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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Why Sicily is the best destination for your ECO WEDDING?

Did you know that Sicily can be the best destination for your eco-wedding! Here are reasons why👇

🍋300 sunny days per year, Sicily is the sunniest region in Italy, which means you will have less opportunity to catch the rain during the ceremony and more opportunities to have an outdoor wedding even in low season. Take a look at our couples’ wedding photoshoots during the low season: late April and early November:

🍋Different plants blooming in nature all year round. The flowering seasons alternate one after another in Sicily, at the turn of winter and spring the flowering season begins with almonds. Tourists from all over the world come to look at this incredible beauty. One of the most famous places is the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, which has been buried in a snow-white cloud of flowers in February every year:

In the spring of April-May, orange blossom starts to bloom — the sacred flower of Sicily (see the article about it), and a delicate white and yellow plumeria follows it. Also in February, after a short break, jasmine covers all of Sicily. Its blooming continues until autumn, and the ubiquitous bougainvillaea blooms in Sicily all year round.

🍋Availability of affordable fruits for decorations. Traditional lemons can be found here for 1-1.5 euros per kg, and some local venues, immersed in citrus orchards, will provide them even cheaper or free of charge.

Example of wedding decor with lemons

🍋Waste availability of potted plants and flowers for your sustainable wedding: they will not die like cut flowers after your ceremony. The range of such plants in Sicily is huge and available all year round. Not all garden centres offer the opportunity to rent their plants, but an experienced wedding planner probably has a couple of contacts that cannot refuse this service to be provided 🙂 An example of eco-style wedding table decor using a mini olive tree:

🍋Traditions of Mediterranean bio cultivation and the waste range of genuine dishes from «km 0» products for your eco-friendly reception. A lot of Sicilian venues offer dishes from vegetables and fruits from their own beds. Vitamin and flavour explosion guaranteed! I have proven locations with their own gardens, they consider as an honour and a duty — to feed their guests only with their own grown vegetables. Your guests will remember your Sicilian wedding menu for a lifetime.

Homemade limoncello prepared in one of our wedding villas.

Nowhere like in Sicily you will let no flower to die.

The remaining fruit can be gifted to guests or used during the honeymoon.

And I will help you to find delicious solutions for all your vegan and vegetarian guests if you’ll have so. Sicily is considered the queen of fried vegetables, how they are been prepared here (for example, caponata), you will not find in any other country of the world.

Describe the wedding of your dream in the centre of the Mediterranean: , or on WhatsApp:

Anastasia Leonova in Carastro, your destination wedding planner in Sicily. About me.

Wedding elopement: history, advantages and tips on planning

Wedding for two, or the word «elopement», is been increasingly seen on pages of bridal magazines and fashion wedding blogs. Due to the situation with 2020 events worldwide, an intimate wedding for only two may become a trend for the next few years. More and more couples after cancellation of their classic wedding or after the date has been rescheduled (and some have already had their celebration postponed several times!) are beginning to think about a less stressful and more easier wedding for two organised and surrounded by only their closest relatives (usually parents). Afterall this type of wedding has many advantages, which exactly will be discussed below.

Ph: Tatiana Costantino. Beach elopement between the sea and the Alcantara river

First of all, let’s remember what this — elopement — word means, from which the modern tradition of celebrating a wedding without guests has started. «Elopement» according to the Oxford dictionary means «Runaway secretly to get married.» Imagination immediately draws pictures of forbidden marriages, not receiving parental blessings, an adventure with a romantic tint. This is essentially how it was, starting from the 14th century, to which the first mention of elopement dates back. Couples, who were faced with all sorts of obstacles, ran away from their parents’ house as far as possible, has been married in secret, and then presented their families with this fact. Also in the distant past, elopement could wear a shade of adultery, when a wife ran away from her husband with her lover, then people talked about her like «she eloped with a paramour». During the Great Depression, the number of weddings for two increased in the United States simply because newlyweds did not have enough money for a classic celebration with a large number of guests. Getting married in Las Vegas at one time was fashionable, cool and rebellious.

Sicily has its own historical term of «weddings for two» or «elopement»:

La fuitina d’amore — the couple does not receive blessings from the parents for the wedding, afterwards they secretly escape together, after certain time is passed the families of the newlyweds understand that the relationship between them has taken place and there is no way back. Families have no choice but to allow the so-called «compromise marriage».

Ph: Tatiana Costantino. Elopement to Savoca, the Godfather’s town

Nowadays, a wedding for two certainly has a different meaning and carries completely different values. Often this type of wedding is chosen primarily because of the convenience and the impossibility or unwillingness to organize a large-scale and expensive celebration. Sometimes conflicts between the families of bride and groom push this choice, then choosing a wedding without guests is the optimal and least stressful decision. A wedding for two in some countries is synonymous with a wedding abroad or destination wedding.

A wedding for two is chosen by couples who want to combine their honeymoon with a beautiful ceremony in an exotic country or in a dream location, where for some reason all guests cannot come. Then a classic reception is organized at homeland, and in Sicily, for example, a dream wedding day is being prepared for a couple.

A wedding for two can be chosen by couples who, more than anyone else, appreciate the opportunity to exchange vows without prying eyes and in the most intimate atmosphere.

Ph: Tatiana Costantino. Elopement to the Godfather’s castle with mt Etna erupting in the backdrop

A separate category of couples — extreme and nature lovers — choosing locations that are simply physically inaccessible to most guests. For example a ceremony in the mountains, on volcanoes, where you need to do trekking to the place of ceremony, on wild beaches with complicated logistics. Well, what can I say? Any dream has its right to come true! And wedding planners like no one else can help with this.

PH: Eximia Events. Elopement to the Alcantara Gorges, Sicily

So what are the main advantages of a wedding for two, especially during covid times (and this is all the 2021 year for sure):

1. Simplified organization — minimum stress. No need to think up seating options for guests, no need to keep in mind thousands of details from the banquet menu to the disco playlist.

2. Transparent and fast budget. As a rule, this is the only type of wedding where a package offer is appropriate because there is no most difficult component of the budget — guests and reception. There are tons of ready-made packages online that can be easily customized, such as our package offers for a wedding for two in Sicily.

3. The huge advantage of this type of wedding is that it can be organized in just a couple of weeks. And in the context of a global pandemic, unstable flights and constantly changing conditions of border crossing, this is the only type of wedding that can be organized with the most minimal risks. For Sicily, the frequency of changes on entry and exit from the country due to the situation with the coronavirus is approximately 14-30 days. During this time, it is quite possible to organize an intimate ceremony for only two. And in case of cancellation financial risks are also minimal.

4. More flexible wedding day program. The couple does not depend on the guest’s arrival, on their movements and waiting at reception. The couple can afford more options for filming, the result will be a richer video and photo album.

5. A wedding for two with a symbolic ceremony is a long-awaited celebration for those couples who, for whatever reason, did not have it, but they have been living together already for many years.

6. And finally, the most important thing is, of course, intimacy and unique moments that a couple lives only together, without looking back at anyone else.

7. The possibility of a ceremony in locations where access for all guests is simply impossible, but where the couple can get on their own, for example, mountains overlooking the fjords in Norway, the slope of Mount Etna or a wild beach in a nature reserve.

When choosing a location for an elopement, be guided by the type of ceremony you are planning: if you want to hold a symbolic wedding for two, any locations and beaches are suitable for this, but if you want a civil wedding, then only authorized locations are suitable for this, where it is allowed to bring out the ceremony register. A list of such authorised locations in Sicily can be obtained by applying for a first free consultation.

Streaming video capabilities allow you to share your wedding ceremony online with relatives who were unable to attend. Many couples prefer to show the finished wedding video as a surprise to their loved ones. How to do it in a better way is up to you, and in case of doubt, a wedding planner with experience in planning such weddings can help with the decision.

PH: Tatiana Costantino. Elopement to the Godfather’s castle