Beach wedding in Sicily: 10 things to know
If you are thinking about an Italian marriage, you should consider a beach wedding in Sicily. With its unique beaches, crystal clear sea and warm climate (almost) all year, Sicily could be the perfect place for your fairytale wedding. The fact is that, as in all beautiful things, there are some crucial aspects to consider to make your day really perfect.
Of course, thinking about your wedding on the beach at sunset in Syracuse’s breathtaking landscape or the Messina province is a daydream. But how to do it? Which are the costs? Which beaches are suitable for the celebration?
Let’s find out everything you need to know to create a perfect Sicilian wedding by the sea in this article.
What aspects to consider in a beach wedding?
Since 2013, the government has allowed beach’s weddings. It means that it is possible to celebrate the civil ceremony, even a stone’s throw from the sea. If this is true, the reality is that not all municipalities allow it, and not on all beaches!
Have you seen that postcard sand shore where you can perfectly imagine yourself in a white dress? I’m sorry to tell you that the municipality does not necessarily allow celebrations in that specific place.
Let’s try to understand more about the issue of the permits.
Wedding on the beach in Sicily: permits required
In most of the municipalities, only some beaches can be rented – for a fee – for the celebration of weddings. Obviously, for a civil ceremony! If it is already challenging to find a suitable beach for civil rites, it is almost impossible to have a Catholic wedding by the sea – in Sicily or elsewhere.
According to the Canon law, you must celebrate the religious rite in a consecrated place qualified for sacraments. Not everyone knows that there are even churches where it is impossible to celebrate weddings – for the simple fact that they do not have this particular permit!
When you think about a wedding on the beach, you must, first of all, clarify whether:
- you want a religious wedding – and in this case, it may not be a viable route;
- the municipality you choose has beaches for civil weddings;
- alternatively, if you are interested, you can celebrate an exciting symbolic rite!
The symbolic ritual on the beach
If your municipality does not admit any beach among the civil celebration locations – but you still strongly want to get married by the sea – you can always choose the symbolic rite (and then go to the town hall to make it official). I promise you it will still be an emotional wedding!
If you are curious to know more about the symbolic rite, this article discusses the various marriage types in detail.
Wind, rain, rough sea: plan B is essential
Although Sicily has a relatively mild climate, it is still an island. Some areas of the province of Palermo and Syracuse are exposed to strong winds all year round. It may not be exactly your idea of marriage to walk down the aisle with the sand in the dress and a ruined hairstyle!
For this, it is essential to know the region and, in the range of available possibilities, select the best beaches based on the month and exposure to the air currents.
Another consideration to make concerns about is the sea. The Sicilian sea is famous all over the world for its beauty. But it is also characterized by deep waters that, when rough, can be dangerous: especially if we have dreamed of a ceremony by the sea! If unfortunately, your wedding falls on a day of rough sea, we should opt for a different location: the beach will be off-limits.
For the rain, like all outdoor celebrations, we can only hope to be lucky – although here I must say that in summer the rainfalls in Sicily are quite rare.
The logistical question: beach resort or virgin shores?
When organizing weddings by the sea in Sicily, we shouldn’t underestimate the logistic question. How to transport everything you need on the beach? Where to store the flowers? Right to get around this obstacle, the choice often falls on beach resorts that offer already equipped spaces.
However, I must admit that many couples don’t like this solution. They are in love with the idea of an intimate, exciting wedding on isolated and virgin beaches, especially if they are city couples on the run into nature for their rustic wedding.
In this case, we should consider, in addition to the objective difficulty in finding a beach where marriages are allowed, the fact that the costs will be higher.
The coherence and the theme of the wedding by the sea
The last – but not least – issue that we should address is the theme. Not only for the celebration but also for the after-party! As I always say, there must be a fundamental coherence, a harmony of shapes, colours, and details.
A beach wedding in Sicily followed by a glamorous lunch in a city hotel is inconsistent. I can say the same for a Baroque villa reception. If you choose the sea as a place of your yes, you must build a unique theme for the reception. Better if without offering elements a little triteness such as seahorses, shells and coloured sand!
Everything that rotates around the wedding – from the graphic coordinated to the mise en place to the wedding dresses themselves – must be in line with the choice of beach. And I assure you that being consistent and not trivial in this case is not easy at all.
Is the question of the themed wedding not completely clear to you? Try reading my article on how to choose the right theme for a perfect wedding!
The comfort of guests at beach weddings
I know that marriage is the bride and groom’s dream, but we must also think about the guests’ comfort. Opt for a rocky beach, with long stairways, exposed to the wind or simply celebrating a beach wedding in Sicily in the height of summer at 5 pm would be not comfortable.
We think of the elderly who will have to walk on the sand, the ladies’ high-heeled shoes, and the children who will scream for playing with water.
Here, a wedding planner’s professional figure is crucial to prepare everything necessary to make the ceremony comfortable and exciting for everyone.
For example, we can think of providing flip-flops at the outset of the beach, umbrellas, straw hats or fans. Small tricks that will make the difference for your guests.
Celebrating a beach wedding in Sicily: how to do it
Sicily has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but not all of them are accessible. Many Sicilian beaches in Syracuse, or Trapani, are part of reserves or protected oases. Besides, we have hundreds of coves, rocky shores or overhanging cliffs, where it would not be possible logistically to organize a safe and comfortable wedding.
For this reason, before that as a wedding planner, it is as a Sicilian by birth that I recommend that you rely on a professional to make the dream of a wedding in Sicily come true.
Beach wedding in Sicily: 10 issues to clarify
At the end of this long article, we understood that having a wedding on the beach in Sicily is not trivial at all. It is a gorgeous location full of beautiful beaches but also of rocky, windy, protected and not very accessible areas.
Here are the ten issues to consider when deciding to say yes by the sea.
- The religious rite’s choice may not be possible, but you can celebrate an exciting symbolic ceremony with an equally deep meaning.
- Every municipality indicates the beaches suitable for the celebration of civil rites: be sure to check that your favourite is on the list!
- It will be useful to check not only that the beach has all the papers in order in terms of permits but that it is also accessible from a logistical point of view.
- We all cross our fingers for a sunny day and a mild climate, but to be sure of the event’s perfect success, it is advisable to have a plan B to be used in case of strong wind, rain or storm waves.
- We can choose a beach resort as the location of the ceremony: let’s consider it!
- The costs could be high, especially if we want to rent a lot of furniture and transport them to the seashore.
- Choosing a reception location in line with the beach environment could make the wedding more harmonious and balanced.
- The general theme of the event should be unique and coherent with the place of the ceremony.
- Guests will appreciate some extra precautions for their comfort and to ensure accessibility for the elderly, children, and disabled people.
- Many beaches in Sicily, even if fantastic, may not be suitable for events or be part of protected areas.
A perfect wedding in Sicily
In short, making real a wedding on the beach in Sicily is possible! I am sure this is a dream that many couples have always had in their drawer.
However, it’s not as simple as it sounds. For this reason, relying on a professional of the wedding organization, who knows the territory, is vital.
Are you thinking of a wedding on the Sicilian sea? I’m here for you!