Your Italian Wedding in Tuscany
Weddings in St Mark’s English Church Florence
If you are thinking of getting married in Italy, then we can help. We are experts in supporting people who want Church of England ceremonies in Florence, one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world.
So, first of all, we offer our warmest congratulations to you both in deciding to take this step as a couple! Many people are understandably overwhelmed by the thought of planning such a big occasion, but in our Chaplaincy we will ensure that you have all the support you need and by the way, you don’t both need to be Anglican!
You may engage the help of a wedding agency to organise the big day for you but it isn’t necessary, because we can assist with most aspects, putting you in touch with the key people. We have excellent musical resources; people who can help with flowers, photography and catering. You can even hire the lovely upstairs rooms at the church for your reception. Even from a distance, many enjoy sharing the planning for their day with us because it can make it a more personal and shared experience that you will always treasure. The first thing to do is to book the church and Chaplain with our Administrative Office. Also arrange to meet or speak with the Chaplain, Father William, who will perform the ceremony.
Timing your Italian Wedding
There are two important things to consider here. Firstly, St Mark’s Florence is a highly sought-after and very beautiful venue for weddings in Italy and is a very busy church. Six months’ notice is desirable for wedding bookings. Firm bookings will of course get priority. We may be able to cater for bookings without that period of notice, but it will rely on availability of the church, the Chaplain and your own flexibility in setting a date and time.
Secondly, this period of notice ensures that there is enough time to plan for your special day. The service is bespoke – it can be designed with you to reflect your relationship.
There are many ways this can be done within the Rites and Ceremonies of the Church of England. Meeting with the Chaplain, personally or with video call, will ensure you get the ceremony that is right for you.
St Mark’s Florence has enviable musical resources. In addition to some fine concert instruments, including organ and grand piano, we have our own resident opera company, choir, and access to a complete orchestra. Many people today still enjoy organ music and traditional hymns, but there is a vast range of choice available to you. For example, chamber groups, piano and voice arias or solo instrumentalists. You can be as creative as you want. If there is a particular piece of music you know, it can be performed here live.
Live performance will add to your budget, but it doesn’t have to be a great deal to make a big difference. Once your details are received and your booking confirmed with a deposit, please email email@example.com to discuss your musical requirements.
Upstairs at St.Mark’s is the beautiful piano nobile, with salone, dining room, courtyard garden and kitchens which is a wonderful place to host a reception for up to 80 guests. (The photo above of the orchestra was also taken in the salone).
We can put you in touch with professional caterers who can organise all manner of different types of reception from sit down meal to informal buffet and provide everything you need for your perfect wedding reception : waiting staff, chairs, tables, table linen and crockery and cutlery as well as world-renowned Italian food and wine! You can even have music to accompany your reception from our choir or chamber musicians. Father William and his wife Fiona, whose own recent wedding is featured in the opening video, hosted their reception upstairs at the church and it was amazing.
Marriage in Other Places of Worship
Getting married in Tuscany does not restrict you to the city of Florence. The Chaplain is happy to travel to other churches or chapels in Tuscany and Emilia Romagna that are consecrated for Christian worship. It is important, however, to obtain the necessary permissions and to make clear that the ceremony would be conducted according to the rites of the Church of England. There are also many beautiful villas in Tuscany and Emilia Romagna with their own chapels and these are another option to consider carefully.
The Chapel of St Thomas the Apostle, Villa Montalbano
This small but serene chapel is a truly special place for getting married in Italy. It is an idyllic setting for an Italian wedding ceremony and is part of an estate in the Montalbano hills overlooking the ‘garden town’ of Pistoia. Its owner and Staff offer a completely exclusive wedding service. Set amid its own olive and fruit groves, the current villa dates from at least 1682, and was the summer residence of the Florentine Counts Bastogi. For a number of generations, now, it has been home to the Ridley family, who have been great supporters of our church community in Florence.
Nicky and Roger’s wedding in Villa Montalbano.
The Villa has Bridal Suite facilities and can cater for large or small receptions; its other, well-appointed self-catering properties on the estate also provide accommodation for up to thirty guests. Further accommodation is available very nearby as required and more information can be obtained by contacting Mark Ridley on firstname.lastname@example.org If you would like to request a ceremony at St Thomas the Apostle Chapel, then please make this clear on the wedding application form and remember that July and August require plenty of notice in respect of availability. Thank you.
Renewal of Vows
Some of our most poignant and moving ceremonies here at St Mark’s are with couples who wish to renew their vows after a period of married life. It may also involve the blessing or re-dedication of rings or indeed other personal acts of renewed commitment. Please let our Administrative Office know if you want to consider this option by completing the online wedding form and specifying your requirements.
Also please note that for those formerly married in our Chaplaincy (or who are on our Electoral Roll), there is no required donation for getting married here.
Below, Cheryle and Jay renew their vows at Villa Montalbano.
Our recommended florist for weddings and other services is Mario Selicato from La Fioraia. Here is a sample of arrangements for various occasions.
Please see his website for further information.
Things to Consider
- Smaller wedding ceremonies can be conducted at St Peter’s Siena (up to 70 guests).
- The Chaplain can travel to any Christian church/chapel in Tuscany, (with necessary permission).
- The only current difference to the Church of England Marriage Service is that you need to have a registered civil wedding certificate before a marriage can take place in a church, villa or chapel in Italy. Normally, it is much easier to do this informally in the UK (or country of residence). US Nationals can also take advantage of Consular services available to them in Florence for this purpose. British citizens living in Italy will need first to approach the British Embassy before a legal ceremony can be conducted in the Comune of your choice. The Chaplain can give you more information and guidance on current legal requirements for getting married in Italy.
- We will need proof of your identities, ideally a Baptism Certificate for one of you and the Marriage Registration Certificate recording your civil marriage, prior to the Church ceremony.
- You do not need to be Anglican/Church of England to get married in our Chaplaincy. We are very familiar in dealing with couples who have different church backgrounds as well as families from mixed denominations. The Ceremony, however, can only be conducted according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Church of England. That said, a ceremony can be conducted in several languages or with the involvement of ministers from other Churches. Please speak to the Chaplain about this if you have any specific requirements.
- As a Chaplaincy of the Church of England, we also ask that couples undergo marriage preparation with the Chaplain or with a Minister of Religion local to them in their country of origin. Marriage is much bigger than the wedding day and the ceremony itself should reflect the powerful and deep commitments being made between two people. We can help and advise you about this requirement.
- There are no restrictions on the use of photographic or video recordings for wedding ceremonies. However, you should be very clear with anyone responsible for official photography about what they can or can’t do; it’s important that they don’t distract you during the service. We can recommend local professionals who know the church well.
- Getting married in Italy in summer is very romantic, but remember that Tuscany can be extremely hot from mid-July to early September!
- There is a good airport in Florence (Peretola) which is only 15 minute’s bus journey from the City’s Centro. However, many people also use Pisa (Galileo Galilei Airport), which has excellent bus and train connections to Central Florence.
- The Church of England gives comprehensive information about marriage and the wedding service itself. Go to www.churchofengland.org for more information.
Getting married in Italy. What next?
Please complete and submit the online form. This is the information we need to process your request for a wedding at St Mark’s. It does not constitute an obligation. However, kindly note that a booking cannot be entered (other than provisionally) in our calendar, until we have the completed form and your deposit. For a detailed list of costings please refer to our Table of Fees and Donations or get in touch with our Administrator who can discuss payment and currency options.
St Mark’s receives no financial support from the Church of England, or from local or national Governments. We rely entirely on the generosity of those who use our premises or benefit from our ministry. Such donations are vital to our continued outreach and ministry here in Florence and beyond. Thank you.
Finally. . .
We look forward to welcoming you to our Chaplaincy for this unique event in your lives and to working with you to make this a time to treasure in your memories for ever. In the meantime, thank you for considering our Chaplaincy as the place for your special wedding in Italy.
*Fiona and Father William’s wedding video was filmed by Kirsten Hills.
1 The application for Recognition of the Church of England was granted in 2014, but is still being progressed through the Italian State system. It will eventually mean that the Registration of your marriage can be done during the service under Italian Law, as in England. This is not expected to be finalised for some time. 2 Scanned copies are ideal, (we prefer you not to send originals), or you can bring them with you on a visit to meet the Chaplain if that is easier.