Welcome back to the fatamadrina blog guide to planning your wedding in Italy!
I hope last weeks revelation about our not-so-ever-sunny weather didn’t put you off your dream of getting married here. Truth be told, you DO have a higher chance of sunny, mild weather if you choose to get married in the centre/south of Italy, in the months between April and October. But a January wedding in one of the big cities in the North will still expose you to freezing temperatures!
The point is that location will be a pivotal choice to make, when starting planning your Italian wedding.
You might be dreaming of the classic (and ever present on American/Australian/British wedding blogs) Tuscan wedding. Or have your sights on other popular locations: the lake district around Milan in the North, Venice, Verona, Rome, the Amalfi coast, are all pretty obvious sites when thinking about a wedding here. You will not be surprised to find that they are also really expensive, on average.
But Italy is so much more than that! The Alps are going very strong this year (did I mention I am also based in ski resort Madonna di Campiglio, should you fancy getting hitched on the slopes?!), while Friuli is competing with the Verona area in attracting wine-loving couples.
Liguria (particularly the Cinque Terre area) is a lovely, romantic location for an intimate wedding on the seaside. The famous ‘lover’s trail’ (though savaged by recent floods and landslides) connecting small towns perched on cliffs and lodged around secluded coves, is still a very evocative place to get married around.
Emilia Romagna, particularly between Piacenza and Bologna, offers some of the best and most delicious food in the Country, an endless supply of castles and villas, as well as a number of side activities to keep any guest entertained, between art, music and cars… But I might be biased, seeing as I’m based in Modena, where Ferrari cars and Luciano Pavarotti were born! Wouldn’t you fancy a wedding week-end including a test drive of a bright red Ferrari, a balsamic vinegar tasting, an opera night, and ending with a lavish banquet in a stately home?!
Umbria is the perfect option if you love the Tuscan landscape but are tired of its nearly perfect grooming, plus it’s convenient to Rome and it sports a wide range of venues, from the game-serving agriturismi to splendid patrician villas and historical hamlets. Marche is also a good alternative to Tuscany, also providing excellent seaside options at a more reasonable price than the posh Tuscan riviera.
Sicily and Puglia are the best contenders to tha Amalfi coast, in the South. In fact, since a string of Hollywood personalities (the last of which being Justin Timberlake) chose it for their wedding, Puglia has become a very popular area, and its famous masserie are being renovated and are now being marketed to high end clients.
When contemplating the choice of your perfect location, please bear in mind that legal ceremonies in Italy can only be celebrated within town hall property. That means that weddings on the beach, or generally outdoors, will not be legally valid. However, local authorities in some prominent resorts are now changing that, so it is now possible to have a beach wedding in Lignano Sabbiadoro (not far from Venice), a garden wedding at Giardino della Minerva in Salerno, a wedding in a deconsacrated church in Cervarese Santa Croce (PD), as well as a pretty evocative ceremony within on of the many Piedmont castles which offer the service.
Be sure to check with the local offices the feasibility of the wedding you dream of, or ask your planner to do that. It might be that the less expensive and more straightforward approach is getting a license back home or in a small Comune, then planning a personal symbolic ceremony within the grounds of the venue you’ve hired for the reception. Your planner will be able to source a professional celebrant for that.
Wherever you choose to have your Italian wedding, you will find that the scenery will be breathtaking, the people welcoming and the food… Well, shall we discuss food next week, maybe?!
See you back here next Friday, dissecting the Italian menu and learning to navigate the offer of 5-to-7-courses wedding menus!