Romance in Rome: An Elopement Story


July 8, 2022
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Rochelle Cheever

A love of adventure and exploring new places together led Katie and Gino to choose a destination elopement for their “I do’s.” With their heart set on an intimate celebration, the couple decided no other destination could better serve their purpose than The Eternal City.
Katie and Gin Elopement

“One reason why we chose Rome, Italy is because of Gino’s heritage. The other reason is because we wanted a destination where we could explore and be immersed in culture instead of another destination where you might only sit at a resort,” Katie says. “We wanted to ‘live like the locals,’ as they say.”

Knowing it would be nothing short of a challenge to plan a wedding (no matter how small) from far away. That’s when they turned to Rochelle Cheever of The Elopement Experience. Rochelle not only helped iron out all the details, she also worked as Gino and Katie’s photographer, taking them here, there and everywhere!

“In place of a reception we traveled around Rome taking pictures in front of beautiful monuments,” the couple says.

The couple also tells us some of their favorite design elements of the day included a picture of Katie’s dad tied to her bouquet and Gino’s burgundy suit as a nod to Christmas time and the winter season.

After a day of love, play and wonderment, the couple topped the night off with a dinner at Mirabelle restaurant, which overlooks the entire city. How ROMEantic? Although their reception– and ceremony for that matter– didn’t include a lot of pomp and circumstance, it did provide the couple exactly what they’d hoped for.

When it comes to sharing advice for other couples looking to plan a destination elopement, here’s what they had to share: “Focus on what is most important to you… A lot of people have asked us what our family thought of eloping in another country just the two of us. And our response is the simple act of spending the entire day with no one other than the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. It’s hard to explain but the feeling is one of a kind.”


Wedding Planner & Photographer: Rochelle Cheever of The Elopement Experience; Gown Designer: Maggie Sottero; Bridal Boutique: Bridals by Jody; Florist: Noosheens; Groom’s Clothing Designer: Jos. A. Bank; Restaurant: Mirabelle; Shoe Designer: Ferragamo; Rings: Loy Harn Jewelers; Hair & Makeup Artist: Louise Faulkner; Videographer: Fulvio Greco Films; Wedding Submissions: Published + Pretty; Officiant: Ely Bruna

Couple in Punta Cana doing a destination wedding by the ocean
Destination Weddings at Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva
Couple in Cancun doing a gazebo destination wedding
White couple getting married in Punta Cana, DR
Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Destination Weddings
Black couple getting married in Jamaica
Jamaica Destination Weddings
Couple in Cancun doing a gazebo destination wedding
White couple getting married in Punta Cana, DR
destination wedding couple throwing rose petals in costa mujeres

Find a Vendor

Access our list of vendors based on your destination location.