Celebrities find it just too common to plan their weddings and honeymoons at home, and we assume that’s why wedding abroad has become a “must” in the last decades. Among all destinations, Italy is no doubt one of the most popular. Picturesque towns, rich history, gorgeous landscapes and incomparable atmosphere are just some of the reasons why the Italian peninsula greets so many newlyweds every year.
It all started with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and their 3.5 million dollar sunset ceremony at Odescalchi Castle in the Lake Bracciano. It wasn’t any surprise when five years later, in 2011, Petra Ecclestone and James Stunt choose the same place for their 15 million dollar wedding. A less expensive but equally fascinating wedding was Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel’s ceremony at Borgo Egnazia Resort in Fasano, a wonderful location that enchanted Google’s vice president Nikesh Arora, who got married there in July 2014. These are just a few examples of the trend – the list of “Italian” newlyweds is full of popular names such as Salma Hayek & Francois Henry Pinault (Venice), John Legend & Chrissy Teigen (Lake Como) and many others.
The above are undoubtedly “dream weddings” and, unless you are a world famous pop star or the daughter of the Formula One CEO or simply the vice president of one of the richest companies in the world, it is probably unlikely that you can afford all this ostentation!
Luckily, Italy is a great place with a wide range of awe-inspiring locations. It is full of fantastic ancient churches and it has everything you need to make your wedding or honeymoon as special as celebrities’. Here we suggest 3 awesome destinations that combine the timeless charm of Italy with the purpose to tie the knot and spend romantic time with your spouse. Three celebrity couples knew it and decided to plan their trip to Italy before going back home as husband and wife! And guess what? Everybody can live the same experience! Here is how:
1. Rome – Cat Deeley & Patrick Kielty’s Wedding
The British TV star Cat Deeley and the Irish comedian Patrick Kielty surprised everyone when they revealed their love for each other in May 2012, but the public was just as shocked when they decided to tie knot only four months later. The British couple decided to get married at St. Isidore’s College Church, a small and welcoming 17th Century building in Rome. The happy couple opted for a quiet and intimate weekend wedding surrounded by their families and closest friends. Following the ceremony, the newlyweds and their 60 guests had a local reception in a top-secret location of the Italian “Eternal City.”
A wedding in Rome offers a wide variety of choice. Symbolic ceremonies can be held everywhere, from magnificent castles or other breathtaking locations to the most beautiful hotels of the Italian capital. For Catholic ceremonies (like that of Cat and Patrick) it becomes harder to make a choice, since Rome offers a huge number of ancient and spectacular churches. However, the big news concerns civil weddings! This kind of ceremonies have been usually held in a limited number of locations including the Campidoglio and the Baths of Caracalla, but the mayor of the city recently decided to expand the selection to include many other public places. The Municipality of Rome, in fact, approved the regulation entitled ‘Getting Married in Rome:’ soon you will be able to get married in the location that you most desire, including the Colosseum!
With an undeniable romantic feel, Rome is definitely one of the most preferred Italy honeymoon destinations. Not only is the “open-air museum” city the perfect frame for photos and memories of the newlyweds, but it also seduces with history, culture, cuisine and “la dolce vita.” You can choose a classic tour of the best places of Rome like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vatican Museums and Hadrian’s Villa or opt for a romantic walk through the most enchanting places of the city such as the Temple of Roma and Amor, the Villa Farnesina, the Aventine Hill and the Giardino degli Aranci. The eternal city of Rome is the perfect place to begin an “eternal love” together.
2. Florence – Melissa Joan Hart & Mark Wilkerson’s Wedding
This is one of the rare case of long-lasting celebrities’ marriage and it all started in Florence in 2004. The American actress and her musician husband decided to exchange vows at the Grand Hotel Villa Cora in Florence. After the ceremony, which was held in a banquet room of the hotel, the 90 guests were taken to an Italian style outdoor reception held poolside. The location was simply marvelous, with a romantic fountain and a balcony overlooking a big marble terrace.
The options for weddings in Florence are endless. The heart of Renaissance offers an incredible variety of combinations for a perfect wedding ceremony. Magnificent churches, luxury hotels (like that of Melissa and Mark), stunning castles and typical Tuscany villas are just a few examples of the perfect locations for any type of ceremonies. Furthermore, unlike the legal requirements in other cities of Europe, Florence weddings allow foreigners to have a religious wedding ceremony in both Catholic as well as Protestant Churches. This means that a civil and a religious ceremony are more easily combined together than in many of the other countries of Europe.
Not only is Florence the perfect place to spend time with your new spouse, but so is the rest of Tuscany! Whether you decide to have a look at the captivating beauty and fascinating history of the city or you plan to go to the countryside visiting the luxury villas, picturesque castles and taking part in wine tasting and gourmet food tours, Tuscany is the right destination for a memorable honeymoon. If you choose to stay in Florence you might want to visit Galleria degli Uffizi, the Duomo and the Baptistery, sit down at Piazza della Signoria and walk along the Arno River to cross the Ponte Vecchio. If you opt for visiting the rest of the region you only have to choose from a huge variety of unique experiences like visiting Pisa and its leaning Tower, enjoying the classic medieval hill town of Siena or exploring one of the picturesque villages in the Chianti region.
3. Positano – Reese Witherspoon & Jim Toth’s Honeymoon
This happy couple choose to marry in California but, soon after, went for a long honeymoon in Europe. Italy, of course, was a must-see destination and the couple decided to spend some time in Positano, a seaside town of the Amalfi Coast, one of the most fascinating and romantic coastlines of the world. Reese and Jim stayed in a wonderful suite overlooking the sea at the Sirenuse Hotel and spent time as any perfect honeymoon couple would, shopping around, taking boat rides of the amazing coastline and enjoying the pure taste of Italian food in the typical restaurants of the town.
The Amalfi Coast is one of the most beautiful places of the world and Positano is simply the best hidden treasure of this Mediterranean paradise. After decades of wedding planning for foreign couples, almost every type of religious ceremony can be held in this romantic place in south Italy. You can choose to marry on the spectacular outdoor terrace of the Town Hall, opt for a traditional wedding in Santa Maria Assunta, the main church situated at the center of the town, or choose from ancient monasteries, Moorish palaces, or luxury coastal villas. A wedding in Positano is the quintessence of a typical Italian style wedding.
Positano is simply a charming destination at which to spend your honeymoon. The warm hospitality of the inhabitants, typical of southern Italy, creates the perfect atmosphere for newlyweds. You can enjoy the stunning Mediterranean Sea view and simply sunbathing under the eternal blue sky or taking boat ride to explore the amazing Amalfi Coast (like Reese and Jim). One thing you definitely can’t miss in Positano is the amazing food of this region. You can enjoy a nice lunch at Buca di Bacco and then try one of the many typical restaurants for your lunch and dinner. Reese and Jim went to Bruno, a restaurant recommended by Hilary Swank, but if you are not sure where to go,you can simply ask inhabitants, they are always eager to give you the best advice.
Getting married and honeymooning in Italy is not just celebrity business. Everybody can make their dreams come true and begin a life together in the most romantic place in the world. All the historical and breathtaking buildings of the Italian peninsula are the perfect scenes for a romantic event. There is just one last thing you need to know: between you and your “dream wedding” there is a long waiting list! You’d better book it now and start your romantic trip to Italy!
Where do you want to plan your wedding or honeymoon?