Welcome to our FAB Guide on having a legal wedding in Italy. The good news is that you can get married legally in Italy even if you are a non-resident. Having said that, there are a number of steps you have to take and you should really plan to arrive in Italy a few days before the wedding as there is paperwork that can’t be completed the morning of the wedding. It has been a bit of a challenge documenting the process involved because it’s slightly different for different nationalities. We are going to give it a go though anyway and have broken it down especially for you.

Some Quick Facts about getting married in Italy;

✈ There is no official residency requirement for civil ceremonies in Italy

✈ Catholic weddings are legally recognised in Italy

✈ For other religions, proof of a civil marriage is required before you can celebrate in a church

CIVIL CEREMONY

Civil ceremonies can take place in locations that have been approved by the Italian authorities. These include many villas, castles, town halls, public gardens etc. They are generally performed in Italian by the city mayor or a civil officer. If neither or only one of you can speak Italian, then you will need to engage the services of a translator – the interpreter does not have to be an official translator so if one of your guests is fluent, don’t be tricked into paying. When you have decided your wedding date, contact the Comune (Town Hall) of the Italian town where you intend on marrying to check the availability of your dates and to find double check the documents that are required. You will need to make two appointments at the Town Hall, the first is to make a declaration of the intent to marry before the Civil Registrar (Ufficiale dello Stato Civile) and the second appointment is for the actual civil marriage ceremony. It would also be a good idea at this point to find out how many days prior to your wedding you need to submit all the appropriate documents.

✈ All documents for US citizens will need to be endorsed with an Apostille Stamp. An Apostille Stamp authenticates documents executed outside of Italy (such as a birth certificate,) so that it will be recognised as genuine/ official / legitimate for use in other countries, such as Italy.

✈ All original documents will need to be accompanied by Italian translations. This must be done by an agency verified by the Italian Consulate.

✈ Do not apply for documents and certificates more than 6 months before the wedding as they will expire under Italian regulations.

Surprise Engagement in Venice

Luca Faz Fotografo

US and Australian Citizens

To be obtained in the US and Australia (Please note that the Apostille Stamp is not required for Australian Citizens)

1 ✈ Valid Passports

2 ✈ Official, Long Form, signed Birth Certificate’s

3 ✈ Divorce Decree (if appropriate)

In Italy, a woman cannot remarry withing 300 days of the date of her divorce unless she obtains special permission from the Procura della Repubblica presso il Tribunale (District Attorney’s office) at the Palazzo di Giustizia (Courthouse) in the city where the wedding will be performed. This permission will not be issued unless she can present medical evidence that shows she is not pregnant.

4 ✈ Parents Consent if either party is under 18

6 ✈ Death Certificate (if appropriate)

7 ✈ Atto Notorio | Sworn Affidavit (US and Australian Citizens Only)

These documents (one each) need to be obtained before the wedding either by making an appointment with your nearest Italian consulate or waiting until you’re in Italy itself (not advised, harder process and more paperwork). The Atto Notrio is basically a declaration that states you are who you say you are. You and your fiancé / fianceé will need to present yourself at the Italian Consulate along with two witnesses to make this declaration. As well as your passports, birth certificate, divorce decrees and death certificates (accompanied by their translations and apostille stamps) you will also need copies of your drivers license, your fiancé / fianceé’s drivers license and the drivers licenses belonging to your two witnesses. Important: you must receive your Atto Notorio within the three month period before  your wedding date.

Process to follow and documents to be obtained in Italy

8 ✈ Nulla Osta

The Nulla Osta is similar to the Atto Notorio in that it is a sworn statement saying you are who you say you are that there is no legal impediment to your marriage under Italian Law and US / Australian Law. It is carried out at the American / Australian Embassy in Italy so make sure you find out where the nearest consulate to your venue / airport is and book an appointment a month before you go. For US citizens, appointments can be made online for the consulates in Milan , Florence, Rome and Naples. The form that you need to fill out can be downloaded from here but do not sign it before you visit the Consulate. Australian citizens can make appointments at the Australian Embassy in Rome or The Australian Consulate General in Milan. These documents will need to be legalised as in point 10 below.

9 ✈ Marco da Bollo Stamps

You will need to purchase two Marco da Bollo Stamps (Revenue Stamps) from any tabacchi store for your visit to the Prefettura

10 ✈ Legalising the Nulla Osta

Once you have received both of your Nulla Osta’s, you will need to have the documents legalised with an Apostille seal by having them stamped at the Ufficio Legalizazione of the provincial Italian Government Agency, the Prefettura. You should check at the American Consulate the Prefettura closest to you but you will find a full list of the the Prefettura’s in Italy here. You won’t need an appointment.

11 ✈ Visit to Town / City Hall (Comune)

When you have all of your documents together with their Apostilles and translations together, you must appear before the town hall along with an interpreter to present them and make your declaration of your intention to marry, usually two days before the wedding but if one of you is an Italian citizen or resident in  Italy,you will have to post your marriage banns and wait 2 Sundays before getting married in a civil ceremony. If both of you are non nationals and reside elsewhere,  the banns are waived. Again, it’s a good conversation to have with the town hall at the very beginning as you want to be able to set a date for your guests.

12 ✈ The Wedding

You must have 2 witnesses and an interpreter present. The Mayor, the Ufficiale dello Stato Civile or one of his/her assistants performs will perform civil ceremony

13 ✈ The Marriage Certificate

You will receive your marriage certificate from the officiant right after the civil ceremony but just like you will have been doing all along, it’s a good idea to go back to the the Prefettura for it’s Apostille stamp. This will take a few day’s so make sure you factor it into your trip and go off honeymooning without it!

Villa Vignamaggio Florence

 Lelia Scarfiotti

Canadian Citizens

To be obtained in Canada

1 ✈ Valid Passports

2 ✈ Official, Long Form, signed Birth Certificate’s

3 ✈ Divorce Decree (if appropriate)

In Italy, a woman cannot remarry withing 300 days of the date of her divorce unless she obtains special permission from the Procura della Repubblica presso il Tribunale (District Attorney’s office) at the Palazzo di Giustizia (Courthouse) in the city where the wedding will be performed. This permission will not be issued unless she can present medical evidence that shows she is not pregnant.

4 ✈ Death Certificate (if appropriate)

5 ✈  Sworn Affidavit

The sworn affidavit must state that there is no impediment to your marriage. This needs to be completed and obtained before the wedding either by making an appointment with your Canadian Embassy at home or waiting until you’re in Italy itself. If you decide to wait until you get to Italy, you will need to make an appointment at the Canadian Consulate in Milan or the Canadian Embassy in Rome – it’s a little bit more difficult without a planner so best thing is to sort it all out before you go.

To be completed in Italy

6 ✈ Nulla Osta

The Nulla Osta is similar to the Affidavit already made  in that it is a sworn statement saying you are who you say you are that there is no legal impediment to your marriage under Italian Law and Canadian Law. You will need to make contact with the Canadian Consulate in Milan or the Canadian Embassy in Rome to make an appointment if you plan on presenting the documents yourself. Othrwise they can be faxed, mailed etc to the Consulate / Embassy and a wedding planner can pick them up on your behalf.

7 ✈ Marco da Bollo Stamps

You will need to purchase two Marco da Bollo Stamps (Revenue Stamps) from any tabacchi store for your visit to the Prefettura

8 ✈ Legalising the Nulla Osta

Once you have received both of your Nulla Osta’s, you will need to have the documents legalised by visiting the Ufficio Legalizazione of the provincial Italian Government Agency, the Prefettura. You should check at the Canadian Consulate the Prefettura closest to you but you will find a full list of the the Prefettura’s in Italy here. You won’t need an appointment and if you have a planner, they will generally sort this out also.

9 ✈ Visit to Town / City Hall (Comune)

When you have all of your documents together with their translations, you must appear before the town hall along with an interpreter to to make your declaration of your intention to marry, usually two days before the wedding but if one of you is an Italian citizen or resident in  Italy,you will have to post your marriage banns and wait 2 Sundays before getting married in a civil ceremony. If both of you are non nationals and reside elsewhere,  the banns are waived. Again, it’s a good conversation to have with the town hall at the very beginning as you want to be able to set a date for your guests.

10 ✈ The Wedding

You must have 2 witnesses and an interpreter present. The Mayor, the Ufficiale dello Stato Civile or one of his/her assistants performs will perform civil ceremony

11 ✈ The Marriage Certificate

You will receive your marriage certificate from the officiant right after the civil ceremony.

Destination Wedding in Italy Julian Kanz_011

Julian Kanz

UK Citizens

To be obtained in the UK

1 ✈ Valid Passports

2 ✈ Official, Long Form, signed Birth Certificate’s

3 ✈ Parental or Guardian Consent if one partner is under the age of 18

4 ✈ Termination of  Previous Marriage (Divorce Decree or Death Certificate)

In Italy, a woman cannot remarry withing 300 days of the date of her divorce unless she obtains special permission from the Procura della Repubblica presso il Tribunale (District Attorney’s office) at the Palazzo di Giustizia (Courthouse) in the city where the wedding will be performed. This permission will not be issued unless she can present medical evidence that shows she is not pregnant.

4 ✈ “Certificato di stato libero” of the other party, if an Italian national;

5 ✈ Certificate of No Impediment

The certificate of No Impediment will be issued to you after you apply for you marriage banns though your local registry office. To apply for the banns, you will need to submit the documentation already listed above. The certificate will be issued approximately 4 weeks after your application.

5 ✈ Nulla Osta

When you receive The Certificate of No impediment it should be mailed to the appropriate British Consulate in Italy along with both Birth Certificate’s, photocopies of both passports, A Deed Poll if the name on one’s birth certificate is different to the name on their passport, a Decree Absolute of Divorce and the Previous Marriage Certificate if appropriate a Bank Draft for each of the Nulla Ostas payments. The consulate will send the Nulla Osta to the Comune Town Hall) that you are getting married in or to your planner.

To be completed in Italy

6 ✈ Your documents must be presented to the town hall a number of days before the wedding so plan to arrive at least 2 days in advance. If you are using a planner, you should send all of your documents prior to the wedding and they will present them to the town hall on your behalf.

7 ✈ Wedding

You will need two witnesses and an interpreter present. Your marriage certificate will be issued after the ceremony.

Caught_The_Light_M&L_25

Caught The Light

Irish Citizens

We assume that you are both Irish, living in Ireland or the UK. If not, please send us a mail and we will sort you out!

To be completed in Ireland

1 ✈ Valid Passports

2 ✈ Official, Long Form, signed Birth Certificates

3 ✈ Parental or Guardian Consent if one partner is under the age of 18

4 ✈ Termination of  Previous Marriage (Divorce Decree or Death Certificate)

5 ✈ Fee (this changes from year to year so it’s best to check DFA in Dublin or Irish Embassy in London beforehand)

6 ✈ MP1 Form. All applicants need to fill out this form

7 ✈ MP2 Form. All applicants need to fill out this form

8 ✈ Forms relating to your current marital status (MP2A, MP2B, MP2D, MP2E or MP2F – find out which one applies to you here)

These Statuary Declarations must be made and signed in the presence of  a Notary Public, a Commissioner for Oaths or a Solicitor.

9 ✈ Application for Nulla Osta

Including the documents above, you will need to apply for the Certificate de Coutume / Nulla Osta through the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin at least 4 but no more than 6 months before the wedding date.  When the forms for the Nulla Osta have been sent to the DFA, they will check the documents to make sure everything is in order. The DFA will forward them on to the Irish Embassy in Rome. The Nulla Osta will then be sent either to your wedding planner, or directly to the Comune where you will be married in Italy.

To be completed in Italy

10 ✈ Your documents must be presented to the town hall a number of days before the wedding so plan to arrive at least 2 days in advance. If you are using a planner, you should send all of your documents prior to the wedding and they will present them to the town hall on your behalf.

11 ✈ Wedding

You will need two witnesses and an interpreter present. Your marriage certificate will be issued after the ceremony.

Destination Wedding Italy_001

Belle Momenti via Fly Away Bride

CATHOLIC WEDDING CEREMONY

The only church ceremonies that can be performed legally in Italy without the requirement for a civil ceremony beforehand are Catholic Ceremonies.

✈ At least one partner in the couple has to be Catholic and neither can be divorced

✈ It’s a long process, start 6 months before

✈ Paperwork should needs to be completed at home, usually through the bride’s parish

✈ You should make contact with the priest of the church well in advance as they might not agree to marry you and you will need to set a date

✈ All paperwork for a catholic wedding is in addition to the civil paperwork for your country above

✈ Forms and documents need to be translated into Italian

Documentation

1 ✈ Pre -nuptial enquiry

Your local parish will provide you with this and it is required by both of you

2 ✈ Baptismal, Communion and Confirmation Certificates issued by your parish church and within the last 6 months

3 ✈ Letter of Freedom

A formal letter from your parish priest that states that you have fulfilled your Pre – Marital course requirements (Pre-Cana). This letter should also include permission from the priest that you are free to marry in a Catholic Church elsewhere. The priest will forward this on to the local Archbishop who will prepare a cover letter to forward on with the documentation to the Church in Italy.

4 ✈ Other Documentation

Along with the documents above, the Archbishop will also need to send on documentation such as a Death Certificate, a Decree of Nullity, a letter of pardon the one half of the couple was not baptised if appropriate.

Documents should reach the church you wish to be married in at least 2 months before the wedding date.

Catholic Wedding in Rome for Irish Citizens

The Pontifical Irish College in Rome offers great assistance to Irish citizens arranging a Catholic wedding in Rome. Couples must liase directly with the College and not through a planner but they will walk you through the process and paperwork to ensure that you have a very well organised wedding day. Weddings take place in St. John Lateran in Rome and another plus is that no translations are required.

Destination Wedding Italy_014

 Belle Momenti Photography

If you would like to find out what is involved in organising a legal wedding in other countries, please click here. Investing in a wedding planner will greatly reduce your paperwork load so it is worth considering if you are not confident enough to organise yourself or short on time. Browse our Real Wedding Features in Italy, Destination Guides and Venue Spotlights to see exactly how other couples did it. Happy planning.

16 Responses

  1. Pier23

    Another excellent post. Thanks for sharing so much helpful information. Having lived in Italy for a few years, it can be tricky at times so it’s nice to see such a comprehensive list of things to look out for. Best of luck to all those heading over there!

    Reply
  2. Vanessa

    do you have any suggestions on how to find out what the requirements to get married in Italy would be for South African residents?

    Reply
    • Amy

      Hi Vanessa! What part of Italy are you intending on getting married in? I think the best thing to do would be to contact the closest South African Embassy to that area in Italy. Here is a link that has contact details for the various SA embassies in Italy.
      http://lnx.sudafrica.it/en/contact-us.html
      Let us know how you get on or feel free to drop us a direct line if you need more help. x

      Reply
  3. laura

    Hi, I am a UK resident. Im planning on getting married September 2014 in Sorrento. All the paperwork seems very daunting. So much to do. If anyone has any tips for me on how to make things easier and stress free please let me know. Hopefully my travel agent will tell me where to get all the paperwork from. Thanx. :-D. X

    Reply
  4. samantha

    Hi, I want to get married in sicily, taormina in august 2014. Myself ( dutch native) and my peruvian fiancee( peru passport) were wondering where to get what forms done as this is not quite clear to me. I am residing and got an single status declaration from a maltese notary but will this do? he can get me a null osta ( or how ever it is called) but how do i get that for my boyfriend who is in Peru until beginning of august?
    How far in advance do they need all documents?

    Any help is very welcome

    Reply
      • Sara

        I have the same question, I am a dutch national and my fiancee has a residency permit in holland. But we would love to have a destination wedding, in either, scotland, Belgium or Italy. Can you advice as about the different rules, regulations and requirements? so we can make a sound decision.

        Thank you,
        Sara

  5. Lauren

    Do you know where the rooftop location is located? Our name starts with M and we are looking to elope in Italy, and this would be perfect.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  6. www.torreprima-holidays.it

    Hi
    Last year I made a trip to Tuscany with my children. We are nature lovers and Tuscany is the ideal destination for this. We made many excursions in the hills of Tuscany and cities of art. We stayed in a farmhouse near Siena really nice; It called Torre Prima.

    Reply
  7. www.raccianello.it

    {great|wonderful|interesting|nice post.
    One of the most characteristic villages that I visited in Tuscany is San Gimignano, nearSiena. I stayed there during my last holiday in Tuscany, in a farmhouse really beautiful. There was a restaurant and a swimming pool overlooking sille towers. It’s called Farm Raccianello and both me and my girlfriend really enjoyed it.

    Reply

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