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How many brides-to-be that are out there would pass up an opportunity to say I do twice in Italy? As romantic as this sounds there are some very practical reasons why – as a wedding planner – we would make this suggestion.
The most popular wedding ceremony for couples who go abroad for their wedding is the civil wedding ceremony. In Italy, by law, the civil ceremony takes place in the local town hall – Comune – or property that has been granted a license by the town hall to perform the ceremony on site.
Without doubt Italy has some very beautiful buildings for the civil ceremony – these are often historic villas, old palazzos, fairytale castles and occasionally outside spaces. Each of these options comes with their own set of pros and cons, physical attributes – too big or too small, with or without view to the more administrative and planning considerations – the Town Hall’s schedule will only allow for civil ceremonies to take place in the mornings or on certain days of the week and then there is the tariff each Town Hall charges.
What to do when it is not possible to tick all the boxes on finding your perfect Town Hall/legal wedding location?
You could choose to have a symbolic ceremony – there is so much scope with style of ceremony – the first is that this ceremony is without any legal obligation – there is no deadline for documents to be submitted to consular offices or town hall officials nor are there requirements to meet for the type, structure and location of the venue so you can broaden your options – you symbolic ceremony can take place at your reception venue, a roof-top terrace, and enchanting garden, on the beach at sunset or an early morning woodland ceremony – the choice is as wide and as broad as your imagination.
For many budget conscious couples the first is that choosing to host a symbolic ceremony at the same location as the reception and possibly accommodation is going to keep transport costs down.
No stress – everyone will feel more relaxed knowing they are spared from getting on and off buses.
Living the dream – you will be able to have the setting of your choice – your Italy wedding is going to be a one off experience so getting the scenic canvas spot on for the overall effect and those spectacular photos is important
Style & design – choose the venue to fit the theme and mood of your wedding
Inclusive & exclusive – exclusive does not always come hand in hand with a high rental fee – you can choose somewhere that has no fee as long as chairs, aisle carpets and grand flower displays do not feature in your dream wedding – make the most of this type of location by focusing on you as a couple and your guests by including them in your commitment ceremony.
Unique – your story will be yours and no-one else’s – it’s a promise of love you have for each other. Our symbolic celebrant will write a personal ceremony all about you both – rather than having to work around vows to a set format like the civil ceremony. A personally designed ceremony of any length, style and tone, can include very personal stories and readings and can be genuinely inclusive of those present to witness the ceremony. This means you can create the ceremony you wish, in the location you dream of.
Either before or after the symbolic ceremony – you can have your second “I Do” to meet the legal requirements in Italy that will be recognised in your home country.
We usually suggest that this take one or two days before the symbolic ceremony – there is something magical and private about a small and intimate ceremony – keeping this a low key event – just the two of you and two witnesses. Arranging the civil wedding in another town gives you another opportunity to feel special and to create a memory to add to the whole wedding experience.
Choosing to have a small amount of photography and/or videography for the civil ceremony and then for the symbolic ceremony will bring together these two separate but very meaningful events to create your wedding story – and will give the photographer the opportunity to get to know you both .
You may also like to read our previous blog on vow renewals and symbolic vow renewals
If you would like to discuss your wedding ceremony options or need help finding that perfect I do location you can connect with us on firstname.lastname@example.org
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“Thanks so much for sharing. Gio Daye is fab! I’ve known her for a long time and she lovely and always super helpful. So glad you were able to get everything sorted, can imagine it’s a huge relief.” Natalie Wingrove – owner of Weddings Abroad Guide
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