Spanish Steps

When in Rome


October 25, 2017
Words by Taylor Wilson
Photos courtesy of Bamber Photography

An unfortunate scheduling conflict with Mark and Lia’s hometown priest quickly turned in to an exciting opportunity for adventure in Vatican City. This spur of the moment, and quite random, decision to host a destination wedding in the city of romance quickly became the event of a lifetime. 

Although Mark and Lia were incredibly anxious about informing their loved ones about their decision, their family and friends could not have been more excited about the opportunity to jet set halfway across the world to share in their magical nuptials. “So we decided to do it,” recalls Lia, “And as it turned out, we had 30 of our closest friends and family join us in Rome.”

Thankfully, Fr. David, Lia and Mark’s priest, handled the major details when it came to securing St. Peter’s Basilica and going through all the motions to be able to wed in Vatican City. He had developed a close relationship with an American monsignor who lived there so the arrangements were much easier with that connection. As far as the rest of the planning went, distance, time difference and language barriers were small obstacles that Lia and Mark had to deal with. “Thank goodness for the internet and e-mails – that made our life a lot easier!” exclaims the bride. Lia also used a wedding planner, Carla Casali, whom she highly recommends. She arranged the florist, hair and makeup, transportation, and the stunning reception, which overlooked the Spanish Steps.

In order to take full advantage of the trip, Mark and Lia organized sightseeing excursions throughout Ancient Rome and Vatican City for their guests. After the wedding festivities were over, guests who were interested in extending their vacation did so by taking the high-speed train to Venice and Florence.

The opportunity to do a destination wedding in Rome is something that Mark and Lia are eternally grateful for. The entire event fell so naturally into place and Mark and Lia were able to provide their guests with an unforgettable vacation. They also saved money due to their intimate guest list. Although some stress could have potentially been prevented when it came to planning logistics, Mark and Lia don’t regret their decision for one moment! After all, how many people can say they got married at the Vatican?! As far as advice goes for other couples interested in a destination wedding, Lia urges, “Start your preparation early!   Keep all of your correspondence handy for reference. If you are planning a wedding overseas, the Internet is an invaluable tool.”

Vendor List: Photographer: Bamber Photography, Wedding Planner: Carla Casali, Ceremony Site: Chapel of the Choir inside St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Reception Site: Ristorante Imago atop Hotel Hassler, Gown Designer: Ramona Keveza, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Samuelsohn, Bridesmaids: Ann Taylor, Other Vendors: Access Italy, Ristorante il Buco

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