Italy is a country with an unlimited amount of evocative landscapes from which lovers wanting to tie the knot may select their favourite setting: elegant or natural, inexpensive or expensive, well-known or unknown, old or modern, you just have to pick the one that speaks to your soul. 

And thanks to its vast history, natural richness, and incredible architecture, Italy is the perfect country for an unforgettable Catholic destination wedding and dreamy honeymoon. 

But with endless wedding venue choices and catholic traditions, you may find it challenging to choose one. 

So, to help you find the perfect place for your “I Do’s,” We put together this guide to the best Catholic Italian destination wedding locations

Santa Maria del Fiore catholic wedding Cathedral Florence
Photographer: Fede Roveda

The Best Locations For A Catholic Destination Wedding in Italy

Sorrento, Italy

Sunny Sorrento is located in the Campania region of southwestern Italy, which is known for its stunning coastline, old Roman ruins, and delectable cuisine

And with so much beauty and history everywhere your eye can see, Sorrento is definitely one of the best Catholic Italian destination wedding settings. In addition, it has a nice, temperate climate, making it an ideal venue for weddings, especially in the less busy seasons of Spring and Autumn. 

Hosting Roman Catholic destination weddings in Sorrento at one of these venues will be unforgettable. 

Catholic Churches In Sorrento Italy

Planning traditional Roman Catholic destination weddings means you’re going to want to say “I Do” in a church. And trust us when we say the Catholic churches in Sorrento, Italy, will not disappoint. 

Grand architecture, rich history, and ornate artistic treasures make these Catholic churches in Sorrento, Italy, the perfect backdrop to join together as one. 

Stunning, right? We think any of these churches in Sorrento are a dream setting and the best Catholic Italian destination wedding venues. 

catholic wedding church from the inside
Photo: sorrentoview.com

Tuscany

When we think of a romantic setting for a destination wedding, you better believe that Tuscany, Italy comes to mind. 

There’s something magical about the scenery, the scents, the history, and the culture that it’s purely spectacular. From quaint villas to luxurious resorts, chic hotels, the best Catholic Italian destination wedding venues can be found in Tuscany. 

Tuscany offers so many incredible venues and arguably some of the unrivaled vistas and cuisine in the world. And we have the best Italian wedding planners to design, plan and produce the most beautiful Italian Catholic wedding. 

All you need to do is select your favourite venues! Here are a few of our favourites. 

HotelBelmond and the garden
Photo: David Bastianoni

Venice

Ah, you know, Venice had to be on our best Catholic destination wedding location list. 

Venice is in the northeast of Italy, known worldwide for being a floating metropolis of extraordinary beauty. There are no streets or automobiles, only canals. 

All of the structures are surrounded by water, and the only modes of transit are boats and gondolas. Can’t you just imagine arriving at your wedding ceremony in a gondola? 

Here are some pretty unforgettable venues in Venice for your destination wedding in Italy. 

catholic destination wedding in Italy Villa Barbarich Venice
Photo: villabarbarich.com

Amalfi Coast

Possibly one of the most breathtaking sceneries you will ever see. If romance and whimsy are what you want for your destination wedding in Italy, the Amalfi Coast is for you! 

Here are our favourite destination wedding venues on the Amalfi Coast. And if you need help planning your Catholic wedding in Italy, do not hesitate to contact VB-Events.  

wedding garden with table and chairs
Photo: David Bastianoni

Lake Como

This is simply one of Europe's most spectacular natural locations, and the sight of the small settlements strewn across the surrounding hills will undoubtedly delight you. 

There are numerous venues where you may have a spectacular Catholic destination wedding in Italy, but a Lake Como wedding is truly unique. 

Here are the best Catholic Italian wedding locations in Lake Como.

Here below the beautiful Villa Balbiano in Como lake.

catholic destination wedding in Italy Villa Balbiano Como lake
Photo: theheritage-collection.com

Rome

The eternal city cannot be overlooked when it comes to Roman Catholic destination weddings.

A wedding in one of its centuries-old Catholic churches in Rome, or perhaps in one of the villas in the adjacent hilly area, or even in the thermal sub-region next to Tivoli, would add an element of exclusivity to your wedding that not everyone can afford. 

So here are some of the best Catholic Italian destination wedding locations in Rome. 

inside view of a church for a catholic wedding in Rome
Photo: odescalchi.it

Sicily

Our list of the best Catholic Italian destination wedding locations could not be complete without including Sicily. 

Sicily is the biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and it is also home to Europe's tallest active volcano (Mount Etna). 

It is an iconic portion of Italy in the world's eyes, representing the history of blending civilizations (European and Northern-African, Catholic and Islamic). A true melting pot, Sicily is rich with culture, delectable cuisine, luscious wines, and breathtaking scenery. 

It's no wonder that this is one of the most sought-after Roman Catholic destination weddings for international guests. 

If you want to celebrate the most beautiful day of your life here, Taormina is a must-see. 

Here are some other great ideas if you want to have a Catholic wedding in Italy. 

Garden and villa Donna Carmela Sicily in the evening
Photo: donnacarmela.icastelli.net

Roman Catholic destination weddings foster the utmost sense of indulgence, and these beloved Italian wedding locations and venues will not disappoint! 

Couples who marry in Italy know a thing or two about breathtaking romance. From the waterside villas encircling George Clooney's Lake Como villa to the countryside estates amidst the rolling hills of Tuscany to the colorful coastlines of the Amalfi Coast, a catholic destination wedding in Italy is a dream come true and an unforgettable experience for everyone. 

Italy is a land created for lovers. From the sensual sound of water lapping against the walls of Venice's historic palazzi to the enticing scent of citrus blossoms in Sicily, Italy is known as the country of love.

And as the country of love, it is an extremely popular location for couples from around the globe to tie the knot.

But, of course, a huge part of what makes Italy so romantic is that Italy has plenty of sex appeal.

From fairytale castles, stunning beaches, and three very macho and unpredictable volcanoes,  Italy is the perfect location for your wedding.

And if you want to keep things traditional, you'll need to know the authentic catholic wedding traditions.

So, to help you plan the traditional Italian wedding of your dreams, we've rounded up everything you need to know about Italian Catholic wedding traditions in Italy.

No matter which part of the world you choose to get married in, you'll always find different and unique wedding traditions. This is because many different cultures make up the world.

For example, Italy and the Italian culture have some long-standing Catholic wedding traditions and some that may truly WOW you.

catholic wedding with bride and groom in the church scaled

Photography: @davidbastianoni

Italian Catholic Wedding Traditions You Should Know

Catholic weddings traditions are filled with long-standing customs, but they're much more than a few Bible words and a priest officiating. Fortunately, many Roman Catholic wedding traditions are well known. With this guide, you'll know what to expect when you sit down in that pew, whether you're a bride-to-be or a wedding guest.

Before The Wedding

Remove Gold Jewellery

There are some Italian regions where it’s believed that wearing gold jewellery, other than your wedding ring, of course, can bring bad luck.

No Pre-Wedding Glimpses

The age-old custom of the groom not seeing the bride before the wedding is a tradition known worldwide, but in some Italian regions, the bride is not even permitted to see herself before the wedding.

La Serenata

This wonderful tradition dates back and is one of the most romantic Italian wedding traditions. La Serenata is the custom of having a pre-wedding night serenade under the bride's window.

To add intrigue to the plot, friends and relatives are informed of the precise time and moment while the bride is kept in the dark. Then the groom secretly brings musicians and instrumentalists to the bride's window, where they sing beneath her balcony. It's a mission completed' if she wakes up to the charming romantic music.

The Ceremony

Always In A Church

You'll need to get married in a Catholic church if you really want to stick to Roman Catholic wedding traditions. Many dioceses demand that marriage occurs in a physical church because they are "settings created for worship and prayer" that ensure Jesus Christ's genuine presence.

However, some couples might prefer to have their wedding outside or somewhere else, although exceptions are rare. An Italian wedding planner can help you plan your wedding in Italy.

How Long Does A Catholic Wedding Ceremony Last?

A complete mass and communion are generally included in a Catholic wedding ceremony, lasting up to an hour. However, some couples opt for a Rite of the Marriage ceremony (which does not include a mass) this type of ceremony can run anywhere from 30-45 minutes.

The Processional

First up are the guys. The groom and the best man will enter from the side of the church. Then the bridesmaids, or bridal party, and groomsmen escort each other up the aisle, followed by the maid (or matron) of honour, who enters alone. And last, and most anticipated, the bride and her father (or another male family member) make their grand entrance.

The Priest’s Greeting

In Italian Catholic wedding traditions, the priest generally greets the wedding guests and invites everyone to join in singing an opening hymn, usually "Gloria".

Once it’s over, the priest will say the opening prayer for the newlyweds. The wedding guests remain standing from the wedding processional through the hymn and opening prayer. Once the priest has finished, everyone may be seated.

Liturgy Of The Word

An authentic Italian Catholic wedding cannot lack liturgies and religious songs.

Traditionally, this is how it is done: it starts with the Liturgy of the Word, which consists of various readings performed by the priest or the couple's chosen friends or family members. It all starts with a reading from the Old Testament.

Frequently, couples select a reading from the book of Genesis, which tells the narrative of Adam and Eve's creation. Following that, the cantor and the entire congregation will either speak or sing from Psalms.

Responsorial psalms are the assembly’s reaction to the word of God; the cantor typically sings the verses, and the congregation, or wedding guests, sing the chorus.

This is followed by a family member or friend reading from the New Testament, and then the priest recites a passage from one of the Gospels.

After the readings will be the homily, where the priest will contemplate the readings and marriage. The assembly stands for the gospel only and remains seated for all other readings.

The Vows

Probably better known to Catholics as the rite of marriage, the vows serve as a declaration of intent and consent by both parties receiving the marriage rites.

In Roman Catholic traditions, it’s acceptable for the couple to memorize and recite the vows to one another, read the vows from a book, or have the priest read them aloud while they respond with "I do".

Wording may vary from church to church, but most follow a similar pattern. Some Catholic priests may allow couples to write their own vows or add a couple of lines to the traditional ones.

The wedding guests will stand for the duration of the entire vow exchange or Rite of Marriage and ring exchange.

Ring Ceremony

Following the vows, the rings will be exchanged and blessed as the priest's symbols of love and fidelity.

brde and groom are exchanging the rings in their catholic wedding

Photography: @wedding_photography

Nuptial Mass

If the couple opts for a nuptial mass, this is the point at which the wedding service begins to resemble a Sunday mass.

This starts with the preparation of the altar for the Eucharistic Liturgy,  or communion. The offertory, or the offering of gifts of bread and wine to the priest, maybe assisted by particular family members or close friends who are chosen ahead of time.

Lords Pray & Sign Of Peace

The Lord's Prayer is spoken or sung in unison by the entire congregation. The newlyweds will next kneel in front of the altar to receive the priest's blessing on their nuptial blessing.

The assembly may join in quiet prayer and offer the newlyweds their own blessings. The wedding party and guests then share a peace sign by shaking hands and saying, "Peace be with you."

Holy Communion

The couple may choose to include communion or the Eucharist; this event represents the Last Supper where Jesus broke bread with his disciples before his death.

Guests will leave their seats to line up before the priest and wait for their turn to receive bread and wine.

While non-Catholic wedding guests or those not prepared to receive communion may come forward for a  blessing, with arms crossed over their chests, or may choose to stay seated [or kneeling] while silently expressing good thoughts or prayers for the couple, only Catholics can partake in this particular in the Eucharist.

The Big Kiss

Although the kiss is not part of the religious ceremony, it is commonly practiced and a part of most rituals.

How The Catholic Wedding Ends

As the catholic wedding ceremony comes to an end, the priest will recite a final prayer and bless the new union and the entire assembly. The couple may choose to sign the marriage certificate at this time, and then the priest will dismiss the congregation.

At this time, the exit recessional takes place in the reverse order of the processional, beginning with the newlyweds and bridal party. The recessional can sometimes include the ministers, and it is usually accompanied by a song of the couple's choosing. A wedding reception, or cocktail hour, will usually commence shortly afterwards.

wedding cuople in the garden

Photography: @jez_dickson

What To Wear To A Catholic Wedding?

Are you wondering what is appropriate to wear to a Catholic wedding? On the fence about your outfit? Here are some tips on what to wear to a Catholic wedding and what not to wear.

What Is Acceptable To Wear To A Catholic Wedding?

Choosing the appropriate outfit to wear to a wedding may be a stressful experience for wedding guests, particularly those attending a Catholic wedding in Italy.

You may be concerned about the style of attire you should wear to the wedding and the colours you should wear. However, with some knowledge of the dos and don'ts, you should be able to attend that Catholic wedding confidently.

Because most Catholic weddings are semi-formal, guys should wear shirts and ties, if not suits.  

Women, on the other hand, can dress in skirts, dresses, or even dress pants.

When it comes to Catholic weddings, modesty is essential. Also, they aren't that dissimilar from other types of weddings. So, make sure to pay attention to the wedding invitation, the time, and the season of the wedding to determine if the event is semi-formal or formal.

For the ladies, it’s essential to understand that modesty also covers the length of your skirt, showing your shoulders in church, low backs, and of course, plunging necklines. So, don’t show up at church showing too much cleavage, have a wrap or shawl to cover your shoulders, and don’t show too much leg.

bride with flower on the balcony

Photographer: @photosantucci

What Is Not Acceptable To Wear To a Traditional Italian Catholic Wedding?

White Is A No No

This rule, of course, applies to the wedding guests. Whether the bride is wearing a white wedding dress, all-white attire is forbidden for anyone but the future wife.

Unless you want to commit a huge fashion faux pas, here are some other things you should not wear to a Catholic wedding.

Avoid Sweats

We’re not sure that sweats are ever acceptable wedding attire, but most certainly, they are not appropriate at a Catholic wedding.

Avoid Denim

Any type of denim is always fashionable and in style, but please don’t embarrass yourself by showing up to a Catholic wedding in denim.

Avoid See-Through Material

Uh! Does this need an explanation? See-through clothing shouldn’t be worn to ANY wedding.

No Shorts

While shorts might be acceptable at an outdoor, rustic wedding, or a barn wedding, they are not acceptable at a Catholic wedding.

Catholic weddings are a beautiful expression of love and faith.

But they are also filled with lots of time-honoured traditions, some Bible verses, and emotions.

So, whether you’re planning an Italian Catholic wedding, want to incorporate a few religious traditions in a less formal wedding,  or are attending a traditional Catholic ceremony, we hope you found this guide helpful. Stay tuned for more wedding inspiration!

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