Destination Wedding in Sicily: the ultimate guide


When it comes to planning a destination wedding, there are hundreds of decisions to make, ranging from the smallest of decorative details to the bigger, more obvious such as location, as well as the numerous administrative and legal requirements in between.

If you are planning your big day in Sicily and don’t know where to start from this article has you covered. In this updated destination wedding guide you will find out all you need to know about a destination wedding and why you a local expert, like us, can help if you are dreaming about getting married in Italy and, above all, Sicily, the island we are really passionate about.

What is a Destination wedding?

A destination wedding is a wedding that takes place away from the couple’s hometown or country.

For many couples, it is a chance to make reality the ceremony of their dreams, in a location they have close to their heart.

Unlike a regular or non-destination wedding, the event beyond the ceremony tends to last longer than one day, in order to make the most of the chosen location and the long-distance travelled by the couple and guests.

The wedding is either planned long-distance by the couple themselves, or by a destination-wedding planner who is usually based in the country of choice.

Year after year, Italy is chosen as one of the top countries for a destination wedding, and in recent years, more couples are choosing the magical island of Sicily to tie the knot and make special, lasting memories for themselves and guests.

Indeed, Italian celeb couple Chiara Ferragni and Fedez chose to wed in the beautiful Sicilian countryside location of Noto.

Reasons why you need a destination wedding planner in Sicily

All weddings require a lot of planning, with most couples tending to begin the process a year or two in advance.

That being said, the long-distance nature of destination weddings means there is an even greater deal of planning and organization involved. Without a local wedding planner, the run-up to a destination wedding can be a rather stressful experience.

Each country has different rules and customs when it comes to wedding ceremonies, and there are likely to be a number of tricky bureaucratic and administrative challenges along the way.

A good local wedding planner knows the industry in their country inside out. They have planned many destination weddings and have seen and overcome the various challenges a thousand times before.

Luxury Wedding SettingTaormina

1. The destination wedding planner saves you time

While planning your special day alone, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the details. Naturally, you want the event to be perfect, and this can mean going over and over the options in your head, and never actually coming to conclusions.

There can be endless emails with venues regarding availability, pricing, capacity and facilities, alongside back and forth with suppliers regarding decorations, food, equipment, entertainment, and so on. The list really is endless, and you will end up with hundreds of tabs open, not only on your Internet browser but also inside your head!

An experienced wedding planner already knows the answer to many of the questions you will spend months asking.

Planning a great wedding alone, while possible, is to take the long way around. For a more efficient planning experience, your best option really is to choose a local expert whose inside knowledge allows them to take the direct route and get the ball rolling quickly.

They say that planning a wedding is like taking on a second job. And with all the expectations of modern-day life, taking on such a task can really consume your every last minute. Your downtime should be spent in much less stressful ways! Instead, allow your planning to be an enjoyable experience by leaving it to the professional. You can be sure that every communication with them from start to finish will be a pleasure rather than a chore.

2. The destination wedding planner speaks the local language

One of the barriers while planning a destination wedding is of course the language. The language is usually the first barrier that couples can face when trying to plan their destination wedding in Italy.

You will soon discover that various paperwork and conversations are required. For example, one of the steps is to visit the local marriage office in the city hall of your chosen location in order to express your intention of marriage.

If you don’t speak italian, you will need to take with you a person who is able to translate. This is just one example of a scenario where a local wedding planner will be able to remove the stress around the language barrier.

In Sicily, communication with suppliers can be a particular challenge since many smaller businesses that may be involved do not speak English or additional languages.

This is especially true of those providing more traditional or niche elements that are special to the area, for example, particular flowers or food specialties from certain villages.

Sicily is a place that contains many traditions and idioms, which many couples choose to incorporate into their special day, so the ability to communicate with small, local suppliers makes a real difference.

A Sicilian wedding planner will have an extensive book of contacts for every aspect of a wedding, many of them based in remote settings, experts in their particular field. Not only do these local suppliers usually not speak English, but often they speak in a Sicilian dialect that only locals will recognize!

These kinds of relationships have been built by wedding providers over the years, and once they know your vision, they will go to the land’s end to call their contacts on your behalf and source the finer details that make a Sicilian wedding truly unique.

couple getting married at the greek theater in Taormina

3. The destination-wedding planner knows the territory and the venues

While it may be easy to find some of the most popular wedding venues in Sicily online doing your own research, if you want something that really brings your dream to life, then a wedding planner in Sicily is what you need.

Every couple has a unique vision, and it is the job of the destination-wedding planner to understand that vision while using their knowledge of the place to inject local expertise. After all, a couple usually tends to choose a certain location because they want an element of authenticity of the place to be reflected in their event.

Perhaps you have dreamt of tying the knot next to the Sicilian sea, a romantic town such as Taormina, or perhaps in a typical Italian village such as Castelmola.

Maybe you have your heart set on a grand palace location for a taste of old-style Sicily, or perhaps you’ve been considering something non-conventional, such as a wedding on the slopes of Europe’s most active volcano, Mount Etna.

An experienced wedding planner in Sicily will be able to guide you about the realities of these options so that you can make an informed choice.

A destination-wedding planner has knowledge about which venues and locations are optimal for which number of guests, which overnight arrangements will be possible, which kind of travel arrangements will be involved, and so on.

Once the planner has considered which venues will meet all your practical requirements, they will share with you a list of potential venues that tick your boxes from a stylistic and experiential view.

The insider knowledge of venues and locations is one of the reasons you should also choose a local destination-wedding planner, rather than an international planner or agency that is based in your home country, even if they do speak the language.

In addition, a destination-wedding planner knows which venues are actually possible for your kind of ceremony. They know the rules and regulations around weddings in Sicily, and by leaving it in their hands, you avoid a scenario where you get your hopes up regarding a venue only to find they don’t have the right kind of permit, for example!

Remember that for weddings in Italy (Sicily included) the official ceremony will need to take place in a town hall or in a church if it’s a Catholic wedding. However, many couples choose to accompany this official aspect with a symbolic ceremony, for which the location options are endless.

Wedding table at the Belmond Timeo hotel in Taormina

4. The destination-wedding planner makes complicated planning easy

It goes without saying that by nature, wedding planners are highly organized. And destination-wedding planners are probably even more so, due to the added layer of complications involved when it comes to working cross-borders.

It’s these organizational skills that make the best wedding planners so great at what they do.

The art of wedding planning is making your special day look easy and for things to flow seamlessly. Your guests will have no idea of all the work that has been going on behind the scenes for months on end!

A great wedding planner removes stress from the couple.

There will be a thousand small details and practical conversations to be had, but being great listeners, they use the initial planning stages to really get to know your desires, and from there, they are able to have many conversations on your behalf without having to bother you for constant answers.

The result is a streamlined process, where the couple feels involved at every stage but never overwhelmed.

5. The destination-wedding planner can help you with papers and requirements

Perhaps one of the biggest perks of hiring a wedding planner is that they can take away the stresses involved in finding out about the required documentation. Which, if you’re going it alone, can involve a stressful process of research, plus chasing various authorities for answers and signatures.

If you are trying to plan a destination wedding alone, you will soon discover there are many administrative tasks involved when making sure you are doing things properly and legally.

For many couples, this can be a more complicated and unenjoyable aspect of the planning process.

A great destination-wedding planner is not phased by the various legal requirements and will happily take on these tasks on your behalf to make sure no stone is left unturned.

Legal requirements for getting married in Sicily

The official requirements needed for a destination wedding in Italy vary depending on the home country of the couple. It also depends on the couple’s nationality whether or not they will need to start preparing the paperwork from their home country or whether they can wait until they arrive in Italy.

If you require a religious ceremony, there are further papers you will need in order to get married in Italy.

Amongst the required documents are:

  • A pre-marriage preparation certificate from a Pre-Cana appointment
  • A permission letter from the Bishop of your parish
  • A Formal permission letter from your parish Priest stating that they accept your desire to marry at a particular church in Italy

This paperwork must then all be legalized and then translated into Italian so they can be accepted by the parish in Italy. If you want to know more about it read the post: Legal requirements to get married in Italy.

Our experienced destination wedding planner will be able to remove any stresses involved around paperwork.

We are highly experienced when it comes to organizing destination weddings for couples from around the world, and we know the processes like the back of our hands, so contact us and let us design the perfect wedding for you.

Getting married in Sicily should be a joyful experience from start to finish.

Wedding arrangement at Taormina luxury hotel

Popular destination wedding venues in Sicily

The choice of venue is one of the biggest decisions involved when planning a destination wedding. Sicily is an island of variety and contrasts, so the list really is endless. But one of the most timeless choices of wedding destinations in Sicily is the romantic town of Taormina.

For an official ceremony, you could choose one of the beautiful traditional churches around Taormina’s iconic checkerboard piazza. In the spring and summer, the trees lining the piazza are filled with bright pink bougainvillea flowers, making a classically beautiful backdrop.

When it comes to the post-ceremony event and party, or even if you are opting for a symbolic ceremony, then you would not regret opting for the luxury environment of one of Taormina’s top hotels. Top choices include San Domenico Palace, Villa Sant’Andrea, or Grand Hotel Timeo.

Each of these have been enjoyed by movie and literary stars since the 1960’s, and boast views to the sparkling sea and striking Mount Etna in the background.

If a more quant setting is what you prefer, then the village of Castelmola offers the most charming spot with unbeatable hilltop views. Imagine having a medieval village all to yourself. Then add the participation of the local community for an unforgettable, traditional street party. The result will be a truly unforgettable event that gives you and your guests a true taste of Sicily.

Other popular choices for an unforgettable destination-wedding in Sicily include luxury beach locations, such as Tao Beach club, a modern luxury beach venue where you can say ‘i do’ to the soundtrack of the Taormina sea then celebrate on the sand until the sun goes down.

Alternatively, the list of grand, palatial locations is extensive. Options include Villa La Limonaia, a neoclassical villa that featured in The Godfather, Palazzo Biscari in Catania, or the princely baroque residence of Castello san Marco. Whatever your dream Sicilian wedding location, our destination wedding planner will help you to find the perfect fit.

We work close to the most exclusive event venues in Taormina and whole Sicily. If you are planning a special wedding for your wedding and want to surprise your guests, contact our event planner and start designing the perfect Sicilian wedding.

Sicily destination wedding tips and other considerations

When discussing your destination wedding with the event planner you will probably need to think about the following things.

Best time to get married in Sicily – Weather

The weather is an important consideration when it comes to destination-wedding planning. Many couples choose Sicily because they have dreamt of a Mediterranean wedding with blue skies and balmy nights. That said, the weather still varies across the island, and we are often asked “when is the best time of year to get married in Sicily?”…

The answer to this question truly differs for each searching couple, and we believe each season to have its own special offering. Our destination-wedding planner can help you decide which time of year will best suit your needs.

With this question in mind, we have also compiled an ultimate guide to the best time to get married in Sicily.

Additional event planning

One of the things that makes a destination wedding so special is the ability to explore the destination further beyond the day of ‘I do’.

After the long-distance preparation and flying guests from various locations to be united in this dreamy island, it is the perfect excuse to enjoy some unique excursions and experiences that will allow you to get an authentic taste of the place that you will always be connected to after your special day.

Perhaps you want to extend the celebrations or party and make the most of having all your family and friends gathered in a beautiful place. Whatever you have in mind, allow our experienced team of Sicily experts to help you craft an unforgettable event or itinerary.

Whether you are food enthusiasts, sea lovers, or history and culture fans, when it comes to making the most of your time in Sicily, leave it in our hands!

Taormina Sicily wedding table arrangement

Flowers, lights, decorations, invitations and more

Choosing a local destination-wedding planner in Sicily will allow you to inject a sense of authenticity when it comes to the decorations and all-important details.

This can start right at the beginning with the invitations, to help get your guests excited for their trip to the beautiful island.

Our destination wedding expert will work closely with you on every detail, and ensure the practical things are all dealt with. Perhaps you would like your invitations infused with a scent of Sicily or designed by a local artist, when you choose our destination-wedding planning, nothing is off-limits.

Allow us to infuse your special day with details of Sicily that make it truly unique. For example, many couples choose to make the most of traditional aspects such as Zagara flowers.

Or perhaps you would like a table display made up of traditional Sicilian decorations such as “teste di moro” (colorful, ceramic vases).. We know exactly where to source the very things.

Passports, insurance, and health checks…

Make sure to leave plenty of time to ensure your passport, and those of your guests, are in date and valid. You will also need to consider travel insurance for yourselves and your guests. Not to mention any health checks or testing, both in general and around coronavirus.

Of course, the advice continues to change regularly but be assured that wedding planning is back on track (as Vogue writes) for 2022 and beyond.

Again, a great destination-wedding planner will make sure you are aware of the requirements and guide you through any steps you need to take to ensure you and your guests are reassured and good to go.-

Choose a destination-wedding planner to guide you through every step, and the result will be something truly unforgettable, with only the fondest of memories attached to your special day.

Contact us today to start turning your dream of a destination wedding in Sicily into a reality.