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  • Writer's pictureSilvia La Perla

The 5 Hidden Costs Of A Destination Wedding In Italy

It's always overwhelming to receive quotations and packages from your dream venues, catering or other suppliers without being able to understand how much your wedding would cost. Does this sound familiar?

One of the most difficult aspects of planning a wedding is managing the budget, especially when you realize that there are hidden costs that you have not thought of, and that can have a big impact on your wedding budget. I reveal the 5 hidden costs of a destination wedding in Italy that you have to include in your wedding planning budget sheet to make sure to be as smiling and relaxed as the couple below on your wedding day.

1. THE SIAE TAX: You might read in your dj/band or venue's that the "SIAE is not included in the price and it's on the bride and groom". The payment of the SIAE corresponds to the payment of the music royalties that couples are required to pay in order to play music during their Italian wedding reception. The amount varies based on the number of guests (above or below 200 guests) and the music played (live, recorded or both). This is an extra fee that you have to consider in your budget and pay before your wedding starts. Your Italian wedding planner can help you with your SIAE registration, payment and form filing.

2. The VAT: When you receive a quotation from a vendor, make sure to ask him/her if that amount includes the VAT. The VAT is a sort of sales tax that applies to the sale of goods and services. Many vendors don't specify if the VAT is already included in the provided quotation, or some of them simply state "+ VAT", without mentioning the VAT percentage. The VAT percentage changes based on the service provided. Usually, when you rent a venue, the VAT is currently 22% , but for some historical venues it can be reduced to the 10%. Italian food and beverage are currently taxed at the 10% as well.

3. TRAVEL COSTS: You might fall in love with a photographer based in northern Italy, but your wedding is in Positano. Even though you are hiring an Italian wedding vendor, if he/she is coming from a different region, he might require you to pay for his accommodation and travel costs. This does not have a big impact when the vendor is just one, but imagine hiring a band or a team of photographers and videomakers.... Make sure to ask about their travel fees before signing any agreement.

4. VENDORS MEALS: So many couples without a wedding planner forget to include this voice in their budget. Photographers, musicians, wedding planners and other suppliers who will spend the entire day working at your wedding need to be fed to perform at their best. Especially at very intimate weddings, it often happens that the number of vendors working at the event is almost half the number of the guests. Therefore, if only 30 guests attend your wedding, you have to keep in mind that you will have to pay for your vendors' meal as well. The good news is that the catering and restaurants usually offer a discounted price for vendors meals.

5. BEVERAGE: It is important to go through your catering agreement and read it wisely to make sure that you understand how many bottles of wine are included in the catering package that you are purchasing. Some catering include one bottle of wine per a certain number of guests. Of course you are the ones who know if all your guests are big drinkers or if only a few of them are. If that is not specified in the agreement, make sure to ask your wedding catering if wine is unlimited or if they calculate a certain number of guests per bottle.

Remember to include all the costs above in your budget sheet, in order to avoid ending up being charged for items that you had not previously considered.


~Silvia La Perla

Italian Wedding Planning: Our Italian Fairytale - Photo by Noniin Studio



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