Catholic Church in Rome

Catholic and Other Denomination’s Weddings In Rome

When thinking of the best location for planning a Catholic wedding, then surely Rome is the very first place that comes to mind.

Here, you’ll find some of the most spectacular and ancient churches in the whole world with stunning ceilings, paintings, statues and mosaics, all amazing works of world-renowned artists. Most Catholic churches are located in the very heart of Rome; some are absolutely majestic, with long aisles to walk; some others are smaller and ideal for elopements.

The Vatican City, enclaved within Rome, also offers the chance to get married at either St. Peter’s Basilica or the small Church of St. Anna, although this has become a very difficult process over the years. Very strict rules apply to plan a Catholic wedding in the Vatican City and you must be prepared to wait until the very last minute to have your wedding date officially confirmed since all the documents must first be received and approved of.

But how does a Catholic ceremony work exactly?

Weddings are usually performed either in the morning (10.30/11.00 am) or afternoon (3.30/4.00 pm) and last approximately one hour. You’ll be seated on large armchairs with a kneeler in front of you; the bridesmaids or just the maid of honour sitting at the bride’s side and the groomsmen or just the best man sitting at the groom’s side.

Anyway, you’ll have to pick just one person each, one witness for the bride and one witness for the groom, to sign the register at the end of the ceremony. The celebrant will help you choose the liturgy and you can prepare a wedding programme to be distributed to the guests, so following the wedding ceremony will become easier.

Wedding in Rome Religious Wedding

And what about paperwork?

Catholic weddings are recognised by the Italian State, thanks to the Lateran Concordat of 1929. Therefore, you could either decide to get civilly married in your home country or have both parts of the ceremony performed here at the same time, meaning you’ll sign the civil register at the end of the ceremony.

What else is there to think about for a perfect Catholic ceremony?

You can have the church decorated with flowers for the pews, the kneeler and the altar. You can have musicians, like a classic string quartet and maybe a soprano, playing during the main parts of the ceremony: processional, the entrance of the bride, offertory, sign of peace, communion, the signature of the register, the exit of the newlyweds.

And for other denominations?

Rome also offers lovely churches for couples belonging to different denominations, such as Protestant, Maronite, Orthodox churches and a Synagogue. All these are equally beautiful and most of them located in the city centre, just perfect to go around the Eternal City for a photo shoot after the ceremony and take unforgettable wedding pictures.

Religious ceremonies always require the couple to have a civil ceremony first, either in their home country or in Italy at a civil wedding site. Blessings are mostly celebrated in churches, but can also sometimes take place in castles, hotels or other beautiful locations, especially if you are able to bring your own officiant with you.

Anything else to remember to plan an unforgettable religious wedding in Rome?

Get the help of an experienced wedding planner, like Dolce Vita Weddings, of course. Dolce Vita Weddings can help with everything: suggest the churches where you could get married, take care of the paperwork (yes, right, that’s the most boring part, but also the most important!), provide an officiant speaking English (or another language you might request, whenever available) as well as two witnesses (required by law), in case of an elopement and of course, help you arrange all the extra services, such as flowers and musicians.

Bear in mind it’s not so easy to book a church; some give priority to weddings of residents, some are booked ages in advance, so you should rely on an experienced wedding planner like Dolce Vita Weddings who’ll be able to suggest you the churches available for destination weddings and also actually book your wedding date, usually one year in advance is a good timeframe.

Then, remember that churches are public places so they cannot be closed to tourists, even during wedding ceremonies. However, getting the help of a wedding planner like Dolce Vita Weddings will definitely help you keep the unwanted “guests” away…