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Getting married in Rome: the churches to choose from for your italian wedding


If you are thinking of getting married in Rome and you are looking for the perfect church for the day when you say “I do” then we propose you take a minute to peruse our suggestions.
Whether you are coming to the Eternal City just for the occasion or this is the place where you were born and bred, you will know that Rome is an open air museum, its historical heritage and architecture are renowned worldwide and its churches are amongst its most famous monuments.

Choosing between so many options is no mean feat and can take a lot of time and energy. That is why we thought we would give you a helping hand in this article for soon to be brides and grooms using our collection of images at INESSE Handmade Photography, wedding photographer in Rome.

If you don’t know where to start, we have put together a list of churches that you really must bear in mind for your religious ceremony, taking into account important factors such as the beauty and elegance of the architecture, the vicinity to the other important locations such as the places where you will be getting ready and the reception venue, as well as the presence of masterpieces and frescos which can provide the backdrop for your newlywed photoshoot. It is the perfect combination of these details that will make your wedding a unique and unforgettable occasion.

Wedding on the Aventine Hill

We will start with some of the churches that are situated on the most southern of the seven hills of Rome, the Aventine Hill, which offers one of the most breathtaking views of the beautiful colours of Rome.

A vast internal structure with three aisles that culminate in a large apsis and beautiful, colourful marble flooring which plays tricks with the light: this is the Basilica of Santa Sabina, without doubt one of the most popular choices for those seeking elegance and majesty.

Still in the district of Ripa you will find the Basilica of the Santi Bonifacio and Alessio, close to the ancient Terme di Caracalla and the iconic Foro Romano. The church displays the various internal and external remodels which it has undergone throughout the centuries, such as its Romanesque bell tower or the restoration work that was carried out in the sixteenth century. One thing to bear in mind is the presence of numerous windows above the central aisle which allow the light to filter in in spectacular fashion: what better way to illuminate your nuptuals?

Another church in the Ripa district is the Church of Santa Prisca: of all the churches on the Aventine Hill, it is said that this one was built on the exact site upon which the martyrs Aquila and Prisca hosted Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The sacred significance of this legend aside, this church could frame your wedding ceremony with the elegance and refinement that you are looking for.

If, on the other hand, you had something smaller and more modern in mind, an option you might consider would be the Church of Sant’Anselmo. Built in the late 1800s on the remains of an ancient Roman domus, it greets you with its elegant, linear facade and lures you in to admire its multicoloured marble and frescos which would provide a stunning backdrop for your photographs.

Santa Sabina, Sant’Alessio and Sant’Anselmo all have an elegant, ample space in front of the entrance, which affords the opportunity to get some beautiful shots of the newlyweds or greet friends and relatives after the ceremony.
In particular, Sant’Alessio has a small garden at the back which has an inimitable view overlooking Rome. As for the others, there is the splendid Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Garden) with a breathtaking view of the city which offers a very convenient location for the newlywed photoshoot after the ceremony without the need to drive to another venue.

Wedding on the Celio Hill

What can we say about the churches that are situated on the Celio Hill? This is another spot which offers some stunning panoramas, such as that of the Colosseum, to take some stunning photos. The Church of the Santi Giovanni and Paolo is one of the most ancient churches in Rome, Baroque style and just a stone’s throw from the historical centre of the city. It is known as the “Chiesa dei Lampadari” (the church of chandeliers) due to the impressive number of chandeliers that welcome and surprise its visitors, above all at weddings. Inside the church are the tombs of the two saints from whom it takes its name.

The round churches: Santo Stefano and the Mausoleo of Santa Costanza

Do you want an intimate wedding in a place rich in the kind of details that make you say “yes, this is definitely the place I want to get married?” Then you have to take the Basilica of Santo Stefano Rotondo into consideration: it is the oldest circular Roman Basilica, adorned with very ancient frescos which offers a unique location to give you a warm, moving ceremony.

Like the Basilica of Santo Stefano, the Mausoleo of Santa Costanza was also designed as a circular church. Here we find ourselves in the monumental complex of S. Agnese, a stone’s throw from Via Nomentana. It has a very unusual layout which allows the guests to participate more closely in the ceremony as they are able to face the couple as they take their vows.

Wedding at San Giorgio al Velabro

A short distance from the well known Bocca della Verità is San Giorgio al Velabro, which gives you the opportunity to take some romantic photos in front of the elegant Baroque facade which is in perfect harmony with the four iconic columns. Ah, we almost forgot: this church offers the perfect spot for a view of the Foro Boario.

All of the churches we have mentioned so far have convenient parking which makes life easier for both the guests as well as for those preparing for and working at the ceremony.

Wedding at Santa Maria in AraCoeli

Still in the centre of Rome, but mainly for the most courageous brides, or at least for those with the most comfortable shoes, is the Church of Santa Maria in AraCoeli: here, we are next to the Campidoglio, a good 124 steps high! Climbing them on your knees was considered good luck for women who were looking for a husband, those who wanted children, mothers who needed milk to nourish their babies and those who wanted to win the lottery: for you it could be a set of good luck photographs!

For the newlywed photoshoot location you are spolit for choice: in the Piazza del Campodoglio with the statue of Marco Aurelio and the view of the Fori Imperiali, from the garden of the Terrazza Caffarelli to the view of the Teatro Marcello.

Wedding at Santa Prassede

If you would like to take a dip in medieval Rome, the Basilica of Santa Prassede in the Monti district is for you. A lesser known church, a stone’s throw from Santa Maria Maggiore, which rivals the better known churches in terms of the beauty and majesty inside its walls. Beyond the magnificence of the remains of the columns which have been preserved in the outdoor courtyard, you are guaranteed a touch of romance from he who rests here: Saint Valentine, protector of those in love.

Wedding at the Chiesa Nuova, Parrocchia Santa Maria in Vallicella

Remaining in the medieval era and moving towards Piazza Navona we must also mention the Chiesa Nuova (New Church). Although it is a Baroque style church, it is situated on the site where the Church of Santa Maria in Vallicella stood in the sixteenth century. Aside from the imposing internal decor, the colours from the spray of the fountain, renamed by the Romans “della Terrina”, create truly magical photos.

Overall, none of the churches are that far from the city centre, having the advantage that you can easliy reach the most beautiful spots for the newlywed photoshoot after the ceremony: from the Isola Tiberina to the Teatro Marcello, from the Campidoglio to the Colosseum, and then on to the reception venue. Whether you have chosen a venue on the Appia Antica or at the Castelli Romani, whether you go over to the Janiculum district, Monte Mario or further out towards Cassia, all of these destinations are easy to reach from the centre of Rome.

Wedding at San Pietro in Montorio

Still evoking medieval origins, the Church of San Pietro in Montorio takes its name from the “Monte d’oro” of the Gianicolo Hill, which inside its walls hides the pictureque Tempietto del Bramante. At its feet wind the little streets of the ancient district of Trastevere, which is an ideal backdrop for some authentic Roman shots. The church is ideal for all those couples who want to be sure they will have a breathtaking view of the city a stone’s throw from the “Fontanone” (big fountain) of Rome.

Wedding at Santa Francesca Romana

Another very beautiful option in the centre of Rome where you can celebrate your wedding is the Church of Santa Francesca Romana, which is situated on the ruins of the Tempio di Venere, immersed in the heart of the ancient Fori Imperiali. This church, without doubt, will provide you with stunning photos with the ancient Roman ruins in the background. For the newlywed photoshoot we advise you to get tickets which will allow you to walk amongst the imperial ruins, it will seem as though you are walking among the togas and priestesses of that time in ancient Rome.

Wedding in the Vatican: the Church of Sant’Anna

Many couples from abroad choose Rome as the destination for their wedding due to the Christian spirit that the city evokes, but if that isn’t enough and you want to get married in the Vatican city itself, among the various possibilites you must consider the Church of Sant’Anna. This beautiful little church is situated a stone’s throw from Castel’Angelo and also nearby is the refined colonnade of San Pietro, an undisputed masterpiece of Bernini.
These incredible monumental masterpieces will be a stunning backdrop for the newlywed photoshoot between the ceremony and the reception.

Wedding at Santa Maria Sopra Minerva

Finally, surrounded by palaces and monuments, we come to the Basilica of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva: immersed in a romantic and historical atmosphere, right in the heart of Rome behind the Pantheon, beyond its modest facade hides a surprisingly stunning gothic interior which was brought to life by the works of art of Michelangelo. If the inside of the church gets your attention, then its exterior will captivate you: and then there’s the Egyptian obelisk that Bernini’s genius enriched with a sculpture of a plump little elephant… Traditionally the entire monumental complex is also known as the “Pulcin della Minerva” (chick of the Minerva): in the dialect of the period “chick” meant piglet, referring to the elephant “due to its small dimensions and rotund form, more like those of a little pig”.