by Helen Dorritt
Ah, Italy. The very word conjures up ideas of sun-drenched cities, a sparkling azure sea, beautiful architecture, delicious Prosecco, stunning art and swoon-worthy gelato – all of which make Italy a wonderful place to hold your wedding.
Need more convincing? We’ve put together seven fantastic reasons why celebrating your marriage in Italy will be the best wedding planning decision you’ll make…
1) You’ll be saying ‘I do’ in one of the most romantic places on earth
There’s a reason that Romeo and Juliet, a love story that’s renowned the world over, takes place in Italy. Italians are well-known for their warmth, passion and love of life, so where better to celebrate the start of this new chapter of your life?
Italians also take marriage seriously: a wedding is a sacred and important event, so you know that your big day will be treated with the respect and care it deserves.
2) You’ll eat some amazing food
As well as taking marriage seriously, Italians take food extremely seriously. The various regions of Italy all have their specialities (particularly when it comes to dessert), but wherever you hold your wedding, you know the food is going to be a highlight of your big day.
A traditional Italian wedding feast includes multiple courses, from appetite-piquing antipasti to starters of pasta and risotto, before the main course of meat or fish is brought out. Then there’ll be a delicious dessert, plus the wedding cake, which traditionally is a one-tier sponge cake filled with cream and elaborately iced.
You can also apply this Italian passion for food to something less formal but equally mouthwatering, such as a buffet or selection of street food. Our friends at Excibus or Roland’s have a fantastic selection of menus and ideas for you to drool over!
Wash all this mouthwatering food down with gorgeous wines (think Chianti, Pinot Grigio, Barolo, Valpolicella) and delicious liqueurs such as limoncello.
3) There are so many fabulous regions to choose from
From the picture-perfect lakes in the north to the rolling hills and ancient buildings of Tuscany, the style and elegance of Rome to the lemon-scented Amalfi coast, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding where to hold your Italian wedding.
The good news is that you can have both civil wedding ceremonies and religious ceremonies in Italy, both of which will be legally binding back in your home country – see below for more info.
Celebrating a same-sex marriage in Italy? A civil partnership is also legally binding. And there’s always the option to have a symbolic wedding, in which case you don’t have to worry about any administrative elements and can tailor the ceremony exactly as you want it.
Unlike countries such as the UK where there are restrictions on outdoor legal ceremonies, you’ll have plenty of open air choices should you want to say your vows outside – check out Relais Fra Lorenzo in Verona, Il Podere la Strega in Siena, Villa Orlando in Lucca and the Capri Palace Hotel for some inspiration. Which leads onto the next point…
1) The sun will shine
This Mediterranean country enjoys a wonderful climate. Springtime and autumn will see you enjoying average temps of around 20C and 6-8 hours of sunshine, while in the summer it’s regularly over 29C. Even in the winter months, the more balmy south can have highs of 12C with four hours of sunshine.
So what should you advise your guests to wear to a summer wedding in Italy? Italians are known for their sense of style so think elegant and timeless outfits. Bright colours are encouraged, although black is also seen as a chic option, particularly for an afternoon wedding.
Just remember that like a lot of other countries, it’s considered bad form to wear white and upstage the bride!
5) You’ll have the most beautiful backdrops for your photos
Castles, vineyards, ancient buildings, olive groves, the Mediterranean… With these in the background, your wedding photos are going to look like something out of a romcom.
Here at Duesudue we specialise in modern, simple and elegant photography, capturing all the romance of your big day in a stylish and unobtrusive manner. We love candid shots, spontaneous moments and all those tiny details that make a wedding so special. We’d love to talk more about photographing your destination wedding in Italy!
6) An Italian destination wedding can be a very cost effective option
How much does it cost to have a wedding in Italy? Well, like weddings in other countries, it can be as modest or as extravagant as you like. Even if you’re on a tight budget and think that the cost of a dream Italian wedding is out of your reach, with some careful planning it can certainly be an affordable reality.
A wedding planner can be a huge help – they can find venues and other suppliers that are within your budget, their local contacts and language skills will be an invaluable part of the process, and they can guide you through all the legalities. We can recommend several excellent and experienced wedding planners, such as The Knot and Con Amore The other thing to note is that you don’t have to travel anywhere else for your honeymoon – there’s no more romantic place than Italy to spend the first few days as a married couple! Your guests get a holiday out of it, too, either before or after the big day. Why not hire a big villa for you and the rest of the wedding party to enjoy together, such as the gorgeous Villa di Rignana in Florence?
7 ) It’s very easy to plan a wedding in Italy
If all this has inspired you, how do you plan a wedding in Italy?
For legally binding ceremonies, you’ll need to contact your consulate in Italy, who can advise you on all the steps you need to take. In brief: for civil ceremonies you’ll need to submit a declaration of intent to get married to the marriage office of where you’re having the ceremony and get yourself a nulla osta, a certificate stating that you’re legally able to get married.
Some regions may require you to be resident for a few days before the ceremony – but this is just a good excuse to start the party early!
After the wedding you’ll need to get your marriage licence stamped and translated, so it’s legal back in your home country.
Religious ceremonies will have different requirements, depending on what faith. Catholics, for example, will need to submit religious documents such as a baptism certificate in order to have a wedding in a church.
With a bit of forward planning, it won’t take long to sort out all the legalities for both types of ceremonies. There’s some great step-by-step advice here, including a breakdown of the administrative costs.
Then you just have to decide whether you sort out the various elements of the day yourself, or if you opt to use a wedding planner or a package from a hotel.
Wherever you decide to hold it, your destination wedding in Italy is going to be utterly memorable for all the right reasons, giving you a wonderful opportunity to enjoy la dolce vita during the most exciting time of your life!