Italian Lake Wedding FAQs
Brexit should not impact on British and Northern Irish couples getting married in Italy. The consulate and town halls have suggested that there will be no change to the documents procedure for British Nationals wanting to have a civil ceremony in Italy and the Italian Lakes.
About Lake Garda
The largest and one of the most well-known of the Italian lakes, Lake Garda has been visited by travellers for hundreds of years. The Northern, mountainous end of the lake widens and flattens as it flows towards the gentle hills and wine growing region to the south.
The lake has a number of small islands some of which make perfect, out of the way wedding retreats like Isola del Lago. The lake is also famous for its many castles, including the stunning Sirmione and Malcesine Castles.
Lake Garda has lots of interesting sites and entertainment facilities so no matter the age and taste of your guests, extending their stay would be ideal. Garda Land Theme Park & an acqua park are popular with younger guests, sportier ones will love walking, climbing and water sports such as windsurfing, sailing and kitesurfing. There are also other more tranquil pursuits as well.
About Lake Como
Lake Como or Lago di Como in Italian is smaller and more rustic than Lake Garda. It’s north of Milan and very close to the Swiss border. It has a much quieter, off the beaten track feel to it than Lake Garda which can be perfect base for your wedding.
There are many nice towns around Lake Como where you and your guests could stay or visit. Como is a nice historical and busy town and the middle of the lake villages like Bellagio, Varenna and Menaggio have frequent boats making it easy for visitors to hop around.
The landscape of Lake Como is what makes many couples fall in love with it, the high mountains and calm lake really are breathtaking making it the perfect wedding destination.
Yes, from the 5th of June 2016 Italy can legally perform Same Sex Civil Unions with legal value back in your home country. The procedure to get the documents for LGBT a civil union partnership in Lake Como and Garda depends on where you are from. Get in touch and let us know where you are from and we’ll tell you the procedure for you.
As the documents procedure to get married or have a civil union in Italy is a little more complex for American and Australian couples, many opt for a symbolic ceremony instead. A symbolic ceremony is also really lovely and can be personalised for you. Have a look at this blog post to undrestand more about the difference between a civil and symbolic ceremony.
Absolutely, with guests coming from wide and far why not extend your trip and spend more time with your friends and family?
There are lots of pre and post wedding ceremony activities you could consider in both Lake Garda and Lake Como. What better way to celebrate your wedding in Italy than enjoying Italian cuisine and wine. There are several wine tasting opportunities with vineyards around Lake Garda or quaint traditional wine cellars in Lake Como.
If you want something more relaxed, you could consider a pre or post wedding BBQ or pool party in one of the Italian villas or a pizza party with friends.
Being by the lake, a boat out or for those more adventurous of you, wake boarding, windsurfing and kitesurfing shouldn’t be missed and are available on both Lake Garda and Lake Como. If surfing waves sounds just a bit to energetic, there are a number of spas and thermal baths where you could pamper yourselves, it’s particularly nice the day before the wedding.
A civil ceremony is where you get legally married in Italy. This will have legal validity back home, just as if you got married there.
What do you need to do to have a civil ceremony in Italy?
That depends on where you are from as each country has different document requirements for a wedding in Italy.
Get in touch and let us know where you are from and we will explain what you need to do and when. Please be aware that you will need to be in Italy prior to the wedding to go to the town hall and some nationalities will need to be here some weeks before the wedding.
Some couples choose to have a symbolic ceremony in Lake Como or Garda. A symbolic ceremony is not a legally wedding, couples get married legally back home but all your guests would consider your Italian wedding as your real wedding.
Symbolic ceremonies can be personalised for you, you can have guest readings, personal vows and union rituals like candle lighting so they can be really touching. A symbolic ceremony almost always costs less as there are no documents or town hall fees and some of the Lake Como and Garda wedding venues only have symbolic ceremonies.
We work with experienced wedding celebrants and officiants on both Lake Como and Garda that can perform wedding ceremonies in many languages of course English but also others like French, German, Spanish and so on.
Due to Lake Garda’s popularity and its proximity to cities, there are several nearby airports: Verona, Brescia, Milan Bergamo, Venice and Milan Linate take from 20 minutes to two hours to get to.
Trains can be taken to the southern part of the lake, check the timetable as there are seasonal changes and don’t forget to stamp your tickets in the small yellow box before getting on the train. Train times and prices can be found on the Trenitalia website.
Boats can be taken around the lake, some taking cars which is great for those of you planning to hire a car. You can check times on the navigazione website
There are a number of different bus routes to get around the lake. Timetables and routes can be found on the Visit Garda website
Taxis are available at all airports. During your stay, taxis can be found however they are not as common as in other European countries so it is wise to book services in advance.
If driving on the right doesn’t scare you, hiring a car can be good way to give you independence on your trip to Lake Garda. Be aware though, in summer, parking can be difficult.
There are three Milan airports, Linate, Malpsensa and Bergamo. Malpensa is closer to Como whereas Bergamo is slightly closer to Varenna and Lecco.
Trains can be taken to Como town and there is a train line running up the east side of Lake Como making it easy to get from Milan central station to towns like Varenna. Don’t forget to stamp your tickets in the small yellow box before getting on the train. Train times and prices can be found on the Trenitalia website.
Boats can be taken around the lake. You can check times on the navigazione website.
There are buses that run from Como along the west side of the lake to the top and also buses between Como and Bellagio and Bellagio and Lecco. The east side has fewer buses that do just short journeys due to train line.
Taxis are available at all airports. During your stay, taxis can be found however they are not as common as in other European countries so it is wise to book services in advance and they can be quite expensive, Uber doesn’t exist in Italy
Having a hire car works really well and allows you complete flexibility although parking can be difficult at times
Yes, there are different churches in Italy. In Lake Garda, there are a number of different Catholic churches were couples can have a religious Catholic Ceremony either combining it with a civil ceremony or not. They range from grand impressive churches to small intimate ones perfect for a small wedding ceremony. Lake Como doesn’t currently have Catholic churches where non Italian residents can get married but there is a really nice Anglican Church in the centre of Lake Como where couples can have a religious ceremony.
This depends, if you are having a symbolic ceremony you can simply turn up on the day. If you wanted a civil wedding or same sex civil union you will most likely need to be in Italy in advance. Most town halls require you to go at least a couple of working days before the wedding to sign a declaration and we will arrange for an interpreter to be there. Some nationalities will need to be here before that so get in touch and let us know where you are from and we will confirm the timings.
Ummm… this is a difficult question, it varies enormously. A wedding venue in Italy star at around €600 and can go up to €60,000. The cost of a wedding in Lake Como or Garda will depend on the venue you choose, the number of guests and how you would like it to be. We have couples with a budget of €5000 and those with €150,000 and for this reason every wedding is bespoke and designed for you. We also offer different services so that we can meet your needs. Get in touch and let us know a little bit about you and your wedding and we will give you an approximate breakdown of costs for your wedding in Lake Como or Garda.
The first step is to choose the venue, we will suggest various Lake Como and Garda wedding venues depending on the feel you want, rustic, luxurious, elegant, relaxed, simple and so on as well as of course your guest numbers and budget. Why not come out and we can arrange a tour of your preferred wedding venues in person so you can really picture your wedding day surrounded by the Italian Lakes and the Italian atmosphere. However tempting it is to jet over to Italy to tour the Italian wedding villas and venues, this isn’t always possible, but don’t worry, you are in knowledgeable hands and we will guide you through the options until you have found ‘the one’. Once you have picked the venue, we will secure the date with the venue so you can get those all-important invitations or save the date cards sent out. The next step is to book all the other suppliers, photographers, flowers, musicians all of those bits that make you wedding day yours. Every couple is different and so we collaborate with a variety of trusted vendors so you can choose the right one for you. At this point, why not pop over again and have a food tasting with the caterers or a hair and make-up trial with your chosen stylist? We will of course guide you through the legal documentation procedure or help you craft that perfect symbolic ceremony script. Prior to the wedding day, we will send you the whole plan of you Lake Como or Garda wedding day so that you know that everything is covered and you can have the stress-free wedding that you’ve always dreamt of. All that’s left to do is to relax, be pampered and enjoy your perfect wedding with friends and family to the backdrop of the stunning Italian lakes.
Most of our couples start planning the year before the wedding date. Some venues don’t open their diaries for bookings until then. Most nationalities can start getting their wedding documents 6 months before the wedding date and so if you are looking to have a civil wedding, we’d suggest at least 4 months to be sure. We once organised a symbolic wedding in two weeks, lots of fun but a bit full on.
Lake Como and Garda are stunning all year round but are very quiet and cold in the winter months. We’d say May- September are the best months for a Lake Como or Garda wedding though July and August can be scorching so best for couples who love the heat.