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0 Getting married in Italy

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  • 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.

US and Australian Citizens

  • Valid Passport
  • Official, Long Form, signed Birth Certificate’s
  • 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.
  • Parents Consent if either party is under 18
  • Death Certificate (if appropriate)
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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!

Canadian Citizens

  • Valid Passports
  • Official, Long Form, signed Birth Certificate’s
  • 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.

  • Death Certificate (if appropriate)
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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

  • The Marriage Certificate

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

UK Citizens

  • Valid Passports
  • Official, Long Form, signed Birth Certificate’s
  • Parental or Guardian Consent if one partner is under the age of 18
  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

Wedding

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

Irish Citizens

  • Valid Passports
  • Official, Long Form, signed Birth Certificates
  • Parental or Guardian Consent if one partner is under the age of 18
  • Termination of  Previous Marriage (Divorce Decree or Death Certificate)
  • Fee (this changes from year to year so it’s best to check DFA in Dublin or Irish Embassy in London beforehand)
  • MP1 Form. All applicants need to fill out this form
  • MP2 Form. All applicants need to fill out this formForms relating to your current marital status
  • Application for Nulla Osta

 

  •  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.
  • Wedding

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

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

  • Pre -nuptial enquiry

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

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

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.