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Orchestra weddings is an Italian wedding agency exclusively addressed to LGBT couples that choose Italy for their destination wedding
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garda lake for a gay destination wedding

The coolest locations for gay destination weddings in Italy


Italy is one of the most favorite places in the world for destination weddings. While a recent survey stated that the number of Italian couples that decide to get marries have been decreasing during the last years, foreigner choosing Italy as wedding destination are increasing. Wedding tourism in our country is worth 385 million euro (2017) and professionals working in this trade are 1500. A relevant part of this trade is gay destination weddings, an increasing segment that grew in 2017 by 64% and representing the 12% of the trade. LGBTQ couples’ budget is generally 20% more compared to that of straight couples.

But which are the most popular locations for gay destination weddings in Italy?

Here are the most trendy Italian destinations chose by Orchestra Weddings for same sex couples.

The most popular Italian locations for gay destination weddings


tuscany gay wedding table

Tuscany is maybe the most popular region of Italy. The most seen stereotype of Italian landscape is probably a street of Florence or a glimpse of the colorful hills of the vineyard near Siena. Tuscany wine and food are a globally recognized must of the Italian experience. Florence is one of the most rich cities from an artistic and historical point of view, with its museums and architectural elements, its squares, it represents a monument itself. The surroundings are dotted with amazing ancient villages.


sicilian wedding same sex

An authentic pearl in the south of Italy, Sicily lays in the middle of Mediterranean sea. Thanks to its privileged position, this land has been crossed and influenced through centuries by different cultures and for this Sicily is today a living cultural laboratory, certainly one of the richest regions from a cultural and historical point of view.

The perfect destination for a country-style wedding or a Mediterranean-style beach wedding. Food and wines are among the most appreciated of the country.




castelli romani, a good destination for a gay wedding
Seventeen districts from Albano Laziale to Velletri near Rome plenty of ancient beauty and country tradition. The area of the castles lays on a fertile volcanic area which has allowed since ancient times a flourishing agriculture.

Since 1996, the Roman Castles area has been home to a large variety of wines.
Weather of Castelli Romani differs from place to place depending from the geographical position
and altitude and the distance of the sea but it is generally warmer than in North Italy.

NORTH LAKES / COMO LAKE, GARDA AND MAGGIORE LAKESgarda lake, a perfect location for a lgbt wedding

North Lakes (Lago di Garda, Lago di Como e Lago Maggiore) are one of the most popular locations for weddings. Natural landscape is flourishing and the area offers a variety of villas and castles perfect for a luxury wedding. The rustic atmosphere is more difficult to find here, certainly not impossible. Como Lake offers a wider variety of venues than Lake Garda, mostly very refined and elegant. Around the lakes, the countryside with its different landscape.

The nearest Airport for Lake Como, Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta is Milano (up to 1 hour).
For Lake Garda are Venice (2 hours) or Verona (up to 1 hour).

italian civil unions and gay wedding

Civil union vs marriage: rights, duties, and differences

In many countries same-sex marriage is now a consolidated reality. In Italy it is not still permitted, instead there is another form of legal union for both same-sex and straight couples, called civil union. But, beyond the formal aspects of a gay or lesbian ceremony, let’s see what’s the real difference between marriage and civil union.

Difference between marriage and civil union

Let’s try to understand what separates civil union from marriage.

For marriage we mean the civil celebration, not the religious one. Both civil union and marriage are legal acts protected by the Italian constitution. But, while the civil union is permitted for same sex couples, marriage unfortunately, is not. There is not yet a real equality between same-sex couples and straight coupes.

This celebration does not necessarily imply a ceremony and there are not preliminary obligations, but both acts implicate duties and rights to respects during life as a couple.

The civil union newborn law does not include a legal recognition for stepchild adoption. Moreover it does not require fidelity as the marriage does.

For what concerns all other aspects, the celebrations are almost identical. The civil union do not implies necessarily a ceremony, but only a declaration in front of a public officer (a mayor, an alderman, a councilman or a civilian with delegation) made by the couple at the presence of the two witnesses. The act will be after transcribed on a registry.

Civil union vs marriage: rights and duties

As for marriage, the civil union implies the mutual obligation of cohabitation, of community property state (or separation of property according to what the couple has decided), obligation of moral and material assistance, obligation to contribute to common needs, and, in case of death of the partner, it includes the acquisition of the pension rights. Lastly, in the event of serious illness of one of the partners, the other partner has the right to decide to accept or not the eventual care policy.

De-facto relationship

Italian common law already included also the legal procedure for the recognization of de-facto relationship. In this case, the partners have to formalize the relationship with corresponding duties and rights, with no necessity of getting married. The de-facto relationship can be seen as a lighter alternative to the legal marriage, open to every kid of couple, aiming to the recognization of duties and rights, solution that has to be formalized by a notary.


Gay or lesbian wedding rings: from tradition’s origins to the present

Wedding ring is still today a symbol of the eternal bond between two people that wearing it promise to join their lives with the partner. That of the wedding ring is a tradition coming from ancient times. Let’s find out more about its origins, its meaning nowadays, the differences with the engagement ring and which is the right finger for gay or lesbian wedding rings.


The anulus (in latin) was a “small circle” used from ancient times to adorn hands or arms and, sometimes, also feet. But beyond this aesthetic function the ring has assumed during time other symbolic meanings, thanks to its particular shape, without beginning or end, able to represent the spacial perfection of the life circle ant that of eternity. The ring was also used as a royal seal, starting from ancient Egyptians that used to put on them snakes or beetles. The ring was also used to indicate a social status, as emblem of power and authority. The Greeks used to apply cameos or engravings on it, Roman matrons a small key, sign of their authority in the house. For centuries, Roman senators and magistrates had the exclusive right to wear the golden ring. During the middle age, from the ninth century, kings during their coronation, and bishops for their consecration manifested their authority wearing a golden ring.


The Christian use of the exchange of ring during the wedding celebration is probably dated back to Ninth century. The mystic circular shape, perfection of the union, assumed the meaning of mutual loyalty, while the gold, usually yellow, instead of iron, represents in the christian tradition, the eternity of the bond. So that the braking of the ring predicts disasters. In sixteenth century people started to wear one or more rings with seals or precious stones and became widely used to wear the ring also after the ceremony. Only in eighteenth century became common use to engrave inside it names and dates.


An ancient Egyptian belief thought that a small artery, called in Latin vena amoris (vein of love) ran through the ring finger of the left hand directly to the heart.

Not everywhere the ring is worn on the left hand. In Eastern and Northern Europe the wedding ring is worn on the right hand. The same in some countries of South America, while in the past, in England it was worn on the thumb finger.


Now that same sex wedding has been institutionalized, the question is: is there a different tradition in wearing a gay or a lesbian wedding ring? As it often happens with still in the making traditions, we can trace a tendency, that of wearing the engagement ring on the right hand, and the wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand, as in straight wedding, but there are many exceptions, mostly among lesbians, that prefer wearing the engagement ring on the left hand and the wedding ring on the right. 


How a wedding is organized: timing and priorities

When organizing a destination wedding there are priorities that you have to take in account in order not to risk thinking to flower arrangement or to invitations while missing fundamental factors that may affect the success of the event.

What are the things to do first?

Pick a date

The venue you chose determines in most cases the exact date, especially if it’s in hight demand, many venue are booked  months in advance, even years if it’s a very popular one, so in many cases the availability is not guaranteed. So you’d better start the search with a precise date in mind, it will simplify all work.

Paperwork first

Same-sex wedding is now recognized in many countries, but it’s important to have a clear idea of the Italian legal framework. If you decide to celebrate a legal marriage and not only a symbolic one, you must get properly informed in good time about the documents to produce. Also consider possible delays in receiving answers or documents.

Fix a budget

It’s important to have a clear idea of the total expense to understand the margin you can have and to measure all choices in function of the budget.

Find a location

The starting point is to find the right location, first of all to ensure the availability on the date, and also because it is a significant cost in the budget and once booked you can start thinking to all smaller cost items. Moreover, the venue is the choice which other stylistic choice will be all about.

What is a reasonable time to start planning a wedding?

Much depends from one’s character, but generally 18 months is a reasonable time. Considering that not only there is a wedding to plan, but you have also to arrange every aspect concerning guests, from information on accommodation and transports, and that every negotiation has to be done with a foreign vendor, it’s better to start well in advance.


Your gay wedding in winter


Traditions are a very important part of the Italian culture, and the wedding ceremony is one of those events in which these tradition are still very much alive. Moreover all these traditions vary from region to region, and that’s what makes the famous “Italian wedding” so intrguing.
Now that Italian law recognises same-sex unions, LGBT couples can incorporate Italian Wedding tradition in their big day, and Orchestra can help them doing this.
Orchestra is the first Wedding Planner offering a LGBT wedding ceremony in an authentic Italian style.

Orchestra at GAY BRIDE EXPO in Bologna

We attended the first Gay Wedding Expo in Italy in Bologna. Miriam Bertaina, ORCHESTRA General Manager and Biagio Luca Intorrella ORCHESTRA Creative Director, attended as speakers at Gay Bride Expo.