Getting Married in Italy
Getting married in Italy, as an American, is not only for the rich and famous. I married my wife in Italy on September 12, 2015, and being that she grew up in Florence, she had relationships with various people who helped us find our venue, photographer, florist, etc., at reasonable prices.
The biggest treat for me was getting married at Chiesa di San Salvatore di Ognissanti, a Catholic church in Florence that was built in approximately 1250. I was required to pay a donation of only €300 to get married there. For the price of €300, I had the privilege of marrying in one of the oldest and most spectacular churches I have ever stepped foot inside, by a Catholic monk who appeared to be straight out of a movie from the Renaissance period.
The only difficult part in making this all happen (difficult as in tedious and time consuming) was gathering the documentation for approval by the Diocese in Florence, such as baptism records, letter from local Priest, etc. Overall though, it was not that bad to coordinate.
If anyone is interested, it’s really as simple as finding a church you like, asking to speak with the Priest, and choosing a date. Also, on wedding day, it’s not necessary to add all fancy, expensive decorations in the churches since they likely already come with the most beautiful and priceless artwork history has to offer. There will also be an organ already at the church, but finding someone to play it may cost extra, depending on the church.
The expensive part of the wedding, like in all weddings, is scheduling the venue and the dinner menu for the guests. This can be tricky in Italy because if they know you are American, they will immediately assume you are rich and inflate the prices. If you know someone in Italy that will do the negotiating for you, that is always the best thing. If anyone needs assistance with this, please let me know and I can introduce you to some people in Italy who will be happy to help you coordinate your wedding.
The other important reality is that marrying in Italy will no doubt decrease your guest list (at least the guests from the United States), and this can be a good thing or bad thing for some. For me, only my closest family members and friends flew out to attend, and that was enough. I had 5 of my best friends in my wedding party and we made some great memories together in a beautiful city. Also, unlike a traditional wedding in the United States where guests attend your wedding for only 4 hours and then go home, when you have a wedding in Italy, guests fly in for at least 5 days or more. Spending a week with your closest friends and family members is what a wedding should be about. A week-long celebration spending quality time with important people and bringing the families together.
I’d love to read any comments about your own experiences getting married in Italy, or your desires to get married in Italy, including specific locations, churches, etc.
October 19, 2020
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