Hooray! You’ve just got engaged and want a wedding that you will never forget. I strongly believe that anybody with a love of travel should get married abroad – not only does this make the occasion extra special, but it also means that the country will always have a special significance to you both.
Europe is an excellent choice as there are dozens of romantic cities, plus it is not too far to travel so you will also be able to celebrate with friends and family. Out of all Europe’s beautiful cities, I believe that Florence, Italy is the perfect place for a luxury wedding.
Magnificent architecture, a gorgeous climate and a relaxed way of life characterise this city, which is hard not to fall in love with. Not to mention the superb dining scene!
Looking for cultural activities in Florence? Check out this article.
In all the excitement of your engagement and the thoughts of tying the knot in an exotic city, you may have overlooked the fact that there are certain things that you need to consider with a destination wedding. In order to ensure a smooth experience and no unexpected hurdles, I suggest that you start looking into paperwork at least 5 months before the big day.
Fortunately, Italy has no residential requirements for a wedding but you will need the following documents:
- Valid passport
- Birth certificate (long-form)
- Divorce decree (if applicable)
- Death certificate (if applicable)
- Certificate of No Impendium to Marriage (available from your country’s embassy in Italy)
Canadian citizens will require an affidavit from a notary in Canada, whilst US and Australian citizens will need to get an Atto Notorio (sworn declaration) from Italian authorities.
With the dull parts covered, we can now turn your attention to a crucial element – the venue!
For civil ceremonies, you are spoilt for choice in beautiful Florence, but the Pallazo Vecchio (the town hall) is an enchanting Romanesque building – it is one of the most well-known civic buildings in the country. The impressive space overlooks the Piazza Della Signoria, where you will find a copy of Michelangelo’s David statue – a great sight to behold. The wedding itself will take place in the sumptuous Sala Rossa (Red Room), which is decorated in a rich red and lavish gold (this was once the bedroom of Cosimo De Medici).
The Sala Rossa in Pallazo Vecchio is the obvious choice, but it is also worth taking a look at the glorious Salone dei Cinquecento and the fresco-filled Sala di Lorenzo, which is in the museum section.
If you want a church wedding in Florence, you or your partner must be Catholic and it must be in a Catholic church. There are a few stunning churches here which will be the ultimate setting for declaring your love for one another.
- The Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi is a marvellous Renaissance-style church in central Florence which is adorned with ancient artwork.
- The Basilica di San Miniato al Monte is perfectly situated on top of one of the highest points in Florence and it is, unquestionably, one of the prettiest churches in Italy.
- St James Episcopal Church is another popular option and you will understand why when you see the interior. This is also the church where David Bowie got married – it is certainly a special building!
There are many wonderful spaces for the reception – here are a few recommendations:
- Il Salviatino – this amazing hotel sits on a hill, offers glorious views of the city and also has an epic interior.
- Palazzo Borghese – An enormous palace in the centre of Florence, you can hire out different rooms, each of which has an ornate and impressive décor.
- Castello di Vincigliata – There is nowhere better for a reception than a castle, with Castello di Vincigliata being a great choice thanks to the spacious and scenic courtyard, large garden and enormous interior rooms.
How to Get to Florence
Weddings will always be stressful and there is a tremendous amount of planning and organisation involved – this is particularly true for a destination wedding. Fortunately, travelling to Florence is straightforward and British Airways allow you to fly directly in just over 2 hours. Florence (FLR) airport is 11km outside the city, so you will want to arrange a transfer for quick and easy passage where you do not have to worry about public transportation.
Shuttle Direct provide a group transfer service that will enable both you and your wedding party to arrive quickly and safely from the airport.
Where to Stay for your Honeymoon:
Hotel Principe – Nestled in the heart of Florence next to the Arno River, this elegant boutique hotel is perfect for a romantic honeymoon. Lounge on your own private terrace with splendid views of the river or the city as you enjoy breakfast delivered to your room. You are just a short stroll from the cafes, bars, restaurants, galleries and other cultural attractions of the city, making this the ideal spot from which to explore.
Relais Villa Antea – This beautiful villa has been turned into a luxury bed and breakfast which boasts extravagant rooms complete with silk tapestries, paintings and spacious marble bathrooms. It is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of central Florence in a charming neighbourhood, just a 15 minute walk from Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia Gallery. A stay here feels like you’ve stepped into a story book – perfect for a fairytale honeymoon!
Il Salviatino – Outside of Florence amongst the rolling Tuscan Hills you will find this grand, fifteenth-century villa, set in its own extensive private grounds. Its spacious suites and sumptuous interiors make Il Salviatino the perfect place in which to unwind and indulge. The restaurant serves delicious traditional Tuscan recipes in a spectacular panoramic dining room. After the excitement of the wedding, this is a peaceful retreat for your honeymoon and the beginning of your life as man and wife.
About Shuttle Direct:
Shuttle Direct is Europe’s most trusted airport transfer company providing safe, comfortable and reliable passage between airports, train stations, hotels and cruise terminals.
Regardless of the destination, they can provide private or shared transfers for all group sizes and budgets.
Use their simple online booking system to arrange your transfer and take all the stress out of travel on your trip.