Here's Why an Italian Region is Offering Couples Cash to Get Married There

Besides the ancient churches, the vineyards, the beaches of Circeo and the capital of Rome, there is now another reason to get married in Italy's central region of Lazio: a cash reward.

Lazio authorities are offering €2,000, or approximately $2,248, to both Italian and foreign couples who wed or have a civil union in the region between January 1 and December 31, 2022. The initiative has been christened "In Lazio with love."

Officials came up with the incentive to revive the region's wedding industry, which has been decimated by the pandemic. Only 9,000 couples have gotten married in Lazio since the start of COVID-19, compared with more than 15,000 in 2019 alone, according to The Guardian.

Starting today, couples can request the reward by submitting a maximum of five receipts that demonstrate their payments for wedding services based in the region. These may include venues, catering, photography, flowers, cars, wedding planners and wedding attire. If their applications are accepted, the lovebirds will receive €2,000 as a wedding present.

Lazio officials have allocated €10 million for the initiative. They are accepting applications through January 2023 or until the fund runs out.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are among the celebrity couples to wed in the region, getting married at the 15th-century Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano in 2006, although they have since divorced. Television host Cat Deeley of So You Think You Can Dance and comedian Patrick Kielty also got married in Rome in 2012.

Last year, Lazio launched a similar campaign to lure tourists into longer stays, after its tourism sector was crushed by lockdowns and travel restrictions. In an initiative called "More nights, more dreams," the region offered travelers one free extra night of accommodation for bookings of at least three consecutive nights in Lazio, and two free extra nights for bookings of five nights, Italy Magazine reported. This program was also allocated €10 million and went into effect on July 1, 2021. Tourism associations like Visit Lazio promote the Circeo region's beauty, too.

Breathtaking scenery from the Circe peak! How many of you, after walking the long path, have admired this beauty in the Circeo National Park?

Tourism councilor Valentina Corrado said the wedding incentive was badly needed by an industry that had not been prioritized throughout the pandemic, despite the many local businesses that depended on it. "Let's relaunch a sector that has been on hold for a long time—the whole wedding chain has suffered economically during the last two years," she said.

Nicola Zingaretti, the president of Lazio, added that the €2,000 payment was just a cherry on top of the opportunity to be married in the beautiful region. She said residents of Lazio had "awareness and pride of being able to boast about every part of our region, with many locations among the most magical and fascinating in the world thanks to an unparalleled cultural heritage."

Italian Region Paying Couples to Wed There
Lazio is paying both Italian and foreign couples who wed in the region in 2022. A bride and groom by the Arch of Constantine in Rome, Italy. boggy22/iStock / Getty Images Plus