There are different types of documents required to get married in Italy and several problems of having them translated overseas. Read below for comprehensive information about which documents you need, as well as the time and costs involved.
The Italian law on marriage is applicable throughout Italy. Local town halls however, may interpret the Italian marriage law in slightly different ways and put aside certain necessities or requirements.
Please contact the town hall’s Office of the registrar where you plan on getting married in, so as to acquire a complete list of required documents and also to know how many days before the date of the wedding you need to present the documents.
A comprehensive list of certified town halls in Italy is available on this website.
Here is a list of documents you may need:
A Catholic wedding may also require some or all of the following documentation:
Important Note on the Validity of Foreign Documents in Italy: All documents originating outside of Italy (birth certificate, divorce decree, etc.) must be legalized for use in Italy and must be translated into Italian.
To legalize a U.S. document for use in Italy, you need to have it stamped with a so-called Apostille stamp by the secretary of state in the state where the document was issued, in accordance with The Hague Convention on the legalization of foreign public documents.
Your first step should be to contact your home country’s consulate in Italy. They will advise you on the specific steps you need to take, including the preparation of the atto notorio.
You’ll submit your declaration of intent to marry to the local marriage office in the city’s town hall where your marriage will be performed. This declaration will go to the civil registrar. A translator should attend if you don't speak Italian. You’re officially invited to set the date of the wedding after this intent is declared.
You should plan the do this at least three weeks in advance of your wedding. Civil notifications must be posted for two consecutive weeks, including two Sundays, before a wedding can take place. If neither party is an Italian citizen or resident of Italy, you may contact the office to waive this requirement. You might be able to expedite your waiting period to as little as a day, depending on the local town hall regulations.
For Catholic weddings specifically, you may have to conform to the rules of your local parish, as well as the parish where you intend to marry. Plan to submit all of your religious documents to the local Italian marriage documents no later than seven weeks prior to your wedding date. They must be processed at your consulate and with the Bishop. Contact your local parish and the parish where you'll marry for specific advice.
At the wedding, you'll sign your legal marriage license. You will be given an official marriage certificate that's authorised by the mayor in the municipality where you marry. After the marriage, you should plan to visit the town hall again to present the marriage certificate. There you'll receive an Apostille stamp which verifies the document and contains a translated copy of the certificate into English.
What fees are involved? You should expect to pay the following administrative fees for your Italian wedding:
What should I know about wedding ceremonies in Italy?
Civil ceremonies can occur in any location that's been approved by Italian authorities, indoors or outdoors. Many villas, castles, public gardens and town halls are approved for use. In smaller locations, a civil ceremony will be performed by the mayor or a town officer. An interpreter is required if neither person in your party speaks Italian, but they don't have to be an official translator. The amount of time required between declaring your intent to marry and your actual wedding date will vary by location.
The only church ceremonies that are legally performed without a civil component are Catholic weddings. One person in the couple must be Catholic. You should anticipate a longer planning period for a Catholic wedding, due to coordination between your local church, the Italian church, city officials and consulates. It’s a good idea to start planning six months before your anticipated wedding date.
Take a look at your home country’s consular or embassy website for more information:
I'm Natalia Bertelli, an English/Spanish to Italian legal translator. Since 2008 I have been working on contracts, judicial deeds, certificates, corporate translations for foreign clients who want to do business in Italy, get a dual citizenship or simply settle in my beautiful country.