Help with wedding and honeymoon in Italy

Nov 29th, 2008, 05:15 PM
  #1  
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Help with wedding and honeymoon in Italy

Finance and I are thinking of marrying and honeymooning in Italy. Second marriage for both and we just want to do it right and splurge!

Wedding will be late May/June and just the two of us. We have both been to Rome before (not together) and I have also visited the Amalfi Coast/Naples area so we are looking fo rsomething different and will be touring North Italy.

So far 3 destinations in mind Italian Riveria, Lake District, and Venice. Would like to have the wedding in Riveria as we are beach people (live in FL) and would love to have a wedding overlooking the ocean. Is Portofino the best choice? Any locations for an ocean view civil ceremony or will we just have to have symbolic?

Venice, we will do the usual sightseeing here and have this part planned as well as a side trip here to Verona (or on the way)

Lake District - Is Maggiore/Stresa a better choice or Bellagio/Como? If we stay in Bellagio can we do a day trip to Stresa still? While here we would like to maybe stay in a castle/palace/villa overnight as a true luxury, please help.

General questions, what is wait period you have to be in Italy before wedding takes place? Any suggestions for a wedding planner to help with that part?

In what order would you do the trip? do we fly in and out of Milan? Do we rent a car or use some other mode of transit?

Trip planning is stressful enough but a wedding on top of it, UgggHhHh I need all the help I can get. BTW I have gotten GREAT advice on this board for a couple of other trips so don't disappoint!
sunlover is offline  
Nov 29th, 2008, 06:29 PM
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I got married in Italy almost 20 years ago and did it all on my own. Are you from the US? I have found that for most people the biggest difficulty is back home, not in Italy.

The first thing you need to do before anything else is go to an Italian Consulate in the US, bringing four friends with you who have known you for some time and can sign documents to the fact that you are who you say you are and are not married to someone else or leaving behind children and responsibilities from another marriage. If you don't live near a Italian Consulate in the US, this is often the most difficult piece of paperwork for people to arrange.

We also followed instructions to get Italian translations of our birth certificates, which we did, but no one ever used for any stage of the preparations. (Others have said they did need these at some point in Italy.)

In Italy you must file more paperwork with a US Consulate there, get it certified at the city's Prefettura, and then take all those documents to the town hall of the city where you want to marry and apply for a license. Back in the US, we were told we would need two witnesses for this part, but when we brought our witnesses to the consulate, we were told their presence was unnecessary.

We wanted to marry in Venice at city hall. This was pre-internet days, so an Italian friend of mine researched the phone number of the office in Venice that did marriage ceremonies. He spoke with the woman in charge (Sra Fuccillo) who actually spoke English, so I contacted her a few months in advance to reserve a time for the wedding. She told us to show up two days before with all our paperwork, and then she would prepare the license.

And so, we did our US paperwork about a month before the wedding. We lived in NYC, so this was easily accomplished. We arrived in Milan and went to the US Consulate in Milan the next day to file the paperwork. Another difficulty can be opening and closing times. We filed our papers in the morning, but had to return after lunch to receive the final documents. By the time we received them, the Prefettura in MIlan where they could be notarized by the proper authorities was closed for the day. Fortunately, we were told that the Prefettura in Venice could do the authorization as well. The next day we went to Venice. The next day after that, we filed our papers at city hall with Sra Fuccillo, and paid all the fees.

Two days later, a local magistrate performed the ceremony in Italian, with Sra Fucillo reading an English translation. The ceremony took place in the city council chamber in a room overlooking the Grand Canal.

The papaerwork and arrangements can be done on your own, but if you do a search here you will find a number of recommendations for wedding planners that might make the process easier. Triple check the latest information and requirements, since every step of the way you may deal with people who tell you something different. We found the US State Dept to offer the most clear and accurate description of the requirements at the time.

Really truly the most difficult part for most Americans is obtaining the documents you need from the Italian Consulate in the US.
ellenem is offline  
Nov 29th, 2008, 11:23 PM
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One hesitates to advise on a matter so personal as picking the perfect wedding spot, but a town on the Riviera you might consider other than Portofino is Camogli. There a many public areas in Camogli overlooking the sea where you could have a wedding. In addition, you could have your ceremony at the Hotel Cenobio dei Doge, or the Portofino Kulm. The restaurant Rosa has beautiful views, as does the tiny town of San Rocco di Camogl on the hill just above Camogli.

Portofino is a deep harbor that does not sit directly on the ocean, although you can climb up the hill for pretty ocean views. Some other towns with more direct views onto the sea, where you can find restaurants or hotels or public places with beautiful views are Zoagli, Pariggi, and Portovenere. The small abbey of San Fruttuoso, tucked into a nearly private cove, would make a memorable place for a wedding, provided you are willing to get on a boat, since it's the only way to get to these places.

You can google up the names of these places and click on the "images" option on Google to see pictures.

Also, I would not pick Stresa over Lago di Como, And consider flying into Genova airport if your first stop is the Riviera.
zeppole is offline  
Nov 30th, 2008, 05:45 AM
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Thanks for the advici so far. We have done outr preliminary homework and I know thqt only a "civil" ceremoony in Italy is legal not a religious or one at a hotel. Civil Ceremony can only be performed by mayor at a town hall (inside or outside in some locations) or another "municipal" building. I need to know if any of these type buildings have outdoor oceanview availqability in Portofino o other city in the Riviera. I will be wearing formal gown so a boat trip to the location may be out . . .


Also we have to fly into Milan as the marriage paperwork starts in US (translation of certificates, Apostille etc.) but you have to finish up at the embassy or consulate when you arrive in Italy before going to the town where you will marry to get license. I understnad there is only a large embassyt/consulate in either Rome or Milan but I could be wrong.

Please help with logistics, do we rent a car for this trip? Use a train or what to get between the 3 locations?
sunlover is offline  
Nov 30th, 2008, 06:59 AM
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Portofino is a beautiful setting, but Portovenere (in my view) is even prettier. They have a lovely church there in a very dramatic setting that is used for weddings. The manager in a local hotel was telling me about weddings held there for some of his overseas guests. I can give you details if you feel this is an option.
stevelyon is offline  
Nov 30th, 2008, 12:21 PM
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ttt
sunlover is offline  
Nov 30th, 2008, 02:24 PM
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I think both Camogli and Portovenere would be great choices. If you have not seen pics of the San Pietro church setting in Portovenere then you should--it is special.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 30th, 2008, 02:30 PM
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Portofino is a mamorable place for a wedding. The only place to stay for such an event is the Splendido Hotel. It overlooks the sea and is a first rate hotel in all respects. The dining room is the best around!
longboatkey is offline  
Nov 30th, 2008, 02:34 PM
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'We have done our preliminary homework and I know that only a "civil" ceremoony in Italy is legal not a religious or one at a hotel.'
Not true. There are as many Roman Catholic church weddings as civil ones, and unlike some countries (e.g. France), RC priests are authorised to perform both the religious marriage and the civil part (arising from concordat between the Vatican and the Italian State). Of course you need to be RC (or at least one of you plus a bishop's permission for a mixed marriage) and previous marriage involving RC partner(s) must have been annulled by the Church before you can proceed. And the final decision whether a full church marriage including civil part can be performed rests with the local clergy. Non-RC denominations aren't generally authorised to perform civil part of the wedding required by the state, so you will have to be married in a civil ceremony first before having your church service (like in France).
Alec is offline  
Nov 30th, 2008, 02:35 PM
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Speaking of "mamorable"...lol be sure to book as soon as you can as the Splendido fills with the Glitterati from Milano, the design house principles, models. and other celebrities.
longboatkey is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 06:02 AM
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Yes, Alec i did misspeak as we are not catholic and didn't even think of that. I am christian/protestant and finance is not religious so I was assuming if any religious ceremony, Protestant . . . Cil ceremonies ar ethe only legal ceremony that is recognized in the US and I guess some of the catholic ceremonies there may incorproate the civil portion. At any rate, my point was unlike the US where you can get marrier outdoors on te beach, in a hotel ballroom, a pretty garden etc, these ceremonies are not legal ceremonies in Italy so unless we want two ceremonies there (civil and then symbolic) or civil here in US before we go and symbolic after we get there, we are stuck with civil in ITaly.

Bob, I did look into Portovenere and it appears there is a civilly owned building that is old and historic where you can get married on the rooftop balcony overlooking hte ocean far below by the mayor, not sure if that was what you were referring but we are looking into that. If we had the wedding there, how far is it from Portofino? Could we stay in Portofino with accessability to hair dresser make up person etc for me for the big day and then ride over to Portovenere all dressed in gown and tux and have the wedding there?

BTW I had already looked at the Splendido and bookemarded their website as a potneital for the hotel stay along with San Giorgio, any thoughts on that one?
sunlover is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 06:56 AM
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No, it is too far from Portofino. I did mean the actual stone church on the point a real landmark of that coast. The church is named San Pietro.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 08:28 AM
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If you are basing yourself in Portofino, with hairdresser, tux, etc, you should try to get married in Portofino. Portofino has only one road going in and out of it. At times, that road is a one-track road. You could have quite a comic experience getting stuck behind a tour bus and delayed forever -- or if a car brakes down, missing your own wedding entirely.

It's hard to believe many people don't get married in Portofino with a sea view. Why don't you contact the the authorities in Portofino?

If they can't help perform the ceremony in a setting you like, the closest towns to Portofino you could drive to dressed up etc are Pariggi and Santa Margherita Ligure. If you are willing to take a boat dressed in your gown, you could also look into having the ceremony in the pretty hamlet of San Fruttuoso, which is administratively part of Camogli and right on the sea.
zeppole is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2008, 08:46 AM
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And in case you finally think you need it

http://www.deliciousitaly.com/tour.p...4&regione_id=8

I found them online. Don't know a think about them.
zeppole is offline  
Dec 5th, 2008, 10:05 AM
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LOL as I agree no way we can plan this opurselves. We were hoping to get the idea of the city and logistics of where in the area of Riveria we would stay before calling the wedding planner. I have bookmarked several online already though!

Doe sanybody know generally what the waitign period for marriage in Italy is. I googled it and found 2 different answers -go figure . . .
sunlover is offline  
Dec 5th, 2008, 01:40 PM
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When I married we had no waiting period or just the few days we took, although as I mentioned we went a few days ahead to make the arrangements. The logic at the time for no waiting period was this: since we were foreigners, posting the banns would not matter. No one knows us locally and therefore no one would protest our marriage.
ellenem is offline  
Feb 25th, 2009, 05:46 AM
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Sunlover, getting married in Italy can be difficult. I know I tried to do it myself first (I am a US citizen and my husband Irish). We ended up using www.italiandreamevents.com. They were the quickest to help us and only charged us based on exactly what we needed. They also helped us at no charge find our venue, accommodation and helped our guests.
If you are stuck I would give them a call or an email. In regards to the waiting period for US citizens you can only do a sworn declaration on a Tuesday or Thursday at the nearest embassy or consulate for the US. Then you can have your civil ceremony 2 days or more after. Logistically it can be quite difficult. I do know that there are some venues that will allow the civil ceremony to be on site, but this is ruled by the Italian government so I don't know exactly.
I would also look at Sirmione in Lake Garda - it is gorgeous and distinct. We have been there before and stayed at Villa Cortine I think that would make a beautiful location as well. Good luck!
ilbster is offline  
Apr 13th, 2009, 03:29 PM
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Hello!

I was just curious if you have an update as to what you decided to do. I too have almost the same situation as you...second wedding for both of us and looking to have an intimate ceremony on the french riviera overlooking the water. We are thinking it would just be the two of us as well. If you have any updates that you could share, I would love to hear what you ultimately decided and any more info that you learned. We arent looking for a religious ceremony either so our situations are so similar! Thanks!
couggirl is offline  
Apr 13th, 2009, 03:30 PM
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I meant the Italian Riviera...
couggirl is offline  

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