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Joe Hughes

My wife and I eloped in Venice in July--we just opted for the civil ceremony at the Palazzo Cavalli, and we're very happy with how it turned out. We ended up hiring an Italian agency to help with all the paperwork, which simplified our task immensely. Our website details many of the hoops that we had to jump through, and we've also posted our favorite photos from the event, mostly taken in and around the Palazzo. Oh, and a useful tip--if either party can claim European citizenship, you can save almost €1000 in city fees, at the price of dealing with even more consulates.
Congratulations on the marriage and the successful running of the gauntlet. It's funny, back in 1992 when I did it, it was more of a curiousity to the Venetian government than anything else ... we were treated well, but there was always the subtext of " those kooky Americans". They hadn't figured out the profit potential yet. We paid $100, or something. And then came a phase, when the number of people wanted to get married there increased, where the city government seemed annoyed and tried to slow things down. Now they get it. According to zoomata.com, they bring in a couple hundred grand a year via civil nuptials.

I love the "eloped" part!


Venice could stand to rake in un sacco de schei if they would do like they do in Hawaii-I think more Japanese get married there(and in Central Park in NY) than in Japan. Before I turned old and cynical I dreamed of getting married in Venice... hahaha


THANK YOU for this webpage! My fiance and I are looking to elope in Venice as well. I knew it would be a difficult task to make happen and yes, have had my doubts about actually doing it. After reading this webpage I am more optimistic than ever! IT CAN BE DONE! I do have a question for you. Did you have to hire a photographer or did the Palazzo provide one? Thank you again. And your photos are adorable. Wish you a happy marriage.
I hired a photog.

M Jones

I wanted to add that, for those interested in getting married in Venice, there is good information regarding the documentation and procedure on the Milan Consulate's website at http://milan.usconsulate.gov/files/marriage.htm
If the process seems daunting, there are a number of different agencies that specialize in arranging weddings. Some of the companies I have worked with are Venice Events, Exclusive Italy Weddings, and Euro Events (all have websites), but a simple web search will reveal a host of other options. There's no avoiding a few trips to the Consulates and public records offices, but I think that a wedding in Venice is definitely worth a little extra work.


Would this company also provide a groom for the wedding for us hopeless single romantics who want to get married in Venice?


If you are looking for a photographer to shoot your wedding, check out Mario Mazziol at www.schoolofseeing.com I was lucky enough to meet him and some of his fellow photographers in Venice last year. He does wonderful work.
I hired a stringer from ANSA that the concierge at the Gritti recommended. He -- I kid you not -- jumped up onto the altar at the church of San Maurizio during the ceremony. He was a total paparazzi, anything goes goes kinda guy. No recollection of his name ... I may have a card somewhere.

Lyn Hungerford

The price of getting married at the Venice Municipality explains why there are many more Europeans marrying with a civil ceremony (it costs €1000 less for Europeans).

The cost of the €1500 “duty stamps” for non European citizens, to my mind, is somewhat excessive… but then so is the price of catching a boat - €1 for Venetians, €5 for tourists. Speaking about this with a commercialist, he said – Well, if there are 600 people a year getting married there, they should increase their prices.

Of course if you want to get around paying this kind of money for a civil ceremony there are other possibilities: as a local wedding planner I know of various pretty towns around Venice where a civil ceremony can be celebrated – for example 30 km. north of Venice at Treviso it costs €200 for foreigners to get married and from there you can travel back to Venice and spend the money left over for a couple of nights in some plush suites of Venice…

You could almost rent a Venetian palace for the money left over and hold a symbolic wedding in the garden. Or you could hold your reception on a barge traveling back into Venice after your civil ceremony at Chioggia. Or you could lash out and spend €1300 on rose petals or fancy floral decorations…

Although Venice is only tiny size wise, the choices for getting married are extremely varied. You can check out www.justmarriedinvenice to get an idea of just how many options are available.

Why give all that money to the Town Hall? Of course some people think that marrying near the Rialto Bridge hasn’t got a price on it.

A variation is to marry at the Town Hall of Murano in the “Palazzo da Mula”… I would have thought it cost less for being so decentralized… but the price is exactly the same!


I need information on churches that do symbolic weddings in Venice. Thanks

Silvie girl

I am Silvie, I am French and my husband is American. We got married last year in Venice with a Protestant ceremony in a private palace, Palazzo Contarini della Porta di Fero (not sure I spelt it correct), and a Coordinator from Regency San Marino named Federica assisted us, their web site is http:www.weddingsitaly.com. They are based in Italy and she assisted me thrugh it all making me feel totally safe, I did not worry about anything related to the paperwork and bookings, and she was there also on our wedding day to make it so smooth and romantic. The palace was a dream and we got married in the garden and held our cocktail on a nice terrace,with a nice dinner to follow in a private room, that was the best day of my life. Talking about paperwork, since I am french living in the US but not resident here yet, I was totally lost as to what to do and where to go, and Federica handled it all, booked appointments for us and accompanied us to the relevant offices, having very good relations with these . We did not ended getting married in the city hall as we heard that here brides and grooms stand on line and wait for their turn, like a supermarket of love, this idea it killed me!!! The photographs where a real work of art, (if any of you would like to see them I can poste them here)and the photographer was suggested by our coordinator, and his name is wladimir, if anyone of you needs to get in contact with him I can ask my coordinator for his email address, she is still now always available to talk to me and assist me . Flowers where stunning, federica arranged it all on photos I sent her, and the music ,,,,ouh, this was the best part, the strings performed to well and that added so much , our guests where amazed especially by the soprano, a famous one I heard, who was excellent.
I am actually thiking about going back to Venice for our anniversary and I will have Federica plan it :-)
Well if I compare what I heard other couples spent to be married in the ciy hall in Venice with no assistance, hiring translators for the ceremony and paperwork, all the loss of time to acquire information and go the offices standing on line with no appointments, than many other details which they had to find alone , i.e. cateing , photos, flowers, music , hotel , etc...(without being sure of the result) , I feel so happy to have spent maybe 500 or 1000 Euros max more than them, but have a memory that exceded all my expectations.....ok I shall go now, I can never stop talking about my wonderful wedding ! Good day to everyone silvie


Hi silvie, i am a bride to be from spain. We would like to marry i Venice or Verona. I visited the web site you indicated Wedding Italy . They say they are the only company who can perform religious weddings in private locations. It is possible?
Can you explain me?


I've found a very professional wedding photographer in Venice, his name is Vladimiro and you can have a look at his work at
Wedding photographer in Venice

verna swift

Hi all,

my sister recently got married in a private Palace in Venice. Her wedding was really unforgettable. The ceremony was performed by an English speaking Officiant and I was told that the company which arranged my sister's wedding is the only one in Italy that can organize wedding ceremonies with civil validity without the need of a previous wedding at Town Hall! Their officiant has a special Decree from the Italian Authorities to do this. If you need more infos I think you should contact them directly at Wedding Italy


I had a look at Wedding Italy
and found a lot of beautiful venues - I just filled in their request form as it seems a very professional company (on their website it says they've been arranging weddings in Italy since 1987).
I particularly liked their photographers section as there are a lot of options and wedding photos mean a lot to me!
Wedding photographers
I would ilke to get married in November or December 2007 - would you recommend a winter wedding in Venice? I'm a little worried about that kind of floods - I think locals call it "aqua alta"? did someone get married in Venice during winter...how was the weather? Would you recommend somewhere else?


I had to laugh at the new costs.. wow. I was also married abroad in 1992, though Firenze was our city of choice. It was dirt cheap, and backpacking to it was even cheaper. It was months of work ahead of time, translating, paperwork, consulates, -- all pre internet, pre Euro... but definitely memorable and unique. So, how did you terminate that union? When we got back to the states they basically said we weren't married here so we couldn't file here..I am not interested in divorce,( still happily married) but wonder about legality.

John Wein

Looking for good cheap hotels -- if there is such a thing.


Check out www.aaahotels.net I have never been disappointed with their hotel prices or service. Check out some of the websites for appartments--some are pretty reasonable.


That weblink to the venetian governments site is no longer working can you post it again? cheers


Wonderful initiative! I hope soon or later also the municipality of Florence will carry out something similar...

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Thanks for this post! Did you have to hire a photographer or did the Palazzo provide one? Thank you again. And your photos are adorable. Wish you a happy marriage.

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