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Want to get married in Italy? You may want to read this…

Thursday, November 10, 2016

to be sure to have everything you need to make it legal!

For foreign people it’s a lot easier to get married in Italy than in most of other European countries. Italy requires very basic legal documents and weddings can take place in a reasonable short time. First thing you have to decide what type of ceremony you’d like to go for. In Italy the majority of weddings are Catholic, but Protestant and Jewish ceremonies are also doable, as there are different religious realities. Papers required depend on type of ceremony then.

In Italy there are the following legal ceremony:

- Catholic marriages (also valid for the State);

- Civil marriages (not valid for the Church).

Other religious marriages are not legal for the Italian law ( the religious ceremony has to go always along with the civil one for the validity of marriage). 


Kate & Iain - Ph. Gianluca Faruolo


Civil ceremonies are fast, easy and legal.

Town Halls are often in ancient and beautiful palaces sometimes even decorated with paintings and frescoes. You need to present a declaration to the Town Hall referred for the location in which you want to wed in time before the wedding ( anyway, we suggest to do it in advance in order to avoid uncomfortable delays) and keep in mind that rules may differ from region to region and making a research before going wed is wisely advisable.

That’s where a wedding planner will be useful to handle paperworks so that you would feel no stress along the entire process and would not have to do the entire paperworks in your country. In this way, you should be able to bring only your passports with you!

The declaration is issued by the marriage registrar in Italian and then have to be translated by an interpreter in English. A Civil Ceremony usually takes no more than 30 or 45 minutes. Once all documents are verified and the marriage certificate is filled out and signed, the wedding is over and you are legally wed.


Becca & Rick - Ph. Enzo Campitelli


Going for a Catholic Ceremony is a little more complicated than getting married only by civil service.

The initial work of the entire process has to be dealt by the parish of the bride and groom in their home country, and it has to start months in advance prior the wedding date. For the wedding the Catholic Church requires some documents both in Italy than abroad, included baptism certificates issued at least six months within the wedding date, confirmation certificates and acknowledgment of pre-nuptial class attendance.  If one of the spouses is not Catholic, an application for a mixed marriage would also have to be presented. For foreigners a pre-nuptial inquiry is also required. To get married in another church the couple will need a permission to be obtained from each own parish, and signed by their diocese. The validity of these documents is six months from the issuing date and must be sent to the wedding location within two months of the wedding date for vetting. Reading of the banns is also required with your local parish.


Amanda & Giacomo - Ph. Enzo Campitelli


In Italy you can make your partnership official getting married with a Civil Union or Registered Partnership.

Since 5 June 2016 Italy has recognised same-sex civil unions, ( article 1, paragraphs 1-35, law n° 76, May 20th 2016, called also legge Cirinnà) so this kind of union is now considered equal to marriage (legally speaking but it's not valid for the Church). A foreign citizen must submit a declaration, issued by the local authority of its own Country and according to the laws which is subjected, to be willing to legally recognize the partnership. It has to be presented, together with the certificate of no causes of impediments to the establishment of the union, together with personal data and residence details and book a date to the Town Hall for the ceremony.


Jennifer & Cornelia - Ph. Gianluca Faruolo


Wedding Planners

This figure is sometimes underestimated, like an unnecessary expense. That could be, if you’re dealing with an home town wedding, but if you’ve decided to marry abroad, a wedding planner is definitely an invaluable asset! So, as soon as you have decided where to get married, start looking for a good one and get in touch with them sharing all your insights!


Suri & Pierluigi - Ph. Enzo Campitelli


Let's recap with a Wedding Countdown

One year before the wedding

- Choose country and think about the area in which you would like to have your wedding in.

- Choose type of Ceremony.

- Look for a good wedding planner (with their help you will narrow down region and city and location for your nuptials).

- Begin gathering the necessary documentation and paperwork.

- Look into flights, think about what kind of accommodation you may want for you and your guests, early bookings may turn into good offers.

- Let you guests be informed that a destination wedding is in the horizon so they will be able to plan their travel details.


Six months before the wedding

- Have all paperwork in order

- Vendors interested should be booked.

- Dresses should be ordered together with shipping arrangements

- The spouses should have their birth certificates and valid passports ready

- If one of the two is divorced, then a divorce certificate is required along with an Hague Certification of it, so have them prepared

- An application for a No Impediment Certificate has to be presented to the local authorities. It is a certificate to verify that people that are going to wed are in legal age and there are no legal impediments to their marriage. Just verify the presence of a Italian Consulate Office in your Country and have this filled out at the presence of 4 witnesses who must sign the certificate. Have it prepared before leaving for Italy.

- American residents need to make another declaration at the American Consulate Office. This declaration states that you are planning to get married in Italy and that there are no legal barriers to your marriage.

- If having a civil ceremony, four to five days before you will need to make an application to the Town Hall.

- In the case that either the bride or groom is an Italian then a bann, or declaration, would have to be made and posted in the Town Hall for two consecutive Sundays prior to the wedding taking place. 


Documents Required

- Valid passport of both parties

- Birth certificate of both parties

- Death or divorce certificate, if required. These certificates would have to be certified with a Hague Certification.

- A declaration for a "no impediment" certification,  made six months in advance.

- A Nulla Osta declaration has to be made at the American Consulate for Americans. 

- A declaration has to be made at the Civil Registrar's office four to five days before the wedding.

- Banns would have to be posted in the Town Hall for two consecutive Sundays in case either of the parties is an Italian. Once the banns are posted a certificate will be issued.

- In case of a previous marriage, the marriage certificate of the previous marriage would be required.

- For the Catholic wedding you will need: a baptism certificate, a confirmation certificate and a certificate for attending the pre-nuptial class.

- For the Catholic wedding religious banns would also have to be issued by the parish of the bride and groom. Several documents would also have to be issued by the parish of the bride and groom.




Invest in a wedding planner and make sure to have all your paperwork in order so that you will keep stress levels low and enjoyment high and your day will go off without no trouble and you will free to say “I do” in Italy!

Cinzia & Giuseppe - Ph. Enzo Campitelli

Cinzia & Giuseppe - Ph. Enzo Campitelli


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