Many couples choose to get married in Rome for its strong symbolic allure: it is a city imbued with religious symbols and buildings, and above all, it is the seat of the Holy See, the guide of the Catholic Church who lives in the Vatican City. With almost 2000 years of history of Christianity, Rome’s cityscape is dotted with cupolas and bell towers of countless churches, some dating back to the primeval days of the Christian faith, some from the Renaissance or Baroque era, some more recent for a total of more than 900 churches. No other city in the world has so many churches!
Adriana and Hector, an American couple of Mexican origin, contacted us at the beginning of December 2014 to plan their Catholic wedding in Italy. Here is how they described themselves:
Hector and I are both 32 years old. We are pretty simple. We don’t like loud, crowded atmospheres. We like to relax and enjoy the moment. Love music! Fall is my favorite season (Adriana’s). I absolutely love those colors. We want a small, warm, intimate affair to share with our family and closest friends.
Our greatest wish is to be able to enjoy our wedding and not get lost in the “party” itself or the stress of it all. For that reason, we chose to be wed at the most meaningful and beautiful place we could imagine with our closest friends and family. We want nothing flashy, but simple and classy. We want to focus on the actual sacrament.
Since their desire was to get married in Vatican City, our wedding planner Elena suggested the Church of Saint Anne, which is the parish church of the Vatican, located near the border between Vatican City and Italy.
Adriana chose a sleeveless lace dress with matching bolero, a romantic long veil, and Badgley Mischka shoes. Her 5 bridesmaids wore dresses in jewel tones of purple and fuchsia, matching the hues of the flower bouquets.
The fantastic baroque building of Sant’Anna Church is dedicated to the mother of the Virgin Mary and has a spectacular elliptical interior decorated with frescos and gilded stuccos. The oval lines of its architecture make you feel embraced by centuries of art and faith. The ceremony was celebrated by an English speaking priest and accompanied by organ music and a soprano. These deeply heartfelt moments will be remembered for a lifetime by both families.
The attention to the sacramental value of the wedding ceremony reveals itself in the two rites that the couple chose to incorporate into their marriage: the wedding lasso and the wedding coins. Hispanic and Mexican communities are especially devoted to these ancient traditions with strong symbolism.
The Wedding Lasso is a giant-sized Rosary that is wrapped by the witnesses around the bride and groom’s shoulders, forming an “8″, after the exchange of the vows. This ∞ is the symbol of infinity and represents the everlasting unity of the bride and groom. The priest pronounces a special prayer for the bridal couple.
They are also called Las Arras or Unity Coins. The tradition of the 13 gold coins given by the bride to the groom is very ancient and in the past, it symbolized the dowry paid by the groom to the bride’s family. Now it has become a symbol of the willingness of the groom to support the bride and care for her and for the new family. The number 13 represents Christ and the 12 apostles.
The ceremony was followed by a photo session in the heart of the Eternal City, with its world-famous landmarks like St. Peter’s Square, the Colosseum, the Imperial Fora and the Arch of Constantin.
The couple and guests then moved to Mirabelle Restaurant, where an aperitif of sparkling white wine and warm and cold canapes was served on a terrace, with fantastic views of the city at sunset. Just imagine having an entire city of marble and stone, with centuries of history, completely at your feet, caressed by the rosy rays of the sun!
Our planner Elena had secured the exclusive use of the elegant Priveé for the sit down dinner. The wedding menu chosen by the couple was a three-course meal with refined dishes of the Italian tradition.
- steamed king prawns with spinach sprouts, crispy bacon, and Caesar’s sauce;
- homemade Cannoli pasta with roman ricotta cheese, borage and creamy of parmesan and summer truffle;
- guinea fowl in potato leaves with marinated zucchini and balsamic vinegar.
The wedding cake was a delicious Millefoglie with wild berries and chantilly cream.
Getting married in the Vatican City – What you need to know
Many couples contact our Italian wedding planners each year to organize their Catholic wedding in Vatican City. Couples wishing to have their ceremony celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica should be aware that there are limits to the number of wedding rites celebrated each year in the chapels of the Basilica. An application, written by the couple and their priest, is needed to ask permission for the wedding. The procedure starts at least one year and a half before the wedding date, and the appointed office will then inform the couple if their application has been accepted.
The nearby Church of Saint Anne has no such restrictions and a wedding can be organized here in a much shorter time. In both cases, you can be assisted by our expert wedding planners that have been successfully planning every kind of ceremony in Italy for more than a decade and will support you step by step. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for further details about planning your wedding in Rome.
Enjoy the complete gallery with the stunning photos by Daniele Lanci.
Image Credits: Daniele Lanci ©.