YOUR WEDDING IN SICILY
Weddings in Holy Cross Church Palermo
If you are thinking of getting married in Italy, then we can help. We are experts in supporting people who want Church of England ceremonies in Sicily, one of the most beautiful and captivating locations in the world.
So, first of all, we offer our warmest congratulations to you both in deciding to take this step as a couple! A wedding is a time for celebration and festivity and also for contemplation and reflection on commitment, faithfulness and loyalty. Many people are understandably overwhelmed by the thought of planning such a big occasion, but in our Chaplaincy we will ensure that you have all the support you need — and by the way, you don’t both need to be Anglican!
You may engage the help of a wedding agency to organise the big day for you but it isn’t necessary, because we can assist with most aspects, putting you in touch with the key people. We have excellent musical resources; people who can help with flowers, photography and catering. Even from a distance, many enjoy sharing the planning for their day with us because it can make it a more personal and shared experience that you will always treasure.
The first thing to do is to book the church and Chaplain with us. Also arrange to meet or speak with the Chaplain, Fr. James, who will perform the ceremony.
Holy Cross makes a stunning wedding location with its Venetian mosaics.
Timing your Italian Wedding
There are two important things to consider here.
Firstly, Holy Cross Palermo is a sought-after and very beautiful venue for weddings in Italy and is a very busy church. Six months’ notice is desirable, but not necessarily essential, for wedding bookings and, of course, firm bookings will get priority.
Secondly, this period of notice ensures that there is enough time to plan for your special day, ensuring a truly memorable day.
There are many ways this can be done within the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England. Meeting with the Chaplain, personally or with video call, will ensure you get the ceremony that is right for you.
Holy Cross Palermo is situated in a veritable ocean of musical rescources in a culture capital of the world. Our historic organ is a scaled version of that found in St Paul's Cathedral, London. Many people today still enjoy organ music and traditional hymns, but there is a vast range of choice available to you. For example, chamber groups, piano and voice arias or solo instrumentalists. You can be as creative as you want. If there is a particular piece of music you know, it can be performed here live.
Live performance will add to your budget, but it doesn’t have to be a great deal to make a big difference. Once your details are received and your booking confirmed with a deposit, please email us to discuss your musical requirements.
The historic five star Grand Hotel et des Palmes - built as a home of the family that founded Holy Cross - is immediately adjacent to the church.
Holy Cross is situated in the heart of Palermo with its many hotels and restaurants - a stones throw from the church - which provide wonderful locations to host your reception: A location to suit every taste and budget.
We can put you in touch with professional caterers who can organise all manner of different types of reception from sit down meal to informal buffet and provide everything you need for your perfect wedding reception : waiting staff, chairs, tables, table linen and crockery and cutlery as well as world-renowned Italian food and wine!
Weddings in other places of worship
Getting married in Sicily does not restrict you to the city of Palermo. The Chaplain is happy to travel to other churches or chapels that are consecrated for Christian worship. It is important, however, to obtain the necessary permissions and to make clear that the ceremony would be conducted according to the rites of the Church of England. There are also many beautiful villas in Sicily with their own chapels and these are another option to consider carefully.
Renewal of vows
Some of our happiest and most moving ceremonies here at Holy Cross are with couples who wish to renew their vows after a period of married life. It may also involve the blessing or re-dedication of rings or indeed other personal acts of renewed commitment. Please let our Chaplaincy Office know if you want to consider this option by contacting us and specifying your requirements.
For members of Holy Cross Church (those registered in the parish roll) there is no mandatory donation for a wedding, blessing, or renewal of vows.
The Chaplain can travel to any Christian church/chapel in Sicily (with necessary permission).
You need to have a registered civil wedding certificate before we can conduct a ceremony in a church, villa or chapel in Italy. Normally, it is much easier to do this informally in the UK (or country of residence). US Nationals can also take advantage of consular services available to them in Palermo for this purpose. British citizens living in Italy will need first to approach the British Embassy before a legal ceremony can be conducted in the comune of your choice. The Chaplain can give you more information and guidance on current legal requirements for getting married in Italy.
We will need proof of your identities, ideally a baptism certificate for one of you and the marriage registration certificate recording your civil marriage, prior to the Church ceremony.
You do not need to be a member of the Church of England to get married in our Chaplaincy. We are very used to dealing with couples who have different church backgrounds, as well as with families from mixed denominations. The ceremony, however, has to be conducted according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England — that said, a ceremony can be conducted in several languages or with the involvement of ministers from other Churches. Please speak to the Chaplain about this if you have any specific requirements.
As a Chaplaincy of the Church of England, we also ask that couples undergo marriage preparation with the Chaplain or with a minister of religion local to them in their country of origin. Marriage is much bigger than the wedding day and the ceremony itself reflects the powerful and deep commitments being made between two people. We can help and advise you about this requirement.
There are no restrictions on the use of photographic or video recordings for wedding ceremonies. However, you should be very clear with anyone responsible for official photography about what they can or can’t do; it’s important that they don’t distract you during the service. We can recommend local professionals who know the church well.
Getting married in Italy in summer is very romantic, but remember that Sicily can be extremely hot from mid-July to early September!
There is a good airport in Palermo with excellent connections to the city centre by taxi, coach, or train.
The Church of England gives comprehensive information about marriage and the wedding service itself, and is available here.
Getting Married in Italy - What's next?
Please contact us to discuss your wedding. It does not constitute an obligation, but please note that a booking cannot be entered (other than provisionally) in our calendar until we have the completed form and your deposit. For a detailed list of costings please get in touch to discuss discuss payment and currency options.
We look forward to welcoming you to our Chaplaincy for this unique event in your lives. In the meantime, thank you for considering our Chaplaincy as the place for your special wedding in Italy. You are in our prayers.