Getting Married Abroad
The choice to get married abroad is one which can easily fill the heart and soul with excitement. There are a number of things to consider when planning, including:
- The region
- The cuisine
- The décor
- The entertainment
Never fear, we have prepared a quick checklist to help you take your first steps to creating your dream wedding in Italy.
Getting married in Italy
Known naturally for being a place of romance, Italy offers a host of benefits for couples looking to be wed. In addition to the breath-taking scenery (both in an out of the cities) you and your guests will love the ambiance, cuisine and overall theatre that Italy provides.
Wedding Planning Checklist
A Perfect Location
To begin planning the event of a lifetime it best to start by choosing the region of Italy that best matches the vision of your wedding day. While Italy is known for fantastic landscapes, architecture and brilliant cuisine, regional variations will offer you a variety of choices between a rustic wedding in the rolling green hills, to a barefoot walk down the aisle on the beautiful Tuscan Coast. Further, if you are passionate about Italian cuisine, certain areas offer their own specialities, whether that may be the rich wine offerings of the Chianti region or the fresh seafood selection of Pisa and Lucca.
Outdoor & Beach Weddings
In a country as warm and as beautiful as Italy of course you would want to hold your wedding outside if at all possible. Much of Italy’s coastline lends itself perfectly to being an idyllic location that would be perfect for a wedding, but having the perfect villa nearby to hold the reception can only add to the day further. Choosing a villa with a sea view could be your first concrete step to planning the perfect wedding. To discover more selecting the best wedding location, read our guide to finding your dream location and villa for your wedding.
To showcase the nature of a true Italian wedding, flavourful food and wine is high on the priority list. A classic Italian wedding menu would consist of several courses, with regional variations in the meat and wine selection. Traditionally, the Northern and Central regions of Italy are known for their meat dishes, while the South may capture the attention of fish and vegetable lovers.
Courses & seating
For the dinner, the number of courses can vary. Traditionally it is thought that a large number of courses are required at an Italian wedding, but this is not always the case and of course a good wedding planner will tailor the food and portion sizes to your specifications.
It’s important to determine how guests will receive their meal. For a traditional approach, place cards and seating will be arranged, keeping in mind how many guests will be at a table and how many staff members for service you will have available. For a more contemporary and casual approach, a buffet style display of beautiful pastas, roasted vegetables and savoury side dishes will work.
Italian Wedding Soup
You may have heard of traditional Italian Wedding soup, but surprisingly this is not a dish you should expect to find at an Italian wedding. Its origins trace back to the United States where it is a popular Italian-American dish. The name ‘wedding soup’ actually comes from a mistranslation from the Italian phrase “minestra maritata” (meaning married soup) in reference to the fact the ingredients go together so beautifully.
Antipasti: The Starter
To begin, consider the starters of your meal for your guests. Known as antipasti, savoury foods such as calamari, stuffed mushrooms and olives are traditional starters to the meal. Cocktails typically welcome guests along with aperitivos. You may consider creating a signature cocktail or unique and luxurious wine and cheese paring, such as pairing a rich truffle with a red wine.
Dolci: The Dessert
Traditionally a table of sweet foods is laid out for guests with a selection of cakes and most commonly cookies. In some ceremonies the cookies are such an integral part of the meal that a conga-line-style dance takes guests around the reception area and to the table of treats.
Italian Wedding Planners
While planning a wedding on your own can be an exciting and rewarding experience, even the best brides and grooms can use a little help. A wedding planner can help with planning the ceremony, assisting you with all necessary paperwork and documents, catering and décor. Beyond that, especially when getting married abroad a wedding planner will be able to arrange photography, videography and entertainment which may be more difficult to do from a far. It’s important to selection the right wedding planner based on your unique needs and to make clear your vision for the day.
One of the most fantastic aspects of getting married abroad is being able to take advantage of exploring the area and culture with your close friends and family. In Italy, regional highlights such as the Sistine Chapel in Rome, the Renaissance paintings within the the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence or exploring the market stalls in Piazza dei Signori all offer brilliant sights and sounds to discover.
If you are planning on holding a large wedding with many guests, organised tours of the local towns, cities and countryside are often the best way for everyone to experience Italy at its finest. For people wanting to explore local life in Italy, a guided Florence Market Tour might be the perfect fit. For those looking to bring out their inner Italian chef and entertain a large group, a cooking class can provide an opportunity for a tasty afternoon spent with friends and family. If your idea of a luxurious stay doesn’t involve walking, why not consider a tour by gondola or in Italy’s classic Fiat 500.
These are just some of the ways that you can make your special day truly unique and unforgettable, but it’s up to you to decide how to make your wedding every bit as incredible as you deserve.
Want to know more about preparing a wedding in Italy? Discover the best of Italian Wedding Traditions.