The last marriage, as reported by the local press, dated back to 52 years ago. Since then in the village of Caramanico, in the province of Pescara, no one had pronounced the wedding vows. At least until last September, when a married couple living in Canada crossed the stairs of the medieval church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Two Italians, actually, who have chosen to cross the Atlantic to celebrate their wedding in the country of the groom’s great-grandparents.
A market worth almost 600 million euros
Caramanico’s wedding is just one of 11,000 weddings celebrated in Italy in 2022 and which involved spouses from abroad, for a turnover of 599 million euros. In 2019, the last year before the long stop at the ceremonies imposed by Covid, there were 9,200, for a turnover of 540 million. An interesting, but certainly room for improvement, slice of the global “destination wedding” market which according to Businesswire was worth 21.4 billion dollars in 2022 and which is set to exceed 64 by 2026, with an average annual growth rate by 31.5%.
The Italian data comes from the Destination Weddings in Italy Observatory, conducted by the Centro Studi Turistici and financed by the Ministry of Tourism, presented by Enit and the Italian Convention Bureau, from which interesting aspects emerge, including changes and confirmations. What is stable, for example, is the ranking of the countries of origin of the spouses, which sees the United States in first place with a share that exceeds 29% (23.5% in 2019), followed by the United Kingdom, Germany and France. However, there are also Brazilians, Indians and Emiratis who choose Italy to get married.
Beyond the classic Tuscany in search of unusual destinations
Tuscany is firmly the first region of choice, with 21% of marriages organized within its borders, followed by Lombardy, Campania, Puglia, Sicily, Lazio and Piedmont. And even if in general the area of Central Italy is the favorite, with a share of 38.8%, other less known and touristically beaten areas are coming forward in the preferences of the spouses. And this, according to the study, for two reasons: the first is seen in the decline in average spending (to 53,800 euros, down 8% compared to the average value in 2019), which testifies to the trend towards less “luxury” destinations; the second, linked to the first but independent at the same time, in the desire to discover authentic, unusual places, with cultures and traditions to discover.
Saying “yes” in a village is increasingly popular
The confirmation comes precisely from the wedding of Caramanico, which is one of the villages involved in the Marriage del Borgo project, conceived by the Wedding Bureau Consulting Association, which offers the spouses a marriage full of ancient customs, rites and symbols: for now the ceremonies are scheduled only in Castel Sant’Angelo, but soon Caramanico and Pescocostanzo will also be involved. The brides are dressed according to age-old rituals, there are serenades and dances in the square, but also excursions to get to know territories outside the mass circuits, and to enhance them and make their related activities grow. In Sarnano, in the Marche region, the company “Le sibille del borgo” of Emanuela Leli and Brunella Trisciani focuses precisely on the destination wedding with a widespread hotel, a traditional cuisine service, but also a workshop of crafts. It seems that an Australian couple has contacted them to celebrate their wedding in Sarnano next year. In Puglia, on the other hand, it is the Sublimae Wedding company that organizes weddings in villages and farms, involving the locals: in the last year they have had Belgian, Irish, American and British guests.
Tourism, from the States to Tuscany to get married: the wedding is booming in Italy