How To Get Married In Italy

If getting married in Italy is the dream, this guide should be handy to get you started...

Italy is a super popular location for getting married for good reason, with its beautiful villages and towns steeped in history, amazing food (and wine) it offers a bounty of lovely locations. For those who are religious the cathedrals and churches really are breathtaking, for the non-religious it's equally appealing with scenic vineyards, villas and castles. Unfortunately having a legal ceremony in Italy isn't exactly straightforward, so prepare yourself for quite a bit of paperwork, and a bit of back and forth with the local mayor. But I've done some of the initial work for you and pulled together a handy list of all you need to know, including the process of organising a wedding in Italy, and all the paperwork you'll need for a religious or civil ceremony. It is totally manageable, don't worry, just have a read and get started. It will all be worth it!

Before Deciding on a Wedding in Italy You Need To Know

There is no official residency requirement for civil ceremonies in Italy (yay!)

- Civil ceremonies and Catholic ceremonies are both legally binding. Making Italia a great choice for any of you wanting a church wedding with a little more sun.

Getting Married in a Catholic Church requires the same documentation as Ireland, except you must have proof of being a single person. You can get these quite simply from your local solicitor.

- A Civil Ceremony can only happen at the local Town Hall and buildings managed by the Town Hall. Luckily many of these buildings are beautiful including palaces, villas and castles to name a few.

- Your ceremony is usually performed by the Mayor or his assistant.

- Mayors in most of Italy will not do outdoor ceremonies, although the list of outdoor venues is growing so do be sure to check it out if it's something you are really interested in. 

- You will need at least 2 witnesses.

- It is a ruling in Italy that there must be an interpreter at your wedding (regardless of whether you speak Italian or not).

- If you'd like to have only a symbolic ceremony you can marry in a different wedding venue with the permission of the person who owns it. 

Religious Wedding Ceremonies in Italy

Amalfi Church wedding

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

Either you or your partner (or both) must be a Catholic and neither of you can be divorced.

It’s a long process, start 6 months before, and make sure the church in Italy has the paperwork 2 months before.

Paperwork should 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 listed below

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

Civil Wedding Ceremonies in Italy

- Civil ceremonies are generally performed in Italian by the city mayor or a civil officer. You must have an interpreter, but the interpreter does not have to be an official translator so if one of your guests is fluent, don’t be tricked into paying.

- You can enhance your civil ceremony with your own vows and readings.

- As mentioned above your civil ceremony will be conducted in Italian in the town hall.

- You will need two witnesses over the age of 18. They will have to be present at the time of your civil marriage and sign the registrar.

The Paperwork for an Italian Wedding

When you have decided your wedding date, contact the Comune (the Town Hall to me and you) of the Italian town you'd like to get married in to check the availability of your dates, and to doublecheck the documents that are required. 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 wedding planner, you should send all of your documents prior to the wedding and they will present them to the town hall on your behalf.

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

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

These are the documents you need to organize the wedding in Italy:

- A valid passport

- Official, Long Form, signed Birth Certificates

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

- Proof any previous marriages have ended (Divorce Decree or Death Certificate)

- Fee (this changes from year to year so it’s best to check DFA in your Embassy beforehand)

- MP1 Form. All applicants need to fill out this form

- MP2 Form. All applicants need to fill out this form

- 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.

Application for Nulla Osta (a Certificate of Freedom to Marry) Applications should be submitted at least four months before the date of the marriage or civil partnership/civil union. your Certificate of Freedom to Marry will be sent by the Department to the Irish embassy in Rome who will then forward it to the district where you will be married.

Extra documents needed for a Catholic Wedding in Italy:

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

- 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.

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

Further Information on Weddings in Italy

This is just a general guide to get you through the basics, if you're seriously considering a wedding in Italy, it's imperative to do your homework, so check out the following websites for official information:

Consulate Of Italy Contact Information 

Article credit : one fab day

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