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, but you are fortunate to meet a wedding planner working in the legal field. How do international regulations work with weddings abroad?

Well, you may know that each Country has signed a specific agreement with the Italian government, and in some cases, they just subscribed to an international convention (e.g., Hague convention).

In general, for a civil wedding in Italy, the Nulla Osta (so-called Affidavit) is required, and your Consular Authority in Italy can issue it. But there are exceptions (read our post about Indian weddings in Italy).

For American US citizens please read our dedicated post.

For Australian citizens please read our dedicated post.

However, let’s what happens with each Country’s rules.

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Citizens of Austria, Germany, the Republic of Moldova and Switzerland, will need to require a certificate of marriage capacity issued by the Civil Register Office of their Country.

For citizens of Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey, a certificate of matrimonial capacity will be required (in this case, it is necessary to inquire at the respective Consulate about the competent authority to issue it in your Country of origin).

It will be necessary for Norway’s citizens to produce a permit issued by the Municipality of residence in Norway, legalized with an apostille (Hague Convention). If this document is translated into Norway, the translator’s signature must be legalized with apostille as required by the Hague Convention.

For citizens of Poland, it will be necessary to have a permit issued by the Municipality of residence in Poland. This document is exempt from legalization. If translated into Poland, the translator’s signature must be legalized with an Apostille (The Hague Convention).

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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 (so-called Affidavit) 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/affidavit.

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).

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Please note that all the documents issued abroad must be translated into Italian and legalized by the Italian Authority in the same State (Consulate or Embassy) or “apostilled” by the authority of your country (Hague Convention).

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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.

Please also note that the following countries are exempted from the legalization: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey.

For a divorced, widowed woman, or if the marriage has been declared null, it will be necessary to prove the date of the wedding’s dissolution with suitable 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 Juvenile Court will be required to obtain admission to marriage with certification from the Court of Appeal.

The documents mentioned above must be presented to the Weddings Office through your wedding planner or independently.

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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.

This declaration is made without witnesses. If necessary, an interpreter at least two days before the wedding, by appointment (spouses and interpreter must own a valid identity document).

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. Suppose the spouses do not speak or understand Italian. In that case, they will have to be assisted by an interpreter (also with a valid identity document), who will have to intervene both at the declaration and the wedding.

Note that usually, 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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