What do you want? An authentic elopement! Where do you want it? Italy! And now you want a comprehensive guide on eloping in Italy.
If you’ve got your heart set on an elopement in Italy but aren’t quite sure where to go from here, you’ve come to the right place. With so many Italy elopement packages available, and so many options for what to see and do, it’s no wonder that some couples might feel a little bit overwhelmed when starting to plan their Italy elopement.
Fear not, Amores. This guide will help you figure out the next steps in your elopement planning journey and give you all the info you need to choose the perfect elopement package and have the best experience ever.
Why Elope in Italy?
Italy really needs no introduction as a perfect location for destination weddings and elopements. Whether you’re dreaming of an epic mountain hike in the Dolomites, a leisurely picnic in Tuscany, exploring ancient cities like Rome or Venice, or relaxing on the beach, you’ll find it here. Add in the incredible culture and delicious food, and it’s easy to see why Italy has a reputation as one of the most romantic places in the world. If you still need convincing, you can read more reasons to elope in Italy here!
What Activities Do You Want to Do?
One of my favorite things about elopements is that you can do whatever you want on your special day! You don’t need to conform to any expectations or traditions. It’s truly all about you – so dream big!
With a destination elopement, the first big decision you’ll want to make is your location. And in a place like Italy where the options are nearly endless, your perfect elopement spot will largely be determined by the type of activities that you want to do. If skiing or hiking mountains are your thing, you’ll want to look to Northern Italy. For stunning beaches and quaint seaside villages, the Amalfi Coast or the islands of Sicily and Sardinia are your jam. If lakes and luxury villas are more your speed, check out Lake Como. City lovers and history buffs will want to check out one or more of Italy’s iconic cities like Rome or Florence.
If you can’t decide or want to know more about what’s possible, the right Italy elopement photographer can help! Many elopement photographers (ahem…like me 👋 ) offer planning services to help you narrow down your options, work through all the logistics, and help you make all the decisions that will make your day incredible.
When planning a destination elopement, working with an experienced elopement photographer is even more important. I can help you navigate Italian wedding regulations so you can choose the type of Italy elopement that’s right for you. And from navigating local permit laws to knowing exactly when and where the light will be just right halfway around the world, you can let me handle the details for your day so you can keep your focus on your epic love.
How Do Italy Elopement Packages Work?
So, what exactly is an elopement package and how does it all work? Basically, the elopement package you choose will determine what’s included in your day. A good photographer will make this all clear up front, so there are no surprises. Still, it’s a good idea to make sure you know what questions to ask to make you are getting everything you want for your elopement experience.
First, let’s go over the main components that generally make up an Italy elopement package:
Elopement packages are often based on how long your elopement will be. This will vary by vendor, but typical packages are 4 hours, 6 hours, 8 hours, or full-day.
Before choosing a package, you’ll want to be realistic about how long your activities will take. I’ve honestly never heard a couple say that they wish they had planned less time for their elopement. More often, couples are surprised that the time has gone by so fast. (You know what they say about time flying when you’re having fun 🎉.)
You’ll also want to consider what you want to capture before and/or after your main elopement activity. Maybe you won’t need that much time for the ceremony itself, but wouldn’t it be great to have photos of getting ready and the gorgeous drive through the countryside you took to get there? Or the fantastic meal you have afterwards at that gorgeous sidewalk cafe, or even an intimate session at your villa? Eloping in Italy should be a full experience and believe me, you’ll want to remember all of it!
Extras (Planning, Guidance, and Wedding Albums)
You will also want to make sure you know exactly what “extras” are included in your package. Often, there are some things that are included upfront and others you’ll need to purchase separately if you want a more all-inclusive elopement experience. A few common extras for Italy elopement packages include:
Planning and Logistics Help
Especially for destination elopements, it’s important to choose a photographer who has experience with the type of elopement you want AND your elopement location. Not to knock all of the amazing traditional wedding photographers out there because they have their own set of challenges (hello dark reception halls!), but if you want an adventurous elopement, you’ll definitely want someone who has experience in a more unpredictable environment.
Flexibility will be the key to your Italy elopement experience. Travel delays, weather challenges, and location changes are not uncommon, and you’ll be MUCH less stressed if you know that you are working with a pro who is not only willing to roll with whatever comes their way, but is good at quickly making alternate plans to ensure you still have the best experience ever.
Another part of planning your Italy elopement is deciding what type of elopement to have. There are multiple types of weddings in Italy, and many couples opt for a symbolic elopement, meaning that they file their official marriage license paperwork in their home country either before or after their Italy elopement. For more on how to elope in Italy, check out this guide.
Not to brag…but planning and logistics are kind of my jam. This comes from my experience with elopements all over the world, and also the time I take to get to know my Amores. All of my elopement packages include planning and vendor help, unlimited consultations and questionnaires to make sure I fully understand you as a couple so I can help you have an experience that is uniquely crafted for you.
Prints and Wedding Albums
Many couples are so focused on the day that they don’t really think about their prints and albums. But trust me, this is something you’ll want to consider!
Always ask for a wedding album price list up front. Talk with the photographer about where you intend to display these photos and what type of photos you want to show off. For some couples, elopement photos only live on Instagram. However, I believe your photos deserve to cover your walls and live in an album.
You’ve likely spent months crafting every detail of this experience – why wouldn’t you want a permanent reminder? When you invest in prints and albums, you’ll be able to revisit the epic way you started your married lives together anytime you want. That’s why I encourage all of my Amores to choose an Italy elopement package that includes an album.
Many of my best packages include credits on wedding albums custom designed by me especially for you. That way, you can treasure these memories for years to come!
Italy Elopement Cost
Cost is always a main consideration when choosing an elopement package. While even destination elopements usually cost less than a traditional wedding, you’ll want to go into the planning process with an idea of what you can afford. The average wedding in Italy featuring 100 guests cost roughly $22,000. Keep that in mind as you look at how much an affordable and epic elopement in Italy costs.
Before you start evaluating Italy elopement packages, figure out your ideal budget. List out the things that are must-haves, things you’d like to have but aren’t crucial, and what’s not super important. Then, find a package that has a good balance of everything you want for your experience. Like with anything, you may have to make some trade-offs to balance your budget, so it’s good to go in with a solid idea of what’s most important to you as a couple.
The Cost of an Elopement in Italy:
Travel within Italy: $750
Legal Docs: $300
** Attire: $1,000
** Bouquet: $150
** Hair and makeup: $250
** Officiant: $400
** Boat Ride / Classic Car Rental: $500
** Venue – $0 –
Total Cost of necessities: $8,500
Total cost with extras: $10,800
Total savings: $11,200
How to Evaluate Italy Elopement Packages
Now that you know exactly what goes into an elopement package, let’s go over some of the questions to ask to make sure the package you choose is the right fit:
Can The Photographer Make Your Dreams Come True?
There are many types of photographers out there, and the perfect photographer for one couple may not be right for another. The first question to ask is whether a photographer has experience in the type of elopement you want. This is especially true for an adventurous, destination elopement. You’ll want to make absolutely sure that your photographer is just as up for your adventure as you are!
Checking out a photographer’s social media will give you a good idea of whether they have the right type of experience for your type of elopement.
How Comfortable Do You Feel With The Photographer?
Your photographer will be there to share in all your special moments throughout the day. So, it’s just as important that you connect with them personally as it is for you to connect with their work. The right photographer will make you feel at ease in their presence, which can greatly reduce your stress and ensure that you have a fun, carefree experience.
There is a photographer out there for every type of person, so really think about what type of photographer you will feel most comfortable with. Do you want to work with someone who is outgoing, who will provide moral support and a bff experience throughout your day? Or would you prefer to work with someone more introverted and mostly stays in the background?
You can learn a lot about a photographer’s personality from their website, reviews, and social media, but a phone consultation is the very best way to make this decision. You’ll know when you click with a photographer, so trust your gut on this one!
Does the Photographer Match Your Values?
It’s also important to understand your photographer’s values. Are they inclusive? How do they live by their principles during their day to day life? Do they care about the environment and practice Leave No Trace? Do they align with your personal values in other areas that matter to you?
How Much Time Will You Need for the Activities You Have Planned?
One of the questions I hear most from couples is: How much time will I need? The answer is, it depends! Since no two elopements are exactly alike, the amount of time needed is highly variable. That said, here are some general guidelines of what to expect:
- Getting ready photos: 30 min – 3 hours. This is where you start to tell the full story of your day.
- Hiking: Plan on 30 – 60 minutes per mile depending upon the difficulty and what you are doing. You’d rather plan for hiking to take longer than expected and have extra time, then under plan the time it takes and rush to do whatever you want to do. An experienced photographer will be able to give you more specific guidance as to how long a particular hike should take.
- Star photos: Want some truly epic photos? Wait until the sun goes down! You want to start these 30 minutes after sunset, or finish no later than 30 before sunrise. Star photos can take a long time, up to thirty minutes or an hour, because you need to stand very still, sometimes for 5 – 10 seconds at a time, for a single photo.
- Ceremony: These are 10 – 20 minutes on average depending on vows, unity activities. If it’s a religious ceremony with a lot of scripture, you will likely need more time.
- First Look: This can take 5 – 10 minutes. Add more time if it will take a while to get to your dream location.
- Post-Ceremony Photos: These can be anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours. They can involve activities such as picnics, songs, dance, or anything else that is meaningful to you as a couple. You won’t be posing for pictures the whole time as you’ll be enjoying your activity, but you’ll want those spontaneous moments captured!
- Post Ceremony Party: Again, this will be different for each elopement. It could be anything from a 1 hour backyard get together with cake cutting, to a several hour party with dancing, toasts, meals, and shenanigans!
- Intimate session: This is a session where you and your partner are more intimate. This could be on a bed, shower, jacuzzi, in your underwear or even naked. It’s a chance for you two to really get close to each other, and let your emotions be vulnerable. I recommend at least an hour for these sessions.
Does the Italy Elopement Package Include the “Extras” You May Need?
Here’s where you take that list of what’s most important to you and make sure your package includes all those extras. Do you want planning help? Is there a certain type of photography you’re drawn to? Do you know that you’ll want a certain amount of prints or an album?
These all things you’ll want to know when deciding which elopement package is right for you. And if you have any questions, just ask!
Other Potential Extras
There are a few final things you’ll want to consider when choosing extras for your Italy Elopement Package.
- Does the photographer include an engagement or post-engagement shoot in any of their packages?
- Are travel fees included?
- Travel fees are always included in all my elopement packages, but some photographers add extra fees for travel outside their home base.
- Can I download high-res edited photos for free?
- This is a big thing to be aware of, and a reminder that a cheap elopement package isn’t always what it seams. While high-resolution files are always provided with all of my elopement packages, that isn’t the case for all photographers. Chances are, if the initial session fee seems very low compared to other photographers, you may need to purchase each print or file individually. This can really add up, so make sure your contract includes edited files!
- Don’t forget to take a look at their testimonials or ask for references to make sure other clients haven’t had any surprises!
Now that you know how to go about choosing your Italy elopement package, it’s time to reach out to some photographers! As a starting point, I recommend starting with some lists:
- List all of the vendors and photographers you’re considering. Create a running spreadsheet to keep track of which photographers you like and why.
- Go ahead and schedule that first call!
- Write down all of the activities and locations you are interested in, and ask about them on your call. Ask if they are familiar shooting in the style you have chosen. And of course, doing a search on their site of previous elopements will give you a good taste of that photographer’s style.
- Ask a lot of questions and write down their answers. Make sure their values align with yours and if they can truly provide the experience you want.
Meet Your Italy Elopement Photographer
Oh hi there! I’m Adam, and I live for creating adventurous, one-of-a-kind elopement experiences for couples in Italy and around the world.
I have experience in all types of activities and plans. From 11 mile hikes, to 10 degree weather sunrise winter elopements, to summer adventures in the mountains, I have truly done it all. Finally, I will give you plenty of guidance and assistance to create the day of your dreams. Your day means the most to me, and I want to make sure we make your dreams a reality. This means giving my Amores the freedom to express your passionate love for one another. Whatever type of day you’re dreaming of, I’m here for it and will help you every step of the way.