Roma, the eternal city, renowned for being one of the most beautiful places in Italy. An open-air museum to admire at every hour of the day, a place that moves you just looking at its warm and reddish sunsets.
Why choosing this city for your elopement? This might help you: The main reasons to elope in Rome are history, art, good food and tasty wines! If you have a passion for these things then yes, definitely take it into consideration. Although it is fair to keep in mind that it is also a very big and chaotic city, you might find the logistics of the day pretty stressful if you are not prepared.
As I said, there are beautiful factors and lots of possibilities, but also some con such as traffic, crowds of tourists, and a sense of frenzy due to the size of the city, so not really the ideal if you envision a relaxed day. That being said, if planned properly, you can have an amazing time, spent walking in the historic centre, eating “Bucatini all’amatriciana”, and admiring S. Peter Church at sunset.
I am going to give you all the info e tips I can write about it, as I have been living and working in this city for several years and want to share with you everything that can be useful to plan your elopement in Rome.
2,1 Civil Ceremony
12. LAST ADVICE
What’s the best period to elope in Rome?
The months starting from April until June are pretty good, although June might be already hot, and temperatures can arrive at 30 degrees.
It is still a good month, but if you are flexible, try to pick a date for the beginning of the month.
September and October are also very good, not too crowded with tourists, and fine weather. Avoid July and August, as these are the busiest and hottest months in Italy.
Figuring out what kind of ceremony you want is an important decision and it will influence the scenario and the steps to follow to plan it.
There are currently 3 options:
The first step to plan a civil ceremony in Rome is to contact your country’s consulate in Italy. They will explain to you all the steps.
The basic documents you will need are:
This option requires some time, I would suggest to start it at least 5 months before your elopement date. You can always rely on a wedding planner for this, some of them offer services specifically for this task. You can find more information about this topic here:
If you decide to go on with the option, your ceremony will be considered legally binding and recognised but generally who is officiating it doesn’t give much space for personalisation.
There are some locations in Rome where you can have a civil ceremony including the following:
– La sala rossa del Campidoglio
– Villa Lais
They all have pretty intimate settings, and if you want a touch of spirituality Villa Lais and Santa Maria in Tempulo can offer this. The first one is a civil wedding chapel in a lovely small park, not too far from the centre, and Santa Maria in Tempulo is a deconsecrated church a stone’s throw from the Colosseum.
The Sala Rossa has its charm although it’s one of the busiest ceremony locations, due to its position in Campidoglio, and personally every time I worked there, I experienced a very chaotic and rushed situation. This might change depending on the day, but I wanted to be very honest about it.
Whether you choose for a civil or religious ceremony, hiring a planner is always the easiest solution to avoid bureaucratic stress, and you will need 2 witnesses, which can be provided by the service in charge for the process.
In a similar way like for the civil one, to plan a religious ceremony in Rome you will have to add more documents including:
Rome is the most famous city in Italy for its churches adorning the centre, here you will not be spoilt for choice.
A commitment ceremony or so called symbolic, is surely the most common and used one, as it is the easiest. I would personally advise you to use this option for different reasons.
The first one is that you can take care of the technical part in your country before or after your elopement, saving time and money. The second one is because in this way you get to choose your own personal location without being limited by the fact that it needs to be a place that legally recognizes your union.
In simple terms you could have much more freedom and choices, and you can personalise your ceremony as you like, to make it uniquely yours. This could also be a way to include your family members, asking one of them to officiate, or perhaps a friend, why not?
One thing to keep in mind is that if you pick a public outdoor place, you will have to wake up very early as, using a public spot in Rome, it is best practice to be there at sunrise in order to increase your chances to have an intimate quiet ceremony. You can also consider using a hotel or a villa in the centre of the city, many of them offer special spaces with a lovely view of the city from the top, in this way you would have both accommodation and ceremony sorted, and the celebration too with a romantic dinner at the end of the day.
Some nice spots for a symbolic outdoor ceremony in Rome are:
Once the ceremony is sorted, you can decide where to go to celebrate and get stunning photos of your elopement in Rome!
The options here are really infinite, my advice would be to pick a maximum of 4 to 5 locations, or split the day in two parts so you can relax and enjoy your just married time without rushing to get from one point to another. Rome is the biggest city in Italy, and unfortunately traffic is the main problem here, so choose wisely your spots, perhaps picking places not too far from each other, easily reachable by walking.
Keep things simple, this will allow you to have a stress free day, with no rush and quality time spent with your partner. The last thing I wish for you is having a day where you are trying to do too much in a short amount of time. You won’t have to find these spots alone, one positive thing about hiring elopement vendors like me, is that I also work to help you out deciding where and when to go, creating a personalised list of location ideas and making a timeline for the day.
Here there is a list with some ideas for your elopement photos in Rome:
The Colosseum is without any doubt one of the most iconic places in Rome, and the atmosphere at sunset is incomparable. I would not suggest you to go at its feet for photos, there are instead a couple of hidden spots where you can have a quiet and less crowded space to get stunning photos with it, I would be happy to show them to you.
This immense park it’s a very good choice, it doesn’t offer just a beautiful view of the city, but it has many little lovely spots immersed in nature. You could have a relaxing walk there visiting between the most important places: the lake with the Temple of Aesculapius, Diana Temple, and the Fountain of Sea-Horses. Don’t miss out on the view from Pincio! Simply perfect!
Trastevere is known for the countless places visited, especially at night, but during the day this area appears somewhat differently. Walking on its little streets in the morning it’s a very pleasant experience, here you could have a tasty break trying our gelato, or the classic Italian coffee.
This is without any doubt one of my fav places. If you want a place that screams “Rome” this is a must! There are many spots to visit starting from the main square with the Fountain of the Goddess, proceeding then under the porch. Walking down the steps on the left you can admire the Imperial Forums and Septimius Severus Arch. You can also enjoy the view from the opposite side of the square following Via del Campidoglio. As the cherry on top there is a romantic place a bit hidden where you can enjoy an amazing view of Rome from the top.
Castel Sant’Angelo it’s simply beautiful. Here you can walk on the bridge heading towards the Vatican, or going down the steps on the river side, the view there is very romantic.
Giardino degli Aranci
This little park offers a lovely view of Rome from the top. The surrounding walls with their warm tones and bouganville plants, create a super romantic setting at sunset! Also the small streets around the park are very nice to see, they have the typical look of ancient Rome.
Immense, fascinating, and colourful! Piazza Navona is undoubtedly splendid, a perfect backdrop for photos, and lovely to take a break enjoying the aperitivo.
The type of accommodation for your stay in Rome really depends on your personality.
An elegant hotel close to the centre, a B&B, or even renting an apartment could be a nice option!
Just make sure to read the reviews first, and pick something that is not too far from your ceremony location. Consider also the amount of light in the rooms, is it bright or there are small windows?
This is an important aspect to consider if you are planning to have getting ready photos.
I always advise my couples to get, if possible, something that assures a plan B in case of bad weather. This would not be a problem for those who choose a ceremony in a covered place, it is more in case you opt for an outdoor symbolic ceremony.
Once planned where and how to have your elopement ceremony, you can start looking for vendors such a florist, make up artist and hair, transport, officiant, etc.Depending on your vision of the day, don’t feel like you need to book everything, the beauty eloping is that there are really no specific rules, and you can design your own day in total freedom.
Read the reviews, and the contact, always ask for information if there is something unclear, trust your gut when it comes to choose a vendor that is going to spend some time with you on the day. It is important that you feel comfortable and relaxed, and having people that you connect with will assure you a lovely day and positive vibes.
If you don’t know where to start, socials are your friends! Use Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and the groups join it, and google. You can also do a very specific research and find an elopement photographer, who generally are more into helping with the planning part than a traditional wedding photographer.
I do enjoy helping my couples with the planning part, and as part of my work process I give a complete How To Elope guide with all the steps to follow to plan your special day, a questionnaire that help me understand your personalities and propose different options for your outdoor ceremony and couple photos, I suggest vendors and activities based on the area, and create a personalised timeline.
Of course I am not a planner but you can think about me more like a guidance presence. Another option can be hiring a planner, and relying on her/him for the planning part including vendors suggestions, some of them offer different packages with help for specific things.
I had the pleasure to collaborate with this lovely couple for example, they are Alessia & Alex, wedding planners based in Rome:
The main advice I would give you when you are choosing your elopement dress is this:
Choose something that makes you feel beautiful and comfortable at the same time.
When you are trying different models, don’t just focus on how it looks, but try to walk with it, take some big steps, sit, turn, jump! You are going to wear it all day or anyway for a long time, try to find something that is so uniquely yours, but that allows you to have a lovely day without making efforts to walk. As you probably understood now, choosing Rome for your elopement day means walking and a lot.
Hills are amazing, but bring with you another pair of comfy shoes, you can also find something that is beautiful and comfy at the same time, or just change the pair when you need. This is very important, because the street pavements especially in the centre of Rome have cobblestones, or you can call them in Italian “Sampietrini”.
Have you ever thought about adding an activity to do together on your elopement day?
This could be a nice way to celebrate your first day as a married couple!
Here there are some activities ideas for your elopement in Rome:
Let’s celebrate! After your beautiful ceremony, and an amazing time spent exploring the city, what could be better than a romantic dinner at night? You can have an elegant dinner at the hotel where you are staying for example, or perhaps a simple “Trattoria” could be the right place for you, if you are curious to try real roman cooking.
Trattoria in Italian is a term used to describe a simple restaurant serving typical local dishes. Street food can be another option if you fancy the idea of having food on the go, or you can book a private chef, where he/she can come to your place if you rented an apartment, and cook a special personalised dinner for you.
Celebration does not mean only having dinner, this is your wedding day and you can include anything you want, like your first dance, pop some prosecco at sunset with a gorgeous view if the city, or if you fancy the nightlife Trastevere and Testaccio are the right place for you with lots of nightclubs.
The total cost for an elopement in Rome depends on many factors, starting from the flight and the country where you are from, the type of accommodation, and ceremony, on what are you oriented for dress and attire, flowers, and activities you might want to add for the day. There is not a definite answer but you might find it helpful having a look at 3 examples I made in my previous article “How to elope in Italy”, to have an idea of minimum and maximum.
If you are looking to cut some costs, definitely opt for a symbolic ceremony, and for accommodation you can rent an apartment not too far from the centre, and there are loads of affordable options for dresses and accessories online and in store.
Ask a friend or a relative to be your officiant, buy a simple bouquet from a local florist or order them dry online. You can also simply go to Campo de Fiori market, it has many stands where you can buy flowers and make your own bouquet. If you are comfortable with the idea, you can even do your own makeup, some brides take lessons before the elopement day.
Eloping in Rome does not mean necessarily having a luxurious setting, it can be fun and spontaneous too, it all depends on what’s important to you.
Having a timeline helps you stay on track and have a clear vision of the day.
You don’t have to follow strictly everything, it is just a visual plan, and creating one before the elopement date will contribute to having a better idea of the things you can do and what to avoid. For example knowing that it takes you tot. time to get from spot a to spot b, it would be much easier deciding if adding something else to do later or not, avoiding to fill the day with too many plans, with the result of stressing yourself and not enjoying your experience.
An example of timeline:
4,30 am – Getting ready in the hotel/b&b/apartment
6,30 am – Heading towards the ceremony location (possibly max 30 min away)
7,15 am – Symbolic ceremony at the Imperial Forums
7,45 am – End of ceremony Prosecco toast and first dance
8,15 am – Walking around Imperial Forums, Campidoglio
9,30 am – Heading towards Castel S. Angelo
9,50 am – Arrive at Castel S. Angelo for a walk around
11 am – Back to car heading towards Piazza Navona
11,15 am – Arrived at Piazza Navona, walk and break for coffee
Break to rest splitting the day in 2 parts
5:00 pm – Arrive at Villa Borghese exploring the park
6:30 pm – Last spot at Pincio for romantic view of the city at sunset
7,00 pm – Back to car heading towards dinner
7,45 pm – Dinner for two and cut of mini wedding cake and champagne toast
This is just one example of what your elopement day can look like, and answer to a very common question: what are we supposed to do on the elopement day?
This timeline gives ideas for a specific scenario which is Rome, so a city elopement, but really when we are talking about eloping you can fill your day with anything you want!
Don’t limit yourself to the common offered things but dig deeper and ask to yourself “What would we like to do? What sounds exciting or interesting to us?” This question counts for any kind of elopement, it is something connected with your own personality and tendencies not a list of trends to follow.
Rome has the biggest airport in Italy, and excellent connections to all the regions. Fiumicino Airport is the main one, but there also is Ciampino, which is closer to the city.
Once you arrive, you can get a bus, a train, or the airport shuttle express to get to the city. The main train station in Rome is Termini, and some transports also stop in different areas of the city such as Tiburtina station, and Vatican. If you opt for a Taxi make sure it is a white one with the sign “Taxi” on the top of the car, and the city council symbol with visible licence number on the doors.
I would avoid using Uber as in Italy it is quite expensive, and renting a car might seem a good solution but Rome is very challenging to drive in, even for an expert driver, and keep in mind that traffic can keep you stuck for long time, and parking fees are very pricey especially in the historic centre. Better using taxis or the underground.A positive fact is that you can easily reach beautiful Italian cities with fast trains from Termini, like Florence, Bologna, Turin, Milan and Venice.
Once you get to Italy let’s explore around properly shall we?
There is more information I would like to share to help you with travel details like currency exchange, the best way to use your mobile phone, and language. I have spoken widely about these topics in my guide about Italy, if you are curious you can have a look using these shortcut:
As a last piece of advice, I feel like giving you the one main thing that works for every situation: Take it easy, go with the flow, and try not to focus too much on perfection.
Eloping can be such an incredible adventure, and like everything in life things don’t always go as planned, but the best attitude you can have to live happily every moment is to be open to changes, and release control.
I truly hope this article helped you have a clearer idea of what an elopement in Rome can be, and would love to hear from you if you have any questions or need some guidance to plan your special day in the eternal city.
Feel free to contact me to have a chat, info, or just to get to know each other better and see if we are a good fit.
Contact me now
& let’s get planning!