Legal Requirements for weddings

Completed paperwork requirements expire after 3 months if you have not yet married.

It is very important that your full name is written in the same manner in all the following documents, otherwise the wedding officials will not accept your paperwork:

  • Passports
  • Certificate of No Impediment
  • Nulla Osta

Please be sure that your passport, Certificate of No impediment and Nulla Osta contains your maiden name.

CATHOLIC WEDDING REQUIREMENT

1. Formal letter from your parish priest granting permission for the wedding to be performed in the church you choose.
This letter is required by the Italian Curia to show that you have received permission from your parish priest to have your wedding ceremony performed.
It should certify that your priest knows you and allows you to get married at the Italian Church of (name) at the specific date. This letter needs to be written on the letterhead paper of your Parish.

2. Your priest should also secure a letter from the Bishop of the parish stating the same as in # 1 and this letter should also be written on letterhead.
The Bishop’s permission to the wedding is one of the most important requirements for the Italian Curia. It must certify that you have no impediment to get married at the Italian Church of (name of the church) at the date (the date you are asking). This letter needs to be written on the letterhead paper of your Bishop’s office.
This letter shows that approval has been given by the authority over the priest who has written the letter referred in # 1.

3. The letter from the priest must also stae that you have fulfilled all PRE CANA procedures, and should include the certificate (if a certificate was done) showing that
you attended the premarital classes.

4. The Original prenuptial inquiry form has to be issued by your parish and be on formal church letterhead of your Parish. The prenuptial inquiry form is not just the certificate but rather a type of signed questionnaire with church seals/signatures. Moreover this document must be stamped by the local Bishop’s office (NOT just your priest).
A PRENUPTIAL INQUIRY is issued by the archdiocese of your city/town. It is the prenuptial investigation which your priest completes together with you. Your priest completes the questionnaire stating it has been approved so you can get married, signing the document as final approval.
Then this document has to be sealed by your local Bishop, so the Italian Curia has the proof that it has been definitely approved by a higher member of the Catholic Church in your country.

5. ALL certificates of baptism, first communion and confirmation must be sent together with the Prenuptial inquiry form and letters mentioned in # 1, # 2 and must also be stamped by the local Bishop’s office.
All these sacraments have to be received in order to have the Catholic wedding performed. Ask your Parish who performed these sacraments to provide these certificates.
If you have problems obtaining the originals, ask for copies that have to be sealed by your local bishop. The seals of the bishop, are required on these documents by the Italian Curia.

6. Original of the civil wedding certificate, (in event the Italian priest will not perform the civil part of the marriage the civil ceremony must be performed prior to the religious ceremony and that original certificate must be presented to the Italian priest) This would apply if you are not asking to be civilly married at the same wedding ceremony in Italy or in case that the Italian priest should not be able to do the civil and religious wedding together).
Determined on a case by case basis. In case you will receive the Catholic wedding and not the civil one at the Italian church you need to provide the civil wedding certificate. Please note: Not only the wedding licence (issued in USA) but the original certificate that you are legally married.

7. If one of you are not Catholic you will be required to obtain another document such as “Permission of mixed religions” to testify that the wedding celebration can be performed by the Italian Church.
Generally this document is issued by the local Bishop of your country. Ask this information to your Parish, so they can help you to obtain this special permission.
All the documents mentioned (excluding # 6) MUST have been sealed or stamped by the Bishop’s parish office.
At a later date you will be asked to send all the ORIGINALS directly to the Italian Curia, so they can proceed with the preparation of documents.
It is not possible to complete the Catholic marriage requirements without providing the originals documents. If time does not permit, it is possible for you to bring the originals with you, however, we do not recommend using this option unless absolutely necessary.
NOTE: The Italian priest or Curia has final say on granting official permission for the wedding to move forward after seeing the paperwork.
Keep the original documents with you, do not send these here in Italy before receiving the Italian Church approval based on the copies you send us.

Catholic requirements

The above refer to a couple that has never been married previously. If you have been divorced in the Catholic church
and your marriage was not officially annulled you cannot marry in the Catholic church. Please advise us if you have had your marriage annulled.
Documents should not be done more than 3 months in advance or they expire. (exception of the Baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation, that are issued when you received these sacraments).

For Catholic weddings only (not including the Civil portion), a certificate of civil marriage (note that the marriage license is not enough), is also required. The civil wedding certificate never expires. The only case is that the couple has divorced and want to get married again in the Church. In this case a civil reconciliation is required.

CIVIL WEDDING REQUIREMENTS

In order for your civil wedding to be performed and legally recognized in your own home country; specific legal paperwork needs to be completed.

While there are no residency requirements to marry in Italy, depending on your nationality there are certain steps that must be completed in order to formalize your wedding and make it legally binding. These vary slightly depending on which country you are a citizen of. Many couples can handle the legalities via mail thus avoiding any last minute documentation prior to the wedding day.

Wedding Requirements for Australians:

Before leaving Australia, you need to obtain an Atto Notorio (sworn declaration) from the Italian Embassy or Consulate in Australia in the state where you reside.
An Atto Notorio is an affidavit done before the Italian Consulate in the US or Australia (or before a magistrate in Italy). In order to obtain an Atto Notorio you must prepare the following documentation:

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • If previously divorced/widowed, your divorce decree or death certificate
  • Translations of all of the above

It consists of a meeting in front of the Italian Consulate with witnesses in which a declaration relative to the civil status (single, divorced etc…) of the couple is made.
An official document is then drawn up for filing purposes here in Italy.

Please be sure that at the top of the page of the Atto Notorio the detail ” Repubblica Italiana” and “Consolato Generale D’Italia” are specifically written, otherwise the Atto Notorio is not valid.

If you elect to do the Atto Notorio in your home country you will save money. You must set up an appointment with the nearest Italian Consulate to where you live and ask how many witnesses are required – it varies from location to location.

TRANSLATIONS – Your Birth and or divorce/death certificates must be translated into Italian and Apostilled through the Secretary of State’s Notary Public of the state the document originated in. The translations of your certificates are to be authenticated by the Italian Consulate.
Make sure you travel with your Australian passport. If you were married before, bring evidence of the termination of the previous marriage.
If you are widowed, you must bring the death certificate of your previous spouse. Certificates can be obtained from the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
Once in Italy, in addition to the Atto Notorio, an Australian citizen intending to get married in Italy will need to make a Statutory Declaration (Nulla Osta).
This Statutory Declaration must be signed whether you are single, divorced or widowed and you will do so in the presence of an Australian Consular officer at the Australian Embassy in Rome or Australian Consulate-General in Milan- A Nulla Osta literally states that “there are no impediments” or that one is free to marry. The Nulla Osta (Statutory Declaration) is valid for six months and, as of April 2007, costs the equivalent in Euro of A$50.00 per Australian Citizen.
The Nulla Osta must then be legalised by the Uffico Legalizzazioni of the Prefettura. Nulla Osta and legalization can be done during the same morning.
If you did not obtain an Atto Notorio prior to coming to Italy or you currently reside in Italy, the Atto Notorio can be executed in Rome or Milan.

CIVIL CEREMONY

If the wedding hall requires it, we will set an appointment with the Wedding Hall authorities, about two days before the wedding. At this time, you will make a Promessa di Matrimonio, or Declaration of Intent to Marry. Sometimes the appointment for the Declaration and Wedding may fall on the same day.
If one or more of the parties is Italian or is an Australian with Italian residency, then Banns (pubblicazione di matrimonio) must be posted for at least two weeks before the date of the marriage.
PLEASE NOTE that Italian law states that at least 300 days must pass before a woman can remarry if she was previously divorced.

Wedding Requirements for British Citizens:

You must publish the Banns at your local registry office in England. After 23 days of these publications of Banns the registry office releases a Certificate of Non Impediment.
The Certificate of Non Impediment will then be mailed by you with express courier (NOT regular mail) to the appropriate Embassy or Consulate we give you with payment of Nulla Osta fee.
If you have been previously married and are divorced you must include the “Divorce Decree Absolute”.
The following documents must also be presented to the British Consulate (also via correspondence) when you present your Non Impediment

Certificate:

  • Certificate of Non Impediment issued by UK registrar
  • Long Birth Certificate issued by civil autorities, which must include names of both parents
  • Photocopy of passports (and bring passports with you)
  • Deed Poll (in case of change of name)
  • Decree Absolute of Divorce (in case of previous marriage)
  • Previous marriage certificate (for both!)

After some days the Consulate will release the necessary documents for you to marry (Nulla Osta).

At the present time (April 2007) the cost of the Nulla Osta is 92 Euro per person. The UK Consulates require a bank draft in Euro to be mailed along with the documents in order to process the paperwork. If the bank draft comes from UK, the total cost is 210 Euro (92X2+12 Euro for bank fees + 14 Euro for the express courier), but the bank draft must be drawn from an Italian bank.

Wedding Requirements for Canadians:

Canadian citizens are required to present to the Italian authorities a “NULLA OSTA” (certificate of non-impediment to the marriage). The Canadian Consulate does not issue a “Nulla Osta”. However, to assist Canadian in meeting the requirements for appropriate documentation, the Canadian Consulate prepares a declaration containing the relevant information.

This declaration is accepted by the Italian authorities for the purposes of Article 116.

To obtain this declaration from the Canadian Consulate, a Canadian Citizen must first complete and swear an AFFIDAVIT to the effect that there is no impediment to the proposed marriage. The affidavit can be sworn in front of a notary public in Canada or a consular official at the Consulate. If the affidavit is to be made at the Canadian Consulate the applicant should fill out the appropriate form and bring and present the following documents:

  • Certified copy of Canadian passport;
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship (Canadian birth certificate or Certificate of Canadian);
  • Document issued by the competent Vital Statistic authorities in Canada confirming that no registration of marriage appears in their records (if obtainable);
  • Complete details of the future spouse (full name, date and place of birth, residence, father’s name and mother’s maiden name – FORM B AFFIDAVIT);
  • Final divorce decree or death certificate of previous spouse (if divorced or widowed);
  • Parent’s consent (if the person is under marriageable age)

PLEASE NOTE THAT Italian law states that at least 300 days must pass before ine can remarry if was previously divorced.
It is extremely important that your full name is written in the same way in all the following documents, otherwise the wedding office will not accept the paperwork:

  • Passports
  • Nulla Osta

Please be sure that your passport and Nulla Osta contains your maiden name You must obtain the “Canadian declaration- Nulla Osta” so you must send all the originals to the Cananadian Embassy, in Rome or Milan; so they can prepare your document.
This document must then be authenticated at the “Prefettura office- Ufficio Legalizzazioni”.
Once the declaration has been obtained and legalized, it is presented to the marriage Office of the Municipality in Italy, Banns are waived if neither party is Italian nor residing in Italy.

THE CANADIAN DECLARATION document COSTS Euro 33 each.

Wedding Requirements for Irish:

Documents for Irish Citizens to Marry Civilly in Italy:

  • Statutory declaration by Irish citizen called a “Certificate de coutume” for marriage abroad (A divorced person or a person who is or intends to marry a person under the age of 18 years should use a different form).
  • Completion of the MP2A form/declaration. This declaration must be made and signed in the presence of one of the following:
    In Ireland a Notary Public, a Commissioner for Oaths or a Solicitor.
    Abroad before a Diplomatic or Consular Officier of Ireland, or a Notary Public, a Commissioner for Oaths, or an equivalent person authorized oaths or declarations in that place.
    You need to bring all the following documents to the DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS in Dublin. They will check them and, if everything is ok, they will send an email to the Irish Consulate in Rome, that will issue the Nulla Osta.
  • MP2A form.
  • Birth certificate length form (with parents names).
  • Copy of the passports.

At the Department of Foreign affairs you have to pay the cost of the Nulla Osta which varies from year to year, and might be around Euro 30 per person.
Once in Italy, the town hall may require a declaration before your marriage, so you need to plan your arrival a few days before the ceremony.
PLEASE NOTE that Italian law states that at least 300 days must pass before a woman can remarry if she was previously divorced.

Wedding Requirements for US Citizens:

In fact there are only 3 items that are necessary to marry in Italy.
To marry in Italy an ATTO NOTORIO is required; this is in effect an AFFIDAVIT done before the ITALIAN CONSULATE (or in Italy). To obtain it, you must first have certain
documents.

DOCUMENTS NEEDED BEFORE to OBTAIN ATTO NOTORIO:

  • US passport
  • Birth certificate
  • If previously divorced/widowed, your divorce decree or death certificate

Here are some clarifications for the most frequently asked questions:

1. ATTO NOTORIO (Done by you in US)
It consists of a meeting in front of the Italian Consulate with witnesses in which a declaration relative to the civil status (single, divorced etc…) of the couple is made. An official document is then drawn up to present to us for filing purposes here in Italy. Please be sure that at the top of the page of the Atto Notorio the detail ” Repubblica Italiana” and “Consolato Generale D’Italia” are specifically written, otherwise the Atto Notorio is not valid.
You need to set up an appointment yourselves with the nearest Italian Consulate to where you live and ask how many witnesses are required – it varies from location to location.
TRANSLATIONS REQUIRED
Your Birth and or divorce/death certificates must be translated into Italian and Apostilled through the Secretary of State’s Notary Public of the state the document originated
in. The translations are authenticated by the Italian Consulate.

2. APOSTILLE – (Done via mail)
This peculiar word means that the original documents (birth and, if applicable, divorce) which need to be presented to the Italian Consulate have been:
Sent to the Secretary of State’s Notary Public of the state from which the document originally is from for authentication (or Apostille seal).
The APOSTILLE is simply the seal of the Notary Public of the State in accordance with the Hague Convention, which means that the documents can be used officially even in a
foreign country. It is NOT a regular Notary Public stamp!!
When the Atto Notorio is done and the Apostille also, you must:
a) Verify that everything is complete, at least 4 weeks prior the wedding.
b) After you have the OK, bring the originals of your documents with you when you come to Italy. HAND CARRY YOUR DOCUMENTS, do not check them with your luggage.
c) KEEP A COPY OF YOUR DIVORCE DECREE, IF APPICABLE, TO TAKE TO THE US CONSULATE IN ITALY when you arrive.
All birth and/or divorce certificates must be translated into Italian. You must have the translations authenticated by the Italian Consulate in the U.S. when you go for your Atto Notorio.

3. NULLA OSTA and PREFECT’S OFFICE (done with our staff/coordinator in Italy)
It takes at most a few hours and must be done approximately 3 weeks prior to the wedding.
The Nulla Osta is the final declaration to be made IN ITALY before the US CONSULATE or EMBASSY stating that you are free to marry. Cost is approximately $50 per person. You must pay in CASH.
Then this NULLA OSTA must be authenticated in the nearest Prefect’s office (you must come along!).

ATTENTION PLEASE!!
Please note that it is extremely important that your full name is written in the same way in all the following documents, otherwise the wedding office will not accept the paperwork:

  • Passports
  • Atto Notorio
  • Nulla Osta

Please be sure that your passport, Atto Notorio and Nulla Osta contains your maiden name.

NULLA OSTA:
This is a general term referring to the necessary civil document which all foreign citizens (non Italians) must provide prior to marrying in Italy. In some cases, the Nulla Osta can be obtained by us via mail, thus avoiding any last minute appointments at the consulates (British for example).
Some citizenships however must do their Nulla Osta directly at their consulates here in Italy (Australians and US Citizens). A Nulla Osta does not require more than 1 morning in most cases and you must present yourselves at the Consulate/Embassy with your passport and any other relative documents already prepared previously in the country of your origin.
The consulate will then issue you a Nulla Osta which is a certificate granting permission for you to marry in Italy.
We advise that this procedure be completed no later than 3 working days prior to the wedding.
To complete your Nulla Osta bring proof of non-residency (flight tickets) with you.

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