The Insider's Guide to Getting Married in Italy
Considering a destination wedding abroad? Look no further than quite possibly the most romantic country in the world—Italy. Italian "I dos" make for memorable destination weddings, rich with antiquity, delectable food, spectacular local wines and diverse locales, from the Tuscan countryside to the beaches of the Italian Riviera. Consider our favorites before you book and a few facts you can't afford to miss when planning your Italian destination wedding.
Where to Wed in Italy
Take your guests to the Tuscan countryside for vineyard valley backdrops, and say yes to a destination wedding at Monteverdi Tuscany. This 11th-century village turned luxury boutique hotel is ideal for a buyout and comes complete with an Italian-American celebrity chef and an ancient church where you can wed.
For a completely different experience, head south to Rome and wed high above the city at Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts where your wedding views can be that of the Vatican as you dance the night away on the rooftop terrace or in the garden of your choosing. This hotel is as much a museum—with 1,000 pieces of art on display—as it is a place to party. No need for a lot of décor here when you have centuries of style surrounding you.
What to Know About Making Your Italian Wedding Legal
The process to make your wedding legal in Italy is a bit more complicated than some countries, but with the help of a wedding planner, it can be a piece of cake. "It's possible to have all types of weddings in Italy, whether Catholic, symbolic or civil as long as the proper procedures are followed. The documentation process for a legal wedding in Italy can begin only up to six months in advance of the wedding date with the final procedures being completed in Italy three to five days before the wedding," Brenda Babcock of Italia Celebrations tells us. "It requires jumping through a series of paperwork hoops, but with a little patience and guidance it can be done. I would highly recommend professional assistance since the procedure is tricky but not difficult."
How to Get Around in Style
For an authentic Italian group activity, or to get around on your wedding day, travel in style—vintage style that is, with HR Tours. They'll show you the sights of the city or take you on a ride through the countryside in vintage roadsters and Vespas, making your wedding photos oh-so Italian.
How to Maximize Your Wedding Photos
Italian-American destination wedding photographer Rochelle Cheever suggests incorporating the culture into your settings. "I think it's nice to choose different types of backdrops for different regions. Each city or region is so different from the other. Tuscany is all about the rolling hills and Tuscan Cypress trees. Rome is all about architecture and, my personal favorite, ancient historical monuments. The Amalfi Coast is more quaint Mediterranean, pastel colors and lemons with monumental views of the Amalfi Coast and the mountains." Cheever also encourages couples to fit their fashion in with the setting of their choosing. "It's nice to blend with the environment. For instance, a long white gown in Rome doesn't look nice. Why? Because all of Rome is about ochre and earth tones. Whenever possible, I always suggest wearing off-white or red, one of my favorite colors for Rome. It's the color of passion, which is what Rome is all about."
Where to Honeymoon in Italy
Head to Tuscany for a complete escape from the hustle and bustle of life and check in to heaven on earth at Il Borro. This five-star property owned by Ferruccio Ferragamo boasts a spa with a heated underground Jacuzzi suite for couples, several pools to choose from to match your mood, local artisan shops in the ancient borgo and plenty to do for two—cooking classes, biking, wine tasting, horseback riding and more.
Before you fly home from the city, stop and stay at Il Salviatino in Florence for sweeping city views and grounds designed for romantic walks with sunset cocktails. For a unique sleeping experience, opt for one of the greenhouse suites and find yourselves waking up surrounded by nature seen through top-to-bottom glass. And don't check out before embarking on its truffle hunting and cooking experience where you'll search the property's enchanted backyard forest with a guide and his dog to seek out truffles for your tasty meal to follow.
With so much to choose from in Italy for your destination wedding, it's hard to narrow down a favorite. That's where the honeymoon comes in! Wed in one picture-perfect place, then say arrivederci to your guests and enjoy the rest of this diverse country on your own.
Harmony Walton is the founder of The Bridal Bar, host of Bridal Bar Radio airing on iHeartRadio and editor of the destination wedding blog, Jet Fete by Bridal Bar. With a vast celebrity clientele and over a dozen years of experience, her brands have been recognized around the world and featured in media outlets such as The Associated Press, The New Yorker, The Knot, The New York Times, Entertainment Tonight, People Magazine, The Los Angeles Times and many more.