No mortal thing enthralled these longing eyes
When perfect peace in thy fair face I found;
But far within, where all is holy ground,
My soul felt Love, her comrade of the skies:
For she was born with God in Paradise;
"Celestial Love" - M. Buonarroti
Table of Contents
If you are considering to elope abroad, Italy should be at the top of your list of destinations. The country is home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world, from the rolling hills of Tuscany to the crystal emerald waters of the Amalfi Coast. Its rich history and cultural heritage make it the perfect place for an intimate and romantic elopement, and its’ delicious cuisine is sure to please even the most discerning foodies. Whether you are looking for a quaint and charming countryside setting or a sophisticated and elegant city setting, Italy has something for everyone. So why wait? Start planning your dream wedding in Italy today! I hope that this Ultimate guide on How to Elope in Italy will cover everything you need to know and inspire you to live an amazing overall experience.
Elope in Italy: A thrilling lifetime adventure
Hey there! I am Kostas, your elopement videographer in Italy and personal storyteller! I am a Destination Wedding Filmmaker based mostly in Greece, Italy and France – also available worldwide. My aim is to provide you with an absolutely unforgettable lifetime experience, and to assist you along the way while you plan to elope in Italy.
An elopement is always an intimate personalized experience, much more bespoke than a traditional wedding and so is my approach. Everyone is different and each couple’s story is unique, so my elopement films are not a copy-paste of another couple’s film. They are an authentic representation of who you are, and why you chose to be together in the first place!
When we work together, I do not simply document your elopement. I will:
- Provide you with a custom elopement videography collection, depending on your plans and expectations.
- Suggest a few ideas and locations that may enhance your elopement experience and make it feel more personal
- Refer some of the best local vendors through my professional network
- Make you feel that you are hanging out with a long-time friend, while you elope in Italy
- And, of course, create the most beautiful keepsake from your adventure. A film lasting a lifetime.
Get in touch with me today, let’s meet and chat about your plans to elope in Italy. I look forward to hearing about you, your story and plans! Are you ready?
As a first step, have a look in this guide with everything you need to know about eloping in Italy. I hope that it can provide you with a good starting point and offer some inspiration to plan your adventure at best.
So, let’s dive into it!
What is an elopement?
An elopement is a type of wedding ceremony in which the couple chooses to forgo a traditional wedding and instead gets married in secret, often with just a few close friends or family members present. While traditional weddings are often lavish affairs with large guest lists and extensive planning, elopements are typically much smaller and more intimate. They often involve the couple running away to a special location to exchange vows, either alone or with a few loved ones.
One of the main reasons people choose to elope is because they want a more personal and intimate wedding experience. They may want to avoid the stress and expense of planning a traditional wedding, or they may simply want to celebrate their love in a more private setting.
Elopements can take place in a variety of locations, both domestic and abroad. Some couples choose to elope to a destination that holds special meaning to them, such as a place where they first met or a location that has always been a dream destination. Others opt for a local location that has special significance to them, such as a park or beach.
Elopements can be as simple or as elaborate as the couple desires. Some couples choose to have a traditional wedding ceremony with a small number of guests, while others opt for a more casual affair. Some couples choose to exchange vows in a beautiful natural setting, while others prefer a more formal setting, such as a historic building or a chapel.
While elopements may not be for everyone, they can be a wonderful way for couples to celebrate their love in a way that feels true to them. Whether you want a traditional wedding or a more intimate and personal celebration, an elopement can be the perfect way to start your new life together.
Why you should elope in Italy
Italy is located in southern Europe and is known for its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural history, its’ bohemian Dolce Vita style and delicious cuisine. If you’re considering to elope in Italy, here are some reasons why you should definitely do it:
- Beautiful landscapes: Italy is home to a range of stunning landscapes, including the snow-capped peaks of the Alps, the rolling hills of Tuscany, and the crystal-clear waters of the Amalfi Coast. Whether you want to elope on a mountain, or prefer a beach elopement, Italy has a location that is perfect for you.
- Rich cultural history: Italy has a long and rich cultural history, with ancient ruins and monuments that date back to the Roman Empire. Exchange vows amidst the stunning architecture and historic sites of Italy, and immerse yourself in the country’s rich culture and traditions.
- Delicious cuisine: Italy is known for its delicious cuisine, with dishes such as pasta, pizza, and gelato that are loved around the world. Treat your taste buds to the best Italy has to offer, and enjoy a romantic meal together after your elopement, or even incorporate Italian dishes into your elopement ceremony.
- The excellent vendors: Italy is home to a number of talented photographers, videographers, florists, and other vendors who can help you bring your elopement vision to life. These vendors have experience working with couples from around the world and can help you plan an unforgettable elopement.
- The opportunity to travel: Eloping in Italy offers you the opportunity to travel and explore a new country together. You and your partner can enjoy all that Italy has to offer, from its stunning landscapes and rich cultural history to its delicious cuisine and vibrant art scene.
Overall, Italy is a beautiful and romantic destination for an elopement. With its stunning landscapes, rich cultural history, delicious cuisine, and excellent vendors network, Italy is the perfect place to elope and plan the perfect ceremony to exchange vows.
Legal Requirements to Elope in Italy
When you plan to elope in Italy, it’s important to be aware of the legal requirements that must be met in order to get legally married in the country. I suggest that you start planning at least 4 months before a civil wedding and 6 months before a Catholic wedding date in order to not meet any time impediments.
First and foremost, you will need to obtain a marriage license from the Italian government. This process can take several weeks, so it’s important to start planning early. You will need to provide the following:
- Birth certificates
- Certificates / Affidavit of no impediment to marriage
- Two witnesses
- When you’re planning to elope in Italy, and also have a civil ceremony then you’ll also need to submit a declaration of intent to marry.
Your documents need to be translated into Italian and have them authenticated by an Italian embassy or consulate.
It’s important to note that if you are planning to have a religious ceremony, you may need to meet additional requirements, such as obtaining permission from the church and completing premarital counseling.
When you plan to elope in Italy with a symbolic ceremony, a civil ceremony needs to be incorporated in order to make the marriage legal. If you’re interested in legally getting married in Italy, then you can find more information by contacting your country’s Embassy in Italy.
That said, many couples may feel overwhelmed with all the steps and paperwork needed. My suggestion is that you can always get legally married in your home country and then organize a symbolic ceremony in Italy. This is what many of the couples that elope in Italy opt to do, because they can still exchange vows and have an intimate ceremony, while avoiding to worry about the legal aspect and paperwork in a foreign country. Overall, it’s important to do your research and plan ahead when you want to elope in Italy. By following the legal requirements and choosing a location that is meaningful to you, you can have a beautiful and memorable elopement in this beautiful country.
Where to Elope in Italy
Italy is a country with a rich cultural history, stunning natural beauty, and delicious cuisine, making it an excellent destination for an elopement. If you’re considering to elope in Italy, here are a few of the best places to consider:
- The Italian Alps: The Italian Alps offer a stunning mountain setting for your elopement, with snow-capped peaks, alpine meadows, and crystal-clear lakes. The region is home to a number of charming ski towns and villages, such as Courmayeur and Cervinia, that offer a range of outdoor activities and a beautiful natural setting when you elope in Italy.
- The Amalfi Coast: The Amalfi Coast is known for its stunning beaches, turquoise waters, and charming villages. The region offers a range of outdoor locations that are perfect for a beach elopement, such as Sorrento, Positano, Ravello, and Amalfi. For more details and inspiration you can check out my guide on the best Luxury Wedding Venues in Amalfi Coast.
- The Italian Lakes: The Italian Lakes region is home to a number of stunning lakes, including Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, and Lake Garda. The region offers a range of outdoor locations that are perfect for an elopement, including charming villages, picturesque gardens, and beautiful villas. If you plan to elope in Italy, don’t forget to check out my guide on the best Wedding Venues in Lake Como.
- Tuscany: Tuscany is known for its rolling hills, charming villages, and delicious cuisine. The region offers a range of outdoor locations that are perfect for an elopement, such as vineyards, olive groves, and ancient ruins. For a more detailed reference of wedding venues I suggest that you check out my guide on the best places to get married in Tuscany.
- The Cinque Terre: The Cinque Terre is a region located on the Italian Riviera that is known for its stunning coastal views and charming villages. The region offers a range of outdoor locations that are perfect for an Italian elopement, such as Riomaggiore, Manarola, and Vernazza.
- The Italian Dolomites: The Italian Dolomites are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy and offer a stunning mountain setting for your elopement. The region is home to a number of charming ski towns and villages, such as Cortina d’Ampezzo and Alta Badia, that offer a range of outdoor activities and a beautiful natural backdrop for your pictures when you plan to elope in Italy.
- Rome: Can you elope in the heart of the Italian Capital? Even in the busiest city you can find intimate and secluded spots that can offer privacy to plan your intimate ceremony. For instance you can have magnificent views of Rome from the balcony of Villa Medici, a Rennaissance built monument, in the heart of the Borghese Gardens.
For more ideas and inspiration, specifically for an adventure elopement, you can also check out my extensive guide with the Top-10 locations to plan an adventurous elopement in Italy.
Transport and Accommodation when you Elope in Italy
Transportation and accommodation are important considerations when you plan to elope in Italy. Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your transportation and accommodation for your elopement:
- Transportation: Italy has an efficient and reliable public transportation system, with options such as trains, buses, and flights available to get you to your elopement destination. If you are planning on traveling to multiple locations within Italy, you may want to consider renting a car, which can give you more flexibility and allow you to explore the country at your own pace. Just keep in mind that Italy has strict traffic laws and it is recommended to have an international driver’s license if you plan on renting a car.
- Accommodation: When it comes to accommodation, Italy has a wide range of options to suit different budgets and preferences. Popular options include hotels, B&Bs, and vacation rentals such as Airbnb. If you are looking for a more luxurious option, you may want to consider renting a villa or castle. Just keep in mind that availability and prices can vary depending on the season and location, so it is recommended to book your accommodation in advance to ensure you get your preferred option.
- Location: The location of your transportation and accommodation can also impact your elopement plans. If you are planning a destination elopement, you may want to choose a location that is easily accessible by transportation and has a range of accommodation options nearby. On the other hand, if you are looking for a more intimate and remote elopement, you may want to choose a location that is more secluded and requires more specialized transportation to reach.
By considering your transportation and accommodation needs and preferences, you can ensure that you have a smooth and enjoyable experience when you elope in Italy.
When is it best to Elope in Italy?
Italy is a popular destination for elopements because of its stunning landscapes, rich history, and delicious cuisine. But when is the best time to plan an elopement in Italy? Here are a few factors to consider:
- Weather: Italy is known for its hot, dry summers and mild winters, but the weather can vary depending on the region. If you want to elope during the warmer months, consider the south of Italy, which has a Mediterranean climate with long, hot summers and short, mild winters. On the other hand, the north of Italy has a more continental climate with colder winters and cooler summers.
- Tourist Season: Italy is a popular tourist destination, so you may want to avoid the busiest times of year if you want a more intimate and relaxed elopement. The peak tourist season runs from June to August, with the shoulder seasons (May and September) being slightly less crowded. If you want to elope in a less crowded and more intimate setting, consider planning your elopement for the off-season (October to April).
- Festivals and Events: Italy is home to many festivals and events throughout the year, which can add to the excitement and cultural flavor of your elopement. Some popular events to consider include Carnevale di Venezia (Venice Carnival) in February, the Palio di Siena (Siena Horse Race) in July and August, and the Festa della Rificolona (Florence Lantern Festival) in September.
- Personal Preferences: Ultimately, the best time to plan your elopement in Italy will depend on your personal preferences and schedule. Consider what type of weather and atmosphere you prefer, as well as any other events or commitments you may have.
No matter when you choose to elope in Italy, it is sure to be a memorable and romantic experience. The country’s breathtaking landscapes, rich culture, and delicious cuisine make it the perfect destination for an intimate and unforgettable elopement.
List of Activities and fun things to do on your elopement day
Here are a few ideas for some more fun and personalization when you elope in Italy:
- Take a romantic gondola ride through the canals of Venice.
- Go wine tasting in Tuscany.
- Visit the Colosseum and other ancient ruins in Rome.
- Take a cooking class and learn how to make traditional Italian dishes.
- Go hiking in the Dolomites.
- Visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
- Go island hopping in the Aeolian Islands.
- Take a hot air balloon ride over the countryside.
- Go scuba diving in the Mediterranean Sea.
- Take a tour of the Amalfi Coast by boat.
- Visit the art museums and galleries in Florence.
- Go skiing in the Italian Alps.
- Take a trip to Pompeii and explore the ancient Roman city.
- Go truffle hunting in Umbria.
- Visit the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican City in Rome.
- Take a tour of the Cinque Terre by train.
- Go white water rafting in the Italian Alps.
- Visit the historic town of Siena.
- Go bungee jumping off the Grand Canyon of the Arno in Tuscany (I will film you from above lol).
- Take a hot springs bath in the town of Bagni di Lucca.
- Order a private chef catered meal to your AirBnb or Villa
- Take a Jeep tour to epic and secluded mountain locations
- Take a helicopter tour and shoot some footage with your videographer in the Dolomites (please do this)
- The possibilities are endless!
The Cost to Elope in Italy
Eloping in Italy can be a budget-friendly alternative to a traditional wedding, but the cost of an elopement in Italy can vary greatly depending on your location, style, vendors and personal preferences. Below are a few budget considerations and a check list to help you keep it organized.
Here are a few factors to consider when budgeting for your elopement in Italy:
- Location: The cost to elope in Italy can vary depending on where you choose to hold the ceremony. Popular destinations such as Rome, Florence, and Venice tend to be more expensive, while smaller towns and rural areas may be more budget-friendly. Keep in mind that you may also need to factor in travel costs to and from your chosen location.
- Style: The style of your elopement can also affect the cost. A more intimate elopement with just the two of you and a witness will likely be less expensive than a larger celebration with dramatic floral decorations, an officiant, live music and guests.
- If you are planning to also have legal recognition for your elopement in Italy, rather than just a symbolic ceremony, there may be costs involved with the legal requirements (eg. Official translations, or presence of an interpret), depending on your country of origin. It is recommended to consult with a local wedding planner or lawyer to understand the specific requirements and costs.
- Personal Preferences: Other factors that can affect the cost of your elopement in Italy include your own personal preferences, such as your choice of venue, attire, and any additional services or amenities you may want, such as an officiant, a caterer or floral arrangements.
- Elopement Photography and Videography: Elopement photography and videography will be a significant part of your total budget, and rightly so. The right choice for your Elopement Photographer and Videographer in Italy is paramount. Although not essential, it is important to have professionals that are familiar with your preferred location, that have an artistic vision that resonates with your personal preference, and with whom you can connect on a personal level in the first place. Booking artists that stand out of the crowd and that will tell your story in a unique and personalized way is a factor that will also determine the total cost of your elopement. It is difficult to discuss art in terms of budget, I would simply suggest to not make compromises when choosing your storytellers, as you will possibly regret this later.
There are also indirect costs (not directly related to your elopement, but on the overall celebration in a foreign country) which will influence your total budget, and hence should be considered:
- Accommodations: Most probably you will be planning on staying in Italy for more than a few days. Hence, you will need to factor in the cost of accommodations in your total budget. This can range from a budget-friendly Airbnb or hostel to a luxurious hotel or villa.
- Travel: You will also need to factor in the cost of travel to and from Italy, including flights, transportation within the country, and any necessary visas or travel documents.
Your Budget Checklist when you Elope in Italy
To help you with your elopement planning, here is an extensive checklist list to keep track of your total budget
- Transportation (flights, rental car, parking, tolls, insurance, boat transfers etc)
- Airbnb, Villa or other accommodation
- Wedding Planner
- Makeup trial (if any)
- Hair & Makeup Artist
- Décor rentals
- Vow booklets
- Wedding rings
- Permits and fees for marriage license
- Permits and fees to shoot in specific locations (some archeological sites, or venues may require this)
- Additional details such as stationary, invitations, thank you cards
- Food, snacks, drinks
- Dress & Tux Rentals/Purchases
Overall, the total cost of planning an elopement in Italy can range from a few thousand euros for a simple, intimate ceremony to several tenths of thousands for a larger celebration with additional amenities! Finding your ideal venue, photographer and videographer, as well as other personal preferences that you may have for the event, you can create an approximate total budget that works for you and helps you plan the perfect elopement in Italy.
What to Wear when you Elope in Italy
Italy is acclaimed for its chic and stylish fashion, so it’s no surprise that couples planning an elopement in Italy want to look their best. Here are some tips for what to wear for your elopement in Italy:
- Opt for comfortable and stylish clothing: Since elopements are often more relaxed and informal than traditional weddings, it’s important to choose clothing that is both comfortable and stylish. Consider lightweight and breathable fabrics like linen, cotton, or silk, and opt for clothing that fits well and flatters your body.
- Consider the season and location: Italy has a Mediterranean climate, which means that temperatures can vary significantly depending on the time of year and the location. Consider the weather and the setting of your elopement when choosing your attire. If you’re getting married in the warmer months, opt for lightweight and breathable fabrics to keep cool. If you’re getting married in the cooler months, consider layering with a jacket or wrap to stay warm.
- Dress up or dress down: While it’s important to look your best for your elopement, it’s also important to be comfortable and feel like yourself. Decide on the level of formality that feels right for you and your partner, and dress accordingly. If you want a more formal and traditional look, you could consider a suit or tuxedo for the groom and a wedding dress or formal gown for the bride. If you’re eloping in a more casual setting, such as a beach or outdoor garden, something more relaxed and comfortable may be more appropriate and offer a more bohemian style. You can also opt for something more laid-back like a sundress or jeans. After all it is your day!
- Accessorize wisely: Accessories can add the finishing touch to your elopement attire and help you stand out. Consider adding a statement piece like a statement necklace, a scarf, or a hat to add a touch of personality to your look. Just be sure not to overdo it and keep the focus on you and your partner.
Overall, it’s important to choose clothing that is comfortable, stylish, and fits the season and location of your elopement in Italy. With these tips in mind, you’ll be sure to look and feel your best on your special day.
How to Elope in Italy: My Pro-Tips
- The best lighting occurs about 1 – 2 hours before sunrise, and 1 – 2 hours before sunset. This is typically called the ‘golden hour’, where the light is extra soft and coming from a direction that creates beautiful shadows. Tall mountains like the ones in the alps and Dolomites may add an hour onto this time, it’s best to check together beforehand, to calculate the best timings for your elopement location.
- It’s best to elope on a weekday to avoid the crowds, this is important for popular locations, such as the Amalfi Coast.
- Allow time for transport between locations and plan for the worst. When you have your wedding outdoors by the sea or on top of a mountain, you must embrace what mother nature throws at you. A little rain and dirt never hurt anyone!
Choosing your Vendors for your Italian Elopement
Although an elopement is a more intimate event than a destination wedding and may involve a lot of DIY, there are still a few vendors that you should absolutely consider booking:
- Your elopement Photographer and Videographer. The artists and storytellers of the day, for a lifetime. They will connect with you and capture all the necessary visual elements to tell your story through their vision.
- An experienced elopement officiant. Not only will they help create the right mood for your ceremony, they will also provide an additional narrative speech for your elopement film, including some of your favorite readings and poetry.
- A wedding planner may assist you with all the organization, especially from abroad, and with the coordination of the day. They will also ensure to avoid pitfalls and suggest alternative plans in case something unexpected happens.
- A floral designer. Depending on the level of decoration that you wish to have for the day, you can book a dedicated professional who will recreate your mood board.
- A caterer. If you have a few guests attending you can organize an outdoors dinner for them, or book a restaurant
- A bridal hair and make-up artist.
- A band. Having music play while you walk down the aisle and after exchanging vows may be a once in a lifetime immersive experience. You can also have a first dance right after the ceremony.
Here’s everything you need to know about choosing your wedding vendors, when you plan to elope in Italy:
- Research your options – Look for vendors who have experience with elopements in Italy as they will be familiar with the best locations, as well as any possible local restrictions. Local professionals will be able to help you with the language barrier, where needed.
- Be sure to book professionals that are legally allowed to work in Italy. Keep in mind that only businesses that are legally registered within the European Union are allowed to provide services within the EU countries, and Italy in particular. Some of the best award-winning professional photographers and Videographers worldwide work here, so you have a lot of options when you plan to elope in Italy.
- Check out their portfolios, where relevant, and read reviews from past clients to get a sense of their style and level of professionalism.
- Determine your budget – Consider how much you are willing to spend on your photographer and videographer and make sure to allocate your budget accordingly. Keep in mind that destination wedding photographers and videographers may charge more due to the added cost of travel and accommodations, especially for multi-day weddings. Set your priorities wisely, and keep in mind that your wedding pictures and film will be your lifetime keepsakes from your special day. Hence it is important to be able to book the photographer and videographer that most resonate with your style and not do budget driven concessions in this field.
- Communicate your vision – Share your vision for your wedding with your vendors, especially your photographer and videographer so they can understand your style and preferences. You can discuss together things that you like and they will be able to propose specific shots or additional sessions or locations which may enhance the storytelling experience.
- Consider the logistics – Think about the logistics of your wedding location and how they will impact your planning and the vendors work. For example, if you are eloping on a remote location, consider the lighting, the availability of power, and the accessibility/facilities of the location.
- Review the contract – Make sure to review the contracts carefully and ask any questions you may have before signing. The contract should outline the services included, the deliverables, and the payment terms.
By choosing the right vendors and communicating your vision and logistics, you can ensure that you will have the most amazing experience when you elope in Italy.
Elope in Italy: Your Storytelling Videographer
When you plan to elope in Italy, you’d definitely like to have the best keepsake from your special day for the rest of your lives. My name is Kostas Petsas, founder of the Cinema of Poetry. Your elopement videographer in Italy! I am a Destination Wedding Filmmaker based mostly in Greece, Italy and France – also available worldwide. My work has received many accolades and in particular I have received the Best European Wedding Film Award in 2018 from Way Up North (also finalist in 2021). I have also been awarded as Best International Wedding Videographer of the Year for three years in a row (2018, 2019, 2020) both from Inspiration Photographers Association and from ASIA WPA.
Italy is like my second-home, I speak Italian fluently and I spend almost half of my time there. I film destination weddings in Italy very often and I can assist you in organizing your dream elopement, through my network of the best local professional vendors. Already decided on where to elope in Italy? Time to start chatting about how to tell your story in the most authentic way!