I was looking through some photos in the Tuscania Event’s archive and I came across an elopement we organised in Cortona a few years back. I was utterly taken away by the beauty of these timeless photos. Not only was this couple very much in love but photographers Andrea Corsi and Daniele Vertelli so magnificently captured the couple and the essence of times past. Using the quaint tuscan town of Cortona certainly proved to be an idyllic setting for this dream wedding. This is the story of Vikki and Nigel and their fabulous 50’s inspired elopement in Cortona. Vintage, classic and truly timeless…….
The rustic farmhouse in the countryside of Cortona
Off to the Town Hall of Cortona for the Civil Ceremony
What can I say – beautiful couple, great photographers, a fabulous wedding planner 🙂 and the spectacular setting of Cortona equals a truly unforgettable and inspiring wedding.
Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy if not the world. It is the capital of Tuscany, the birthplace of the renaissance and a truly special place to get married. The great thing about choosing Florence for a civil wedding ceremony is that you have not 1 but 5 different locations to choose from!
Here are all the possibilities. I will start with the options located in the town hall of Florence – the Palazzo Vecchio or “old palace” in the beautiful Piazza della Signoria.
La Sala Rossa
History: The room was built during the enlargement of the palace during the renaissance period and took on its current appearance during the second half of the 19th century when it was the bedroom of Baron Bettino Ricasoli the prime minister of that time. There are biblical tapestries, red carpet and velvet giving the room quite a rich and unique elegance.
When: Mornings daily (including Saturday), Sundays (1 x per month)
Cost: from 2,500-3,000 euros for non residents (depending on day/time chosen)
Capacity: 40 people
A Gallery of my favorite Tuscania Event’s couple who have married in the Sala Rossa
Sala di Lorenzo
History: This room was dedicated to Lorenzo the magnificent, a man with great intelligence, culture and political power during the renaissance period. The decoration of the hall dates back to the mid 16th century and celebrates the great life of the Medicic family. The room is enhanced by the beautiful paintings of Giorgio Vasari and Marco de Faenza.
When: twice a month (except August)
Cost: 3,000-3,500 euros for non residents
Capacity: 30 people
The third and probably most exceptional civil ceremony space in Palazzo Vecchio (made recently more visible by Dan Brown’s recent book Inferno) is La Sala dei 500 or the 500 room. This photo does absolutely no justice to the splendour of this room!
La Sala dei 500
History: This room is the most historically significant room in the Palazzo Vecchio. The room was built in 1495 by Simone del Pollaiuolo. The grand hall was the seat of the 500 members of the Great Council of the Republic. Artistically important is the ceiling decorated with immense frescoes by Vasari and by 11 marble statues among which the famous “Genius of Victory by Michelangelo. I can’t forget to mention the hidden charms of the “Battle of Angiari” that is perhaps the rediscovered work by Leonardo da Vinci. I would say this is quite an exceptional place to marry!
When: twice a month (except August)
Cost: 5,000 euros (the most expensive option but the most notable for sure)
Capacity: 240 people
The above options – La Sala Rossa, Sala di Lorenzo and La Sala dei 500 are all located in Florence’s city hall – the Palazzo Vecchio. The remaining 2 options are located in other city locations.
Il Museo Bardino
The Bardini museum is located in the Oltrarno district of Florence (The Oltrarno is Tuscania Event’s headquarters and in my opinion one of the most authentic areas of the city). The museum is named after Stefano Bardini (1854-1922) an Italian antiquarian who decided to turn his collection into a museum and donated to the city of Florence.
La Sala della Carita’
History: Before Stefano Bardini made restorations to the palazzo it was once and church and convent. The La Sala della Carita’ or the hall of charity is named after an important statue in the museum (Carita’ by Tino Camaino). Recently, the Sala della Carita’ was given permission to perform civil ceremonies.
When: twice a month (except August)
Cost: 3,000-3,500 euros for non residents
Capacity: 180 people
Il Giardino dell Rose
The Rose Garden is also a recent addition to Florence’s ceremony options and the only outdoor possibility. The photo below does not give this spectacular spot justice….it is truly spectacular! I dedicated a blog just to this spot.
History: This beautiful garden is located just below Piazzale Michelangelo and was built in 1865 as part of Florence’s restructuring when it was Italy’s capital. From this spot you can enjoy unparalleled views of the city while being surrounded by 1000 plant varieties and hundreds of roses. The garden is enhanced by the presence of 10 sculptures by artist Jean-Michel Folon and a beautiful Japanese garden.
When: May, June, September (twice per month)
Cost: From 3,500-4,000 euros
The splendours of Florence
For more information on wedding reception venues around florence check out Tuscania Event’s locations in Florence or contact us directly at email@example.com for a personal proposal.
Let the dream begin……….
Ever dream about a castle wedding? How about a wedding in a 600 year old castle in Tuscany surrounded by vineyards and olive trees……need I say more?Castello di Olivieto is a stunning castle located close to Florence as well as other quaint tuscan towns like Siena, San Gimignano and Volterra. It is a wine and olive producing estate that can be rented to hold an unforgettable tuscan wedding.
Castello di Olivieto is a great venue for small to large wedding as they have ample space both indoor and outdoor making the castle a great choice for a wedding any time of the year. The views from the castle tower are truly stunning and there is a beautifully manicured Italian garden that can be used for ceremonies and during the reception. Although there are no accommodations offered on site there is a lovely farmhouse stay with 10 apartments 3km from the castle along with other nearby hotels. Many of my brides look for venues that have accommodation on site but I think arriving at your wedding venue for the first time really gives your guests the ‘wow factor’.
Despite being a venue only location, brides still have the opportunity to utilise the castle’s rooms to prepare for their wedding. Not only does this room make you feel like a real princess but it provides a spectacular backdrop for photos.
One of the great advantages of this venue is the possibility to marry legally on site. Typically, civil ceremonies are held in the local town hall. The majority of locations in Tuscany do not allow civil ceremonies outside the town hall so a legal marriage in their Italian garden is a big plus. Tuscania Events can guide you through the document process and also translate the ceremony (this is one of my favorite parts of the job!).
After your guests have enjoyed the ample Italian style cocktail hour it’s time to move onto the reception dinner. The castle courtyard which can hold up to 200 people is a perfect location for dinner. In the event of inclement weather there are beautiful rooms indoors that can hold up to 180 guests so you avoid the additional costs of renting a marquee….yet another plus!
To give you a better understanding of the venue, here are a few words from beautiful bride Elydia on her experience at Castello di Olivieto.
“I have to say that we looked long and hard for the perfect location… we wanted a place that was not too far from Florence but has a beautiful view of the Tuscan hills for people who are visiting and may not have been able to see the countryside, otherwise. We also wanted a place where we could do the ceremony and reception in the same place so no one had to worry about going anywhere (trying to find a church and then villa in Tuscany may be harder to us Americans who are more used to bigger, more detailed roads!) and this castle was perfect for those reasons and many more. It is the only castle upon a hillside, surrounded by fields of sunflowers… you can get any more fairy tale than that!Great, friendly service, fantsastic food made fresh in the kitchens of the Castle and wine made from the Castle’s vineyards, amazing historic decor, beautiful gardens, tons of little spaces to enjoy yourself and soak up the Tuscan fantasy… and the fact that the castle is on top of a hill and was so secluded made it us all feel like we were the only ones on earth, enjoying this most special day.My uncle with his family at dinner said, “This is by far the most amazing wedding I have ever been to. Everything is perfect:- the food, the wine, the amotsphere. Nothing can get better than this moment.” …and then… at that very moment… the torches in each tower within the castle courtyard lit up! …. and it got even better… “I would like to thank Elydia & Marco for allowing me to share their experience and G & G Photography for their images.For more information on Castello di Olivieto pleases contact us at firstname.lastname@example.orgLet the dream begin….
If you were waiting for the best moment to plan your italian wedding without spending a fortune, you should get moving because the time is now! Luxury villas, mediaval castles and charming hamlets immersed in vineyards and olive trees or … Continue reading
One of the most frequently asked questions I get as a wedding planner is “how can I have a legally binding wedding ceremony performed in Italy yet recognised in my home country?”. There are two possibilities:
- A civil ceremony: This is the easier legal ceremony to organise in Italy. The number of spectacular city halls and outdoor locations is certainly a great way to celebrate an unforgettable wedding. From frescoed city halls, rustic stone courtyards to a beautiful outdoor terrace overlooking the mediteranean….there is something for everyone.
- A Catholic wedding: Although the process is slightly more complicated, it is considered a full legal marriage recognised by the catholic church all over the world. In this case you are required to obtain both civil and catholic document requirements.
I’ll explain shortly the biggest differences between the two different weddings and what is required, how much it costs and the timing.
- Must takes place in a town hall or a propriety belonging or rented by a town hall. This means that most of the time it is celebrated indoor, in ancient palaces or in a mediaeval courtyard. There is the possibility to marry civilly in a few selected locations however it varies from tuscan town. Tuscania Events can assist in the search for locations that allow on site civil ceremonies.
- The couple must complete the paperwork here in Italy prior to the ceremony. Tuscania Events will assist fully with this.
- The bureaucratic process can vary according to nationality so it is important to mention both nationalities to be sure the necessary paperwork guidelines are followed. Tuscania Events can assist in the specific document needs and with navigating the cumbersome and often difficult Italian bureaucracy.
- The couple should be prepared to be in Italy three or four days prior to the ceremony to finalize all the necessary paperwork.
- The cermony lasts around half a hour and it is performed in Italian and translated in your native language by one of our interpreters. It is pretty straight forward and beautifully written and full of significance. The couple is free to add few readings, music, personal vows and the exchanges of rings.
- Two witnesses are required: one for the bride and one for the groom. Usually it is two members of the bridal party or the parents. If you don’t have any guest present Tuscania Events will provide the witnesses.
- Pricing: you will have to pay a rental fee directly to the town hall (with our assistance) that could be from 300€ to 5000€ depending on the Town Hall. For the paperwork expect to pay from 150€ up depending on your nationality. If you need other services, you will also have to consider additional expense for the musicians, photographers, florist, photographer, etc.
- We suggest that the process should begin around 6 months before the actual ceremony date.
- Must take place in a catholic church. Italian churches are usually ancient charming buildings. They can be simple stone chapels even 1000 years old, or frescoed magnificient churches depending on the style you prefer.
- A Catholic marriage in Italy is not possible if one of you was previously married in a Catholic church and then divorced without a formal annulment from the catholic church.
- The couple must complete the catholic and civil paperwork here in Italy.
- Refer to civil ceremony above as the documents required for a civil ceremony are also required for a catholic wedding.
- About catholic paperwork: it is basically the same for all nationalities. Around two months before the ceremony you will have to present your religious pre cana peperwork to the italian bishop. Tuscania Events will assist you and guide you through this process.
- We will also provide you a parish that speaks your native language. You’ll have to meet up with the priest a few days before the actual wedding day. So the couple should consider being in Italy at least three to four days prior to the ceremony.
- The ceremony lasts around one hour. The wedding will be celebrated during the mass if both spouses are Roman catholic. If one of the two is protestant it is easier if they only celebrate the Rite of marriage without the mass. However this is decided also by the parish. In this case the ceremony will last around 30 min. and must be approved by your own Bishop that must give you permission in writing.
- The mass is the same all over the world. Tuscania Events will provide you a parish priest that can perform it in your native language. You will have the possibility to add readings and music. Then there will be of course the personal vows and exchange of rings.
- Four witnesses are required: two for the bride and two for the groom.
- There is no rental fee for the use of the church but you certainly can not forget to make a donation that can be from 300€ for the church and from 100€ for the priest. You’ll also have to consider the expenses for the paperwork that are from around 150€ depending on your nationality. Then, if you need musicians, photographers, florist, photographer and other vendors, you will also have to consider the possibility of additional costs.
- We suggest that the process should begin around 6 months before the actual ceremony.
Whether you decide to have a civil wedding or a catholic wedding in Italy, Tuscania Events is available to guide you through the entire process and turn your dream of an italian wedding into reality. To find out more about the beautiful city halls, the panoramic terraces or the breathtaking churches please contact us at email@example.com
Ease of mind comes with an expert!!!