Sicily wedding planner – What you need to do when planning your wedding in Sicily

Sicily is becoming an ever more popular choice for a wedding destination. In this post, you will discover why you will probably need a local wedding planner and the benefit of hiring one. We also answer all the common questions we are asked. Do you need a wedding planner if you will get married in…

Sicily has become a very popular choice for those looking for a dreamy destination wedding and the help of a wedding planner will definitely make your special day planning easy and smooth.

On Italy’s largest Mediterranean island, the summer months are long with the temperature never getting really cold. There are plenty of beautiful old buildings and palatial villas, offering idyllic scenes for a grand and picturesque Italian wedding.

Sicily is an island containing endless variations of beauty, allowing you to choose between many settings. Many couples choose a beach wedding, but there are also beautiful mountain settings, exclusive wineries, heavenly countryside, baroque buildings, classic hotels… and the list goes on!

However, when it comes to planning a wedding in Sicily, it can be difficult to do it on your own for many reasons.

You do not speak the language, you have limited knowledge of the venues and locations, you need to fill in papers and someone local can help you with all this. 

After all, a wedding is supposed to be as much fun and as little stress as possible.

Our expert wedding planning services allow you to enjoy the organization of your wedding, knowing you are in the hands of a professional who has planned many beautiful weddings in Sicily, and will be delighted to help you create a memorable event. 

So here is what you need to think about and do when planning your wedding in Sicily.

Wedding at Belmond Timeo hotel Taormina
Wedding organized at the Belmond Timeo Grand Hotel

Hire a local wedding planner

When it comes to organizing a wedding in Sicily, there is no doubt that the most stress free way to do it, and the way to get the result you desire, is to hire a local wedding planner

Hiring professional help from someone who knows the area is the best way to take away the stresses that can often arise if you try to plan your wedding alone! 

A local wedding planner has an extensive book of contacts so they can help you with every aspect of the process, from the legal paperwork, to scouting locations, finding the perfect decorations, and adding details that nod to local traditions and customs. 

If you are thinking of a destination wedding in Italy, and don’t speak the language, we think a local wedding planner is almost essential! 

Sicily is a beautiful island with many areas undiscovered by tourists. Many of the suppliers known by the wedding planner are experts in their craft; often they are based in traditional, uncovered parts of the island and do not speak English. 

These are the kinds of suppliers that add authenticity to your wedding and you would struggle to find them alone!

Taormina theatre symbolic wedding
Civil ceremony at the Taormina Greek Theater

Decide when you want to get married

One of the reasons why Sicily is such a popular wedding destination is because of the Mediterranean climate that the island enjoys all year round.

The most popular time to get married in Sicily is of course the summer, as many choose to combine their special day with a honeymoon in Sicily to make the most of the beautiful sea and sun. 

However, there is also much to be said for a Sicily wedding in the spring, autumn, or even winter. Sicily is an island of endless varieties of beauty, so there is something for every couple at each time of year. 

In the spring, you can enjoy a warm, comfortable temperature while still being able to enjoy the sea. 

In autumn, the climate is still higher than many European destinations and you can enjoy the seasonal changes such as the wine harvest and leaves turning red in stunning locations such as Madonie Natural Park.

In the winter, it’s the best time to have a wedding in one of Sicily’s spectacular villas or grand palaces. For nature and winter lovers, you could even have a wedding in the snow on Mt. Etna!

To help you decide which season in Sicily is best for your wedding, we compiled this ultimate guide of pros and cons of getting married in Sicily in each season and of course, the wedding planner will be able to suggest and recommend different settings and venues for your special day, based on the season you choose. 

Decide what kind of celebration you want

Most couples will already have at least a vague idea of the kind of wedding celebration they want. 

Do you love the idea of getting married with your feet in the sands?

If you tell this to our expert wedding planner, they will suggest some ideas such as a bespoke symbolic wedding ceremony at one of Taormina’s charming beaches such as Isola Bella, or perhaps at one of Taormina’s luxury beach clubs where everything can be designed and tailored to suit your needs.

If so, our wedding planner could organize a bespoke wedding by Isola Bella Taormina

Or did you want to get married in a charming Italian village with locals joining you for the celebration? If so, maybe they will suggest a hilltop medieval village such as Castelmola, where winding streets and a charming old square set the perfect Sicilian scene. 

Whatever you have in mind for the type of wedding you want, once you start to tell your vision to a wedding planner, they will present you with a list of options. They could also include some ideas that you may not have considered but end up falling in love with! 

Your wedding planner will help you to hash out the details, so that you can make a final decision, and they can get to work with making it a reality.

Wedding party in Castelmola Sicily
Pre-wedding party at Castelmola town

Choose the wedding venue

Once you have decided on the kind of wedding you want, then it’s time to decide on the venue.

Our expert wedding planners have contacts with the most exclusive and desirable wedding locations in Sicily

Once a wedding planner knows the number of guests you will have, they are able to suggest suitable locations. They will also be able to suggest accommodation and transport for guests based on your venue decision.

Whether you are looking for an exclusive hotel based wedding with fantastic views, a seaside ceremony, or an elaborate affair in the grounds of one of Sicily’s royal buildings, our wedding planners know the best venues in each category. 

For example, if you are looking for a hotel celebration, our wedding planner may explore with you options such as the classic Belmond Timeo hotel or the fabulous San Domenico Palace, both in Taormina, where the best hotels in Sicily can be found. 

One of the best things about a wedding in Sicily is the variety of venue options. If you are looking for an interior wedding, our planner may suggest baroque estates such as Villa Valguarnera in Bagheria, an area renowned for its impressive villas.

For something truly spectacular, it’s even possible to have a wedding at the spectacular ancient Greek theatre, or to have an island such as Isola Bella all to yourself for the special day. 

Once you have chosen a venue together, the wedding planner will be able to explore with you all the options for making it your own.

wedding party in Castelmola
Pre-wedding party in Castelmola town close to Taormina

Make a list of guests and send invitations

Once you have discovered your dream Sicily wedding location, then you will be able to make the final call about guest numbers.

Organizing and sending out invitations can be an arduous task. 

You might find yourself checking over the envelopes hundreds of times just to make sure you have included everyone and that all the addresses are correct. 

This is a very important step when it comes to wedding planning! Our wedding planner can help you with the administration and make sure every detail is covered. 

Depending on how much involvement in the process the couple wishes to have, our wedding planner can take care of the entire RSVP process, communicating with guests on your behalf to take another task off of your plate!

When it comes to designing the invitations, our wedding planner has a trusted and exclusive list of contacts that will work alongside the couple and the planner to create something that gives guests a most reflective preview of what to expect. 

Many couples choose to have an invitation that reflects the theme of the upcoming wedding; others opt for something elegant and simple and do not give away any clues! 

Our trusted contact of stationary and invitation designers will explore the options with you so that you can decide on an invitation that fits your vision and which will be a beautiful reminder to store away in a memory box.

Wedding table decoration

Book the wedding photographers

We know that choosing a wedding photographer is a very important part of the planning process. Every couple wants to relax on the day without worrying that the photographer may not capture the moment in the way you have in mind. 

Every couple wants to be present on your special day knowing that their special day will be captured beautifully so that you can have that perfect mantelpiece photo, and a visual representation of the happy memories you create with family and friends on the day.

Our wedding planner has trusted and reputable contacts when it comes to choosing the photographer. They will guide you through some selected options, showing examples of previous works and portfolios so that you can make an informed choice.

Once you have made a decision on the photographer, the wedding planner will take forward and make the necessary agreements and contracts with the photographer, which will include dates such as when you will receive your treasured photos. 

Define the wedding menu

Another fundamental aspect of any wedding is of course the food. And when it comes to keeping palettes and stomachs happy, what better place to be than Sicily? 

With its rich culinary culture, and abundance of the best ingredients grown locally, your guests will have the chance to be treated to some unforgettable flavors.

Included in the contacts book of our wedding planner are the most highly reputed chefs and caterers in Sicily. The first step is to communicate with your wedding planner about which kind of menu you have in mind, if you have some ideas already. 

Do you want fine dining and photogenic dishes to accompany an elegant day? Or perhaps you want to treat your guests to typical dishes for a traditional Sicilian style celebration. Our wedding planner knows chefs of all styles, who always deliver outstanding dishes and are experts in doing so on a large scale. 

Perhaps you are looking for a vegetarian or vegan based menu. If so, the variety of Sicilian cuisine means that you won’t be limited. Many of the most prevalent dishes of the island are based on vegetables and wheat, the basic ingredients of the local cuisine.

The chefs we work with all have their own styles and creativity when it comes to their dishes. They each work with the best quality, seasonal ingredients, and the menu will be an important part of the ‘mood’ of your wedding. 

But whatever the season and the location, our wedding planner will work directly with the couple and the chef to agree on the perfect set of dishes that will surely be a highlight of the day.

Food during even made in Castelmola
Fish menu at wedding

Chose the ceremony and venue decorations

Another vital step of the wedding planning process is to choose and source the decorations for the ceremony and the party venue.

Perhaps you already have an idea of the overall visual theme of your wedding.

For example, do you want a traditional Sicilian style, featuring additions such as folklore music, colorful table decorations, with typical ‘Sicilian head’ ceramic centerpieces?

Or maybe you’d prefer an understated affair with neutral tones and elegant fabrics?

If you have an idea already, our wedding planner will help you to build on this.

They will provide you with mood boards that help to visualize the theme and the mood of the day. This process can be made of as much or as little involvement from the couple’s side as they wish.

Then the wedding planner will get to work sourcing all the local decorations; fabrics, accessories, etc. They know where to hire each specialty item and where to find the best quality of each, and importantly, how to communicate with them!

Wedding table at the Belmond Timeo hotel in Taormina
Wedding party at Belmond Timeo (Taormina)
Sicilian decorartions for events

Make sure you have all legal requirements set

Planning a destination wedding can have its bureaucratic challenges. This is one of the main advantages of hiring an expert wedding planner, since they will be able to eliminate this stress. 

Each country has its own requirements for couples wishing to get married there. The requirements also differ from the couple’s side, depending on their Nationality. 

The legal requirements also depend on factors such as; whether the couple is looking for a religious wedding ceremony; do they want a ‘binding’ ceremony, or a ‘symbolic’ one? Many couples choose to have the ‘actual’ wedding in their home country, and then travel to Italy with their guests for the symbolic ceremony and celebration.

In general, the documents required by couples include: 

  • Certificate of No Impediment/Atto Notorio: The name of this document varies depending on the country, but every couple will need to obtain one of some kind. In the U.S., it’s called an Atto Notorio, but in other countries it’s called a Certificate of Freedom to Marry. 
  • A Nulla Osta: this is a legal document that must be issued in the couple’s home country that states the couple is permitted to get married and there are no matrimonial impediments. Depending on your home country, you may need to apply for this at the Italian Embassy of their country once they arrive in Italy. 
  • Evidence of termination of any previous marriages
  • Birth certificate
  • Valid passport

With the help of an expert wedding planner, you can make sure you are doing everything right when it comes to the legal documentation required for getting married. 

Some of the documents may need to be translated into Italian for them to be legalized in Italy. Your wedding planner will also be able to support with this. 

For a detailed explanation on what you need to do in order to get married in Italy, check out our blog post on Legal requirements to get married in Italy. 

Have fun

And the most important stage of the wedding…enjoy yourselves!

Not only is it important to relax and have fun on your wedding day, but also during the planning process. 

While there are many details to think about and decisions to make, the organization of and the run up to the event can be enjoyable in itself.

If you are trying to plan your destination wedding alone, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, not just because there are many different areas of planning, and endless details to think about… but also because it can consume so much time and can even start to feel like a ‘job’. 

By hiring a wedding planner you can ensure that your wedding planning process is smooth and efficient, allowing you to have fun as things start to take shape and you see your dream wedding coming to life.

Sicily wedding planner – F.A.Q

We are wedding planners based in Taormina and thanks to our experience we can design any kind of wedding parties and celebrations. We receive many questions from clients and here are some of the most popular questions we get and the answers.