I just discovered this site and am amazed at the wealth of information and how friendly everyone is.
My boyfriend and I are planning of getting married in December (preferable 12/21) in Italy. I have visited numerous wedding sites will work with a company (to be determined) to assist with the logistics and legal work.
We would like to get married in a small town in Tuscany or Umbria, however equally important is the actual town hall itself. We are having a civil ceremony and therefore restricted to a town hall. There will be no guests, just a private ceremony with pictures. Since it will be December, hopefully there will not be too too many tourists.
Though getting pictures of towns seem to be fine, it is harder to get inside pictures of the actual hall where the ceremony would take place. Some of the towns we are thinking about are: Assisi Florence Pienza Cortona Volterra (too far to get to Assisi later on in the trip?) Siena
Can I get some opinions of these towns and especially the town hall? If anyone would suggest any other town, please let me know. I am eagerly open to suggestions.
To give you an idea of this elopement/honeymoon tripÖ. We are flying into Florence. Somewhere get married and at some point I would like to stay in Assisi, perhaps during Christmas. We fly out of Venice. We have about 3 weeks. During most of the time (except for Florence, Venice & Assisi) we would like to stay at an agriturismo. One that is a working farm preferable and one that isn't too re-novated (rustic, charming, romantic perhaps a fireplace in the room). I guess I canít ask for suggestions since I donít know where we would be getting married yet. Feel free to give any though.
Neither of us has been to Italy, though I traveled around Europe. I appreciate any advice, thoughts, and information. I am sure once we figure out where to get married, Iíll have a ton of questions about where to have our special dinner, stay, etc.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Sorry if the post is really long.
I just need to check with you that you are aware of the climatic conditions in Italy in the Winter ? It is cool/cold and can be quite wet so you should bear this in mind when planning. Because of this I would suggest the bigger towns, Florence or Assisi would make the better venues.
Posts: 2749 | Location: Lightwater Surrey U K | Registered: 30 March 2003
Thank you. I do realize that it will be cold/cold & wet. Do you think it may snow in this area? This is the period that we can take off this much time and I actually read that Italy during December can be very nice (i.e., Christams, New Years, less tourists). Is that your experience?
I have been also using the search function. It has been very helpful.
Assisi is very very quiet in November-December. Sometimes too quiet. However, all the world seems to want to come here for New Year, so if you decide to get married in Assisi and want to avoid crowds, make sure to stay in town until December 24 or 25. Most people start to arrive on December 26. As for snow, December is really unpredictable. We have years with 2-3 days snow around the holidays, years that can be 15 degrees centigrades. You can really not tell but bring warm clothes, particularly against our perennial wind. November tends to be more damp than December.
Last but not least,if you want to marry in a small town, please rememeber that Pienza, Assisi,Cortona are small towns. Siena is a bit bigger and Florence is definitely a rather large city. Beauty is everywhere in this places, but the atmosphere is totaly different. Best wishes letizia www.incampagna.com
According to the date of the cerimony, many smaller towns have civil marriages only on Saturday, so before you make a final commitment check out the dates when the single administration is doing marraiges. THis occurs because ofte neough the room where marriages are held, especially in smaller towns, is also the room where the city council meets, so that usually it is chosen a day when ho meeting will be held for sure. Also, the officers leading the cermony often have also toher duties, so that a day with less to do for them is better. I read there will only be the two of you: remember also that you will need two witnesses. A civil cerimony is really short, just a few minutes: if you wish to make it last longer, chose somehting to read during it, and ask the officer how can it be arranged. THa same can be said about the music: if there is any specific music you would like to be played during the cerimony, bring it yourself.
A civil ceremony in Italy, for non-citizens, also requires an (in your case) English translation of the entire marriage document, to be read aloud consecutively by an attendee or witness, along with that recited in Italian by the commune official.
If it were me, and December was the only time I could be in Italy, I would check out getting married at the Mayor's office in Rome. I think weddings are performed on either Tuesdays or Thursdays, and on Saturdays. The room is lined with red fabric, and the happy couples exit down a wide marble staircase onto the stunning Piazza Campidoglio, where brides and grooms pose for video and photos with a beautiful view of Rome in the background.
On our Rome visits, my daughter and I always liked to bring panini and a drink and sit on a bench in the piazza to watch the show. Excellent!!!
Posts: 340 | Location: Santa Fe, NM | Registered: 28 July 2002
quote:Originally posted by NancyLytle: If it were me, and December was the only time I could be in Italy, I would check out getting married at the Mayor's office in Rome.
In Rome there is also another place where civil marriage cerimonies are held. It is a former church in a park, extremely nice. The bad part in getting married in nay big city is that it looks like being a product in a Ford plant. Marriages last exactly ten minutes and there is one every 15 minutes, a queue of brides and grooms waiting to get in and a crowd of parents, relatives and friends of several just married couples outside, taking pictures and getting organized to reach the restaurant. The show might be nice if you are just watching it, but if you are the one getting married it may be quite unpleasant.
We live in Italy right now, and have discovered that, in the winter, an agriturismo might be closed, or so sparsely appointed (skeleton crew, as it were, minimal heat, perhaps no meals) that it's not a good time to sample those. B & B's in small towns would be a better bet.
I personally don't think there's any place more romantic than Venice, and you wouldn't be dealing with the crowds.
Posts: 326 | Location: @##$@!! Los Angeles | Registered: 19 March 2002
Thanks for your advice and thoughts. We are not actually going to go to Rome on this trip and the BIG city is not quiet what we are looking for. We are flying into Florence and out of Venice. So, R.G. we will get to experience the romance of Venice too. Thank you for your advice on agriturismos, I'll definitely check into it.
Right now, we are leaning actually towards Siena. The inside of the town hall looks lovely, it is not a completely BIG city, but still larger than a small town. Anyone have any opinions of Siena? We are going to try to stay at an agriturismo around the area? Suggestions.
After spending time in Siena regions, I hopt to be in Assisi for Christmas. We also will be spending New Years in Venice. Has anyone been in Venice during New Years? Is there a celebration?
Thanks so much again for such feedback, advice, and information. It has been tremendously helpful.
Hi Staceyk as I moved myself recently in Assisi, I haven't seen the city hall where they celebrate the marriages, but I promise I'll try to give it a look if I can in the next weeks.
Ruurd, my husband and I married in Perugia, in the city hall. Yes, it was a brief cerimony (10 min), we even forgot to bring the music, but getting out in the piazza, with the pigeons flying everywhere and with so much beauty around us made the setting unforgettable. We have the most fantastic pictures,really like in the glossy magazines. At the same time it was sober and simple, we loved it, the guests loved it. I am sure Assisi will be as beautiful and as quiet as you want it. So, I would not even worry to much about the very room where the ceremony is held but about the general atmosphere. As far as I know, the marriage are celebrated in the city hall which is on the main piazza which is splendid. Additionally, I strongly disagree about not well appointed agriturismi in December. A real agriturismo does not have "skeleton staff" because it's a family run business and the family most likely lives there and if they manage their place well , the minimum they can do is to switch the heating on for you! I agree though that if the weather is bad it is easier to be in town that out of town, but this is a personal choice.
I have also been in Venice for New Year, twice. It is just as romantic as it can get. This was a few years ago however, and every year cities organise something different for the holidays. You better call their tourist office later in the year to know details. We just went to see the fireworks in the Piazza San Marco, brought a bottle of champaigne and kissed at midnight,what better?
You may want to take some time and read some trip reports on the Slowtrav site. I know that Colleen, Ruth and Shannon have all written about New Year's Eve in Venice. There are probably more that I can't recall off the top of my head.
The city hall in Assisi where they perform marriages is beautiful...vaulted ceilings in Giotto blue, antique furniture, etc. Unfortunately, our last civil wedding was about three years ago...no, wait. It was before I was pregnant, so make that more like four. Anyway, I know they've done some work on the building, so I'd have to double check and make sure they still perform ceremonies in the same hall.
Thank you everyone for your support and invaluable info.
Does anyone have any thoughts about trying to coordinate the civil ceremony without a wedding coordinator? I priced a lot of them out and they ran about 3200 euro and since the exchange on the dollar is low, its pricey for just a simple civil ceremony and a photographer.
I have until December to get things in order and luckily have an Italian Embassy nearby in San Francisco.
I look at this as a challenge/quest/adventure and in two months I completely feel overwhelmed with the legalities I can hire a coordinator.
Just wanted to get some "realistic" thoughts out there.
nice to know that you would like get married in Italy ! Think about Assisi and Perugia town (only 15km far from Assisi). in December is cold in Umbria but alsays a beautiful place to get married . And i can think about everythinks ....if you would like to have a charming place where to stay think also to come in Charming apartments Villa Nuba! We have special special offers for oneymoon !
Well, the deed will get done, and however it all turns out, it will be a Eternally Memorable Italian Hour.
In December, it's so much more sensible to have a winter ceremony and dinner in an Italian city (like Siena), where the resources you need will be still open. I, frankly, don't see how you can accomplish the wedding of your dreams without the help of some capable local person, English-speaking, who you trust. My son and his wife got married in Sorrento (where I lived), doing the planning from Milan, where they were living at the time. On a trip back to San Francisco, where we were all from, they did a huge amount of work to get the papers, etc, coordinating with someone in CA, whom they paid. THEN, they had to get more documents stamped in Naples before the civil ceremony took place in Sorrento.
Fact: Tuscany and Umbria (countryside) can be bleak in December.
Just one other thought: How about the Italian Alps or the Dolomites? Snow, bustle, biosterous fondue restaurants, skiing down to Meet The Mayor in a small village...?
Your Italian wedding will be great, no matter what you decide to do. Best wishes, Nancy
Posts: 340 | Location: Santa Fe, NM | Registered: 28 July 2002
I am only two weeks from leaving for Tuscany and we are staying in Cortona. I will try to get into the town hall and take pictures for you. If I were young and planning my wedding again, I think I would do something along these lines also. It will be so much more of an adventure and a great memory for you.
Posts: 321 | Location: Murfreesboro, TN USA | Registered: 10 August 2003
I actually live in Cortona and I tell you that in December people come to get married here already. It is cold then but not freezy cold, the worst would probably be around February. I have an american friend that lives here and organized weddings and she tells me that is not only the paperworks that you have to to from there but also the ones that you have to do here!! I am pretty certain that she told me something like it is necessary a visit at the Ambassy in Rome. Please check, I will ask her about it. Some people feels that a place like Cortona is more in the middle of everything versus Siena. Cortona is actually in the middle between Rome, Florence, Siena, Arezzo, Perugia,Montepulciano, Pienza Assisi and so forth, within max one hour you could be in almost any place of the above mentioned.
I'd get married in one of two places. Check out Taormina in Sicily (awesome) or Santorini, Greece. Both places will be warmer, both are breathless. From Taormina, it's easy to ferry to mainland Italy to begin your tour.
If it must be Tuscany or Northern Italy, I'd pick Assisi or Venice. Jenny
Stacey, My husband and I got married in a civil ceremony in the town hall of Pienza on September 27, 2002. It was a beautiful experience. The mayor recited the ceremony in Italian and then our wedding planner translated the ceremony. The town hall is stunning from the outside and also very elegant on the inside. The mayor gave us an etching of the town hall as a wedding gift. Pienza is a small and flat town but somewhat touristy. I know firsthand how scary planning your wedding over the internet can be--especially since Italians do not check their emails with as much fervor as those in the United States! You will have the time of your life! We used italyweddings as our service and our cost was $3300 USD for transportation for 7 and meal for 7, flowers, and proscessing all the paperwork (the nearest Italian Consulate was a 3 hour plus drive to Chicago so we opted for the wedding planner to do it all) I would recommend getting a wedding dress that is tea length with no train and comfortable shoes since the cobblestone streets are not fun to walk on in heels!