Civil Wedding in Italy

Legal requirements for a legally binding ceremony in Italy for foreigners.


This is one of the tricky parts of a destination wedding in Italy when the couple desire to be legally married.

And today you’re lucky because we are a team of wedding planner and lawyers who work together.

How do international regulations work with weddings abroad?

Well, you may know that each Country has signed a specific intonation convention with other signing countries (such London Convention, Munich Convention and Hague Convention).

In general, for a civil wedding in Italy, the Nulla Osta (that is not an affidavit) is required by art. 116 of the Italian Civil Code.

Your entrusted wedding planner in Italy can request it to your Consular Authority in Italy, or you can request it to the local authority in your country of origin.

For American US citizens please read our dedicated post, instead for Australian citizens please read our dedicated post.

However, let’s see what happens with each Country’s regulations

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Munich Convention

The Munich Convention allows citizens of a signing country to request a certificate of marriage capacity, exempt from legalization in Italian’s Prefettura. It is will be issued by the local administration where you reside.This certificate is also exempt from translation into Italian.

The states that have signed the Munich Convention for the release of matrimonial capacity are Austria, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Moldova, Holland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey.

Hague convention

According to this convention you can obtain a Nulla Osta that doesn’t need to be legalized in Italy. Therefore, those who come from a country adhering to the this Convention do not need to go to the Italian Consular Representation requesting legalization of the act, but can go to the competent internal authority designated by each State  (usually the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) asking to place the apostille on the document. 

This document will be automatically recognized in Italy. 

However the document need to be translated by a sworn translator (if provided in your country) or by the Italian Consulate in your country of origin

Check out the countries that have signed and ratified the Hague Convention at the following link

London Convention

This Convention states that Nulla Osta issued in the following countries are exempted from legalization: Austria, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Republic of Moldova, United Kingdom, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Belgium.

With the exception of Nulla Osta issued by country adhering to the Munich Convention, the ones issued in a foreign language (to be legalized or not legalized) need to be properly translated into Italian.

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Finocchieto Lunch

For citizens of Sweden who are residents, the permit is issued by the Municipality of residence, legalized with an apostille (Hague Convention). If the Nulla Osta is translated in Sweden, the translator’s signature must be legalized with an Apostille as required by the Hague Convention.

In any case, if the legislation of the foreign country allows it, the Nulla-osta/Affidavit can be issued by a competent authority in your Country of origin.

Note that not all the Countries release a so-called nulla osta.

Therefore, in respect to the Italian laws, and to book a civil wedding in Italy, it will be sufficient a document that states that there are no impediments to marriage according to the laws of your Country of origin and must be indicated on it: name, surname, date, and place of birth, citizenship, residence, marital status and generality of the parents (if the latter are not indicated, it will be necessary to present a legalized and translated birth certificate or a birth certificate on a multilingual model).

Please note that all the documents issued abroad must be translated into Italian and legalized by the Italian Consulate if it has been issued abroad, or by the Prefettura in Italy if it has been issued by your Consulate in Italy.

Umbria resort


Please note that the competent Italian Prefecture must legalize the signature of the Consul or Ambassador. It will therefore be necessary to have a € 16.00 revenue stamp.

For the Italian law, a divorced, widowed woman, or in case the marriage has been declared invalid, it will be necessary to prove the date of the wedding’s dissolution with correct documentation.

For a divorced woman with a null marriage or a widow for less than 300 days, the Italian court’s authorization will be required with a certificate from the Court of Appeal.

For spouses between the ages of 16 and 18, a provision from the Italian Juvenile Court will be required to obtain admission to marriage with certification from the Court of Appeal.

The documents mentioned above may be presented to the weddings office of the town hall delegating your wedding planner with a power of attorney

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civil ceremony in Italy

Before the wedding day, the spouses must go to the town hall for a declaration showing the non-existence of the impediments referred to in art. 85, 86, 87 n. 1-2-4, 88, and 89 of the Italian Civil Code.

If the spouses can’t reach the town hall before the wedding the wedding planner assigned can sign the oath on your behalf.

In case you would sign this declaration in person, an interpreter shall be present.

Please note that if one of the spouses is resident in Italy, public marriage banns will need to be published for 15 consecutive days in the town-hall selected. Only after this period, your wedding can be celebrated.

At the wedding celebration, two witnesses (1 for each spouse) must be present with a valid identity document.

Also during the celebration of the civil rite you will have to be assisted by an interpreter (with a valid identity document).

Note that 99% of the time, the town halls do not provide an interpreter. Therefore she/he can be recruited by your wedding planner.

In conclusion, the competence of the final act belongs to the Civil Officer.

Sounds complicate? Feel free to contact us for a first free consultation about your civil wedding in Italy; we will be happy to examine your case and give you the best advice to get the right legal paperwork in time.


Legally binding ceremony in Italy

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