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Category Archives: Senza categoria

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 choose your Destination Wedding Planner

You’ve decided to get married in Italy – now what ?

There are some brave couples who decide that they do not need a wedding planner even if they are planning to tie the knot abroad, in a country they don’t live in and where they potentially don’t speak the language. For those of you who would like a little more security and a lot less stress you’ll be looking for a wedding planner. As one of my couples who started on their own said ‘We were looking at the macro Ginny but the minute we looked at the micro we were lost!’.

So if you are looking for a wedding planner how do you go about finding the right one for you? Here are some steps I’d suggest.

Search on line

You can use google, Facebook and Instagram even Pinterest to find some names for potential wedding planners. There are going to be a lot so take some time and don’t stop at the first page. A quick look here will give you an idea of the kind of weddings they plan but also read the text, that will give you an idea of what it would be like to talk to this person. Make a short list.

Look at work experience and, hugely importantly for a Destination Wedding, local knowledge.

There are a lot of wedding planners about and it might be tempting to think that since the job is the same just get a quote for the one that fits your budget.

But what you need to know, at the end of the day, is that you are going to get value for what you pay. Does this person really know the area you want to get married in? How many weddings have they planned there? Have they worked in that location before ? Are they going to know the answers to the questions that you don’t even know you have yet ?

Check the reviews

This is going to be the best way to understand if other couples have found they got value for the investment they made in this wedding planner. First hand experience is the best way for us to trust that something is really as good as you hope so read the reviews of those who have had that experience.If you’re not quite sure, ask if you could have the contact details for 1 or 2 of the previous couples to speak to them directly, ask the questions you might be too shy to ask the planner herself.

Have a one to one chat

I know that your planner is probably in Italy and you are probably not, hence your search, but if we’ve learnt anything since 2020 we do now all know how to ‘meet’ on line. And it’s important, you know how sometimes you can strike up a relationship over e-mails with someone, maybe even the phone and then when you meet them they don’t quite feel like the same person, it’s discombobulating (I’ve been waiting for ages to find a context to drop that into! Finally found it). So have a video call and get a ‘feel’ for the person. By the time you say ‘I do’ this person is going to feel like part of your family, make sure the fit is going to be a good one so you can approach your wedding day with joy and excitement.


Hiring a wedding planner is an investment. It’s like hiring a surveyor before you buy a house. And like everything there are going to be a range of prices out there. It’s important that you are sure you’re going to be getting value for the money that you spend, you worked hard for it. But at the same time don’t begrudge the cost, remember that you are paying for peace of mind that someone with more experience than you is going to guide you around the pit falls and we all know that experience costs money. That said a wedding planner can also save you money. A good planner can anticipate what you’re going to need and help you to understand what you can actually afford and also make sure there are no uncomfortable and unexpected last minute costs.

In the end…..

Choose someone that you trust. Someone that speaks your language and I don’t actually mean literally (although it often helps) but someone who speaks in a way that you know they ‘get’ you. You must be able to trust your wedding planner so you can enjoy the process of planning the wedding and on the day itself cherish every moment of this very special day.


Wedding websites

Wedding websites : Free vs. Lane Created Weddings


Wedding websites. What are they and why do I need one? There are a lot of things to consider when deciding whether a wedding website is best for you and what type to get. We’re going to try and make it simple for you!


What are they?


Wedding websites are an online space that can assist both you and your guests with anything from planning to organising and sharing to streaming. Traditionally wedding invitations were used to communicate to the guests all the useful information that they might need but more and more couples are using websites for this. Why? Well one of the reasons is that you can provide you guests with even more information, links to take them to exactly the right website page or map etc but also because they can be updated as the planning moves along and this is particularly useful for a Destination Wedding when planning for the couples but also for the guests generally starts earlier.  However not all wedding websites provide the same level of functionality but they all have the same aim in mind – to make your big day even more special.

Wedding website example

What does your wedding website need to do ?


A wedding website doesn’t need to replace your wedding invitations, but if you want it can. It should be the one place that your guests can go to in order to find out all of the information they might want. The obvious is the date, location and time of the wedding but you can go so much further. For a Destination Wedding there’s a lot of information you can add. For example your guests will appreciate suggestions of how to travel there, which airports are closest, which resorts to consider staying in, recommended hotels, airport transfers, what to do for the rest of their stay when they are not involved in wedding activities. If you are going to provide all of this what you need to be looking for is something that is easy to navigate – because if it’s not easy your guests will call you instead of using the website. It’s great if the website has an online RSVP so guests can choose to reply directly on line. If there’s a guest list manager this will assist you greatly in managing your actual numbers and later the seating plan and other logistics that might be involved like transport to and from the venue. And the website can help you even after the wedding day if there’s a gallery where you can load your favourite photos from the day to share them with everyone who was there in a quality high enough for them to be able to download them for themselves.

Wedding website example

Free vs. Paid


There are many types of free wedding websites available that can be found simply by googling free wedding websites. Many simply offer the functionality to build your website and show guests some basic information about your big day, others may include RSVP’s and galleries often at an extra charge.


  • Free!
  • Can be easy to set up


  • Lower functionality
  • Requires time to set-up
  • May not suit your vision of your wedding website
  • Often extras come at a charge

Lane Created Weddings 

Lane Created Wedding’s websites on the surface may look similar to their free counterparts, however they can do much more.

The main benefit being, friends and family can stay close through a number of features such as Update Feeds. This brilliant feature enables you to share memories, pictures and like and comment on everyone’s posts. Another feature that will bring your guests closer together is Live Streams for those family members that can’t make it due to distance, health or other circumstances.

Additionally to these Lane Created Weddings offers the same basic functions as the free ones. Including but not limited to; galleries, RSVPs, gift registries and information about your big day.

A full set of the available add-ons, prices and information can be found on the website.


  • Higher level of functionality and customisation
  • Ease both with time and effort
  • Visually stunning websites
  • Custom domain (e.g.


  • Costs more than the free alternative

At the end of the day when choosing a wedding website provider it really does depend on a number of factors, what your budget is, what you need it to do and how comfortable you are setting it up for yourself. It is important to make these decisions prior to purchase but also go and ask the providers if they can make your perfect wedding website come to life, they might be able to give you a clear idea of the best route for you.

Wedding website example

Eloping to Italy

There may be some of you out there who are thinking ‘we want to elope to Italy’. If that’s you then please read on.

As a fellow eloper myself I understand the desire to just make it about the two of you, no fuss, just something beautiful and intimate between the two of you that you can share the photos of with everyone when you have a party on your return home if that’s what you want to do.


But before I go further please make sure you are up to date with the travel requirements for Italy as per this blog


So the first question that you should be asking yourself is it even possible ?

The answer, happily is yes. Italy is among the countries that have an agreement with the UK & Ireland to recognize a marriage that takes place in Italy as legal in the UK & Ireland. Once you are married and have your certificate there is actually no need to take further action but if you want to it’s possible to register it once you return home. Before your wedding can take place however there are documents that need to be completed and these take some time. At first glance it might seem like quite a lot but taken in baby steps it’s just a series of checks to go through and it’s not difficult. This does however as I’ve said take time and that was my impulse in writing this blog today because if you want to do this you need to move now. I have had a couple make that last minute decision and get their paperwork done within 2 months start to finish, but it was quite a rush.

Therefore my advice would be first to call your local registry office and explain that you’d like a Destination Wedding in Italy and ask them how quickly you could get an appointment. This is always going to be the first step because this is the office that can issue you with your Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) and from appointment to issue of the certificate there’s usually a 3 week period. Once your certificates have been collected you‘ll need to send them and your Statuary Declarations (which you can get done while you’re waiting for your CNI) to be legalized in Milton Keynes. This is a legal confirmation that the signatures on the documents are legal and recognized. Only then does the paperwork come to me here in Italy so that I can translate the CNI and get that translation legalized before leaving it all with the town hall. You see, I said it would sound like a lot. But I promise you that broken down into baby steps, which I’ll do for you by e-mail, it isn’t rocket science. But it does take time and you can understand from the above that the minimum lead time that you would need would be 2 months and then it would be very touch and go. I know from couples who are already booked for this year that some registry offices are working as normal but others have a back log and could not immediately give you that first appointment.

It’s because of this that I say, if you’re thinking of eloping overseas this summer the first thing you do, right now, before you even make a definite decision, is to call your registry office and see what sort of timeline they can give you. Then sit back and consider whether that can work for you and the time you’re going to need to take off (remember you need to be here in Italy at least 2 working days before your wedding), let the reality of the fact that this might actually be possible sink in and then start to get excited about the idea. How fun would that be ???? It’s at that point that you e-mail, DM or call me and say ‘Ginny, we want to elope to Italy’ and then I will get you moving right away, making that little bit of magic happen somewhere on Lake Garda.

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