Wedding in Tuscany Guide: Local Expert’s Recommendations
Considering a wedding in Tuscany is both exciting and daunting. It is without doubt one of the most beautiful places in the world, made for magical summer evenings spent with friends and family enjoying local wine and delicacies. Yet it’s also a diverse region with a wide range of venue options so it requires research, finding the right team and making your choices based on expert advice.
The team at B.LOVED have been regular visitors to Italy and have featured a number of wedding shoots from the region over the years.
We spoke with one of the region’s leading wedding planners to get their advice on planning a wedding in Tuscany as well as their hand picked selection of venues. As you will see, there is an abundance of choice and it really is so beautiful that you can’t go wrong, but as with all things weddings, it’s about deciding on a collection of elements that best suit you and your style.
Planning a Wedding in Tuscany: Where to start
According to Eleonora Voci, any couple considering a Tuscan wedding must first select their preferred time of year. The high season is from May to September when venues are busiest and prices high. The key factor here is climate with summer temperatures reaching 40 degrees celsius. She suggests May, June and September as the best months as the days are long while not too warm. However, to get your preferred weekend may require booking two years in advance. Alternatively, you could consider July and August, in which case she recommends pushing back the wedding to the evening and selecting a venue with a pool or near the sea.
The best deals are available on the shoulder season months of April and October. Eleonora also suggests the possibility of a winter wedding. While it may not match the immediate fairytale image you had in mind, it opens up a completely different array of seasonal food and conjures up scenes of open fireplaces, red wine and beautifully adorned dining tables.
Another factor to consider are legalities. A civil ceremony is required to make it legally binding. This usually takes 15 minutes in a nearby public office (or casa comunale), so couples need to plan their day so that they do the formalities first, then scoot over to their venue for the fun to start. Typically, a translator and some paperwork are required, so it’s worth discussing this with your wedding planner to make sure everything runs smoothly.
In terms of locations, think of Florence as the capital of Tuscany with smaller towns accessible by car or train within 1-2 hours at most. Distances aren’t really an issue and the driving is fun (and often stunning once you are off the highway). It’s also only a 3 hour drive from Rome for guests flying in from further afield. As an opening tip, Eleonora recommends restaurant La Managere in Florence. Part dining room, part florist, part home accessory shop, it’s a concept shop where you can sample Italian delicacies or try experimental drinks at the bar.
Wedding Venues in Tuscany: Accommodation Type
It’s easy to think ‘villa in Tuscany’ but in reality there are a range of accommodation styles. Villas and castles are the main choice for fairytale weddings as they provide the scale and backdrop required for large, insta-worthy events. If you see yourself in an epic gown and want the venue to match, this is the choice for you although it will cost you (and often require booking further in advance).
An alternative is what’s called an agriturismo or farm house. This is the more casual option, and works for couples who want to plan a pizza party the night before and a BBQ the day after. They are flexible spaces, happy to accommodate a range of options for small to mid-size parties. Eleonora recommends asking the host to set up a dinner next to the vineyard or under olive trees with hanging bulb lights to create a magical atmosphere. Oh, and Italian farm houses can still be pretty epic!
Wedding Venues: Florence
Florence is the gorgeous regional capital city and the birthplace of Italian Renaissance. It is full of artistic and architectural wonders like the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio or Galleria of Uffizi. It is also home to Piazzale Michelangelo, one of the most breathtaking places in the city, where many couples choose to take engagement photos.
The surrounding hilltops have castles and villas, some with lavish grounds and others with accommodation (although some limit access to the wedding day only). A more relaxed option to enjoy the views of Florence is the city of Fiesole where you can find a noble home with big gardens to rent, or a luxury hotel like Villa le Fontanelle.
Wedding Venues: Siena
Featuring rolling hills, picturesque vineyards and stunning olive groves, Siena is the picture perfect option for a wedding in Tuscany. The city has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO and is characterised by rustic and warm charm. It is also located close to Chianti, the famous Italian wine region, so that you and your guests can indulge in some of the country’s best wines (including wine tours as part of your wedding activities). The city is home to ‘The Red Hall’ which is an elegant venue for a civil ceremony if needed and is home to a range of venue options scattered across ancient hamlets.
Wedding Venues: Lucca
Lucca is one of the most beautiful cities in Tuscany and is famous for its Renaissance walls that protected the historical center. It features many opulent villas that are perfect for an intimate occasion, with most featuring big gardens which are perfect for pre-wedding aperififs. Some house little churches, a theatre or a ‘Limonaia’ which are the perfect setting for your ceremony.
Wedding Venues: Pisa
Pisa is to the west of Florence, nearing the coast and is famous for its leaning tower as well as more than a dozen other historical monuments on note. There are a number of lovely wedding venues outside the city, and is a wonderful location, giving guests the option of day trips to Florence and Pisa.
Wedding Venues: Valdera
A less spoken about zone of Tuscany is called Valdera, where you can find little towns like Volterra and Lajatico. Here you are completely immersed in the Tuscan countryside where you can admire never ending golden rolling hills, vineyards and olives groves. It’s more relaxed, but no less authentic and is where you will find good local cuisine, request a cooking class at your hotel or take a Vespa tour.
Featured image credit: Lorenzo from Pure Wedding Photography