How To Plan An Italian Wedding On The Water

April 27, 2022

There is no generic Italian wedding! Italy's exotic and hospitable allure has long been a favorite amongst couples seeking the perfect destination wedding, and what is better than an Italian wedding on the water? Here is a foolproof guide to planning an Italian wedding on the water. 

A wedding designed around water in Italy is nothing short of an ethereal experience. It showcases the best of nature and allows for a slight scenery change, especially if you are on a boat. If you are a lover of Shakespeare or old literature, you will undoubtedly adore the famous canals of Venice from which there are few substitutes in the modern world. 

Venice is a sought-after wedding destination for getting married on a boat as it is said a rosy light descends on the city and the river of Tiber and Arno are magnificent for seeing the city on ships. 

Engage A Wedding Planner 

An Italian wedding on the water needs a gifted local wedding planner. You can book anyone who strikes your fancy and enjoys a good reputation online and start working with them even before landing in Italy. As any wedding expert will tell you, if you’re going for a destination wedding, it is best to put the location’s best features and backdrops to work for you rather than adopting a strict theme that doesn’t showcase the brilliance of the local culture. 

If there’s anything an Italian wedding can provide you with is a ready-made honeymoon destination right after the wedding, a chance to see some of the best of what Europe has to offer, to take incomparably beautiful photographs of just the two of you together, and the opportunity to sample some mouthwatering local cuisine. 

A local wedding planner irons out many confusing details such as country laws, the legal process of getting married, and how you can secure the best rates and even the best wine! A local wedding planner also can call in favors if you need a photographer or suggest the perfect caterer if you have a particular food preference in mind (such as vegan or vegetarian). 

Breaking Down The Cost

The season, the location, and a range of other factors usually affect the cost of a destination wedding and wedding venues on the water. So a few months before the wedding, it is sensible to get a few quotes from the key suppliers so that there is still time to choose someone else if you feel you aren’t getting adequate value for money. The good news is that getting married on the water, say in the South of Italy where the sand and the ethereal blue are an ever-present delight, comes with its own natural decorations lessening how much you’d need to spend on florists or lighting equipment. 

Bride with seaside view in her Italian Wedding On The Water
Photographer: David Bastianoni Studio 

The Venue Is The Main Attraction 

Italy has an abundance of villas and hotels that overlook the sea and capture its Mediterranean flavor. The islands of Sicily and Sardina, and Capri, for example, are spectacular for hosting an Italian wedding on the water as they are nothing short of perfect with their soft sand, deep blue water, and several historical archaeological sites. The Amalfi Coast is another treasure trove of scenery, history, and culture, and fairytale-appropriate houses littered over the cliffs overlooking the raging waves. 

Many poets have even said that the people of Amalfi live in real paradise, and anyone who visits will never want to leave! Puglia is another excellent coastline choice for weddings with its picture-perfect white villas, little houses, and heritage sites. Lake Como is also a dreamy wedding venue fit for celebrities, and the best time to plan an Italian beach wedding is from April to October, which has the best temperate weather. 

The Italian Riviera boasts numerous locations for the most spectacular wedding venues on the water. Porto Venere is known for its fishing port, Santa Margherita for its resort offerings, Portofino and Cinque Terre. Sorrento is a brilliant choice for the history buff who wants a photoshoot amongst some magnificent landmarks. 

sea view on Italian wedding on the water

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Tips For An Impeccable Italian Beach Wedding 

  • Decide on the expanse of beach you want as part of your Italian beach wedding. You can choose a villa or hotel that overlooks the sea or is resting on top of a cliff; in that way, you won’t need to get your toes in the sand, so to speak, unless you want to. 

  • When planning an elaborate destination Italian beach wedding, you need to have all the logistics regarding accessibility figured out in advance and communicated to all your guests. Many guests may not be familiar with Italy’s coastal regions or the best way to get to the wedding reception. If possible, book transportation for all your guests to save them the hassle of locating the venue on an island like Capri, for example. 

  • A beach wedding might be a dream come true, but many beaches in Italy require an official permit for any ceremony that needs to be obtained beforehand. So make sure you inquire about the paperwork from your wedding planner so that you have no unforeseen hiccups on the big day itself. 

  • Revel in the natural glory of your environment, and use décor items and florals that complement the seasonal growth around your venue and its rustic appeal that is synonymous with Italian weddings! Also, choose venues where you can largely escape the crowds and traffic, so tourist hotspots should not be on your list. When you look back at your wedding, you want to remember an Italian island's serene, ethereal beauty, not a cramped resort with tourists popping up in the background. 

  • When choosing wedding venues on the water, you always need to consider the changes in weather, how wind-resistant the seating and decorations are, and whether or not you are prepared for a sudden burst of rain which can be pretty standard in coastal areas. Hiring a good sound system can also come in handy if you are doing long, thoughtful vows because the sounds of the sea and the waves can really overpower the sound of voices. 

  • Your wedding attire makes all the difference when considering how comfortable you’ll be for the duration of a beach wedding in a coastal location. Choose a wedding dress made from light, flowy fabrics such as charmeuse or a plain much loved chiffon. Wear simple sandals or even consider being barefoot for a portion of the ceremony as it certainly photographs well! The hairstyle should also be loose, bohemian, and more natural instead of a tight bun because your surroundings' wildness and natural beauty need to play into your wedding look. 

  • As your guests will be travelling to attend your wedding, consider making a pre-wedding gift pack. This can include items like sunscreen and aloe gel and some well-meaning instructions such as the kind of attire best suited for the climate and historical or tourist sites they can visit before or after the wedding for added enjoyment. 
Positano view Italian wedding on the water

Related reading: Exclusive Weddings in Italy - How To Make Your Wedding Truly Unique


A Selection of Stunning Wedding Venues In Italy

Here are some dreamy, awe-inspiring wedding venues in Italy to get you started on planning your own big day

  • The Cliffside Restaurant on the island of Capri has for decades been a preferred dining option for A-listers and is styled in a traditional white and blue décor with full access to the sea and a panoramic view of the Gulf of Naples. 
  • The Enchanted Terraces and Night Club in Positano is a romantic and quirky wedding venue. You can have a candlelit reception for an intimate gathering with plenty of dancing overlooking the sea. Not to mention the great wine and Mediterranean lighting! 
  • A 19th Century Villa Hotel in the Bay of Mazzarò is perfect for making the most of Sicilian cuisine and hospitality. The hotel itself has dozens of rooms so you and your wedding party can stay there, especially if you are getting married on a boat. 
  • Have you always wanted a royal wedding? Consider the 18th Century palace in Positano with its ancient arches, balconies and terraces, pools, mesmerizing gardens, and the secluded outlook that makes it ideal for weddings. 
  • The Venice Lido Resort is a deluxe and magical venue, and it has large, regal halls for wedding events (fit for hundreds of people). You can also opt for a beach ceremony in the open. If you are getting married on a boat, then you can choose to have the evening reception here, where you can enjoy refined Mediterranean cuisine. 
Italian wedding near the sea on Positano
Photographer: David Bastianoni Studio 

Planning a destination wedding in Italy is more than just saying “I Do.” It’s an adventure of the soul that will create unbelievable memories that you and your guests can cherish forever.

Italy, the land of wonders and love, has always been a popular destination for couples planning an international wedding, and for a good reason. The country of Romeo and Juliet offers a well-established and professional destination wedding business that caters to all tastes and budgets. It’s a beautiful country that will undoubtedly provide an incredible and unforgettable wedding experience for all!

Up Next: What To Wear To A Catholic Church Wedding: The Guide

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