Striking mountains, acres of vineyards, charming villages, picturesque coastlines, rolling green meadows, and deep blue lakes – Italy has any of the backdrops you could possibly want for your wedding. Along with mouthwatering, flavorful food, and an incredible variety of local wines, what more could you ask for?! The only question that remains unanswered is where in Italy do you choose?
Italy has a large number of wedding destinations to cater to a number of tastes, sizes, and budgets. Whether you are looking for beach or lake weddings, views over vineyards or mountains, or historic cobbled villages, your choices of wedding venues in Italy are endless.
With so many options, it may seem impossible to make a choice. We’ll lay it all out for you with our selection of favorites, including both popular and less well-known destinations, to entice you into choosing a destination wedding venue that everyone will remember.
What are the best venues to get married at in Italy?
You’ve decided you’d like to have a destination wedding and have always dreamed of getting married in a country filled with passionate people and beautiful landscapes. While we’ll explore a number of different locations in Italy, it might help to start with an idea of what type of location you’d like for your wedding – beach, mountain, small village charm, wine country, or any number of alternatives. This will help you to narrow down your search to different areas in Italy and different locations within them. Knowing the size of wedding you’d like and have decided on the time of the year you’d like to get married will also help you to narrow down your venue options.
One thing to bear in mind before you start planning the details or get stuck in a specific location is the language and potential barriers you may face as a result. Unless you or your partner speak Italian, it is most advisable to find a location that is familiar with organizing international weddings – this is one occasion where you do not want there to be any miscommunication or misunderstandings about what you want and when you want it!
So now the options. We’ll have a look at five different types of locations that you might be interested in and our favorite venues in each one.
1. Coastal wedding
If you’re someone who’s always dreamed of getting married near to the ocean, you’ve picked the right place because Italy has a whole lot of coastline. You get to choose between the Adriatic, Ionian, or Tyrrhenian Seas to look out over. If this isn’t enough, you could also get married at one of the many beautiful lakes that Italy has to offer, such as Lake Como, where you still have access to water, just in an inland context. This is a great option if you’d like to combine water and mountains in your backdrop!
Back to the coastline, though. Two of our favorite spots are the Amalfi Coast and Capri, which is an island in the same part of the country.
Villa Oliviero is a luxury clifftop villa in Positano, overlooking colorful houses on the steep rocky cliffs above the ocean. The venue will organize everything, from the legal side of the marriage to catering, and can accommodate 120-150 guests in the summer and 100-120 in the spring or wintertime (covered seating). There are various terraces for different stages of the wedding and breathtaking views over the ocean.
Mezzatorre resort is located in a private bay with a beach, sun decks, and two restaurants. This beautiful venue on the water is possible to reserve exclusively, or else for smaller weddings, to reserve just The Cottage, with four different party rooms and a terrace overlooking the sea. With 52 rooms, your guests can stay on the property, enjoying the thermal spa and all the other luxuries this little island gem has to offer.
2. Mountain wedding
A striking backdrop for photographs and breath-taking views from up high, getting married in the mountains can be arranged in Italy if that’s what your heart desires.
Chalet al Lago is a beautiful chalet with a terrace right on the shore overlooking lake Mosigo, with capacity for up to 120 people outdoors and 220 indoors in the reception hall. While it does offer accommodation for up to 10 people, it is also close to Cortina, where there are numerous hotels and other options for sleeping arrangements. The beautiful woods next to the chalet provide a special space in nature for the ceremony, with the mountains forming a startling backdrop.
Lago di Braies is another popular option for a wedding in this region, and there are numerous chalets, mountain retreats and hotels that make great destinations in both summer and winter.
3. Wineland wedding
Italy produces amazing wine, and the vineyards themselves provide a pretty incredible backdrop for your wedding pictures, not to mention the accessibility to the wine that will be flowing all evening.
Castello di Vicchiomaggio is nestled in the hills of Tuscany and offers a gorgeous space to get married, catering to the ceremony, reception and accommodation all in one place. Whether you want an outdoor courtyard affair or to dine in the banquet hall, this character-filled historic castle with views of the Chianti hills covered in vineyards will be sure to provide a memorable occasion.
Villa Tiboldi is a beautiful villa on a hill amongst the vineyards, complete with pool and restaurant, where you have magical views over rolling hills of Langa and Roero. With only ten rooms, onsite accommodation is more suited to more intimate wedding parties. There is a winery below the villa for wine-lovers to enjoy all that Malvira has to offer!
4. City wedding
City slickers who want a change of scenery? Get married in a beautiful old church or at the city hall, and then keep it chic at a nice hotel or wedding venue in town. This makes it easy for guest transportation and doesn’t require people venturing too far from the airport they might fly into.
Palazzo Brancaccio is in the center of Rome, set in front of a natural park with Roman ruins, foundations and beautiful plants. This elegant Baroque style palace showcases beautiful art and various luxurious indoor spaces, as well as rooftop and outdoor areas. For opulence and elegance in the center of this historical city, look no further.
Indoors or outside, next to the water or in luscious gardens, from 50 to 250 people, Hotel Cipriani offers it all. This stunning hotel is close to town halls where the marriage can be officiated, and can also accommodate your guests. Whether it’s a night under the stars in the garden or looking out over St Mark’s and the lagoon, this is breathtaking venue for your special occasions, both intimate and large.
5. Country charm
A romantic and picturesque small village, or countryside medieval villa filled with history and quaint architecture take your fancy? Then you should definitely consider the following, amongst other areas like Tuscany, in which there is plenty of history and character.
Bassano del grappa is a charming Italian village, with the old town being a wonderful destination that takes you back in time. After snapping some pictures in the quaint cobbled streets, you can head over to Villa Ca’ Rezzonico for your reception. Built in the 17th century, this villa has elegant indoor and outdoor areas.
Borgo della Marmotta is perched upon a hilltop in Umbria, offering panoramic views of the surrounding green hills. This small village (borgo in Italian) is a medieval hamlet that offers a full wedding planning service, from the ceremony to music to hair and makeup! Providing typically Umbrian cuisine and music until 3 am, you’re guaranteed to have a great celebration here.
With these and so many other options, you have some pretty tough decisions to make!
What’s the best time of year to get married in Italy?
Many of the wedding venues are open from April until November, particularly those offering outdoor spaces. While May and September are popular for weddings, as the weather is likely to be dry and warm, without the heat of the summer months, you can find a venue to get married in at any point of the year in Italy. That being said, summer is the most reliable weather, and if you don’t mind high temperatures and possible humidity, then this is definitely a period worth considering.
If you choose to get married during the winter months, it will need to be an indoor wedding, as the weather is unreliable at this time of year in Italy, and temperatures can get chilly. If you’d like something scenic and are a nature lover, or skiing fanatic, then the snowy winter backdrop that the Northeastern region with the dolomites offers you is a great choice. For those who prefer to be indoors, you’re best off sticking to city weddings during winter. There are plenty of hotels and villas that house exquisite banquet halls and intricately decorated halls that make for an unusual setting.
For other times of the year, you will need to check local weather, as there is quite a variety of microclimates in Italy! The further south you go, the less cool you’ll be, so Sicily is a good option for autumn or spring if you’re looking for more warmth and sunshine than the rest of the country has at those times of the year.
With so many amazing outdoor options, summer really does offer you the largest variety in venues, so if you have your heart set on getting married in fresh air and dancing into a warm summer’s evening, this is the season for you – just remember to plan well enough in advance to ensure your dream destination is available on your chosen dates.
How do I get married in Italy?
You may have planned the perfect Italian wedding in your mind, but are there any legal technicalities that you need to worry about? And if you get legally married in the country, will it still count in the US? Let’s find out.
Good news! Anyone can get married in Italy – you don’t need to be a resident there. In general, your marriage license is recognized as legal in the US if it is legal in the country in which it was granted. Whether you are local or foreign, you will, however, have to provide paperwork certifying your identity, as well as a certification that there are no legal obstacles standing in your way. You’ll also need to have two witnesses present.
So what are the documents that you’ll need to provide? Here’s a list summing it all up.
- A valid passport or national ID card
- Origonal birth certificates
- A letter of intent to marry
- An Atto Notorio signed by your two witnesses
- An affidavit, swearing that there’s no legal obstacles to your marriage in your home country
Aside from any parish-specific fees that may be applicable, there are some other fees payable that amount to under Euro 100. Although the country is majority Catholic, both civil and church marriages are accepted, and marriages from any faith can be legalized. (Note that Catholic weddings may require additional documentation.)
What’s the process?
The best place to start is by contacting your country’s embassy in Italy. They will advise you on the preparation of the atto notorio. You’ll then need to submit your letter of intent to marry to the local marriage office of the town hall in the town or city in which you’ll be getting married. This will then go to the civil registrar. You would usually need to do this three weeks in advance, but if neither of you is an Italian resident, then you can contact the office to have this waived.
After the wedding, you’ll need to sign the marriage certificate and then get this apostilled at the local town hall, where you’ll also receive a copy of the certificate in English. And voila – you’re married and free to escape on your honeymoon!
Catholic weddings are the only church ceremonies that are performed legally without a civil component (and require at least one partner to be Catholic). These should be organized more in advance than civil ceremonies, as there may be extra coordination required between your local church, the one in Italy, and the civil servants involved.
If you’re still not convinced that you should be getting married in Italy, we’ll give you some more reasons:
- It’s magical! There is so much history and enchantment in these old cities and beautifully restored venues. Your experience and pictures will be both as unique as they are memorable.
- It’s cheaper than the US – while an average wedding comes in at $29000 in the US, you’ll be paying only $22500 in Italy for around 120 guests. This difference more than covers your airfare, and being a destination wedding, also ensures that you don’t have any freeloaders showing up at your wedding, just there for the free booze and a good time. You’ll be surrounded by only your nearest and dearest who are willing to travel to the ends of the earth to celebrate your special day with you.
- The food is exceptional. Not to mention the wine or bubbles. This is a country that you eat your way through on your average holiday. With the best caterers on hand and mouthwatering fresh local produce, your dining experience is likely to be sensational..
Where not to get married in Italy would be an easier question to answer! There are so many dazzling destinations that await you in Italy, from North to South and East to West. There is no shortage of breathtaking venues that cater to a variety of budgets, wedding sizes, and types of venues. If a destination wedding is what you’re looking for, the food, wine, and backdrops in Italy are hard to beat – all that’s left to do is find the soulmate you’re meant to marry there!