Immagine della sposa Bedour che scenda da una barca a Venezia

Italy has always been a land of romantic beauty, capable of capturing the hearts of people from all over the world.
With its breathtaking landscapes, rich culture, and historic cities, it's no surprise that many couples dream of getting married in this enchanting country.
However, navigating the bureaucratic process of getting married in Italy as a foreigner can be a bit complicated.
In this article, I will provide you with a comprehensive guide to help you realize your dream of getting married in Italy.

Let's discover all the secrets of getting married in Italy together!

Is getting married in Italy legally binding for foreigners?

Yes, it is possible for foreigners to legally celebrate a marriage in Italy.
According to the Hague Convention of June 12, 1902, foreign citizens can marry in Italy provided that the laws of their home country do not oppose it.
However, it is important to note that each nation maintains a certain degree of autonomy regarding the required documentation and the recognition of marriage certificates.

What are the required documents?

To initiate the marriage process in Italy, the following documents are required:

  • A valid passport for non-EU citizens.
  • A recent ID card or identity document for EU citizens.
  • A birth certificate (with Apostille for non-EU citizens).
  • A 'Nulla Osta' or equivalent document.

All documents must be legalized with an Apostille stamp according to the Hague Convention to be considered valid in Italy.

What is the bureaucratic procedure?

Before exchanging vows in Italy, you need to present a 'Nulla Osta' to the civil registrar.
This document is a declaration from the competent authority of your home country, certifying that there are no legal obstacles to your marriage.
The 'Nulla Osta' must be translated and legalized appropriately to be accepted in Italy.

For citizens of countries that are signatories to the Monaco Convention of September 5, 1980 (excluding Belgium), a certificate of capacity to marry is an alternative to 'Nulla Osta.'
In addition to 'Nulla Osta' or the certificate of capacity to marry, you will need to provide a birth certificate and a copy of a valid international identity document.

Immagine di Venezia con le gondole
Immagine di due sposi su un pontile a Venezia

What is 'Nulla Osta'?

'Nulla Osta' is a certificate issued by the authorities of your home country.
It attests that you are free to marry in Italy and that there are no legal impediments to your marriage according to the laws of your country.
'Nulla Osta' should include various personal details such as your name, date and place of birth, citizenship, and marital status.

If 'Nulla Osta' is not in Italian, it must be translated and legalized.
The Legalization Office of the Prefecture will verify the validity of the Ambassador's or Consul's signature.

What are the legal requirements in detail?

Now, let's delve into the legal requirements for marriage in Italy:

  • Foreigners residing or domiciled in Italy: You will need to apply for marriage publications at the Municipality of residence/domicile or the Municipality of your future spouse's residence/domicile.
    These publications inform the public of your intention to marry and provide a platform for objections if there are valid reasons.
  • Foreigners not residing in Italy: In this case, you will need to sign a declaration certifying the absence of legal impediments to marriage.
    This declaration is essential, as certain conditions can hinder marriage.
  • Interpreter: If you do not speak Italian fluently, you will need to be assisted by a sworn interpreter who is a native Italian speaker.
Immagine di Venezia

Are there requirements for specific nationalities?

  • U.S. Citizens: A sworn statement and an affidavit are required.
    The statement must be signed in front of the U.S. Consul in Italy and legalized at the Prefecture.
  • Australian Citizens: A sworn statement must be made in front of the Australian Consul in Italy, certifying the absence of legal impediments to marriage under Australian law.
    The Consul's signature must be legalized at the Prefecture.
  • UK Citizens: You can obtain a 'Certificate of No Impediment' in the UK or contact the UK Consulate in Italy to obtain a 'Nulla Osta.'

What can I do if 'Nulla Osta' is not issued?

In some cases, the authorities of your home country may refuse to issue a 'Nulla Osta' for various reasons, such as religious or political objections.
In such cases, it is possible to seek legal verification in Italy to confirm the absence of obstacles to marriage.

What is the alternative to 'Nulla Osta'?

For citizens of countries that do not provide 'Nulla Osta' documents, such as the United States or Australia, it may be necessary to obtain a 'Statutory Declaration' from the Italian Consulate in your home country before traveling to Italy.
This document certifies that, according to the laws applicable in your home country, there are no legal impediments to your marriage.
It involves a sworn statement by two witnesses in front of an Italian Consul or a judicial officer in Italy.

What are the final steps?

After gathering all the necessary documents, you and your future spouse must visit the central civil status office of your respective Municipalities of residence or the Municipality where your spouse resides.
Here, you will submit your documents for marriage publications.

After at least eight days of publication (with at least two Sundays), the Marriage Office will issue a certificate of successful publication.
You will then need to submit this certificate to the Registry Office of the Municipality within 180 days to set the date of your wedding in Italy.

Frequently Asked Questions about Getting Married in Italy

Here are some frequently asked questions about getting married in Italy for foreigners:

  • How long do you need to stay in Italy before getting married?: Typically, 5 days are sufficient, but it's essential to check residency requirements based on your nationality.
  • Can you get married in Italy if you have been divorced?: Yes, but you need to provide evidence of the termination of previous marriages, including final divorce decrees or annulment decrees.
  • What types of ceremonies can be celebrated as weddings in Italy?: Foreigners can choose from various types of ceremonies.
    This can be done through a civil marriage with a civil registrar, a concordat marriage in the presence of a Catholic priest, a non-Catholic marriage officiated by a minister of a non-Catholic religion recognized in Italy, or a symbolic wedding.
  • Can a friend officiate the ceremony of my civil wedding in Italy?: Yes, in Italy, you can appoint a dear friend to officiate your civil wedding ceremony, but there will be a bureaucratic procedure to follow.
Immagine di una tavolata
Immagine della Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

What are the advantages of hiring a Wedding Planner for a wedding in Italy?

The advantages of being assisted by a Wedding Planner in the journey to celebrate your wedding in Italy are numerous, but let's look at some in detail:

  • Bureaucratic Procedures: As you may have noticed in the previous paragraphs, the bureaucratic procedures required to organize a wedding in Italy are numerous.
    However, having a Wedding Planner like me by your side will make the entire process much simpler and worry-free when it comes to managing the paperwork.
    I will be with you at every stage, guiding you through all the necessary bureaucratic practices.
  • Interpreter: The presence of a native Italian-speaking interpreter plays a crucial role.
    As an Italian-speaking wedding planner, I will be available to attend as a sworn interpreter during your ceremony.
  • Celebration by a Friend: If you wish to have a dear friend conduct your civil ceremony, you can leave me the responsibility of handling the necessary bureaucracy to make it possible.
    I will take care of all the documentation and formalities required to ensure that the person you choose can legally officiate your civil marriage.
  • Simplified Organization: In this blog article, we discussed the bureaucratic aspects of getting married in Italy.
    However, organizing a wedding in another country comes with many other challenges, such as finding vendors, choosing the venue, and arranging travel for you and your guests.
    Turning to an experienced wedding planner like me means freeing yourself from these complex responsibilities, which can cause stress and anxiety in the lead-up to the big day.
    Instead, you can focus entirely on the beauty of the event and experience it with serenity.
    I will manage the vendors and venues, accessing advantageous rates thanks to my trusted collaborations in the chosen location.

In summary, getting married in Italy for foreigners is possible, but it involves going through a series of bureaucratic procedures that should be initiated at least eight months before the wedding date.
This process can become lengthy and complex, but as your wedding planner, I can handle it all, allowing you to enjoy your journey to the big day stress-free.
Now that you have all the necessary information, don't hesitate to choose to get married in this beautiful country.
If you need assistance with the entire wedding process, feel free to contact me.
With my presence as a destination wedding planner, I will take care of everything, allowing you to experience your wedding without worries or stress as if you were getting married at home.

Immagine di Viviana Verzi Reatti

Viviana Verzi Reatti

Romantic wedding planner, originally from Cortina d'Ampezzo but adopted by the most charming worldwide locations.
My profession is my passion, my clients' satisfaction is my goal, and for this reason, I've had the honor of being recognized with numerous awards in the industry.

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