How does a Catholic Wedding in Italy work?

catholic wedding in South Tyrol

Get to know the process to get married in Italy with a Catholic Wedding.

Today we want to explain how you can get married in Italy as a Catholic.

The first thing to do is to locate the Church or at least the area where you want to get married in Italy.

This is important to understand because depending on the Church selected, a competent Diocese in Italy will manage a part of the entire procedure for your catholic Wedding in Italy.

Once you have located the Church in Italy and the related competent Diocese, you need to talk with the competent Catholic Parish priest located in Catholic Church in the area where you live.

He will first need to evaluate if there are requirements to get married with the catholic rite regardless of the territory where you intend to get married.

This part is very personal, and you don’t need to share details with your wedding planners.

Once your Parish Priest has gathered from you all the information, he will surely ask you if you have received the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.

He will fill out the required forms and ask your local Diocese to provide permission to get married abroad.

At this point, there is a crucial aspect to consider.

The majority of Italian Bishop and Parish priests in Italy will ask you also to get married with a civil marriage, regardless if it is performed in your country of provenance or Italy.

Due to our experience, we suggest getting legally married (Civil Wedding) in your country of provenance and providing your Parish Priest the marriage certificate issued by the Municipality where you get married in your country of origin.

Otherwise, you will need assistance from your Italian wedding planners to obtain the Nulla Osta for the civil marriage issued by your competent Consulate in Italy unless exemption are provided by your country and Italy according to an agreement between the two countries.

Once the Nulla Osta has been issued and legalized by the Prefettura, your wedding planner must deliver it to the Italian Parish priest in Italy so that the Catholic Wedding celebrated in Italy will be both legal (civil Wedding) and religious(catholic).

It is the so-called “matrimonio concordatario.”

This form of Wedding exists only in Italy. It resulted from an agreement, “Concordat with the Holy See” between the Catholic Church and the Italian government, signed in 1929.

The concordat was made executive with the ratification of Legge n. 121/1985.

With “matrimonio concordatario” the officiant Priest will represent the Italian administration and the Catholic Church in the same person.

For this reason, the Catholic minister who will celebrate the catholic Wedding in Italy must read the articles of the Italian civil code at the end of the catholic ceremony.

According to Italian law, these articles are related to the rights and obligations between spouses. The officiant is also obliged to deliver the marriage certificate signed by the couple and their witnesses to the competent town hall as soon as possible.

The registration of the religious marriage in the competent Municipality generates the legal effect, but the date of those effects of the marriage retroactively goes to the day of the celebration in the Church and not from the moment of the registration at the town hall.

As your wedding planner in Italy, we will request the Italian catholic marriage certificate at the town hall where it has been delivered and proceed with legalization and translation depending on the country where the Italian marriage certificate must be registered.

Once the translation and legalization have been done, we can ship them to you.

Bride and groom exiting from the Church door.

If the registration were not requested at the competent town hall at the time of the marriage, it would always be possible to apply for late wedding registration.

Please note that If there are impediments that involve the invalidity of the bond in the religious subject, according to the provisions issued by the canonical authorities, it will be necessary to examine the case by the competent Civil Court of Appeal (Corte D’Appello) of the area where the catholic wedding was celebrated.

The Court will make your religious wedding effective and enforceable with a sentence only concerning the legal effect.

Indeed the Italian legal system has jurisdiction over what concerns the separation and dissolution of the marriage. But, in any case, no provision of the Italian authority produces consequences in the canonical order, remaining indissoluble for the constituted catholic marriage.

Civil and canonical catholic weddings are indeed competencies that operate on different levels.

Madonna di Vitaleta's Church in Tuscany
Hochzeit in den dolomites