Luxury tourism growth in Italy: Exclusive weddings on the rise

Italy has topped the list of luxury tourism locations in 2018. Inasmuch as elites would have preferred for Italy to remain a best-kept secret for exclusive weddings, middle classes have done their homework and are steadily changing course in their quest for the ultimate experience in luxury weddings: Italy.

Italy is not just a wedding location for celebrities and elites:

As a country with a legacy: the epitome of romantic destinations, Italy is also well equipped to cater for the needs of exclusive visitors. The rise of social media, in particular image sharing, meant that top destinations in Italy can hardly be kept under lid for much longer. Yet knowing how to locate and book the facilities at special wedding locations, along with other necessary arrangements, is something that eludes many people and even their wedding planners, unless they have been selected wisely.



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So where in Italy are the most exclusive weddings held?

We asked a leading wedding planner in Italy to reveal some of the most exclusive locations. She said the following: “While Venice is thought of as a very romantic part of the honeymoon experience – and many people are aware of wedding locations in Tuscany and Umbria, we see Puglia as one of the most exclusive locations. Off course it can be difficult to reserve special, traditional venues as many of these are not on the web nor is it translated into English – and are always booked by the local Italian market. That is precisely what we specialize in: to help international guests experience weddings where and how Italians do it”. Elena Le Fosse, owner of HeraEl.

Not all weddings in Italy are equal: A tale of two countries

It transpired from the insight shared by Le Fosse, that Italy really is a tale of two countries when it gets to weddings. Simply searching for “best Italian weddings” on the web will confirm that the kind of weddings HeraEl and their guests boast in their photo collection, is not at all that common. The two tales go as follows: Firstly, there are the typical “weddings for foreigners”, which are essentially a carbon copy of where and how most weddings happen for ordinary people. This is great for taking pictures and to say “look, we did not get married at home in the UK, Swizterland, Australia or US – we did it in Italy”. Secondly, there are the kind of weddings that blow you away, from a fairy tale, that are harder to organize. As Le Fosse says: “these weddings are intimate, Italian and exclusive”, which goes beyond what is standard and promoted to the masses.


Weddings for the masses vs the exclusive wedding experience:

On the one hand, Italy is a perfect wedding location since it can accommodate both high-end experiences in exclusive locations, as well as more standard experiences in well-known locations. But let’s be honest: given that a wedding is a once in a lifetime event for many people, they want it to be a unique experience. Many simply do not want to follow the masses and wait for a turn to capture the moment, whether that is against the backdrop of a sunset, on the beach or another popular feature. This is often the case in Las Vegas, Mexico, Cyprus and Greece (Santorini) – where the masses have their weddings. In Italy by contract, it is still possible to arrange intimate weddings at special, often secret locations that will guarantee unique memories for a lifetime. However as discussed below, this is not a trend that the whole world has caught onto just yet. It would seem that handful of nations have really started to embrace Italy as their ultimate choice.

Which nationalities visit Italy the most for weddings?

Whereas luxury travel statistics for Italy can be somewhat dominated by arrivals from China, Japan and Russia, the wedding market behaves differently. Italy is a top wedding destination for residents of the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Switzerland. Lately, popularity with couples from the Middle East increased, especially those from Israel, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates.


Is it necessary to use a specialist wedding planner in Italy?

It is true that the most exclusive wedding locations in Italy are away from the main tourist hubs. This means that locals often speak less English in those locations and that there is a potential for misunderstandings when arranging a wedding. So according to couples who had a good wedding experience, an experienced Italian wedding planner is a key ingredient in the overall success. The problem with this? Specialist planners like HeraEl typically handles no more than 10 weddings per year. This means that obtaining your ideal date, or actual availability from a good wedding planner, might be somewhat of a challenge.



Italy has long been an established destination for both luxury tourism and exclusive weddings. The latest rising trends in luxury travel does make it more challenging to find availability at the best wedding locations in the country – so making arrangements early is not only key to making it a more memorable event, but to ensure the event can take place in the best and most desired location.

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Other news from Italy:

  • The renowned Colombian striker, Radamel Falcao arrived in Rome yesterday. This is big news as tonight, Lazio and AC Milan play the Coppa.
  • Italy and India are in talks to promote bi-lateral trade and investments – this comes as the Indian economy faces record growth levels.
  • Wizz Air and Ryanair are being held to account in Italy, as the government seeks to improve conditions of air travel: The first European government to stand up for the rights of consumers in the travel industry.