Considering a destination wedding abroad? Look no further than one of the most iconic places in the world – Italy! Italian “I dos” make for memorable destination weddings, rich with antiquity, incredible food, spectacular local wines and diverse locales, from the Tuscan countryside to the beaches of the Italian Riviera. Here is the ultimate destination wedding guide for Italy!
When to have your destination wedding in Italy?
Italy’s geography as a peninsula gives it a wide spectrum of climates. Northern Italy has notoriously dramatic winters. December to February can be incredibly cold, while hot summers reach upwards of 29°C in July and August.
Central Italy has a much more Mediterranean mild climate throughout the winter and summer, with the summer lasting longer than that of the north. The winter can be as cold as 4°C, from December to February in Rome, to upwards of 32 °C during July.
Southern Italy has a very tempered winter with a very warm summer. It is a host to fantastically hot and sunny days in the summer, from June until August. Spring also has a good balance of sunshine with not much precipitation from March to May.
How to legally get married in Italy?
While we attempt to provide you with an overview of the legal requirements for your destination wedding, it is important to note that the Italian Embassy of your home country should be contacted prior to any arrangements. Additionally, no residency requirements are necessary in Italy, which makes a destination wedding a rather easy process.
Intent to Marry
Intentions to marry are set by visiting the town clerk in the location that you desire to marry at. You must bring two witnesses with you, and if no one is a citizen, a translator will be required. If one of the couples is an Italian citizen, wedding banns will be posted for two Sundays. Four days after the final Sunday will mark the freedom to marry. If neither is Italian, then these banns are not necessary and the marriage can occur after the intention is set.
Civil Ceremony VS Catholic Ceremony
For a civil ceremony, a non-Italian will need to provide their passport as well as a birth certificate. If divorced, marriage-termination evidence will also need to be provided. It is important that four witnesses are brought with you to the Italian counsellor’s office in your country, and swear that you have the legal right to marry. This process must be repeated in Italy. Overall, it can take up to four days for an approval to come through for a town hall ceremony.
The Catholic ceremony is a much more intensive process for the non-Italian. The couple will want to first obtain their civil marriage license. You will generally need a letter from your priest which states that you have fulfilled procedures, as well as been granted permission. The priest will also need the same letter from your Archbishop. These two documents must be sent to the Italian priest at the location in which you desire to marry. The process should be initiated about six to nine months before the wedding date.
To receive your marriage certificate, it is recommended that you request multiple copies. The copies must be taken to the legalization office of the location which the ceremony was approved for. The documents will then be stamped, and deemed legal.
Where to have your destination wedding in Italy?
Villa Sola Cabiati, Lake Como
The former summer residence of the Serbelloni Dukes has been privately owned since the 1500s. Now, for the first time, the villa is exclusively open for guests of Grand Hotel Tremezzo, a storied nearby resort (with an epic pool that floats on top of Lake Como). Couples can rent the villa for everything from a romantic dinner to a photo shoot or a wedding, which ranges from single-day use to three nights or a week.
Longer rentals include use of the villa’s six suites to house your family/bridal party—or yourselves, if you want the bragging rights of having slept in a bed once owned by Napoleon and his wife Joséphine de Beauharnais. It’s hard not to feel the history of the place all around you, what with the Neoclassical architecture, marble balconies, and elaborate Italian gardens—the perfect set-up for an outdoor ceremony that begins with your grand entrance down the villa’s steps.
Villa Pliniana, Lake Como
Villa Pliniana, a 16th-century estate, can now be rented on a weekly basis for weddings of up 300 (we love the exterior lawn for a ceremony overlooking the lake). The villa also boasts 17 suites, a spa, indoor pool, spacious living room (with gold-accented vaulted ceilings), and a fountain-clad outdoor pavilion that’s perfect for a seated dinner!
Villa La Massa, Florence
You don’t have to buy out Villa La Massa to host your wedding there, since the 37 rooms are divided into three separate buildings: Noble Villa, Villino, and Mulino. But if you’re looking for an intimate event, you might as well. This 16th-century estate sits on the banks of the Arno River, on 22 acres of wonderfully bucolic countryside, filled with lemon trees and olive groves.
Guests will love morning treatments at the state-of-the-art Arno Spa, before your walk down the aisle at the private chapel next to Noble Villa. They’ll likewise be wowed by the reception, which can be hosted in the hills of Chianti Rufina or inside one of the villas. The entire event can be completely customised, as can the mouth-watering menu.
Villa Lena, Tuscany
The 19th-century Villa Lena isn’t your average Tuscan retreat. Sure, it’s set on more than 1,000 acres of rolling hills and woodlands, with olive groves and vineyards throughout, but contemporary art collector Lena Evstafieva founded the property in 2013 as a hybrid hotel/artist retreat. The Villa Lena Foundation operates an artist residency program from April to October, so whether you choose to host your wedding while the artists are in residence (or after they’ve gone), you’ll find an incredible collection of art throughout the property, as each artist is encouraged to donate a work following his/her stay.
Guests can spread out across the estate in individual apartments and houses, some of which are even set in converted stables. But save Renacchi for yourselves, since it’s set in the heart of the property and has six individual apartments, each with its own kitchen and dining area, giving you both proximity to (and privacy from) your family or bridal party. Spend time with your guests lounging by the three pools, watching movies in the screening room, playing pool in the game room, and stretching it out on the yoga terrace.
La Posta Vecchia, Rome
This Italian villa-style hotel is where Hannah Bronfman and Brendan Fallis chose to kick off their honeymoon, following an epic bash at La Mamounia, in Marrakech, Morocco. And it’s easy to see why: It’s conveniently located on the outskirts of Rome; it has gorgeous views of Odescalchi Castle; you can swim in the crystal-clear sea, which fronts the property; and the 19 rooms and suites are done up in a classic European style (one even has a rare collection of 18th-century prints).
Couples can rent the entire villa for exclusive access to the restaurant, pool, and wellness center, plus the ability to partner with chef Antonio Magliulo on a contemporary Italian wedding feast, which can be served alfresco at the terrace restaurant, the Cesar, overlooking the sea.