A wedding ceremony is always moving and for this reason it is fundamental that you choose the perfect location for you.
Religious Wedding Ceremony
We always recommend our brides and grooms remember that a religious wedding rite is a sacrament, and not just the choice of a beautiful venue. To get married in a Roman Catholic church you need to obtain permission to do so from the local priest and Diocesis.
It is always necessary to respect the ecclesiastical procedures for the choice of the church, for the wording of the marriage rite and for the decorations. Catholic weddings cannot be celebrated outside consecrated places of worship. In Italy, the religious marriage rite can be legally-binding.
For non-catholic weddings, there are fewer limitations in terms of the choice of location for the rite. We will be glad to provide further information.
We are always available to help our brides and grooms with the complicated paperwork required to get married in Italy and with their search for the perfect place for the wedding ceremony.
It is usually possible to get married in any town hall in Italy. There are however higher fees for non-residents, which vary considerably from venue to venue.
By law, legally-binding civil weddings can only be celebrated in a town hall or public building belonging to the Comune (local municipality). Some venues have received special permission from the local mayor for the celebration of legally-binding weddings, but they are usually public buildings anyway (e.g. museums, historic mansions, public gardens). It is not mandatory that the mayor acts as the officiant, but the person who celebrates the wedding must be authorized by him or her. The celebrant must be a public official, and normally one of the members of the local council.
The civil rite in itself lasts only a few minutes, but many couples choose to have music, readings of meaningful poems or texts, or short speeches by friends and family members.
Blessings and symbolic weddings
Many people are choosing to have a symbolic wedding in Tuscany or just a blessing. In the first case, the officiants are in fact actors, who can perform a non-legally-binding civil or non-confessional marriage rite anywhere. In the second case a priest, friar or reverend blesses the couple in a simple religious ceremony which is not a sacrament.
The main advantage to this type of ceremony is that there is no bureaucracy involved. There are also no limitations of location, and in case of a non-confessional ceremony, there are no constraints on the wording either. A symbolic wedding in Tuscany can be celebrated anywhere: in a meaningful place for the bride and groom or at the reception venue, indoors or outdoors, in a garden or in a restaurant, in a vineyard or in a castle.
For a blessing, the officiants don’t usually limit the choices of location, but they ask the sacrality of the rite is respected.
Symbolic wedding ceremonies and blessing are not legally-binding, so, if you want for your wedding to have civil effects under all respects, you need to go to the closest town hall to sign the official papers either before or after the wedding and not necessarily on the same day (but in this case the official wedding date will be the one on the papers). In order for you to receive the sacrament of marriage, you will need to have a priest minister it during a regular marriage rite in a church before or after the blessing.
Some people choose to get married before arriving here. They have a private legally-binding wedding in their own country of residency without telling their friends and family and then they come to Italy for their public ceremony.
If this don’t mind that, a symbolic wedding ceremony in Tuscany is a fabulous alternative to a classic civil wedding because it gives you all the the freedom to choose the most beautiful location and the wording of the rite and you don’t have to deal with the long and complicated Italian paperwork. It can save you some significant time and money.
Moreovoer, a symbolic wedding is ideal for those who want to celebrate their love without legal bonds (i.e. with no civil effects to the ceremony) and it is possible for gay couples as well.
Many choose this type of wedding ceremony to renew their vows, usually on the occasion of important anniversaries (5th, 10th, 20th wedding anniversary, silver wedding, golden wedding, etc.).