Civil Wedding in Italy for foreigners

Civil Wedding in Italy for foreigners

However romantic and beautiful a symbolic ceremony might be, not all the couples like the idea of having two weddings.

There are pros and cons to both options and we are not going to discuss that here. There will be a special blog post on symbolic vs official weddings in Italy. Today, we will focus our attention on #realweddings. They are all real of course, I mean official, legal, legally binding, civil ceremonies for foreigners performed in Italy. Many of you contact me dreaming about a civil ceremony on the beach or under the olive tree and as much as I love the idea, it is not always possible. At the end of this article, you will find a link to the gallery with all the fantastic locations where you can have a civil ceremony, but before we get to that let’s get a few things clear. 

Couples from all around the world can legally get married in Italy in two ways. Civil ceremony or a catholic church ceremony (it has elements of civil wedding incorporated into the mass). Therefore, the first part of the procedure is the same for a civil or catholic wedding. If you are getting married in the church, you will need to provide all the documentation you will need for a civil wedding plus the documentation for a catholic wedding. 

What do I need for a catholic wedding (coming soon)

Where do I start? Requirements for a civil wedding in Italy

In case both (bride and groom, bride and bride or groom and groom) parties are not residents in Italy or staying permanently in Italy there is NO NEED FOR PUBLICATIONS. What are the publications one asks…Well, for Italian couples there is a requirement to make it a public announcement in their hometown (or at least hometown of one of them) that Miss XY is going to marry Mr. YX. This allows people who live there to intervene in case the marriage is not supposed to happen (bride and groom are related by blood or adoption, one of them is already married, one or both are having serious mental issues).  With foreign couples, publications would not make any sense but you still need to sign the declaration that says all the above (that you are not related by blood or adoption, that none of you is already married and that you don’t have serious mental issues). You are required to do so a minimum 3 (sometimes 2, depends on local authorities) days before your civil wedding. This is an important factor that you have to consider when planning your travel and the wedding date. If you were to get married on Saturday, you need to come to the local town hall, where your wedding will be taking place (may not be the same as your civil ceremony venue) the latest on Thursday to present all the documents required and sign the declaration I talked about above. Please, have in mind that Italian state offices work only until 1 pm so really, you should arrive at your wedding destination at least 4 days before the day of your wedding in order to sign the paperwork and relax before the Big Day.

Unless both parties and their witnesses speak fluent Italian, there is a need for an interpreter. The presence of an interpreter is required in the town hall when you sign the documents as well as during the ceremony. Dazzled will provide you with an interpreter free of charge, as a part of our service. We can provide translation for the following languages: English, Polish, Swedish, and Serbian. For other languages, we will have to outsource the interpreter, therefore there will be an additional fee.                                                                                                                   

**for a catholic wedding you will need a priest that speaks your language   

 What documents do  I need in order to get married in Italy?

The most important document you will need to present in order to get married in Italy is Nulla Osta. This can be obtained in your country of origin, by attending an appointment in the relevant office. Some countries allow a similar document to be presented. It depends on conventions and agreements between the country and Italy. Please see below the detailed information for each country below.

Nulla Osta must include the following information:

  • Information that there is no impediment to marry according to the country of origin
  • Name and surname
  • Place and date of birth
  • Fathers & mothers full name
  • nationality
  • Address of your residence
  • Marital status (single, divorced or widowed)

** A divorced or a widowed woman is not going to be able to marry in Italy for 300 days from the date of divorce or death of her late husband.

*** In case Nulla Osta does not include the information about parents, a birth certificate will be required too.

Where do I get my Nulla Osta?

  • Nulla Osta can be obtained from your embassy or a consulate in Italy. Then it has to be legalized at the local Preffettura Office (make sure you arrive early as they only accept an exact number of applicants each day). Some countries DO NOT NEED TO LEGALISE NULLA OSTA in the Preffettura Office. Those countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Lichtenstein, Luxemburg, Macedonia, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Chech Republic, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia-Montenegro, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey.
  • Nulla Osta can also be issued by the competent authority of the country of origin, in the event that the legislation of the foreign state allows it (verify the competence by contacting the Consulate or the Embassy in Italy). The documents issued abroad must be translated into Italian and legalized by the Italian Authority in the same foreign State (Consulate or consular office of the Embassy of Italy) or by means of apostille from the bodies appointed by the countries adhering to the Hague Convention of 5 / 10/1961 unless there are different provisions. If the translation is done abroad, the translator’s signature must also be legalized in the forms described. Countries that provide this case are Finland, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom                                     
  • The documents issued by the countries that acceded to the Vienna Convention of 8 September 1976, which provides for the issue of a multilingual form, are exempt from legalization and translation. These countries are Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey. It should be noted that the aforementioned Vienna Convention cannot currently be applied for Greece which, although a signatory country, has not yet ratified it.


  • valid passport;
  • No impediment certificate or replacement

In order to allow for the verification of the data, it is necessary to send (at least three weeks before the wedding) a copy of all the documentation, also via email. You will also need to send a copy of the interpreter document (if necessary).

All documents must be produced in the original. The documents formed abroad must be translated into Italian (or drawn upon multilingual models provided for by special agreements) and legalized.

Information about additional requirements for different nationalities

Citizens of AUSTRIA, GERMANY, LUXEMBOURG, NETHERLANDS, PORTUGAL, SPAIN, SWITZERLAND, TURKEY, the REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA adhering to the Monaco Convention of 05/09/1980, must produce the “Certificate of marriage capacity” issued by the office of the Civil Status of the town of residence in the State of origin. This certificate is not subject to any legalization and is sufficient certification to proceed with the publication and subsequent marriage of a foreigner, a citizen of one of the countries adhering to the Convention.

US citizens planning a civil wedding in Italy must provide:

  • sworn declaration made before the Consul of the United States of America in Italy, which shows that, subject to the laws to which it is subject in the United States, there is no obstacle to the marriage he intends to contract in Italy. The Consul’s signature must be legalized at the Prefecture (Preffetura);
  • deed of notoriety- Atto Notorio (which must still indicate that the citizen can contract marriage according to the law of the country of origin) drawn up before the competent Italian Authority: Italian Consul abroad, Court or Notary.

At Dazzled, we will book appointments for you based on your availability and provide you with all the addresses and itinerary for the day. We can add a guided tour of Rome too if you aren’t too tired.

Australian citizens planning on getting married legally in Italy must provide:

  • sworn declaration made before the Consul of Australia in Italy, which shows that, subject to the laws to which he is subject in Australia, there is no obstacle to the marriage he intends to contract in Italy. The Consul’s signature must be legalized at the Prefecture;
  • deed of notoriety (which must still indicate that the citizen can enter into marriage according to the law of the country of origin) drawn up before the competent Italian Authority (abroad Italian Consul), with four witnesses.

British Citizens planning to get legally married in Italy can choose one of the following options:

  • make publications in the United Kingdom according to the procedure provided by ministerial circular and obtain a “Certificate of non-impediment”, issued by the local authority of the country of origin, and a “Bilingual sworn declaration” made by a British lawyer or notary. This certificate of non-impediment, apostilled and duly translated, will be presented, together with the bilingual sworn declaration, which is also legalized, at the competent registry office for the purpose of celebrating the wedding
  • Or they can ask  British consulate in Italy to get the nulla osta from them


The article above is based on information published on Italian Foreign Affairs website. 


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