THE ULTIMATE ITALIAN WEDDING
Picture this: a newlywed couple, in full wedding attire, dance on a secluded Sicilian beach. After their final dramatic step they run laughing, fully clothed, into the waves. Their guests burst into rapturous applause; some even follow them into the water. Or this: an infinity pool overlooks the Amalfi Coast, a magical setting where the sea meets the sky. A sumptuous banquet lines the pool while traditional Neapolitan entertainment enchants guests. The unparalleled settings of our hotels mean even the simplest of celebrations is breathtaking. But add some show-stopping touches and you’ll guarantee this is the greatest day of your life.
In Venice, city of ornate palaces and misty canals, nothing short of spectacular will do. After all, it was here in the gardens on Giudecca Island that Giacomo Casanova himself would meet his lovers, seducing them in the twilight. Now part of our legendary Hotel Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel in Venice, the gardens can be the setting for your magnificent Venetian wedding—including the ceremony and an intimate banquet. Or, for a grander affair, let us arrange a spectacular feast in the Granaries of the Republic. The historic, brick-walled halls overlooking St Mark’s Square lend themselves splendidly to a Venetian Masquerade Ball. Invite your guests to dress up as courtiers and twirl incognito beneath the chandeliers.
NO PLACE LIKE IT
The newly renovated Splendido Mare, a Belmond hotel in Portofino, is perfect for a more intimate affair. A charming guest house with 14 stylish rooms, this beautifully romantic setting harnesses the stylish legacy of Portofino itself. For an even closer waterside setting, Villa Sant’Andrea—a Belmond hotel in Taormina—is right on Sicily’s stunning Bay of Mazzarò. To create a stunning impact, you can have hundreds of lanterns floated on the water. “Sometimes couples like to get involved and place the lights on the water themselves,” says Events Manager Marilisa Bagnato. To enhance the scene further, have musicians glide into the bay on a boat. “You start to hear the music—a romantic aria, a mandolin player—then they magically appear through the dark to all the guests on the beach. It’s incredibly atmospheric.”
SEA AND SKY
Marilisa says couples appreciate the blend of tradition and innovation at the hotel. “They want authentic Sicilian food and wine—especially Etna wines, which are becoming very well known now—but they prefer an informal ambience. Rather than lots of sitting and speeches they like to stand on the beach with cocktails or use our stylish beach cabanas. Photographs are often reportage-style now, as well, which is more fun.”
Often guests have very specific requests. “Once a bride asked for a two-metre-high cake,” says Marilisa. “It had layers of flowers, and the pastry chef and florist accompanied it out. I was praying it wouldn’t collapse, but it was fine. We’re here to do whatever our guests want. We create dreams.”
Just ten minutes away—and a stone’s throw away from the magnificent ancient theatre of Taormina—is Grand Hotel Timeo. With expansive panoramic terraces overlooking the picturesque coast and dramatic Mount Etna, it’s a suitably dramatic setting for a declaration of love.
Outstanding views unite all our properties. Enjoy sweeping vistas from Villa San Michele, a Belmond hotel in Florence, where you can now get blessed in a church. The ancient monastery’s former Lobby has been transformed into a reception area, with the heavenly San Michele Chapel available for symbolic ceremonies. Afterwards, raise a toast to your new life in front of Michelangelo’s famous façade and dine in the Loggia overlooking the city’s twinkling lights. Florist Vincenzo Dascanio says: “To complement Villa San Michele’s exceptional setting I would suggest luxurious decorations blending rich blooms and lush greenery, all arranged very naturally. Our aim is to create a stunning but soft result in line with the timeless charm of the location.”
An hour’s drive through rolling hills will lead you to a Castello di Casole, a Belmond hotel in Tuscany. This ancient medieval setting boasts absolute seclusion and otherworldly charm, from the open-air amphitheatre to beautiful Limonaia Terrace.
Or return to the home of that fabulous infinity pool in Ravello. At Caruso, a Belmond hotel on the Amalfi Coast, you can also stage a fairytale reception in a garden full of roses, wisteria and Amalfi lemon trees. Caruso’s sister property, Villa Margherita, is a cherished hideaway perfect for a secluded honeymoon. With its rooftop terrace affording unmatched views of the coast, the villa is a Ravello dream come to life.
AN ISLAND ESCAPE
The island of Mallorca is a sun-drenched paradise. Up in the northwest corner, backed by the dramatic Tramuntana Mountains, lives La Residencia, a Belmond hotel in the picturesque village of Deià. With olive and citrus groves, it is the idyllic spot for a picture-perfect wedding.
Meanwhile, a subtropical paradise awaits for you and your guests at a magical Atlantic location. At Reid’s Palace, a Belmond hotel in Madeira, guests have been thrilled for over a century by stunning ocean views and lush gardens.