There is some real history here from WW1. The Italians were fighting the Austrians (back then, Austria was united with Hungary). I won't go over the whole story, leave that to the visitor centers, but I'm telling you this because you will find a lot of names that have two names, and sound German. This is thanks to the Austrian occupation of the South Tyrol (Südtirol/Alto Adige) area. Most places actually have both a German and Italian name, such as Bolzano/Bozen, Alpe di Siusi/Seizer Alm, or Lago di Braies/Pragser Wildsee. So if you're ever confused about which name is where, just remember this interesting fact!
So, here's your to-do list:
1. Research and Choose a Location: The Dolomites offer numerous breathtaking locations for your elopement. Research different areas such as Cortina d'Ampezzo, Val Gardena, or Tre Cime di Lavaredo, and consider factors such as accessibility, scenery, and available amenities.
2. Hire a photographer and planner before any other vendors: They are the first to get booked up, along with venues if you're saying your vows there. Photographers will help you with itinerary creation for the day, locations, packing lists, and those sorts of things. Planners can provide guidance on permits, logistics, and vendor recommendations, ensuring a smooth and stress-free experience. Emphasis on stress-free ;)
3. Choose a Season: I've already told you what you need to know, so choose a season, or month, and chat with your photographer/planner about a specific date.
4. Book transportation: If you're renting a car. Public transport can be booked closer to the date, but I still recommend booking any trains/buses from out of the country (or from far Italian cities) at least a month in advance.
5. Hire Other Professional Services: Whatever you haven't hired yet, don't leave it too last minute! You can book a videographer, florist, hair and makeup, decorators if you have a venue, stationary designer + printer, private chef, tour guides, and whatever else you need.
6. Check Legal Requirements: Familiarize yourself with the legal requirements for getting married in Italy. Contact the local municipality or consulate to understand the necessary documents, timelines, and any specific regulations. Hot tip: get married at home, make everything in Italy symbolic and ceremonial. It will save you a lot of grey hairs!
7. Plan the Ceremony and Vows: Decide on the details of your ceremony, any rituals, or any unique elements you want to include. Consider the surroundings and the natural beauty of the Dolomites to inspire your ceremony "design". With the epic backdrop, you probably won't need much, or anything at all! But it is important to include things that are dear to your heart, whether it's something physical or it's the words that come from deep within your heart.
8. Invite family and friend for a video call: If you've really been dreaming of eloping, but still want your family and friends to be present, make sure everyone has a link to a video call you will put on. Get an e-sim and make sure you get a plan with enough data for the call to last!
9. Enjoy the Experience: On your elopement day, take the time to soak in the beauty of the Dolomites. Allow yourself to be present in the moment and celebrate your love in this breathtaking setting. Get emotional, get crazy, and marry that partner of yours!
Remember to consult with local professionals who can provide specific guidance based on your chosen location in the Dolomites. They will be able to assist you with the intricate details and ensure a seamless elopement experience amidst the majestic mountains. Again, stressing the whole "stress-free" part, it's really a huge weight off the shoulders!
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