20 Italian-Inspired Wedding Ideas to Transport You to Portofino

Who knew lemons could look so chic?

Amalfi Coast

Louise Krause / unsplash

Well known as a popular destination wedding setting, Italy’s Amalfi Coast, Tuscany, and Portofino (to name a few) can be cost-prohibitive. But marrying stateside doesn’t mean you can’t take a few cues from one of Italy’s most stunning regions. From olive oil and citrus to old-world elements, there are so many things that evoke visions of Italy. And if you’re hoping to host an Italian-style wedding that will make you and your guests feel like you’ve been whisked away to another locale, there are plenty of great ways to incorporate traditional details.

Read on for 20 ideas to help with planning your Italian-style wedding

01 of 20

Give the Invitation Suite an Italian Theme

Watercolor wedding stationery with lemons

Photo by Gianluca & Mary Adovasio

Convey your Italian theme through all aspects of your wedding (and every celebration prior) by integrating details in your invitations. Kerri-Lynn Mulhearn, owner of Stella Day Events, recalls a couple who incorporated greenery, florals, and lemons into their stationery to foreshadow an Italian-inspired wedding.

02 of 20

Embrace Old-World Details

Gold cake cutter on a blue tablecloth

Photo by Amelia Johnson Photography

Italy is full of old-world detail, and Diana Venditto, owner and creative director of Eventi Floral & Events, recommends incorporating that feeling with every element. Luxe gold can be incorporated throughout in details, such as your cake stand, server, and flatware, to help create the feel of old-world Italy.

03 of 20

Celebrate by the Sea

table setting

Photo by Valerie Darling

Of course, the Amalfi Coast is known for its exquisite seaside views. Lining the Tyrrhenian Sea, the area is nothing short of picturesque with views of turquoise-hued water as far as the eye can see. And although you may not be able to make it to the coast itself, pulling inspiration from the sea is a beautiful idea. Find a venue option with ocean views to set the scene.

04 of 20

Use Landscaping to Your Advantage

Reception lounge with greenery

Photo by Lucy Cuneo

Utilize existing landscaping at your venue to make your reception feel like you're in an intimate Italian setting, or bring in items to make it so. Christina Baxter of Christina Baxter Weddings says she transformed a Southern garden into the Italian Riviera by bringing in landscaping, including dozens of mature cypress trees, boxwoods in urns, and lemon topiaries. Drawing inspiration from Italy’s rich countryside can make all the difference in embellishing a lively outdoor affair.

05 of 20

Add Vines and Greenery

Wooden table with greenery garland

Photo by Moana Events

Consider opting out of a traditional table runner. Adorn a wooden table with vines, grape leaves, or a garland of lush greenery. Plenty of foliage, along with candles and gold flatware, can make for a beautiful complement to an Italian-inspired display.

06 of 20

Play Up Traditional Food

Wedding cheese and meat table

Photo by Kurt Boomer Photography

Why not take authentic Italian cuisine and put it at the forefront of your menu? Italy is known for incredible cheeses and cured meats, and there are so many ways to incorporate that into your menu. We love the idea of setting up a station for guests to build their own Italy-inspired charcuterie board.

07 of 20

Celebrate Citrus and Herbs

Potted herbs and lemons


The region of Capri is well-known for its fresh citrus. And lemons are certainly at the top of that list. Capri is also a fruitful location for growing herbs, such as thyme. Why not incorporate natural elements into your decor that will evoke the feeling of the region?

08 of 20

Incorporate Grapes Into Your Tablescape

Wedding tablescape with grapes

PHOTO BY KURT BOOMER PHOTOGRAPHY; Planning and design by Jacqueline Hallgarth Events

When it comes to Italy, it's hard not to think of wine. After all, it is one of the world's biggest producing regions, and there are definitely wineries turning grapes into wine on the Amalfi Coast. It's easy to go overboard with this element of decor, but adding just a touch of fresh grapes alongside greenery can make your table feel all the more inspired.

09 of 20

Dine Family-Style

Long reception table

Photo by Jessica Loren

Bring everyone together just like they're a big family. Utilizing one long reception table is a great way to make everyone feel included and to facilitate conversation. If you opt for this setup, just be sure your centerpieces aren't too tall.

10 of 20

Toast With Prosecco

bride and groom at cocktail hour

Photo by Monica Leggio

If you can't get to Italy, bring Italy to you! Just as a bottle of Champagne must come from France's Champagne region to be considered real, prosecco must be produced in the Veneto region of Italy, north of the Amalfi Coast. Raise a toast to the inspiration behind your wedding's theme by popping the top off a bottle of prosecco and sipping it with your guests.

11 of 20

Embrace a Traditional Dessert

Dusting sugar on traditional heart shaped Italian cake

PHOTO BY JENNIFER YOUNG STUDIO; Cake by Galateo Ricevimenti

Of course, celebrating with a cake decked out in citrus would be a beautiful choice. But, if you want to incorporate a more traditional dessert, consider the layered mille-feuille, traditionally prepped with Chantilly cream and plenty of berries.

12 of 20

Set the Tone With String Lights

Villa wedding reception

Photo by Chris and Ruth Photography

Dining alfresco is a great way to make your reception feel like it's set in the Italian countryside, but adding in dainty string lights will take it to another level. Whisk your guests away to a beautiful garden or a setting reminiscent of a small Italian café.

13 of 20

Theme Your Favors

Wedding favor bottle of olive oil

Photo by Andrew & Jade

Why not gift your guests with something that will make them feel like they're jetting off to Italy? “Set the table with a favor fit for the Italian Riviera,” suggests Callista Osborn, owner of Callista & Company. “An individual bottle of olive oil with custom tags is the perfect touch for guests to remember the wedding by."

14 of 20

Get Playful With Pizza


Photo by Valerie Darling

It goes without saying that pizza is an Italian tradition, and it just might be the most delicious way to bring a taste of Italy to your wedding. Work with your caterer to choose classic options, such as a margherita or Neapolitan, for a playful and fun menu addition.

15 of 20

Embrace Patterns


Photo by David Bastianoni

Beautifully patterned tiles featuring yellow and blue hues certainly evoke images of the Amalfi Coast. And while you may not want to go too bold with a pattern, there are great ways to add just a hint to your decor. Ask your baker to incorporate an Italian-inspired design you love on your cake, or incorporate a stunning pattern into your tablescape.

16 of 20

Incorporate Bougainvillea

bougainvillea altar

Photo by Kallima Photography

Bougainvillea thrives on the Amalfi Coast, which is why this bright, fuchsia-hued plant is spotted blooming all throughout the area. Lining walkways and crawling up buildings, bougainvillea adds a vibrance to this popular Italian destination, and you can bring that beauty to your own celebration. Work with your florist to create an arch made with bougainvillea or add it to your bouquet or centerpieces.

17 of 20

Serve Cannoli for Dessert


Photo by Chantelle Watt Photography; Dessert by Truffle Cake and Pastry


While not specific to the Amalfi Coast, the cannoli is certainly an Italian favorite. Pair your cake with this traditional treat, or opt to feature it as a unique cake alternative. These tube-shaped Italian pastries, filled with sweet cream, are sure to be a hit.

18 of 20

Opt for Eco-Friendly Confetti

Olive leaves

Photo by Sara Lobla 

If you're going to have your guests throw confetti as the perfect big-day exit, make it an eco-friendly choice. Sage and thyme are easy to grow on the Amalfi Coast because they love to soak up sunshine. Prepare baskets of herbs to use as a natural confetti option to incorporate another taste of the Amalfi Coast at the end of your celebration.

19 of 20

Include Stone Details

Wedding reception with lemons and greenery

Photo by D2 Photography

Consider adding in stone elements, giving off an old-world feel. “When large arrangements are placed in stone urns, they are reminiscent of the Italian Riviera,” says Andrea Eppolito, owner of Andrea Eppolito Events, who advises a color palette of white and gold to complement a tablescape with stone features.

20 of 20

Gift Limoncello

Italian inspired welcome bag


While limoncello is popular all over Italy, much of this liqueur is produced throughout the Amalfi Coast region. The lemons in this area are unique in the way they hang on the tree longer, ultimately producing fruit double in size. Embrace the tradition of turning lemons into limoncello and offer mini bottles to your guests in a welcome bag or as a unique escort card so they can give it a try.

If you're planning to incorporate Italian-inspired ideas into your stateside wedding, why not continue the celebration with your honeymoon? Find the perfect spot on the Italian coast to celebrate officially becoming a married duo.

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