renew vows in Italy

any suggestions on a relatively inexpensive way to surprise my wife with renewal of vows in Italy

local mayor in front of or inside old church or castle?

are there any special forms ?

trying to keep this from her and keep my sanity?


any suggestions appreciated!


Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Dear Vern,

Any one can offciate this because it isn’t a legal or religious ceremony. All this is is a ceremony in which you two vow to stay together.

Don’t include any of the elements of a wedding and you will be fine. Please read more about vow renewal etiquette.

Best wishes,

Dawna Smith Custom Photo Book & DVD Services

If you enjoy wine, consider having the ceremony and 2nd honeymoon at one of the old vineyards/villas (Bed & Breakfast) or a historic inn.

If you suffer from any type of allergies (mold, etc.), don’t consider Venice due to the dampness and pervasive molding of the structures. If you’ve been to Venice and love it… pretend I never mentioned the above.

Depending on the time of year, Italy has some really nice ski resorts, which if you enjoy winter sports you could go during the ski season, or enjoy the Italian alps during spring or summer. Many people don’t realize that there are more things to do at a ski resort during summer than in winter (hiking, horse back riding, back packing, camping, water sports at the mountain lake, kayaking mountain streams, etc.).

If during winter months, the rental of a quaint mountain cabin (Italian Villa) complete with fireplace, the kind that comes with gourmet cook and good maid butler/maid service……sounds like where I’d like to go.

Definitely book through reputable travel agent and ask for references. Check on villa rentals in the area of your interest, then check with the local government or association to see how they rank, ask for references, etc.


Reverend Susanna Stefanachi Macomb

In Florence, you could renew your vows at City Hall by the mayor. Do explain to them that you are already married, that you are willing to pay the fee, and that no paperwork would be required—that you are doing this for romantic and emotional purposes. The City Hall in Florence, by the way, is a grand palace—quite gorgeous. I know, as I performed a ceremony there. You will need to provide your own translator. It is my experience that the mayor will not come to your hotel or even a castle. You have to go to them. The hotel can help you with this. I would imagine that the City Halls of all the major cities are quite beautiful.

You can also go to any small church (small churches seem to be more amenable) and tell the local priest that you would be happy to offer a donation to the church if he would perform your vow renewal and offer a blessing. Be sure to explain that you are already married, that you just want to renew your vows and have your marriage blessed. You can have your hotel help you in this regard, in this way they can translate for you. You may also want to ask the hotel clerk to come with you as a translator for the ceremony. For a fee, I am sure he or she would be honored.

Or you can simply surprise your lovely wife with a romantic picnic in some secluded spot, get on your knees, ask her to marry you again, pull out a ring, then stand and do it solo. That is the most inexpensive of all. There are plenty of books that will help you write the “script”. This website will help you as well.

As a wife of 20 years, I must take this opportunity to say how wonderful this is! Your wife will swoon. After you have your ceremony, be sure to tell the management at your hotel and the people serving you at various dining establishments that you are in Italy for a second honeymoon. Italians are romantics and they will usually do (or send out) something special!

Oh, may it be all that you dreamed!


Rev. Susanna


thanks for your info. really helped



I am also surprising my wife with a renewal of vows in Italy, Cortona actually. I would like to have a religious ceremony (Catholic) what if any, issues will I have? Do you suggest contacting the Italian Consulate here in the US? Is there any paperwork that you know of?


Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Please ask this as a new post, please.