So Italy’s been on your mind a while now? Whether you’ve traveled here many times or this would be your first visit, you probably already know Italy is one of the most beautiful locations for Elopements. There’s just something about the Bel Paese that calls to romantics from all around. But even so, when it comes to planning an elopement in a foreign country, things might seem a little intimidating. I’ve got you covered with this Italy Elopement guide, read on to find out all you need to know about eloping to Italy.
Best Time to Elope to Italy
The great thing about choosing to elope to Italy is that you are allowed a little more freedom when it comes to time. Unlike a traditional wedding back home, you won’t have to rely on wedding venues, meaning you won’t need to reserve years in advance.
That being said there are some better times to elope to Italy, based on where you were planning to go and your own personal style. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the best time for your Italy Elopement.
If you were planning on holding a small ceremony, or taking photos at some place like the Trevi Fountain, The Amalfi Coast, or the Tre Cime of Lavaredo, well you’ll have to factor in these areas’ popularity. Choosing any popular tourist destination for your elopement you should consider Italy fills with crowds in June-August.
However, if you aren’t entirely tied to one of these hot spots, your Italy elopement photographer will be able to help you find a quiet and just as beautiful location, all summer long. Get in touch if you’d like to discuss a summer elopement in Italy.
This is more of a personal choice, but it is something you might want to consider, or at least keep in mind when you are picking your elopement outfits!
Summer in Italy is hot. And August is notoriously a nightmare. From the North to the South a terrible sticky heat takes over, and every year it has been getting worse.
June to August might be difficult months to have an enjoyable elopement during the day but there are some solutions. One, if you are open to location, this is a great time to head to the mountains. There remains plenty of sunshine, but at least temperatures drop as you head up in altitude. Another is the possibility of having a sunrise or early morning elopement. This can lessen the crowds, offer cooler weather and give you great lighting for photos!
On the opposite end – Winter might not be the best option either, as the humid cold can really leave a chill on your guests. Plus in northern regions, November-February can be marked by grey rainy days.
Overall, the best time for your Italy elopement is probably just off the peak season for visitors. Aim for April, May, or September to mid-October for your elopement, and June, July, or September if you plan on heading high into the mountains. You’ll want to make sure the snow is melted and the path is clear!
When thinking about the time of day – best to consult your planner and photographer, they’ll know the lighting and the area best!
Where to go for your Italy Elopement
Italy might seem like a small country, but when it comes to making a choice for where to plan your elopement, the possibilities seem endless! Choosing your final location really depends on what you and your partner have in mind.
Is there somewhere in Italy that meant a lot to the both of you? A place your family has a connection to? Are you looking for the best vacation spot or for the best photos?
To start off, sit down with your partner and make a list of what is important to you when it comes to your special day together. See if any of the locations below speak to your list, if nothing pops out, get in touch with your elopement planner or an Italy expert to see if they might have the perfect location for your event.
Tuscany is one of Italy’s most popular wedding destinations, but it also makes a great location for more relaxed elopements. Located right in central Italy, this is a great location for spring or fall.
Tuscany is all about rolling hills, wine, and rustic getaways. Its beautiful countryside calls to many. If you and your partner are big wine lovers, or really into the idea of a farm-style getaway, this is a great spot to consider.
However, there are also other two sides of Tuscany that might be calling you. First is that of the coast, along the Maremma is a beautiful wild coast that lines right up with open fields, this is great for a natural beach elopement in Italy. Then you’ll also experience the historical side of Tuscany- the one found in the alleys of Florence and Siena. The birthplace of the Renaissance, there are many beautiful borghi – ancient towns to explore in Tuscany.
A few of my personal favorite locations are:.
The Dolomites are a perfect destination for mountain lovers. Their impressive peaks and large open alpine fields make them a dream for wild elopements (and for us photographers)!
Of course, there are plenty of locations in the Italian Alps, but the Dolomites stand out for their dramatic peaks, accessibility, and comfort. In this area you’ll be able to find luxury mountain resorts complete with gorgeous views and spas, like the dreamy Adler Lodge. But you’ll also be able to find more authentic rifugi style stays that can feel a little more your style like Rifugio Graziani.
A Dolce Vita classic, who hasn’t dreamed about coasting along the winding roads of Amalfi on a Vespa, soaking up those sea views. The Amalfi Coast is a romantic image of Southern Italy that you are sure to fall in love with.
Something to remember – that often couples forget when considering the Amalfi Coast- is that there are not many actually beaches. The coast is built up on cliffs over the sea, with small rocky nooks down along the water. However, it is backed up by kilometers of a natural reserve, with beautiful terraced overlooks.
A walk down the sandy beach might not be what you will find on your elopement in Amalfi, but there are some gorgeous views. The best location is among the lemon groves overlooking the water.
If you are considering planning your Italy elopement in Amalfi, think about having it around May or September for the best availability.
For an Italy elopement in Southern Italy, Puglia is one of the most beautiful regions you can choose. Puglia’s your spot for great beaches, olive groves, and gorgeous masserie (ancient farms that have been transformed into high-end agritourism). Just peek at this one here, one of my favorites!
You’ll find kilometers of sandy beaches with gorgeous blue waters, great for a beach setting elopement. But the elegant Masserie are even found slightly inland, surrounded by tranquil olive groves, a step away from the tourist crowds when summer is in full swing.
This location is a recent up-and-comer, meaning there are plenty of locations throughout the region that is largely untouched. You’ll enjoy planning an elopement here in May, June, or September.
Here are a few of my favorite locations in the region:
The Lakes Region
Heading back to Northern Italy, the Lakes region, particularly Lake Como is a particularly popular destination when it comes to Italy Elopements. Its always been loved for its dreamy tranquil coasts and cooler weather. Como can be a great choice if you happen to be planning a trip around Milan.
Alternatives to Lake Como is Lago Maggiore, on the border with Piedmont and Lombardy. This Lake has a great backdrop of the Alpine foothills and the beautiful Borromeo Islands. There is also Lago di Garda, which has impressive Alpine coasts, olive groves, and vineyards all along the water.
There’s just something about Rome that’s always calling. The extent of the city makes every elopement here unique. You can choose a classic location like the Trevi Fountain (just be sure to plan on an early day!) or sneak over to one of Rome’s incredible parks like Villa Borghese to be surrounded by art and nature.
Whatever you got in mind for your Italy Elopement, Rome has nearly everything (except the mountains of course). It also is a very accessible location as international flights come straight here.
Many choose Rome for a personal connection, but you might also choose it for the grand historic architecture, the great culinary traditions, or even a religious connection.
Italy is made up of 20 regions, each so unique in its landscape and cultural offerings. While I’ve mentioned some of the most popular spots to elope, there’s no shortage of unique locations.
There’s no need to run to Lake Como just because it’s a name you’ve heard of, when Italy’s Lake region has Lago Maggiore and Lago di Garda. Two lakes that can be equally as beautiful, and much more tranquil.
Skip the hustle and prices of Tuscany for an alternative like Umbria or Le Marche, two regions with gorgeous countrysides.
If you want to head to the mountains, but can’t stand another scene in front of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, how about Monviso, or Matterhorn (Cervino)? Head to Piedmont or Valle D’Aosta to experience the tallest of Italy’s Alps, with gorgeous hikes, and a change of scenery from the Dolomites.
Now, it’s true Amalfi is one of a kind, but you can consider heading a tad further south to the coast of Cilento, another gorgeous natural park alongside the Meditteranean coast.
Never be afraid to poke around a little more, and ask your planner or photographer for great suggestions!
What should you do on your Italy Elopement?
Are you thinking all these places look gorgeous, but what exactly should you do on your day? Traditional weddings are filled with dancing, drinks, and friends, but if it’s just a small get-together, what is there to do?
Really – anything you’d like! This day is all about you and your partner, celebrating each other and your love.
Maybe that means after the little ceremony you want to head straight back to your suite and snuggle up all day. Maybe that means you want to keep the attire on all day and head for an aperitivo crawl or wine tasting. Keep hiking higher up the mountain? Learn to make pasta together? Head to the beach?
Anything and everything is a possibility! The great thing about an Italy Elopement is that basically your honeymoon has already begun.
If you brought a small group of friends and family with you, you might even want to head to a winery, rent out part of agritourism or restaurant and fix up a mini traditional reception. Even that is doable. Just make sure to get a great Italy elopement planner to help you figure out all the details.
Here’s a few unique ideas I love organizing with my clients.
The legal side of your Italy Elopement
When it comes to getting married – even when you choose to elope – there are always two sides to consider: the symbolic ceremony, and the legal one. Your elopement is usually considered more of a symbolic ceremony for you and your partner and maybe just a few close friends or family.
First of all, you should ensure the legality of your marriage in your home country. Check to see what you need to provide for the marriage to be legally recognized there, before Italy.
Then, in all honesty, if neither you nor your partner is Italian you don’t really need to juggle an Italian marriage license, and you really won’t want to. It’s a lot smarter to get married in your home country with an easy civil ceremony, than have purely the symbolic ceremony on your Italy elopement.
Otherwise, applying for an Italian Marriage License can take between 4-6 months. You will need to obtain apostilled birth certificates and affidavits stating you and your partner are not currently married to anyone else. You’ll need them to be translated to Italian, and presented to the Marriage Office of the commune, or town, you plan on marrying in. Then in any case you’ll need to do a civil ceremony within the town hall before you can have your elopement ceremony anywhere else. This involves renting the space and having two witnesses each as well as a translator to conclude the legal ceremony.
You’ll also have to pay for all those documents and the civil ceremony. Meaning the whole thing can add an extra cost, and take quite a long time. Also, it is good to know – Italy does not allow same-sex marriages, only civil unions.
The point of an Italy Elopement is to cut out the hassle and just enjoy a simple day celebrating you and your partner, better to not mix Italian Bureaucracy into it.
As far as having a small event for your elopement, wherever you choose, you won’t have to ask for any legal permission to do so. In the end, it’s just you, your partner, and your photographer out for a hike in the Dolomites, or wherever you choose. Nothing to see there. You will just have to ensure you can legally enter the country as a tourist.
If you are an EU citizen, there is no problem. If you are a non-EU, check your country’s restrictions. US and UK citizens are allowed to enter Italy as a tourist for a maximum of 90 days.
Italy Elopement Cost
So has all this talk already got you excited to start planning your elopement? There’s probably just one thing left on your mind: how much is all this going to cost?
The cost of your Italy Elopement really depends on what style of elopement you have in mind.
Some people simply want themselves, a wedding dress and suit, a bouquet and a photographer. This is the traditional idea of elopement. With this style, you can find adorable accommodation for even as little as 80€-150€ per night, choose a free outdoor location, and spend what you like on attire, and the bouquet. Consider this easy elopement will definitely cost you less than 5000€.
Others might want to step it up a little with a nicer location, a small group of friends and family, and maybe a little event like a wine tasting or dinner to share. This depends obviously on how many people are coming, but you can probably swing this style elopement for 5000-8000€.
Then of course you can go luxurious, have an Italy elopement that might seem more like a small wedding. Hiring hair and makeup, refreshments, choosing a high-end location (like renting a whole Villa), and choosing an activity like boat rental or a private chef. Again depending on how many people will be joining you, this could cost 10,000€ and up.
The best way to prepare for your Italy Elopement is first to consider your budget and work from there. Italy is a flexible country in terms of prices and offers many budget-friendly trips. You’ll really just have to consider these essentials for your elopement:
- Flights to Italy
- Your accommodation, and how long you’ll be staying in Italy
- Your dress & suit
- Bouquet (if you want it!)
- A photographer
If everything seems a little overwhelming, consider seeking out a travel or elopement planner specializing in Italy. Propose to them your budget and generally what you are hoping for. They should be able to put something together for you!
Italy Elopement Photographer
Finding a photographer for your Italy Elopement is a high priority. Making sure your special day is captured the way you want it is essential to having an unforgettable elopement.
When considering a photographer there are a few things you should think about.
First is obviously their style! If you don’t like a photographer’s shots, then don’t choose them. Most photographers have developed their unique style of photography and color tones that speaks to them as artists. If you find a photographer’s photos too light, too dark, too much movement, anything at all that doesn’t fit, it’s better to look for another one rather than ask them to change their entire style.
Next, consider their vibe, this might be the only person you and your partner spend your special day with. Given that you’ll probably make sure it is someone you want to spend the day with! I personally love to make the experience fun, and share the day adventuring. Italy is gorgeous and I’ve gotten to explore so much of it shooting elopements, that personally, I like to make it more than just a photoshoot experience. I like to share with you the places I’ve found and go on an adventure with you. It’s important to feel comfortable together, as the more you enjoy being with your photographer, the more relaxed and natural you will be for the ceremony and photos!
Then of course you’ll want to consider your budget. But if you are worried about location, don’t be! Italy Elopement photographers love an excuse to travel around the peninsula and are always ready to go. Traveling and knowing the best-kept secrets of Italian locations comes with the job, so I’m ready to meet you wherever you plan your big day.
If you’d like to see if we could be a good fit – contact me and we will set up a call!
Italy Elopement Vendors
If you are hoping to add some more elements to your Italy elopement, such as bouquets, hair, and make-up, a little refreshment. You’ll want to find the right vendors locally to help you sort that all out.
When picking the right vendors, you should look for ones who share your same vision. You won’t want someone forcing a flower style you hate just because it is the “in” thing that year.
Trying to figure it all out from abroad might be a bit tough, but luckily that is where I come in! Over the years I’ve built up quite a list of trusted vendors throughout Italy. With every elopement package booked you’ll get access to these vendors, and I will help you organize the ones you like best. If you don’t see one that you like, I’ll keep searching for someone that matches your elopement style.
So, where should you start?
After reading this guide, there’s probably a lot going through your mind, it might even feel overwhelming. No need to panic, here’s a little step-by-step guide to getting you started on your way to your Italy Elopement.
First – sit down with your partner and consider what’s important to you both about this day. Consider the location, where might be special, or if it isn’t too important. Consider how long you might want to stay in Italy: is this a quick elopement or part of an integrated honeymoon? Do you want it to be intimate, just you, or with a small group of friends.
Just a general brainstorm to get the ball rolling is important before you start seeking help.
Then of course, if the budget is limited you will want to settle on the maximum you’re willing to spend on your Italy Elopement. As we’ve mentioned, many costs are flexible, but to avoid surprises set the budget you can handle beforehand.
Once you’ve gotten a better idea of what to look for you’ll want to start doing your research for a photographer and/or Italy elopement planner. Scope out a few, and see if their style matches your vision, also I recommend you set up a call with a few so you can get a sense of if you’d like to share this special day with them.
From the moment you choose a photographer or planner, you’ll see everything gets a lot easier! They’ll help you pinpoint a final location, figure out your accommodation, connect with vendors, and anything you need. (All of these services are included in my packages to make sure you get the Italy elopement you’ve been dreaming of.)
All that’s left for you to do is book your tickets, and make the final decision on vendors!
I hope this guide has helped ease your mind when it comes to planning your Italy Elopement. If you’re interested in working together, or have more questions about eloping to Italy, contact me here and we will set up a call!