It’s finally happening – I’m getting hitched next year in Italy so I asked Caroline Vickery-Clark of weddingelves.co.uk for her tips and advice on marrying in this beautiful country.
Italy. The romantic capital of the world, beautiful beaches, idyllic countryside, and exotic gondolas gracefully carving through the mirror topped Venetian canals. Surely this is the perfect place to get married.
With Italy as the third favourite location for British couples to marry abroad, we wanted to share with you some vital hints and tips for marrying in this extraordinary country.
1. Choose your ceremony
The most vital part of marrying in Italy is choosing your ceremony type as this impacts on your venue. When considering your ceremony, prioritise your desires. The three main ceremony options in Italy are civil ceremonies, religious ceremonies and blessings. Civil ceremonies are legally binding, held in beautiful historic town halls and have a number of legalities which must be followed, including having an interpreter present and publishing the banns in England. Roman Catholic religious ceremonies are also legally binding in Italy and this will involve coordination with your Roman Catholic church in England. Protestant ceremonies are not legally recognised, consequently you will need a civil ceremony. An alternative option is an Italian blessing, these can be held in most places and are the most intimate and flexible option.
2. Book 10-12 months in advance
Unlike Britain, where venues can be booked years in advance, venues in Italy will not normally quote for weddings more than 14 months in advance. Therefore a good time to lay down your final arrangements is 10-12 months in advance.
3. Do your research
Once you have chosen your venue it is worthwhile gathering information on the areas you are choosing from. Consider each area in terms of:
- Geography – Are you dreaming of a sea view on your wedding day? If so Florence is not your ideal choice as this is situated further inland.
- Temperature – temperatures can fluctuate in Italy. Typically the best months to marry in Italy are May, June and September. July can be very hot in a wedding dress, whereas snow in December is common.
- Infrastructure – If you are having lots of guests, make sure the venue is easy to get to. Tuscany has limited public transport options
4. Consider employing a wedding planner.
A common misconception when planning a wedding is that planners are an unnecessary expense. This is not true, when marrying abroad wedding planners, who are familiar with the country, are worth their weight in gold. They can advise on legalities, ask the right questions and suggest good suppliers. Make sure you choose a reputable planner, registered with an Italian Chamber of Commerce. Always sign a contract with a wedding planner. To ensure you get the best value for money, ask for a breakdown of suppliers costs, but be prepared Italian wedding services differ in standard prices compared to Britain.
5. Think of your guests
If you are planning on marrying anywhere abroad, choose your guest list early and let them know, this way they have more time to make arrangements. Also consider who your guests are when choosing your location; an elderly aunt may not be able to climb the steep hills of Positano, whereas young families would prefer a destination close to pools or the seaside.
6. Communicate clearly
When working with suppliers abroad, pictures are ideal. Whether you are speaking to the florist, the cake maker or the venue dresser send images which show your ideas clearly. This can prevent errors which you may not have time to rectify once in Italy.
Last but not least embrace the Italian way, do not try to have a British wedding in Italy, instead throw yourself into Italian culture.
For more wedding tips and ideas visit weddingelves.co.uk and check out our blog.