Everyone dreams of holding a destination wedding in Italy...Perhaps in one of those beautiful buildings from the past, or else in the Tuscan countryside under a stunning sunset. Italy certainly offers a wealth of choice to meet any budget. Most locations or settings across the country are used for ceremonies, reception, weddings and receptions. And all of these simple or stunning Catholic or protestant churches can be used for religious services, but they're also available for other religions as well.
- In most cases, one can have a marriage ceremony performed in Italy after a few days without much hassle.
- It's more complicated to obtain an actual wedding license in a foreign country, with the red tape best arranged well in advance of the Big Day from your home country.
- Even if some administrative arrangements have to be made locally – it never takes more than half a day – but make sure you have a good interpreter available.
- Upon completion of the legal marriage, you will receive a marriage certificate in several languages that will be recognized around the world.
- However, you must register your marriage certificate at home with the municipality where you live.
- A Roman Catholic marriage may consist only of a church blessing (for instance when the couple is already civilly married) or the priest can do both, as he is authorized to perform both church and civil weddings.
Church wedding or a civil wedding?
It is actually quite usual to skip both civil and church formal wedding celebrations (best to have already wed prior), and instead, choose only a romantic location for a purely symbolic but unforgettable ceremony. This gives the bride and groom much more freedom to choose a place that suits them in every way. Obviously, it will not be possible to use a town hall or consecrated church in this case. When appropriate, Protestant weddings can be consecrated in a location other than a church by a minister authorized to do so by the Italian State.
Organizing a wedding in Italy
All things considered, depending on the location and size of the party, it is recommended to start the process 9 to 12 months in advance to prepare. First on your list should be to find a suitable place. The most beautiful spots and the best locations are booked well in advance. Italian couples usually select their locations with great care! If need be, everything can be arranged in a period of three months but the choice of locations becomes very limited. In that event, it may be better to hire a wedding planner who can keep an eye on things locally, tying up all the details so you don't have to.
How to arrange a civil ceremony in Italy?
A bride and groom who intend to get married in Italy must, in the presence of two witnesses (and an interpreter) make their wishes known at the Registry Office, the Ufficiale di Stato Civile of the municipality where the wedding will take place. The bride and groom must have all the necessary documents to be joined in matrimony. In one spouse has Italian nationality or lives in Italy, the announcement of the proposed marriage is posted at City Hall. This document must remain posted for at least two Sundays. In the event that neither of two has the Italian nationality or lives in Italy, this ritual need not take place.
At the civil marriage, it is mandatory to bring an interpreter/translator if neither partner speaks Italian. It is not necessary for someone from the Embassy or Consulate to be present.
It is wise to ask for several copies of the marriage certificate, especially since they may be needed later. To request them again years later can be an extremely difficult exercise. They don't cost much. Afterward, you should have the copies authenticated at one of the following offices:
- Procuratori della Repubblica
- Prefetti if married in Aosta
- Presidente della Regione - Regional President's Office
- Commissario di Governo