The Rise of the Symbolic Wedding Ceremony in Italy

Here’s a prediction from little ol’ me as to why we will see the rise of the symbolic wedding ceremony in Italy.

What is a Symbolic Wedding Ceremony?

A symbolic wedding ceremony is a highly personalised commitment ceremony of two individuals.  The ceremony can be arranged in front of a large group of family and friends or as an elope ceremony.  You can still include both ring exchange and vows.

The format can follow that of a civil ceremony mixed with readings, poems, and your life story. The important difference is that a symbolic wedding ceremony has NO LEGAL standing.

You can see more of this beautiful wedding in the image below here.  The surround was unique the format of the ceremony mixed traditional elements of an English wedding with Chinese cultural influences.

Symbolic ceremony with mountain scenery Sardinia Antonio Patta Photography

Why choose this type of ceremony?

Simply it’s a lot easier to arrange and is stress free because it removes the legal procedure and focuses on the beauty of your relationship.

For some couples meeting the legal requirements for a civil wedding or civil union ceremony set by another country can be:  complex, time dependent or totally prohibitive.

The complexity of the documentation required will depend on nationalities of the two individuals, previous marital status and also whether the couple is a same-sex couple or heterosexual couple and where they are living at the time of the planned wedding.

To avoid the stress of ensuring you are following the process correctly and providing the documentation at the right time and in the correct format, you can opt to have a symbolic ceremony.

This will help you move on with planning your wedding in Italy and be confident there will be no surprises which could stop you getting legally wed.  If for some reason the paperwork isn’t in order it can be refused by the Italian officials.

Here’s an example using same sex civil unions, not all countries around the world recognise the union of same-sex couple.  This means a same-sex couple will not have the opportunity to obtain the necessary documentation from their government to allow them to be be married in Italy.

A symbolic wedding ceremony means they can still plan a ceremony with a sense of occasion and not have to worry about the paperwork.

If you are unsure of your options then book a quick call with me and I can provide you with information dependent on your specific circumstances.

Symbolic ritual hand fasting Mrs Jutson Photography

What is included in a symbolic ceremony?

This is the best bit, absolutely anything you would like to include.  A symbolic wedding ceremony is not tied to formal text, mandatory words, restrictions to the type of music, nor is it tied to time of day or location.

You have complete freedom to decide all these things, you get to set the tone and mood.

Symbolic ritual sand ceremony Mrs Jutson Photography

Another advantage of a symbolic wedding ceremony is that you are able to include symbolic rituals as a physical and tangible show of your union, these can include ring warming, the sand ceremony, abstract painting, hand-fasting, balloon releasing and many other options that can be woven into the ceremony.

Who performs the ceremony?

Usually a professional celebrant will lead the ceremony or it can even be one of your guests.

Symbolic Wedding Ceremony Italy Celebrant Mrs Jutson Photography

An experienced celebrant will guide you on the format as well as helping you with deciding on your personal vows and ring exchange all of which can be written for you by the celebrant.  Or, you can be the authors and choose the words which convey how you feel about each other.

You can contribute to the content script so that it reflects your personalities as individuals and as a couple. You can invite family and friends to participate in this ceremony and you have the choice of where and when this ceremony takes place.

What is important and so different from a civil ceremony is that the celebrant will spend time getting to know you to tell your story, your life together and hopes and aspirations.

It takes an experienced symbolic celebrant  who understands how to use words to full effect to create your particular ceremony.  You can read more about a celebrant-led wedding here.

Where can a Symbolic Wedding Ceremony take place?

Again there is no regulation on where this can take place.  If you have found your dream wedding venue in Italy then it is usually possible to host the ceremony on site.

Symbolic Wedding Ceremony Location Gaetano D'Auria Photography

If your dream involves an alternative style and location then you can head to the mountains for a very liberating and uplifting ceremony.  There are some small towns which will allow symbolic wedding ceremonies to take place among old ruins.

As an Italy wedding planner I can assist you with venue recommendations or through my bespoke wedding planning service I will research the perfect location for your I do moment.  A romantic ceremony at sea followed by a reception and dancing as you sail the iconic Amalfi coastline.

Why a symbolic ceremony could be the solution to your postponed 2020 wedding.

For the next 12 to 18 months no one knows what will be happening for weddings in Italy or at home given the Covid-19 situation. We don’t know yet how many people will be allowed to gather together for group events which means big wedding may need a rethink.

Symbolic Wedding Ceremony Sunset Couple Gaetano D'Auria Photography

Imagine planning a destination wedding  with this uncertainty let alone trying to juggle getting a response for a postponed date from your venue and the town hall for your civil ceremony, it is difficult at the best of times.

Why not work towards simplifying the planning by separating the legalities from the reception.  You can have a very low key legal ceremony in the UK with two witnesses to complete the paperwork and then move forward for your destination wedding by making your symbolic ceremony  and reception in Italy the priority.

Refresh on the rise of the symbolic wedding ceremony in Italy.

  • Removes the logistics and planning for a civil ceremony
  • Your personal circumstances have no bearing on the ceremony (ie if you have a divorce pending)
  • Include symbolic rituals which have significance and meaning to you
  • No paperwork as a symbolic wedding ceremony is not legally binding
  • Personalised ceremony script
  • Freedom to decide location and time of day
  • Inclusive ceremony as you can include more family and friends than allowed with a civil ceremony
  • If you have to postpone your wedding this year a symbolic wedding ceremony can give you an stress free option.  Do the legal paperwork at home and then prioritising your symbolic ceremony and reception in Italy and avoid finding a new date for the civil ceremony as well as the venue if they are separate locations.