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Going to view Italian Venues... HOW do you decide!!!

So so sooooo excited! just 1 week to go and we are off to view a number of wedding venues in Italy XD Cannot wait to decide on our favourite as then we can book a date and the real fun planning can begin! We are looking at 4 venues on Lake Como, 2 on the coast in Tuscany (most excited about these- they look PERFECT for me) and 2 in Sorrento! 

You'll probably be able to tell from my LONG 'shortlist' that I am pretty indecisive! I saw so many gorgeous venues online I just had to see all the options before deciding! Didn't want the constant 'what if' thoughts if I didnt look at one of my faves! 

So anyway, super excited and just wondering how everyone else managed to choose??? Everywhere looks so beautiful :-D 

(Got engaged in October and planning the wedding for next year!) 

xxx

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  • I am the owner of a resort in Tuscany

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  • Hi looks beautiful but i would like coastal or lakeside... I have my shortlist to view but Sure some others may find this interesting though! X

  • Hi Rachel, you sound exactly like me!

    We've had a two year engagement so I knew I had a bit of time to play with, but we ended up doing 3 trips to Italy to look for a venue! Obviously this wasn't exactly painful and we had great fun along the way.......

    I basically wrote down exactly what I wanted (coastal or lake side, lots of greenery, exclusive use) and emailed local planners asking them to recommend venues. We visited Lake Como, Portofino, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. Honestly, I think I would enjoy a wedding in any of the venues I saw, they are all so beautiful, however I was on a quest for perfection and kept looking until I got it! We found one venue in Portofino that absolutely ticked all the boxes (La Cervara) but it was so expensive. I toyed with selling a kidney, but decided to keep looking until we came across Villa Cimbrone in Ravello, which was equally as beautiful and slightly more affordable for us. I guess, my point is, when you find your venue, you will know. My partner is fairly opinionated and we kept a little book writing down the pro's and con's of each venue! (I'm mental I know) and then we made a joint decision. Our wedding is in 5 months now and I can't wait!

    Which venues are you visiting in Lake Como and Sorrento?

  • Victoria100 wrote (see post):

    Hi Rachel, you sound exactly like me!

    We've had a two year engagement so I knew I had a bit of time to play with, but we ended up doing 3 trips to Italy to look for a venue! Obviously this wasn't exactly painful and we had great fun along the way.......

    I basically wrote down exactly what I wanted (coastal or lake side, lots of greenery, exclusive use) and emailed local planners asking them to recommend venues. We visited Lake Como, Portofino, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. Honestly, I think I would enjoy a wedding in any of the venues I saw, they are all so beautiful, however I was on a quest for perfection and kept looking until I got it! We found one venue in Portofino that absolutely ticked all the boxes (La Cervara) but it was so expensive. I toyed with selling a kidney, but decided to keep looking until we came across Villa Cimbrone in Ravello, which was equally as beautiful and slightly more affordable for us. I guess, my point is, when you find your venue, you will know. My partner is fairly opinionated and we kept a little book writing down the pro's and con's of each venue! (I'm mental I know) and then we made a joint decision. Our wedding is in 5 months now and I can't wait!

    Which venues are you visiting in Lake Como and Sorrento?

     

    Hi Victoria - wow we do sound similar, I have a pro/con notepad that we are taking with us hahaha... not mental at all! My sister actually got it for me at Christmas lol :-) I do hope we get our venue chosen and booked from this one trip though... not 3 ;) On your trips did you meet any wedding planners or did you organise the trips and visits yourself? I havent only got the pro/con book, I've got a 6 page A4 document that I've written and printed of questions to ask every venue lol!!!

    Your 'wants' list is basically the same as mine - I've spent ages trawling through wedding planner recommendations and google searches! Finally narrowed it down to the 8 which we will be seeing which are my personal cream of the crop and no idea how I will choose between them all!

    In Lake Como we are seeing - Villa Cipressi/ Seven Park Hotel/ Villa Regina Teodolinda/ Lido de Lenno, and in Sorrento just Villa Antiche Mura and Hotel Meditteraneo (and looking at Cloisters and Villa Fondi too for the ceremony!)

    My fiance has basically said I can have what I want (see - man speak for I have no desire to fill my days with wedding planning when there's FIFA to be played hahaha)!!! Nice that your partner has opinions though, and great that you both decided! I think mine will have more opinions when we actually see places tbh! 

    Villa Cimbrone looks so so pretty! That will be amazing, what are your plans for the day, how many people etc? Is everything organised now? I am so excited to have the actual date booked and start planning the fun details! It's the big decidion of the venue that stresses me out the most, the details part is the bit I enjoy lol :-) ALTHOUGH the venue hunt does include a trip to Italy so that is pretty exciting haha! 

    5 more sleeps till Italy!

    xx

     

     

  • Only 3 more sleeps till I head out so I thought I would share some of my inspiration pictures for how I imagine the day... imageimageimageimage :-) Can't wait to organise these little bits! xxx

  • Hello! Your third picture down (with the pink flowers and outside seating) was literally my entire inspiration when looking for a venue. Its La Cervara in Portofino, absolutely beautiful. Wayne Rooney & Rod Stewart got married there, so as you can imagine, not cheap.......

    When looking at venues I would say we did 70% with a planner and 30% on our own. Certainly some days it was great to have a planner with us, for example when we were looking at Lake Como, the planner had her own boat, got us into venues for free (ones that charge for public attractions) etc. However it was also nice to take our time and have lunch etc in the venues we went to see ourselves.

    Lake Como- The only venue I think (from memory) I saw from your list is Lido de Lenno. I loved it, my plan was to have the ceremony at Villa Del Balbianello (look it up) and then reception at LDL, however my partner wasn't keen on LDL because of the toilets. Apparently they have committed to upgrading them (they might have done so already- it was 2015 when I was there) but when we were there, they really let the venue down- so make sure you check them out. You should also look at Hotel Grand Tremezzo, wasn't for me as I wanted an exclusive venue- but undeniably beautiful, and maybe a good place to stay whilst there.

    Sorrento, we went to see Villa Antiche Mura, and actually my colleague got married there this year. Fantastic location and I believe very reasonably priced. Totally different vibe, but you should look up Villa Eliana, It wasn't what I wanted at all (very modern) but in real life its beautiful, plus the staff were falling over themselves to help. You could basically design your own menu from scratch, plus rent the entire place for very reasonable rates. By far the most flexible venue I came across!

    We are all booked yes, we get married this July, so 5 and a bit months to go! Waiting final numbers but its looking like we will have about 70. Dangerously close now!

     

    Let me know any other questions you have!

  • It is gorgeous isnt it!!! Such a pretty look <3 

    Great to hear your thoughts on planners, Lake Como is the only place we are meeting one so sounds like a good place to have the help! Oh GREAT tip about toilets, wouldn't want horrible toilets when everywhere else is so gorgeous, and need a big cubicle for the dress haha! I will definitely make sure to pop in them then :-) Thanks! My planner said that Lido de Lenno can hold a civil ceremony on site? Was that not the case... Oh yeah I looked at Grand Hotel Tremezzo and it looked beautiful but as you say I want exclusive use ideally so I decided against it in the end!

    Ah I loved the look of Villa Eliana, I like the modern look but think it will be more of an experience to have an 'Italian villa' as otherwise you could be anywhere... pictures will be stunning too! I decided not to visit there in the end but maybeeeee we can fit it in, as only looking around two in Sorrento!

    Oooo how exciting for you, 70 is really good numbers! Bet you can't wait now =] xxx 

  • Hiya!

    so our Italian extravaganza is over 😢😢 BUT pleased to say we found what we hope will be 'the one!' Both got butterflies there it was super exciting!!! Just felt like us, could see the wedding happening... such a buzz!

    Anyway, as I know lots of ladies on here often can't get out to Italy before the big day, I thought it would be helpful to share my opinions of each venue we visited... Of course this is only my opinions and everyone has different taste and styles...

    i will be reviewing (with pics hopefully!):

    Lake Como - Villa Cipressi/ Villa Carlotta/ lido de Lenno/ Villa Regina Teodolinda

    Tuscany Coast - Costa dei Barbari/ Villa Parisi

    Sorrento - Hotel Meditteraneo/ Villa Antiche Mura

    Here goes... 

  • Villa Cipressi

    Okay so this venue has everything in one place which is great... Accommodation for 75 guests on site in double, twin or family rooms, civil ceremony possible on site and of course the reception too!

    For music, this must end at 11, and you can only have low level live music outside.

    Best thing: the views and outside space! Stunning views of the lake and it felt very private... Do note though that unless you have all rooms rented there ie exclusive rental for 3 days there could be another wedding whilst you are staying there ie day after but this may not bother some people 😄

    We weren't keen on the wet weather option here unfortunately... The two inside reception rooms were small and old Italian style but not to our taste! And this (along with the dated rooms) really put us off as we want to love our wedding even if it did rain but felt like we would only enjoy the outdoor option!

    Other than that, parking is possible for guests in a public garage across from the hotel and it could be a great all in one location just not for us 😄

    Xx

  • Villa Carlotta

    First thing to mention about this place is that we never intended to visit but as we were passing our wedding planner took us in anyway! You can only have the ceremony here, and we are looking for more of an all in one location buttttt will still let you know my thoughts as lots of you look for a ceremony only location :-)

    Well it was pretty stunning... Don't think anywhere in lake como has a bad view tbh so views come as standard but there's no mistaking that they are STUNNING!

    With the Villa it is actually a museum open to the public and they do not close it for events, but section off the terrace area (or one room and a section of their cafe in the event of bad weather) so for us looking for exclusive use it wouldn't work but for others who don't mind it's beautiful!

    They have their own boat port so could be fun to bring guests by boat or even after the ceremony to enjoy an aperitif cruising the lake!

    You get the area for 1 1/2 hours and they arrange the ceremony and aperitif to take place during this time... You can have live or stereo music and ceremony can take place any day of the week.

    They seemed organised but there would more than likely be several ceremonies in the day so you run the risk of encountering another bride pre or post ceremony but they said they try where possible to avoid this!

    Lovely pretty place, not for us but any queries just ask 😄 xx

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  • Lido de Lenno

    Completely different feel to this place over the others and more relaxed beach type affair would be great here with shabby chic decorations (they do a lot of this style and already have several decs to suit as well as a wooden bar area inside) reception only here but civil ceremony can take place at villa behind and both have boat ports so guests could walk around and you could arrive in style lol!

    It's out of season so some imagination needed to see how this one would look in season! But there's basically two options either part exclusive use just of the garden side or full exclusivity so you have beach side too...

    We liked the relaxed feel but we're not keen on the fact you can't get in until 6pm! There is a disco area by the bar inside which looks good and music is allowed until 2am but only quiet music outside until midnight.

    They charge a lot more for sat/sun (an extra €1500) so worth considering a weekday! Drinks seemed pricier here too than other places we visited, with a beer around €6 and a cocktail around €8 which is about €2 more than most others- worth considering as your guests are paying more then if buying own drinks!

    We liked it here but main negatives were having ceremony, reception and accommodation all separate and also the fact it's only available from 6pm but we want to start around 3pm.

    Again happy to answer questions if anyone has any!

    😄 xx

  • Victoria100Victoria100 Posts: 102 New bride

    Very kind of you to review for other brides, I probably should have done the same but never got round to it. I'm dying to know which venue you have chosen for you though!!

  • Lol I'm just too excited and don't want the h2b to get too fed up of my chatting about venues and analysing them all again and again haha! Saying that he's also excited about the one we chose and he has been loving a good old wedding chat haha 😄 Hoping it's helpful for someone to see the pictures and my opinions... Know everyone has diff tastes but we saw such a variety seems a waste not to pass on the info! 

    ooooo all will be revealed soon 😋 Xx

  • Villa Regina Teodolinda

    WOW this venue is on another level (but with a price tag to match pmsl) ... It was a stunning, exclusive use, intimate location!

    They have 6 rooms to sleep a maximum of 25 guests (I think - notes are not to hand!). You can have civil ceremony here and of course the reception. There are a few hotels nearby for other guests aswell...

    We LOVED the feel of this place, the views again are amazing and the villa itself was the perfect mix of Italian chic and modern comforts! There are fairy lights in the trees, a private boat port, and lovely indoor and outdoor spaces!

    The negatives? We struggled to come up with any! Ours were the price as just for the 'standard' would be about £5000 over budget before including dress, suits, additional activities pre/ post wedding and hair make up and favours! But we would have stretched if this was the only place we fell in love with... Luckily it wasn't and we won't have to bankrupt ourselves 😂

    The other 'con' here was the lack of rooms as we will have around 60 guests but would be good if you had less guests 100% in my opinion it was gorgeous, relaxed, intimate and private! Xxx

     

  • Villa Parisi

    Another lovely find, based on the coast of Tuscany in Castiglioncello, the villa doubles as a boutique hotel with 21 rooms sleeping up to 45 people.

    You can't have the civil ceremony on site unfortunately, only symbolic, but it can be held at Castello Pesquini which is a 5 minute drive or 12 minute walk away. The castle has an awesome walk up to it but is quite dark and dingy inside in my opinion, however no doubting the fact that it would meet any princess desires to marry in a castle!

    The villa itself was lovely, views are stunning and the location again is intimate and private. You could rent all rooms exclusively for 3 nights and then the whole place is just for you and your guests... Prices were very reasonable too!

    Parking available free for guests which is a plus... Lovely pool for your guests and the outside terrace where you would have the reception is a great space with laminate type flooring and marquee tent style covering so fine in the rain too! There's also steps down to the beach (only 150 haha) so you could have some stunning photos on the rocks 😄

    So that's the good... Minor negatives were the fact that for us it won't sleep all the guests and whilst there are other hotels nearby it was a bit harsh to 'evict' just 15 people and have them excluded... Also they turned up 1 1/2 hours late for our meeting which obviously isn't a great impression when considering they would be organising the most important day of our lives lol... But it is out of season and the villa is closed so we understood (mostly lol)!

    We also didn't like the ceremony location and as that part is preeeetttyyy important we decided the answer was no in the end...

    Still a great location though and worth a look highly recommend to anyone! Xx

  • Hotel Seven Park Lake Como

    Oops nearly forgot this one!!! Was the first place we stayed and visited...

    Very modern style so completely different to the rest of Lake Como... Spectacular views and gorgeous when actually in the complex but unfortunately the drive down to the hotel really lets this place down as there are graffitied derelict buildings, quite eerie and it would be your guests first impression of the area you have chosen to get married so that did really put us off! The town of Colico also isn't as pretty as many of the other Como towns... Depends if the area bothers you!

    However, the venue itself was lovely, staff are so helpful and arranged a wedding planner to meet us for the morning to discuss the options. They have 36 rooms (only doubles/twins though so careful if you need family rooms but think some are interconnecting), a lovely big pool, spa on site (great for pre wedding pampering!), wind surfing and boat trips on the lake, and a good restaurant and bar area.

    A slight negative for us was that even if we had all rooms booked, they wouldn't make the WHOLE location exclusive unless you paid a rental fee for both the restaurant and the beach bar area! Of course, it may be a risk worth taking but they basically said another event could be happening in the restaurant whilst we were in the beach bar... Also the possibility of a civil ceremony wasn't clear, they didn't know where the nearest place was that this could take place and this side felt very disorganised!

    I would say though, for anyone who prefers a modern style this is a little gem as most of lake Como is very authentic Italian... So here you could have a fab blank canvas as well as the amazing views!

    Xx

  • A note for both the Sorrento venues we visited... Sorrento is a beautiful area, typically Italian with pretty streets where you'll find GIANT lemons 🍋😂 but still well geared up to cater for the English tourists... It's a good combination! The 'beach' is more pebbley grey sand so not a beach location so much for anyone in search of a beach wedding and the two places we saw seemed very organised and they do around 4 weddings a week each... Definite positives about this as they seem to know exactly what they are doing which is reassuring but it did feel slightly 'packaged' to us and like our day would be the same as lots of others... Same everywhere I guess it's just that it's a very popular wedding destination and felt like I would see a lot of other weddings happening whilst there which I know doesn't bother lots of people but for me it did a bit (hey we only get to be the centre of attention once don't we lol!) it's all just personal preference really and we had already found our place that gave us butterflies by this point so anywhere else had a LOT to live up to 😄 I would say though both the guys we met were so helpful and definitely knew we could add extras and tailor the package to suit our day! I've said all this and the hotel would actually still have been where we had chosen had we never found 'the one' so it's definitely a great place!!!

    So the Hotel Mediterraneo...

    Lovely hotel with a modern inside but lovely Italian style building outside for pictures! Has its own beach, large pool, 69 rooms with doubles, twins, triples and family rooms.

    We LOVED the vista sky bar, an amazing rooftop terrace area with panoramic views! It offered a beautiful blank canvas, which you could transform into a fab space with separate areas for the meal, dance floor, bar and chill out area with some pretty awesome lounge furniture! This whole roof would be exclusive for your guests (I think for 8 hours as part of the package deal which was good!) bad weather options are the restaurant by the pool (I wasn't so keen as other hotel guests may be using the pool itself) or the restaurant with panoramic Windows on the floor below the vista sky bar.

    For the aperitif you have an area of the garden or half the white bar in the reception sectioned off for your use, and they serve canapés and reception drinks... The food and drinks packages here were great, your guests certainly won't go thirsty!!! I've got loads of details about both of the Sorrento venues with price info etc so just message me if you would like me to email it to you!

    Music can be played until 11:50 and late bar is possible until 1am... We liked that all our guests could stay in the one place, and stagger from the reception to their rooms! Villa Fondi is only around 10mins away and they can arrange a car for the bride and shuttles for guests.

    The rooms were lovely, very good upkeep too and the family rooms were fab in a duplex style! Would love to stay in those so much space 😄

    Really there isn't much bad to say here, main thing I wasn't keen on was the fact that the aperitif was technically in a public area, particularly the garden option where guests would be in the pool and my MAJOR thing whilst looking at venues was not walking past people in their bikinis when I'm in my wedding dress 😂 I guess they may be able to do the aperitif as well on the sky bar, I didn't ask but if our favourite venue falls through then I will 100% be finding out!

    Oh our other negative was that there may be another wedding taking place the day before or after as well.

    Overall though a great place and highly recommend to any Sorrento brides 😄

    Villa Antiche Mura

    Was surprised how much we liked this villa, as from the outset we were doubtful due to the fact that this is a reception only location and this would

  • Villa Antiche Mura

    Was surprised how much we liked this villa, as from the outset we were doubtful due to the fact that this is a reception only location and this would mean holding the ceremony and reception in separate places AND then having guests stay somewhere else too which was never our dream or vision. However I am really glad we saw it and again highly recommend to anyone looking for a symbolic ceremony or reception only venue!

    The driveway down straight away is exciting, can fully picture the guests flowing in, and then there are lovely lemon trees, pretty gardens and an amazing Villa that will look great in pictures.

    The VERY best thing here is the wow factor... You walk up the steps into the villa and the sea view stuns you straight away! The guests will be blown away I can guarantee it!!!

    They're again very organised here and I've got plenty of info, happy to email it across. Menu options looked good and wet weather option still outside under a marquee covering was good... There was plenty of space for our 60 guests and again there is beach access for those photos.

    Worth seeing and I'm pleased we saw it!

    Xx

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  • And now... THE ONE!!!

    La Costa dei Barbari... Genuinely get so excited just looking at the pictures again lol 😄

    This is a completely different style to so many places in Italy, and does not seem that we'll known to UK brides but it really should be! It's a modern style beach venue, perfect for anyone seeking a beach wedding... Whilst I wasn't necessarily on a beach wedding search it was very apt for me and the h2b as I used to be a holiday rep in many seaside resorts, and when we actually got together officially I was working in Salou and we spent our first week as a couple on the beach! He also proposes in Mexico and beach holidays are 100% 'us' with plenty of time relaxing and drinking 😂😍

    So anyway... The feeling! So hard to explain but we walked into the entrance, looked at each other's faces and immediately got butterflies... I loved seeing how excited he looked and he said I was the same!

    The modern style is more to our personal taste, and the space is amazing, with very reasonable prices and full exclusive rental of the whole location it feels super luxurious without the price tag to match!

    The views are amazing but completely different to lake Como... I loved the sea view though and hearing the waves. The space offers a good blank canvas too, so can put all our own touches, and the toilets were big and modern and clean, and the kitchen was state of the art looked immense and can't wait to taste some food there! The owner actually offered us a tasting there and then but we had more venues to see and didn't have time 😢 he was SO hospitable though and really genuine and helpful!

    You can have a civil ceremony here actually on the beach, and of course the reception, and for accommodation there's loads of hotel options in Viareggio which is a lovely beach holiday resort so feel like our guests will enjoy the holiday aspect as well as the wedding!

    They're so flexible, we can basically design our own menu, and we saw some tables set up with great care and attention - we could just tell the level of service here would be excellent!

    Music possible inside and out, until 2am! And bar will be open until the end 😄

    We just got such a good feeling about this place so now checking availability then it'll be time to book! Really really excited!!!

    So there we have it... The search ends 😍😍😍💒💒🍾🍾

  • Feel free to message me and ask about any of the venues we visited, we have some rough prices, and lots of answers to questions for most of them! Or if you have a general question about any of the areas too... Hope it helps someone! xxx

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