Wedding in Italy 2021: new anti-covid protocols and borders reopening

Good news for those in love with Italy: after long discussions with representatives of the wedding business, the government has finally set the date for the opening of the wedding season in Italy. Let me remind you that before this, from the end of 2020, all events (weddings, christenings, first communion) were prohibited, except for the official ceremonies in the city hall or church with strict restrictions and without a banquet.

What are the new rules announced by the Scientific and Technical Committee of the Italian Ministry of Health, necessary to organize a wedding party and banquet in complete safety? And how can these restrictions be turned into an extravagant detail of your wedding?

extravagant wedding sicily

The date

June 15, 2021, is the date of the official restarting of weddings, christenings and communions for regions in the yellow zone. At the same time, weddings are allowed both indoors and outdoors in the fresh air without guests limitation. The most popular forecast that is now circulating on the network is that all restrictions will be lifted for regions in the «white» zone, including the ones described in this article. Time will tell, but so far all restrictive decrees are valid until July 31, 2021, including the state of emergency. Vaccination is proceeding by leaps and bounds, at the time of this writing, about 500 thousand people a day (18% overall of the total population) are being vaccinated in Italy every day, which creates a favourable basis for optimistic predictions.

Masks usage

The mask is an accessory that must be at hand for all participants, including spouses, and must have at least a degree of surgical safety and protection (and above). It should always be worn both indoors and outdoors if it is impossible to maintain a distance of 1 meter between non-cohabiting guests, excluding when guests are seating at the table to eat. Therefore, the ideal option would be to organize an outdoor banquet and ceremony and prepare family tables so that you can live the most important Day in a serene and relaxed atmosphere. In summary, it is allowed to be outdoors without masks, provided that a minimum distance of 1 meter is observed. What is the most convenient region of Italy for outdoor events all year round? Sicily, of course! A list of fantastic wedding venues in Sicily can be viewed here.

covid free wedding sicily
Distancing during a ceremony

Also, masks are not needed at the table during the banquet, but there is nothing new here since we have already lived in this way for 2 years.

If the party takes place indoors, air exchange should be guaranteed whenever possible. It is also recommended that staff wear masks and disinfect their hands frequently. But don’t worry about these measures, all major locations have already taken steps to enforce them.

The rule of using masks also applies to photographers, if they are at a distance of less than 1 meter from people and newlyweds, and for musicians, only when the latter move indoors during a banquet.

A curfew

If someone did not know, for many months in Italy there has been a curfew from 10 pm to 5 am, introduced to curb the spread of SARS-COV-2. In the latest decree of the DPCM, the ban on movement is confirmed from 11:00 pm until 7 June, by midnight from 7 to 21 June and the curfew will be lifted from 21st June. That is, on the day of the summer equinox, Italy will return to normal life without night restrictions, which means that you can organize a wedding with a party until the deepest night in venues where it is allowed.

Catania by night

Temperature, hygiene, and how to dress properly

Spouses, witnesses and guests at «Covid-free weddings» in 2021 will also have to measure the temperature at the entrance, which will be prohibited to them with a temperuature above 37.5 ° C. This rule was in effect last year. Hand hygiene should be provided within special places. The wardrobe area is of great importance, clothes, bags and accessories must be placed in special bags, disposable or sterilized so that nothing comes into contact with other people’s objects. Thus, even changing clothes is completely safe.

wedding dress italy
Wedding preparations, ph Tatiana Costantino

Green Pass

This is the documentation that allows each guest to take part in the ceremony and wedding. It can be of three types and you must demonstrate ONE of the following:

1. A negative test for coronavirus, which can be a rapid antigen swap or saliva test. It can be bought at any pharmacy for 4-5 euros. The test must be done 48 hours prior to the event.
2. Document certifying that you have been vaccinated with any EMA-approved vaccine at least 15 days before the wedding (the first dose is sufficient). The validity of the vaccination certificate at the moment is 9 months.
3. You can provide an official document from the hospital or your doctor that you are cured of coronavirus. The validity period of this document at the moment is 6 months starting from the end of the isolation.

I will add that at the moment (from May 16, 2021) Italy has opened its borders for the entry of tourists from the USA, Canada, Israel, Great Britain and the Schengen area, subject to a number of conditions. In particular, citizens of the United States and Canada are allowed to enter without quarantine, provided that they arrived on a so-called «Covid-tested» flight. A list of such flights and detailed conditions can be found on the government website in English.

destination wedding sicily
Destination wedding in Palermo, ph Gianluca Sammartano

For entry with a tourist purpose and without subsequent quarantine from the Schengen countries and the UK, at the moment, a negative antigen and a molecular test are sufficient 48 hours before the trip. Original source from the website of the Italian Ministry of Health with conditions of entry: HERE.

It is also stipulated that the PCR certificate of the coronavirus test will become part of the single European Green Pass, which is currently being prepared by the countries of the European Union and the Schengen area. The introduction of this European certificate, which allows free movement in Europe, is announced by the end of June 2021. If the green pass will be introduced, then in order to avoid quarantine on tourist trips, it will be enough not only to do the test, but also to show your vaccination certificate OR a document on the recovery from covid.

That is, in fact, if you and your guests arrive from countries listed by the last link above, and they have recently been recovered from covid or vaccinated, you can freely enter Italy without observing quarantine and organize a wedding for any number of people without additional costs for tests either for entry or for the event itself. Otherwise, you will need to do two tests — one for entry and the second, probably (an express test for a couple of euros) for the wedding itself. At the moment, all these restrictions are valid until July 30, 2021.

Reception and banquet

It will not be possible to exchange the wedding menu between guests, and therefore, as an option, you can choose an individual menu for each guest or a spectacular maxi menu for each table, which can become a unique decoration element of your wedding party.

Greenlight for any sit-down reception, the main thing is that the tables are at a distance of 2 meters, and even better — 2.5 meters. At the same time, self-service during the buffet service is prohibited, because the common food cannot be touched. However, show cooking is permitted as long as it is served by waiters, or a buffet table is allowed with single and packed portions too.

show cooking by Graziano catering

Who knows if these innovations will open the door to an innovative and modern mise en place. Banquet seating cards are also of particular importance and should be clearly identified and, if possible, positioned so that they are not easily confused or moved.


Indoor dancing is allowed for a maximum time of 15 minutes. At the same time, a minimum of 2 square meters for each person must be guaranteed.

There is no time limit for outdoor dancing, and the individual area should be 1.2 square meters per person.

I have wonderful wedding packages in Sicily, which includes villas with gorgeous outdoor terraces overlooking the sea and mountains, where you can have an amazing wedding party in maximum safety. Some terraces have rain protection.

wedding party sicily
Outdoor dancing, ph Tatiana Costantino

Distribution of Bonbonniere to guests

Bonbonniere are Italian typical wedding favors. I wrote about them and Italian traditions in this article.

As with food distribution, the delivery of the bonbonniere to the guests must also be carried out by staff or spouses in accordance with the rules. So the hands are always disinfected, without unnecessary contact between people not living together.

Covid-Manager: recommended but not required

In Italy, in the last weeks before the adoption of the protocol on the resumption of weddings, real battles flared up over the mandatory presence of a covid officer or covid manager. The newlyweds won in the end, and the government eliminated the need for a covid manager to avoid unnecessary costs.

Thus, the manager of the wedding venue where the party is held is no longer required to assign a dedicated person in charge. However, someone has to make sure that all of the above measures are followed and comply with the rules: — keeping a guest register, checking the green passes, seating charts and making sure that all security protocols are followed by both contractors and guests. In the days leading up to the wedding, the person in charge of the ceremony will still need to make sure that the newlyweds and guests are informed of all the measures that need to be followed during the event.

Also, after the wedding, it is necessary to keep a list of all guests for 14 days for possible control in case of the spread of infection.

Anyone who knows the subject and why a wedding planner is needed will immediately realize that all these duties and controls can be assumed by the wedding planner or coordinator. So you don’t need to hire anyone else.

And for foreign couples and destination wedding in Sicily, the presence of a professional planner in this situation becomes simply essential. Since none of their foreign moms and friends will be able to constantly check for compliance with local anti-covid regulations throughout the wedding.

Anastasia Leonova in Carastro

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