Get Married in Sicily on the Valentine’s Day!

I have always wanted to visit Sicily. Italy is one of my favourite countries to pop in to, and I’ve heard a lot of good ‘stuff‘ about this particular island. After all – it is the largest island on the Mediterranean Sea, which means there is a lot to explore. The island is mostly mountainous, and seismic and volcanic activity is quite intense. There are 3 volcanos including Mt Etna, which is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and the highest active volcano in Europe (3,220m). Sicilians call it their Mother. The climate is subtropical and Mediterranean, which makes it a perfect wedding destination all year round. We had bad luck with the temperature of over 16 degrees but it was sunny 24 degrees just a couple of days before our visit, at the end of January.

Sicilia is magical and seductive. It is where Dolce&Gabbana shot their very first campaign, and it still remains the most sentimental place for the world famous fashion designers. The island is also known for the clementines, olive oil, Sicilian cheese and delicious wine.

Recently, it also became one of the most covetable weddings, elopements and honeymoons destination. No wonder – Sicily has Taormina, Palermo, wonderful beaches, cliffs, picturesque chapels and charming castles,often converted into luxury hotels and wedding venues.

Chiara Ferragni, one of the most influential people in the fashion and the new media industry, chose the island to tie the knot with an Italian raper Fedez in August 2018. Their wedding weekend was voted the most extravagant wedding of 2018 – with the total cost of an estimated sum of….€742,014. The events took place at Dimora Delle Balze, a 19th-century palazzo and Palazzo Nicolaci in Noto. To rent out the entire hotel for their nuptials—which alone cost approx. €255,150 as a three-day rental fee—as well as paying for guest room rental (€35,910), the total cost for location came to almost €291,060. Quite of a cost, is it not? The couple flew their friends and family on private Alitalia flights from Milan. According to E!, #TheFerragnez are likely to have spent a total of €175,770 flying both local and international guests to Catania.

source: Dior via harpersbazaar.com

Chiara has undoubtedly inspired many of her female (and hopefully male) followers to choose the magical island for their Big Day. Her event was the influencer version of the royal wedding! After all, her two wedding dresses (what could have cost them $5.2 million in digital advertising dollars) are believed to be more influential than Meghan Markle’s. Ah, the power of social media!

photo source: harpersbazaar.com

Your wedding in Sicily doesn’t have to be as extravagant and expensive as #TheFerragnez, and there is no need to charter a private plane to get there. In 2019, you can expect to spend around €30,000 on a wedding in Sicily. Your main expenses will be the reception, which averagely costs quite a lot, depending on the location and the number of guests. It could obviously be less (if it’s a boutique wedding or elopemend) or much more expensive. Sicily is definitely not the most affordable option, I must admit. The cost of a 4**** Star Hotel in Taormina is around €80-150 per night, while in Palermo it is around €70-120 weekdays. The prices go up on weekends, and depend on the season. February is, however, the low season, so you could score a very good rate for your wedding guests accommodation and wedding venue. It is actually a very good Month to get married in terms of budget.

It is incredibly easy to get to Sicily nowadays. There are frequent flights from all over the UK, Germany and the rest of Europe. We scored a 50€ return ticket from Berlin (beginning of February) but it could get lower if you book in advance.

You can easily get to the island from the US as well. The easiest way is to fly to Rome and take a domestic flight from Rome to Palermo or Catania. You could also take a train (90€ one way) but it takes 10 hours. Some people finish their Italian Road Trip with Sicily, as you could take a Reggio di Calabria- Messina ferry.

 

Travelling Through Sicily

I recommend renting a car from GOLDCAR, where you could also use my 15% discount with the code: CARMELATTE15

The price of a small car (like our feminine Fiat500) is around 25 per day (+insurance!!), but I would recommend renting a very comfortable SUV, such as FIAT500L for around 50 per day +insurance. The fuel policy it full to full. The tollroads cost from 1 to around 3€, it depends where you are going from. We took a route from Palermo to Taormina, which was around 3 hours and cost around 2€. From Catania to Taormina it takes around 1 hour and cost about the same.

Legal Requirements…

As always in my articles. So is it legal for the foreign couple to get married in the land of pizza? Yes, it is. The couple, however, will need to obtain a ‘NULLA OSTA’, which is a Notice of Marriage (NOM) to be able to perform a legally valid wedding in Italy. Moreover, the Italian authorities require proof that foreigners intending to marry in Italy are not already married – as it is in the vast majority of countries I wrote about. Once the Embassy receives the original copy of the Certificate of No Impediment it can issue a ‘Nulla Osta’. Different countries require different procedures to release this ‘Nulla Osta’ to let you get married in Italy. Some countries could receive such a document by e-mail. In the majority of cases, however, the couple needs to apply for such a document in Rome. The couple can also have a Catholic Wedding in Italia and they are legally binding! Religious paperwork needs to be received by the Italian Curia at least 2 months prior to the wedding. If one party have previously been married and the previous marriage has not been officially cancelled, the Catholic marriage will not be possible.

I would advise contacting the embassy of your country in order to find out which documents and procedures are required to get the’ Nulla Osta’ before you even start planning your wedding. 

You want your wedding to be perfect, I get it. Perhaps not extravagant as the Ferraganez (Chiara Ferragni’s wedding name) but equally emotional and… perfect in your own way. I would strongly recommend hiring someone who could help you reduce stress and who knows the island very well. I know whom you could talk to 🙂 My Sicily Wedding is a wedding planning agency with years of experience and a great passion. What I like about their brand is that they would say ‘It is always the right time to get married in Sicily’.

‘-What makes Sicily a special wedding destination?
-It could take pages and pages of words, hundreds of photos and many stories, just to
start.’

My Sicily Wedding belongs to Daniela and Luna but they benefit from a large team of wedding experts. They specialise in weddings but they are also easy to crack on with events, such as bachelorette party, a rehearsal dinner, a chic anniversary, birthday party or even just a small meeting. My Sicily Wedding has already worked at some luxury weddings, wedding ceremonies on the beach and rural weddings in Sicily. They are known for their hard work – they would be the fairy godmother behind the scenes organizing every aspect of an event, from seating to the first toast. They treat every newlywed with a different approach and always try to understand and analyse the couple’s needs. My Sicily Weddings would take care of everything – from the paper work (ugh…) to finding the perfect place to tie the knot. They know Sicily very well, so they would also help you choose the right menu. What is the most important? They speak different languages!

As for the prices and packages, drop them an e-mail at mysicilywedding@gmail.com. Daniela, Luna or someone from their team will surely answer every request. Every couple has different dreams, so there is no ‘fixed price’ for everyone.

 

 

Sicily is incredibly amazing – there is no doubt about that. For this reason, you would need a person who would be able to capture THE moment and the beautiful background of the Mediterranean sea. I have found such a person in Sicily. Fabio Grasso is a destination wedding photographer who mainly works in Taormina. He shot quite a lot of weddings in Sicily and the whole Italia as well. Are you more into elopements with Mt Etna in the background or more a wedding in one of Taormina’s intimate chapels? Fabio is able to handle it all. I love how he captures his own concept, using different techniques and how he manipulates the perspective in order to create an amazing effect. His pictures are made in the pictorial and cinematic mood. Fabio is an art lover, he takes inspiration from painting and movie to create fairytale wedding pictures.

Fabio shows his work on his website where you could see different types of weddings and elopements he photographed. He is very approachable and replies to every request. Fabio understands the couple’s needs and he treats everyone with a different approach – everyone wants their big day to be unique!

Prices and packages:

 

 

 

 

 

Taormina

I have fallen in love with piccola Taormina. I know I always tend to say such nonsense when I travel to Italy but Taormina truly has something magical about it. Let me quote Fabio Grasso: ‘Choose Taormina in the est cost of Sicily for your exclusive and amazing wedding pictures. Taormina is a beautiful old town rich in historical building and churches. It is a perfect location for classy and artistic wedding pictures, near the hill and the blue sea of Isola Bella, near the Etna and other amazing Sicilian places. Fabio Grasso will be able to suggest you best places and will paint with his photography your real emotions in the cinematic and pictorial way.’

To me, it just looks magical. What I would recommend is a stroll around the city, taking the stairs up the hill, visiting Isola Bella or Gola Alcantara and taking a long walk or the quick lift to the beach.

Bachelorette

Taormina offers a lot of ‘post-wedding’ attractions and bachelorette party opportunities. What would you and your girlfriends say for a cooking class? We attended an amazing event of pizza making, and I can absolutely recommend it! It took around 3/4 hours with the wine tasting, pizza and pasta making and, of course, eating. I think Ristorante Porta Messina would make a perfect place for a bachelorette party, they have years of experience in hospitality and cooking workshops, and they know how to entertain! Having such beneficial bachelorette would be a great idea! You could book a class under THIS LINK. The price of a pizza making class starts from around 50.00 per person, while a cooking class is around €80, and it includes:

  • Coffee Break
  • Apron
  • The meal with Pizza and Pasta Homemade
  • Water, Wine and Soft Drinks
  • Certificate
  • Sicilian Cheese and Wine Tasting

Not sure where to stay for your bachelorette? We’ve found a lovely little Hotel Innpiero Taormina, literally just 2 minutes away from the restaurant and a couple of minutes walking to the centre of Taormina. It is not super luxurious but definitely perfect for a girls getaway! With the code ‘Carmelatte’ you would get an extra 5% for you and your hens 🙂 Just give them a call or drop a short message mentioning my blog.

 

Palermo

So the capital, unlike Taormina, is a lively city. I have to be honest – I am not the biggest fan of Palermo. To me, it is a melting pot ‘tagged’ by its controversial history, and it often feels conflicted. It is, however, loved and visited by many travel couples. Palermo is undoubtedly a perfect wedding choice for the couples who love the big city life, colourful vibes and historical sights.

 

While visiting Palermo, I have found a perfect option for a small elopement, rehearsal dinner, a chic bachelorette party or simply for taking your wedding guest for a treat after the wedding. The restaurant and bar I am talking about is Locale Osteria & Cocktail Bar. The locale is a Modern Osteria, where people can find the whle variety of food – from pasta, steaks, fresh fish and pizza to some pastries and cakes. I discovered this place on Instagram, and automatically fell in love with the colourful vibe! The Ristorante looks like it is such an ‘open‘ and welcoming space. With their blue, orange and grey interiors, the inside reminds me of the old Italian times.  What is most important – they serve some great specialities, loved by their clients. You could order some Sicilian dishes, such as la pasta or le pizze but their speciality are Piattini, which are a special kind of Sicilian Tapas. Everything they serve is local – from the ingredients to locally crafted beers. LOCALE is known for their cocktails as well – they interpreted international recipes and created them in a ‘Sicilian’ way.

People would describe LOCALE as their ‘home away from home‘. The place is simply created to feel the Sicilian hospitality, taste their great food and feel… like you were home. With over 3400 followers on Instagram, and 5600 followers on facebook, LOCALE could easily be classified as ‘the most Instagrammable place in Palermo’ or as ‘the social media restaurant‘. It is easy to guess why – the colourful interior would make a perfect background for the photo shooting, and the way they serve the food is so photogenic!

I would definitely choose the venue as the perfect bachelorette party destination. Would you like to know why? The recommendations they have on their socials could be one and only reason! ‘Great food, amazing service and bangin’ cocktails.’ – what more could the bride-to-be ask for? Not only the restaurant has 4,8/5 stars recommendation on their facebook but the staff is very kind and helpful. Drop them an e-mail or give them a call, I am sure they would have some lovely deals for your event.

LOCALE is also recommended for honeymooners.

 

 

 

 

As I mentioned, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is worth to come here for at least a week in order to fully explore its amazing sights. We came for four days to be exact and it was not enough. We will surely be back – there is the whole southern part of Sicilia to see! Thanks to GOLDCAR, we did manage to see some ‘hidden bits’ and touristy places. The real gem was the small town called Cefalù – literally 50 minutes driving from our hotel in the east Palermo. Despite its size, every year it attracts millions of tourists from all parts of Sicily and also, from all over Italy and Europe. Perhaps it would also make a perfect wedding destination? I am sure My Sicily Wedding and Fabio Grasso would be keen on giving the right advice.

Anyway, I hope I managed to inspire some of you and gave you a hint of info on where to start. I also encourage you to visit my other Italian Wedding Destinations article from Amalfi Coast and Tuscany.

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