and you will be able to follow the hashtag and see new posts as they go up. The best way to check your hashtag is to simply type it in as a hashtag on IG, as you do that it will show you how many posts, more or less, have used it. Remember hashtags can only contain letters, numbers and underscores. If you’ve thought far enough ahead you can include your hashtags in your invites or on your website. If you are having menus & name settings printed then think about including it on there as it could well be that sat at the table might be when guests find those 5 minutes to post and they have the hashtag easily to hand.


Use social media and your hashtag to count down the days so that everyone coming on your Destination Wedding gets caught up in the excitement too.


Make sure all of your suppliers have a list of all the other suppliers accounts and your own accounts and hashtag so any post that they make they can tag everyone involved to make sure you don’t miss any of those.


Of all the parts of the day this is perhaps the one when, even if you’re embracing social media, you don’t really want your guests snapping away. If they are they aren’t really watching or listening in the same way. And there’s also the risk of a phone being held up getting right in the middle of the photographers shot. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask your guests not to take photos during the ceremony and you can get your celebrant to state this just before it starts to remind everyone. I always tell the guests that as tempting as it might be they are actually only going to get a shot of the back of your heads and if you promise them a shot of the two of you just before you walk out at the end of the ceremony then everyone is happy.

Guest photos

Think about when you want the photos to be published. I’ve has some couples ask everyone to wait till the following day so that they themselves are the first once to post photos of their wedding day, at least for the photos of the happy couple themselves. Other couples welcome all of their guests posting and tagging them so they don’t have to think about it and when they wake up the next day it can be one of the first things they look at to re-live some of those wonderful memories.

Like I said at the start, there is no right or wrong, it’s simply about what you would like.


How to get the best from your time on Lake Garda

Ciao, I’m Rebecca, Founder of LUCCIOLA and proud partner of Weddings at Lake Garda. 

Unveiling your retreat to quieter corners of Italy, LUCCIOLA explores (but are not limited to) small, boutique hotels, country houses, villas and agritourism farm stays. 

What does this mean for you? 

You have a wedding planner AND certified travel agent, to confirm all travel necessities and luxuries for you and your guests to your beautiful destination wedding on Lake Garda, and inspire the honeymoon of your dreams, in Italy or beyond. 

Every day is an experience. How can you get the best from your time on Lake Garda? 

There is something to inspire everyone, and LUCCIOLA can book it for you! (Remember: when You book, We donate). 

Are you… a foodie? A wine nut? Take a tour of the wineries tasting the wines of Lake Garda in beautiful village locations, or maybe you want to learn the local secrets of olive oil and amarone? The more real and grounded the experience, the more memorable it will be, so how about a market tour and cooking class, or step into a Cesarina’s home to understand the genius recipes behind pasta and tiramisu?

Scout the cultural heritage by boat with a tour of the castles (and Bardolino wine tasting!) or on foot wandering the museums of Torre di San Martino, Rocca di Solferino and Museo Risorgimentale di Solferino, or learning the “Love Stories of Sirmione”. Capture your own by scheduling a private photographer experience, or a private walking photography tour of the landscapes.

Ride the Lake differently. Lake Garda boasts an incredible range of active pursuits, and if you’re a cycle fanatic, take your pick! Racing Bike tours around The Sphinxes of Lessinia, from Lake Garda to Valpolicella, Verona, Monte Baldo, the cycle path in Limone… or for a chilled way around, hop on a Vespa pedal bike….or paddleboard!

Wind down in the thermal pools at Colà or at the Aquaria Thermal Spa in Sirmione before seeing sunset on a private romantic motorboat tour around the lake (some will take you to explore Garda Island, Punta San Vigilio or just the local peninsula). 

Things to consider when choosing a tour:

  • Everyone will have different preferences: private or shared tour? Guided or self-guided? (i.e. follow your own nose!)
  • How much time are you in that destination? Will the tour maximise your time there? There are tours available from as little as 30 minutes up to a full day.
  • Will the experience suit everyone in your party? If half of you fancy a wine afternoon, but others want to hop on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle experience, maybe that would be money spent more wisely. Time spent apart is healthy, more so when the experience fulfils you both.
  • As the travel agent, we join the dots, but if you are doing research of your own, check the tour’s departure point will be accessible for where you are coming from.

To enquire or book, check out, follow me on Instagram or email [email protected] – I’m always here for a chat, business or otherwise.


Added note from Ginny, please check that you are up to date with the travel requirements to Italy as per this blog


Sustainable Wedding Stationery by Ellie and Liv

Why choose Sustainable Wedding Stationery?

Choosing your wedding stationery can set the tone for your wedding day ahead. After all, it is the first part of your wedding that your loved ones will see. So why choose to use sustainable wedding stationery?

We had a chat about what makes eco-friendly and sustainable wedding stationery a great choice for your wedding with Simone, the creative stationery designer behind Ellie and Liv. Simone is passionate about creating invitations that are kind to the planet but don’t compromise on style or beauty.


So why choose sustainable stationery?

We all know that your stationery is a paper-heavy item at your wedding. Along with other elements of your wedding, this can make a real impact on the waste your wedding produces. By choosing to use carefully selected papers such as recycled, tree-free, seeded or FSC certified papers (sustainably produced paper) you are helping to reduce this impact.


Recycled papers are made from post-consumer waste. This means less landfill, less energy and less water are used to produce it. Long gone are the days when recycled papers were low quality, there are now some real luxurious options to chose from in the most amazing colours and textures. I’ve recently used some amazing vegan papers that contain food waste. They are some of the most beautiful papers I have ever used, with subtle colours and stunning flecks.

Just by swapping your paper, you have instantly reduced your impact on the environment.


Not just the paper?

When designing my stationery, I like to think of the whole journey it has taken. Yes, the paper is the largest factor, but how it is produced, printed and finished is all considered when I design for couples. I only work with suppliers who have strong environmental ethics that share my sustainable mindset.


Eco-friendly finishings

By choosing minimal finishings that are made of reusable or recyclable materials you will reduce the amount of waste your stationery will produce. Load your stationery up with glitter and plastic finishings and your invites will be going straight to landfill.

Great sustainable and eco-friendly finishings to use are

Bamboo silk ribbons – hand-dyed with natural dyes

Twine – made of natural fibres such as jute

Cotton – handmade cotton tassels

Metal clasps – these fancy paper clasps can be reused for years to come

Paper twine – easily biodegradable

Recycled paper bellybands – easily recyclable


Only print what you need

I believe that every wedding is as unique as the couple who are getting married, just because something is on the stationery tick list it doesn’t mean you have to have it or it is right for you.


There are many clever ways you can save on paper and reduce your stationery budget too.


Will I compromise on style if it is eco-friendly?  

Absolutely not, regardless of the fact I use environmentally friendly methods, I’m passionate that you receive stationery you adore. From the initial consultation to the delivery of your stationery I will work with you to capture the style of stationery you desire, that will reflect both your wedding and personality. All the elements I use have been carefully hand-selected by me. I am extremely fussy when it comes to the quality of the items I use. I test all the papers and finishing in my studio before I recommend them to you.


Waste doesn’t just stop at your stationery. The way your stationery is packaged also has an impact. All my stationery is packaged using recyclable elements.


Giving back

Alongside using environmentally friendly papers, suppliers and finishings I like to offset the impact my business makes, for every wedding stationery suite I design I plant and dedicate a tree in celebration of their wedding in one of the National Trusts woods. Not only helping our planet but creating new places for our future generations to enjoy.

If you would like to know more about how you can make your wedding stationery a sustainable part of your wedding then get in contact with the lovely Simone at


Your Ceremony Celebrant on Lake Garda

Over the last few years I have also been offering a stand alone service as a Wedding Celebrant. In some cases this has been for couples who simply needed the Italian Civil Ceremony translated into English but more often it has been for couples who are having a symbolic ceremony. Couples might choose a symbolic ceremony for many different reasons but one of the advantages of it is that you can really personalize the ceremony itself. There are no longer restrictions over what text has to be read and there is complete freedom to shape it to suit the wedding that you want. And I have discovered a real joy for performing these ceremonies.

I’d love to share the story on one of my more recent Wedding Celebrant experiences. Luci & Robin had most of their wedding already planned but they didn’t have someone to perform the ceremony for them. Happily they found my contact through the wedding jungle drums on Lake Garda and they dropped me an e-mail. We followed this with a video call so they could tell me what they wanted for their big day. We don’t want the ceremony to be all about loving endearments and mush they said. We don’t want to say vows promising undying love, we just don’t talk like that. We want it to be fun and light hearted. Entertaining for our guests. So, a ceremony that’s not very ceremony like….. I took a little pause at this point to wonder how we could make sure their wedding, which was of course about their love for each other, wouldn’t be too lovey dovey, not too soppy.

I read their website to get a better idea of who they are and their style of showing up in the world and I learnt about their love of G&T’s which they say was really where it all began. Well, I thought, a G&T isn’t too far different to finding your perfect partner is it? There are just a few ingredients, Gin, Tonic, ice and a slice of course, it’s not complicated. But which is your favourite ? Is it a classic Rhubarb Gin with Fever Tree or is it a classic Hendricks with Fentimans ? Those two taste quite different. And so it is with love. It’s not about finding the perfect person (anyone out there going to try and sell us on how perfect they are ???) it’s about finding the right match that suits your tastes just perfectly. And so a ceremony about love was born – while talking about G&T’s.

Luci & Robin loved the idea and were totally sold but we still needed to find some readings. I then discovered that if you google ‘funny readings for weddings’ as I did, that many, many of them refer to animals in some way, I’m not sure why. That might be a discussion for another day. But I didn’t find anything that really felt just right. Then the morning I was going to have a meeting with Luci & Robin I had an inspirational download….. what about Friends. Joey married Monica & Chandler and of course it was funny. Luci & Robin are huge fans and loved the idea and so it was, that as I wound up their ceremony, I was quoting the eloquent Joey Tribiani with the biggest smile on my face.

If you’re looking for a Wedding Planner or Wedding Celebrant that has an open mind and heart to whatever you want for your special day please get in touch. [email protected]

Read the testimonials here

Photo credit @chillipictures

Ginny Wedding Celebrant Lake Garda


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