Italy; the land of pasta, pizza, vino and amore. This beautiful country is a long-standing favourite of art lovers, food lovers and history lovers, and is one of the great cultural Meccas of Europe. Taking all of this into consideration, it’s very easy to see why it’s become so popular for couples to have a destination wedding in Italy.
Getting married abroad may seem like a daunting task to some. Organising flights, accommodation and transporting clothes for the big day can be stressful - we get it. But all that worry will melt away once you’re standing in front of the stunning landscape of your wedding backdrop - and there’s no shortage of Italian wedding venues that will give you exactly that.
So whether you’re a gourmet, historian, oenophile or paramour, you’re sure to find something that tickles your fancy in this European paradise. Still not convinced? Read on for even more reasons to get married in Italy.
10 Reasons to Tie the Knot in Italy
1. The Variety of Wedding Destinations
Italy is the most biodiverse country in Europe, meaning that no matter if you want a beach wedding, historical wedding venue or city wedding, you’ll find something that’s perfect for you - it's an impossible task to narrow down the best wedding venues in Italy!
Monica Russo from event planning company Dandelion Celebrations, who specialise in destination weddings across the world, agrees: “Italy offers great variety when it comes to incredible backdrops for your celebration. From dramatic mountains, picturesque lake views, dreamy coastal landscapes, and last but not least cities steeped in art, culture and history!”
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to locations for a city wedding in Italy. There’s the city of love, Venice, where you can arrive in a gondola and have your reception on a private island. Florence is the place for art lovers, as the starting point of the renaissance and one of the most beautiful cities still standing today. Or you can always head to the grand capital - after all, Roma is amor spelt backwards.
Lake weddings are a popular choice in Italy, with Lake Como and Lake Garda appearing regularly as beautiful backdrops of wedding pictures. The Amalfi coast is also well-loved by couples looking for a coastal wedding.
Monica also shares her personal preferences for wedding venues in Italy “With so much variety it's so difficult to choose but - unpopular opinion - the most romantic places are those yet to be discovered. An intimate wedding in the Aeolian Islands off the north coast of Sicily is possibly the most romantic escape I could think of - that raw beauty with a side of adventure so many long for.
“For a more traditional romantic couple looking for those Italian countryside views with hills and gorgeous vineyards, Friuli Venezia Giulia should be on your list!"
Italian food needs no introduction. We’re all familiar with the delicious flavours of the Bel Paese, and can fully understand why it’s a huge draw for nearlyweds considering tying the knot in Italy.
Monica says “So many couples are drawn to Italy not just for its beauty but also because they know delicious food and wine is one of the key ingredients (pun-intended!) to make any celebration memorable!”
While we love a slice of Italian food here in the UK, nothing can compare to what you’ll find in Italy itself. The beauty of Italian food lies in taking simple ingredients and transforming them into a meal fit for kings. From handmade pasta to fresh seafood, lemons and olives plucked from the trees nearby, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable reception dinner.
You can find vineyards running the entire boot-shaped length of Italy which produce over 300 different types of grape varieties and some of the world’s most famous wines. Start the party off with some beautifully bubbly prosecco before sampling the vintages of whichever picturesque region you’ve decided to get married in.
There’s also the option to get married in one of the many Italian vineyard wedding venues, many of which are found in the region of Tuscany. Tying the knot in a sun-soaked vineyard while sipping on sublime Italian wine is the stuff that dreams are made of - why not make this a reality?
Choosing a date for a UK wedding can always be risky business. A rainy summer’s day is always a possibility here in the UK, but in Italy you’re all but guaranteed perfect weather from May to October. If you fancy a spring wedding or an autumn wedding, the sun should be shining in the south, while if you want to say ‘I do’ in midsummer, the north is warm without being too hot.
Home of the Roman Empire, centre of the Renaissance, birthplace of modern violin making - Italy definitely boasts an impressive history. This country takes its heritage very seriously, so the hundreds of historic wedding venues dotted around the country are in wonderful condition, from fairy tale castles or a beautiful villa once owned by the country’s nobility.
Even the local town hall might be a stunning palazzo, while venues available for civil ceremonies often date back hundreds of years , giving you a setting you’ll never forget
With almost 5,000 miles of coastline, Italy isn’t short of beautiful beaches. More and more local areas are starting to hold civil ceremonies on the sand themselves. Many are symbolic ceremonies, but if you check with local wedding planners, they’ll know where you can get married by the sea.
7. Little Paperwork
For UK couples, the legal side of getting married in Italy is relatively simple – Catholics have the option of marrying in church, while civil ceremonies in licensed venues are recognised at home. There are no minimum residency requirements, the paperwork isn’t too complicated and there are plenty of English-speaking wedding planners in Italy to take it all off your hands if you prefer.
8. Lower Cost Destination Wedding
One of the things that puts many couples off planning a destination wedding is the perceived cost. After all, you will have to pay the normal wedding costs, as well as transportation and accommodation. But there are many ways to cut down costs.
Italy really is just a stone’s throw from the UK and many budget airlines offer unbelievably cheap flights from main UK airports such as London or Manchester to major Italian cities.
9. Perfect Honeymoon Destination
Having your wedding in Italy is the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone. Everything that makes Italy perfect for your wedding abroad makes it just as perfect for your honeymoon – so if you’ve been struggling to decide between city, country and coast, there’s no reason to miss out on any of them.
There are plenty of destinations to choose from when planning your honeymoon in Italy. If you've opted for a city wedding, why not switch things up and spend your honeymoon by the sea? Or if you're more of an active couple, a honeymoon in the mountains or one of the breath taking Italian cities is a great way to squeeze in some sightseeing.
10. La Dolce Vita
Italy is known for its relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle and ability to appreciate both the simple and finer things in life. Life here is slow and luxurious, and you can take the time to savour the things that really matter. Family, children, food, drink and romance are some of the things that truly matter here, and after the whole process of planning a wedding, taking the time to enjoy them is the ultimate reward.
How to Plan a Destination Wedding in Italy?
Planning a destination wedding involves all the usual steps in planning a wedding, plus that little bit more. Here are some top tips to help you on your way.
First things first, choose your destination. As we’ve discussed, there’s plenty to choose from in Italy, so decide on the style of wedding you want - beach, city, vineyard etc - and work from there. There’s plenty of tools to help you find your dream wedding destination in Italy.
We’d highly recommend speaking with a wedding planning expert to help you out, especially if you’re not familiar with the area. There are plenty of wedding planners who specialise in Italian weddings, and the advice and insight they can provide is invaluable.
Monica agrees with this, saying “Get a planning expert on board, someone you trust to help you navigate a very different wedding industry to the one of your country. Somebody that has the work rhythm of where you're based but understands and is aware of the rhythms of the destination of choice and will be able to manage expectations on all fronts.”
All wedding planning couples know the importance of choosing suppliers who align with your creative vision, but it can be difficult to find these in a market that you’re not familiar with - another great reason to invest in a destination wedding planner in Italy.
Monica says “Book wedding suppliers that are aligned to your vision and that you trust with bringing it to life. A wedding planner and designer will help you more than you can imagine with this but ultimately budget and where a supplier is based shouldn't be the only factor when selecting your epic wedding team!”
How Much Does an Italian Destination Wedding Cost?
Obviously this is a question that varies hugely depending on the couple, the style of wedding they’re planning and their unique tastes. As Monica says, “So many factors affect the budget and how much a wedding will cost.
“For a personalised experience and a bespoke look and feel with more than 40 guests I recommend a starting budget of 1,000 euros per person. Can you get married for less?! As I said it's all about priorities, so it's best to inquire, be clear on your guest numbers, your budget and your wedding vision.”
Weddings in Italy, like any location, can be tailored to suit a range of wedding budgets. The important thing to remember is to prioritise and not compromise on things that are important to you. Weddings like this only come along once, so it's important to think about what you really want.
As Monica says "It's important to be realistic in the fact that a wedding is much more than a location, a meal for your guests, a bouquet and a guy with a camera. It's a labour of love (literally!); your suppliers are small but mighty creative businesses driven by passion to bring a dream to life.
"Do the research and have priorities so that where compromises need to be made it won't feel like your overall wedding vision is suffering."
Fancy browsing some more destination wedding locations? Check out our list of the top 32 destination wedding locations in the world.