Wedding package or à la carte planning services?

Find out what is the solution that works better for your Indian destination wedding

We receive a lot of requests every day, and oftentimes couples ask if we provide packages that they can look at. It’s quite common among Indian couples to buy wedding packages, and the reason is that most of the wedding venues in some popular wedding destinations around the globe such as Mexico, Goa or the Spanish seaside for example are large resorts used to work on a package basis. And couples shopping around the world on the hunt of the perfect place for their Indian destination wedding automatically ask the same questions in Mexico and in Italy. So, today I want to dwell deeper in detail and talk about wedding packages in Italy.


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First of all we need to make a distinction between a wedding package and à la carte wedding planning. A package consists in a number of fixed services, of fixed things combined together which can’t be changed or get modified. When you buy a package, you buy it as it is, and it has a fixed price. A la carte services are the opposite: you have a list of different services, each one with its specific price, you pick the ones you need and pay the sum of the chosen ones. It’s like when you go to a restaurant where you are presented with a menu with different dishes, and you choose the ones you want from that. And oftentimes you initially choose just a few of them, and then add others at a second stage, if needed. The idea of the à la carte planning services is exactly the same. 


Now let’s analyze the differences between these two solutions, because it’s important that you are well aware of what you are going to buy. Couples often just look at the price and choose a package without thinking twice because the price is usually more affordable than buying à la carte services. However, it’s not unheard of that the same couples that went for a wedding package end up with spending more than if they bought some separated wedding services. How is it possible? Because they don’t check attentively the conditions of the package and take some things for granted. I can’t blame them, it’s the first time that they/you are getting married, and in a foreign country, and it’s normal to not know many things. My mission as the only specialist in Indian weddings in Italy is to help you make an aware decision. So please pay your attention to the aspects I’m going to show you. (And also check my other posts on the BLOG and on YouTube with a lot of useful content created especially for Indian brides and grooms like you.)

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As already mentioned, a wedding package is made up of fixed services that a planner decides to put in. There isn’t a common rule for what these services are, it’s up to the planner. Many Italian planners aren’t used to plan Indian weddings, and the packages they provide are complete with services that you won’t need for your Indian wedding. For example, some include a floral arch, a bridal bouquet, sorting out of the paperwork for civil or church ceremonies. Unless you go for a white dress ceremony, these services aren’t your thing. 

In fact, the wedding packages that Indian couples usually look at include food, drinks and ceremony setup. Some planners know that and put together packages complete with everything. I mean not only meals and décor but also wedding vendors such as photo, video and music providers, stationery, transportation, and other elements. At a first glance it may look like the easiest option – you have everything you need for your wedding, and the price is also good. So why shouldn’t you immediately jump in and buy such an advantageous package?


I want to pause on the aspect that the services included in the package are fixed. That means that you can’t change them at your convenience, and that you have to accept them as they are. This is extremely important, as oftentimes couples think that the services included can be fully personalized. What happens if you want for example a different photographer? Or maybe you already have a DJ in mind and want to bring him to play at your wedding, but the package already includes such service? And the decor included in the price is completely different from what you have envisioned for your wedding. What happens in this case? Of course, no one will say “no” if you want to have flowers of a different color or different soft drinks for your party. But if you request different chairs for example or a different kind of Mandap it won’t be possible, unless you pay very high additional fees.  

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Beside the services which aren’t provided by a planner directly, a very important aspect to check is what exactly that planner does for the planning. It can happen that your planner doesn’t include the sites inspection in the package, and it comes at an extra cost, as well as accompanying you at the menu’s tasting for example. In this case you have to cover the planner’s day and their travel expenses to the venue. Some planning companies put just a limited number of phone calls included in the package, and only during their working days and hours, so that the biggest part of the planning goes through emails, and you can’t call your planner and share your thoughts or your worries when you need to do that.

And especially the most crucial aspect to pay attention to is the coordinating of your celebrations on site. Many Italian planners only include their presence on site on the wedding day itself. However, an Indian celebration is usually organized over two or three days which also require a professional supervision to make sure the events unfold smoothly. And if you wanted your planner to be on site also for the pre-wedding days, you would need to pay extra for each event you add to the main wedding day. Some wedding packages do include two or three days of event, and here is crucial to check the hours included. It’s common among Italian planners to calibrate their presence on site on a standard European wedding with just a ceremony and the reception immediately after. Your Indian wedding instead lasts for much longer, and you probably don’t expect to pay extra hours of your planner, do you?

In fact, all these things often get overlooked as a planner doesn’t discuss them at the first appointment, and the couple takes that for granted. And if they only find that out after the package is paid, you can imagine the frustration. I have explained these aspects in detail in one of the videos of my YouTube series “SOS Indian weddings in Italy”. You can watch it HERE.


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Do you really need to break the bank to pay à la carte services of a planner, by paying for every extra call, every extra hour of the presence on site, for the extra coordinating and any small thing you could need for the proper unfolding of your events? Absolutely not! What you need instead is to set your priorities, put down the list of services you would need and then ask a quote exactly for that. This way you don’t get frustrated that you can’t afford personalization of the services included in the package or that your budget doesn’t allow you to choose all the services you’d need. 

Of course, you could not know from the beginning what exactly you may need to have an Indian wedding in Italy perfectly planned and delivered. It’s the first time you’re getting married and it’s absolutely normal not knowing something. For this reason we always offer a free informative call to help Indian couples navigate the intricate world of Indian destination weddings in Italy. And if you feel that you need this help, just click on the Start Here button!