Civil wedding in Italy

Unlike many other countries, Italy welcomes, with open arms, the weddings of foreigners and tourists who come here to celebrate their marriages.  In contrast to other nations, in order to wed in Italy you need not reside here for any certain length of time, nor own property.  All you need to do is chose the location for your wedding in Italy, decide upon the date of the ceremony, and leave it to us to act on your behalf for civil authorities.

Foreigners who do not live on Italian territory and wish to wed here must provide a document called “Nulla Osta”, and another document which affirms that there are no impediments to the marriage. Below is detailed information for British, Irish, American, Canadian and Australian citizens on how to obtain these as well as the other documents and procedures for a civil wedding in Italy. If you are not from one of these countries, just send us an e-mail telling where you are from and we will provide you with all the information pertinent for persons of your nationality.

Under Italian law, two adult witnesses must be present at the wedding ceremony. Should it be just the two of you, we will be able to provide witnesses for you. Also required is an interpreter for the reading of the rites as well as for the signing of some of the documents. We will also take care of this, for you.

After the wedding, the newlyweds will be immediately issued a multi-language marriage certificate which must be legalized in the prefecture of the city where the wedding has taken place.  We will tend to this for you and send you the finalized documents by courier. With this certificate, your marriage in Italy will then be official!

Requirements for U.S. citizens and for Australian citizens
US citizens and Australian citizens planning to marry in Italy must present specific documents which comply with Italian regulations in order for their wedding to have legal validity. Please note that in order to be considered valid by Italian authorities, all documents (birth certificate, divorce decree, etc.) must be translated into Italian and authenticated and bear the “Apostille” stamp of the Italian Consulate nearest your residence. You may wish to contact your nearest Italian Consulate for details on how to properly translate these documents.

Before your arrival in Italy:
1) Valid PASSPORT: (members of US Armed Forces may present their ID card, along with a permission to marry issued by their Commanding officer).
2) BIRTH CERTIFICATE: Original Birth Certificate, with Apostille and translated into Italian showing the names of both parents, authenticated for use in Italy. If you are under 18, you must bring a sworn statement by parents or legal guardian(s) approving the marriage.
3) PROOF OF TERMINATION OF ANY PREVIOUS MARRIAGE: required only if not already recorded properly on the Atto Notarile (for example, Final Divorce or Annulment Decree, or Death Certificate of former spouse).
4) ATTO NOTORIO:  This Notarzied Act is a Sworn Affidavit to be made in the Italian Consulate closest to your current residence.    

Once you arrive in Italy:
5) NULLA OSTA:  Affidavit declaring that there are no impediments to your legally marrying. This form is released by the American Embassy in Rome. Therefore it is important to book an appointment with them online far in advance and plan your travel arrangements accordingly. It is important to know that the Embassy provided this service only certain days of the week. The Nulla Osta then has to be legalized at the Prefecture which is also open only certain days and hours of the week, so it is important to plan to arrive to Italy at least one week before your wedding.

Along with the above listed documents, which must be presented to the municipality of the city where the marriage is to be performed, you will sign a “DECLARATION OF NON IMPEDIMENT”, normally two days prior to the wedding.

Requirements for British citizens
Before your arrival in Italy, you must obtain a Certificate of No Impediment, issued in the UK.  This is done by giving notice of your intended marriage to your local registry office. After your notice has been posted for the required period you will be issued a “Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage”, signed and dated by your local Registrar. It is essential that the names appearing on your Certificates of No Impediment (CNI) are exactly the same as indicated on your passports. Please note that your CNI will be valid for six months from the date of issue (English, Welsh or Northern Irish CNI) or three months if presenting a Scottish CNI.

In the meantime you must make a bilingual Statutory Declaration before a UK Public Notary or a Solicitor (solicitor fees are normally lower). This declaration is required by Italian authorities and provides additional information not included on your CNI. After obtaining both documents (CNI and Statutory Declaration) you must legalize your documents for Italian authorities.  This is done by sending both documents to the FCO Legalisation Office in Milton Keynes. Each legalized document must bear a Hague Apostille. For costs and procedures you may consult the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website

The final step is the translation of your legalised CNI. You may contact your nearest Italian Consulate for details on how to properly translate documents. The Statutory Declaration does not need to be translated since it is already in both languages. Once all documents are prepared, they should be sent to us, together with a copy of both your passports. This will enable us to submit the documents to the city hall where you intend celebrate your marriage. 

Requirements for Canadian citizens
The Canadian Government does not issue “Nulla Osta”.
To obtain this declaration a Canadian Citizen must first complete an AFFIDAVIT, sworn in front of a notary public in Canada, declaring that there are no impediments to the intended marriage. For the preparation of this affidavit, you will need to present and have notarized the following documents:

  • Valid Canadian passport;
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship (Canadian birth certificate or Certificate of Canadian Citizenship). (For persons born in Québec, only birth certificates issued on or after January 1, 1994, by “Le Directeur de l’état civil” in the province of Québec are accepted);
  • Complete details of the future spouse (full name, date and place of birth, residence, father’s name and mother’s maiden name);
  • Final divorce decree or death certificate of previous spouse (if divorced or widowed);
  • Parental consent (if the bride or groom is a minor).

The AFFFIDAVIT must then be translated into Italian. You may contact your nearest Italian Consulate for details on how to properly translate and legalize this declaration. The original and translated AFFIDAVIT must then be sent to us by courier, along with the notarized copies of each of the above listed documents. We will take care of having the Nulla Osta authenticated by the Italian “Prefettura Ufficio Legalizzazioni” (provincial authority). Once the declaration has been legalized, we will then present it on your behalf to the marriage Registrar of the Municipality in Italy where the wedding is to be held.

Requirements for Irish citizens
You will need to bring the following documents to the DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS in Dublin. They will look them over and, once the documents are approved, they will send an e-mail to the Irish Consulate in Rome, which will then issue the Nulla Osta.

  • Completed Questionnaire (MP1)
  • Completed Statutory Declaration (MP2)
  • Long Form Birth Certificate
  • Passport or Certified copy
  • Fee for Nulla Osta

The Embassy recommends that applications be submitted four months prior to the wedding date. The Nulla Osta will be issued one month before the wedding. Your application must include a letter indicating the wedding location, date, and agency handling the arrangements as well as all contact numbers. All documents in languages other than English should be translated and if not submitted in original, the photocopies must be authenticated.

Documents required for a divorced Irish Citizen wishing to marry:
1. Questionnaire
2. Long form birth certificate
3. Statutory Declaration (MP2B) completed by divorced Irish citizen
4. Original Petition of Divorce
5. Final Decree of Divorce

Documents required for Divorced foreign national wishing to marry an Irish Citizen:
1. Questionnaire
2. Authenticated copy of state birth cert
3. Statutory Declaration (MP2D)
4. Original petition of divorce
5. Final Decree of Divorce
6. Copy of National Identity Card



Religious wedding in Italy

Italy is famous for its ancient and extraordinary churches, medieval chapels, baroque sanctuaries, rich in ornamental embellishments, some with lavishly colorful stained glass windows; others, candle-lit in spiritual solemnity. From small and romantic country chapels to grandiose and majestic cathedrals, Italy boasts an infinite number of churches thus making the choice nearly limitless for where to hold your religious wedding in Italy.

Of course, one reason there are so many churches in Italy is because Italy is a Catholic country, which explains why most Italians wed with a Catholic ceremony, which is the only religious wedding rite in Italy recognized civilly. Foreign citizens may marry in Italy with Catholic rites, provided that the wedding takes place in a Catholic Church and that certain documents are produced, which are the same for persons from any country in the world, such as the Certificate of Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation,  which must be stamped by your local Bishop.  In addition, you must obtain a Nulla Osta from your local diocese and signed by your bishop, a very important document required by the Italian religious authorities attesting that there are no impediments to your being married in the Italian church.

At least one of the spouses must be of the Catholic faith. If one of you is not Catholic, you may be permitted to marry but must first obtain a certificate issued by the bishop of your area giving consent for the marriage to be celebrated in the Catholic Church. This document must be stamped and bear the seal of the Bishop’s Parish office. Another requirement for marrying in a Catholic church is that neither the bride nor the groom may have ever been previously married with the exception of widow or widowers, or if the marriage has been officially annulled by the Sacred Roman Rota (the only Institution legally able to officially annul a marriage). These documents must be translated in Italian and, aside from the Baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation certificates, must not be prepared more than 3 months in advance or they will be considered expired. Copies of these documents should sent to the Italian Curia for approval, approximately 45 days before your wedding date. At least a month is required for the Italian religious Authorities to review and approve the paperwork.

Apart from Catholic ceremonies, we are also able to arrange religious wedding ceremonies in Italy for persons of other faiths: Protestant, Greek-Orthodox, or Jewish; ceremonies which will be equally beautiful but without legal validity. Only in a few cases will some Protestant сeremonies have legal value, depending upon where you hold your ceremony.  To be married with a Protestant, Greek-Orthodox or Jewish ritual, you must first be wed in a civil ceremony, either in your country of origin or in Italy, and then you may proceed with a religious ceremony which may be held either in a sacred location (such as a church or synagogue) or in a villa, castle, hotel or garden.

Whatever your choice or preference, we can assist you every step of the way in planning your religious wedding ceremony in Italy.

Symbolic Wedding and Renewal of Vows

For those who would prefer to get married neither in a church nor in a town hall but perhaps rather at a beautiful outdoor location or in a castle or villa, there is the option get married wheresoever the couple’s hearts desired by having a symbolic wedding. The beauty of a symbolic wedding is that there are no bureaucratic constraints, so the sky is the limit when planning your wedding; you could marry in the park where the proposal was made, in a gondola in Venice, in a field of flowers in Tuscany, in a medieval castle or regal villa – even in a hot air balloon or a yacht! Whatever you could dream up for the backdrop of your dream wedding, a symbolic wedding is the perfect option to make that dream come true. And for those who would prefer to have a legalized wedding, the symbolic wedding could be held after the civil union held at the local town hall.

Symbolic weddings are also ideal for those who would like to renew their vows or celebrate a special anniversary. Or perhaps your wedding was not all that you had hoped for, and you would like to recreate your wedding day just as you had always wished it could have been – we can make that happen! Your wedding day should be the best day of your life, and there are no limits when having a symbolic wedding,  so it will be completely personalized as we put together even the most elaborate ideas with the smallest, special touches to give you a truly one-of-a-kind, unforgettable ceremony. Together, we can choose the kind of rite you would like, how long it would last, the words that would be used, and who would perform the ceremony – perhaps a dear friend who knows you well, or even an actor to add the mood of the theme of the wedding.

There are different reasons a couple might choose to have a symbolic wedding; whatever that reason might be, it is the only kind of wedding that can be completely tailored, and we are happy to create with you an unforgettable event of your dreams, choosing together the style, the theme, the location, and all the details big and small that will make that special day the very best of your lives.

Please contact us for more information.