Legal requirements for a Civil Wedding in Italy with a legally binding ceremony for foreigners.
It begins to be tricky when a couple desires to get legally married on Italian soil since words like Nulla Osta, atto notorio, legalization, and affidavit come out and start to complicate your life.
But today, you’re lucky because we are a team of wedding planners and legal experts trained to plan events following the legal process.
So, how do international regulations work with weddings abroad?
You may know that Countries usually sign a specific intonation convention with other countries (e.g., London Convention, Munich Convention).
In general, for a civil wedding in Italy, the Nulla Osta 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 order it to the local authority in your Country of origin, but you will need to translate the act into Italian and legalize it at an Italian Consulate (or through apostille) in the country where you have your citizenship.
For the translation, you can use the assistance of a sworn translator in your Country of origin if provided by your legal system or entrust this to your wedding planner in Italy, that will translate your documents using the assistance of a professional translator who will go to the Italian Court for the so-called “asseverazione”.
Let’s see what happens with each Country’s regulations
The Munich Convention allows citizens of a signing country to request a marriage capacity certificate, exempt from legalization in Italian’s Prefettura. It 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 to release matrimonial capacity are Austria, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Moldova, Holland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey.
Countries that have signed and ratified the Vienna Convention are Austria, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Holland, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey.
If you are a citizen of one of the countries mentioned above, you will only need to send to your wedding planner some documents in your language without translation. Once we have them, we will contact your consulate in Italy and go in person to produce original documents and show the power of attorney that consent us to start the procedure on your behalf.
We will then go to the competent Prefettura to legalize the signature of your Consul or official consular agent.
Once your marriage is performed in Italy, you will obtain a marriage certificate on a multilingual model exempt from translation and legalization from the Italian town hall that you can use in your country of origin to register your marriage officially.
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.
Except Nulla Osta issued by the country adhering to the Munich Convention, the ones are given in a foreign language (to be legalized or not legalized) need to be correctly translated into Italian.
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 so-called Nulla-osta can be issued by a competent authority in your Country of origin or in your Consulate in the Italian soil.
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 they have been published abroad or by the competent Prefettura in Italy if your Consulate has issued them in Italy unless the mentioned above Convention is applicable.
Please note that the competent Italian Prefettura must legalize the signature of the Consul in Italy, unless a specific international Convention has been signed and ratified by your Country of origin that exempt the legalization of the Nulla Osta.
Regarding italian citizens, please note that according to 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.
If both the spouses are foreign not resident in Italy, take into account that before the wedding day, they 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.
An interpreter shall be present during this declaration and the civil ceremony if one or both spouses do not speak and understand italian.
If one of the spouses is resident in Italy, public marriage banns (pubblicazioni) 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, and in case you wouldn’t have a witness because you’re eloping in Italy your wedding planners can appear as your witnesses.
Please note that the italian town halls do not provide an interpreter. Therefore she/he can be recruited by your wedding planner in Italy.
Who will be your Planners?
Due to our experience in law firms and the foreign offices of the Italian public administration, we gained significant expertise in Consular affairs, and we are trained to solve the most complicated procedure such as:
1) Same-sex couples that want to celebrate a civil union in Italy as in their country the union is forbidden;
2) Couples that come from countries where divorce is not allowed;
3) Italians living aboard registered at AIRE that need to recover their document to start the marriage banns in the Italian Consulate;
4)Assistance with people that come from countries that do not release the nulla osta;
5) American and Australian couples who needs assistance with “atto notorio” in an Italian Court or the Italian Consulate in the USA or Australia.
6) People with refugee status who have requested asylum in Italy.
Our team of lawyers and planners will assist you and assign the right consultant for your case.