I've photographed many Il Cielo weddings over the years and it's always an event I look forward to! There’s something magical about this romantic, Tuscan style restaurant that inspires me! There are very few wedding locations in the LA area that feature as much charm and romance as Il Cielo. It’s quite a small space, accommodating about 150 guests max, so it’s perfect for intimate wedding celebrations.
Pasquale Vericella opened the doors to Il Cielo in 1986. The building Il Cielo occupies was originally constructed as a home by a famous hairstylist by the name of Marcel Machu. Many famous stars have dined at Il Cielo over the years and it’s a popular spot for movie and T.V. productions in need of a romantic Italian restaurant.
In Italian, Il Cielo means “the sky,” and if you’ve ever visited you know that it’s a very fitting name. The front patio is covered by a transparent tent that is lined with hundreds of twinkling lights which really gives you the feeling of dining under the stars. The foyer’s ceiling is painted to look like the sky with cute little cherubs flying around the clouds. And the main room features an amazing vaulted glass ceiling, providing a really special and unique ambience.
I have photographed quite a few Il Cielo weddings and I believe that the knowledge and experience I bring to working in Il Cielo’s close quarters really benefits my couples. For example, the ceremony and reception are both held in Il Cielo’s main room (with the vaulted glass ceiling) so the intricate “ballet” of switching the room over from ceremony to reception is something the very familiar with. I always do my best to get photographs of your ceremony set up and of your reception set up and details before your guests come in and sit down. This can be challenging with all the activity going on, but I want you to have these important images, so I always try to find ways to get them.
Also if your budget allows for it I'd highly recommend reserving the entire restaurant for your wedding instead of only half of it. Having access to the front courtyard and fireplace room before your wedding ceremony and during cocktail hour really alleviates the cramped space feeling you and your guests might have if you only reserve half of Il Cielo! And if you're having a large number of guests you'll definitely need the fireplace room for extra reception tables.
Many of my couples choose to get ready across the street from Il Cielo at the Four Seasons Hotel. I encourage doing this because it keeps everything close and from being overcomplicated. And less complications = less stress! Also because of Il Cielo’s small size, the Four Season’s larger courtyard is an excellent location for bride & groom and family pictures before the ceremony. Another great alternative to the Four Seasons is the Montage Hotel which is only a couple of minutes away from Il Cielo. It is a beautiful hotel and there are lots of opportunities to get great images!
One last thought...
If you’re planning on having an Il Cielo wedding, definitely consider doing a “Chariot” at the end of the night. A “Chariot” is a special experience that I've never seen any other wedding venue do. Here’s what happens - at the end of the night, your guests line the sidewalk outside of Il Cielo, with rose petals in hand. All of the servers gather around the wedded couple and form a “Chariot” around them using silk. They hold lit candles in their other hand. Now the fun part! The “Chariot” exits Il Cielo and goes through the pathway of your celebrating guests throwing petals in the air, all while the servers sing romantic songs in Italian. The “Chariot” then crosses the street and heads over to the Four Seasons Hotel, goes through the lobby (still singing mind you!) and leaves you at the elevator that goes up to your room. Romantic, isn’t it! And I’ll be there to capture all of those images...well up until the point you get in the elevator to go up to your room!
If you’re interested in speaking with me about photography for your Il Cielo wedding, please contact me – Il Cielo wedding photographer.
Want to see more images from some Il Cielo weddings I've photographed? Just click one of the links below!
Il Cielo is located at: 9018 Burton Way in Beverly Hills.