Planning a destination wedding in Italy from abroad is a little tricky but not as hard as you might think. There are a few things that you should know to help you plan in advance, and get vital paperwork together. If even one document is missing, the entire ceremony will be delayed, even while your guests are waiting. To avoid this, many couples use the services of a wedding planner. Others, who either speak Italian well, or find an English-speaking Town Clerk manage to arrange things themselves with the help of their local Italian Consulate in the US.
Where to Have a Wedding in ItalyItaly is full of magical places, including historic churches, beautiful castles, and romantic villas. Some of the most popular regions to marry in are:
- Amalfi Coast Just south of Naples, the Amalfi Coast boasts breathtaking ccean views across rocky cliffs, good and inexpensive wines, and amazing food.
- Florence Located within Tuscany, Florence was the seat of the Italian Renaissance. It has legendary museums and is the place to see the most important Italian art, including Michelangelo’s David. It’s also a romantic city of piazzas and beautiful architecture. Furthermore, because of local laws, foreigners may find it easier to have a religious wedding ceremony here than in other parts of Italy.
- Tuscany The beautiful countryside of Tuscany is rich with rolling hills, fine wines, and grand Italian villas. Home not only to Florence, but also to the popular towns of Siena and Cortona.
- Umbria For those who want to get away from fellow tourists, Umbria might be the perfect solution. This central region has similar landscape to Tuscany with rolling hills, lush river valleys, and quaint small towns. Birthplace of St. Benedict and St. Francis, Umbria has many historic churches.
- Venice Known as the floating city, Venice is one of the most romantic places in the world. Travel by gondola to the Palazzo Cavalli, a palace owned by the city of Venice, where you can get married by the mayor and take pictures in front of the Rialto Bridge and Grand Canal.
- Verona Located in the north of Italy, between Milan and Venice, Verona is primarily known to westerners as the land of Romeo and Juliet. Tourists flock to the supposed homes of the star-crossed lovers, and you can have your wedding ceremony in Guarienti hall, near Juliet’s Tomb.
The Basics of a Wedding in ItalyYou, along with two witnesses, must appear before the Town Clerk and declare your intention to get married, with all of the appropriate documents in hand. If either of you is an Italian resident, then your marriage announcement (banns) must be posted for two consecutive Sundays. Fortunately, posting banns is not required for non-residents. It’s recommended that you arrive in Italy three to four days before your wedding, so that the Town Clerk has time to process all of your paperwork.
Here’s what you’ll need to have for a civil wedding ceremony in Italy:
- Passport or Armed Forces identification card
- Certified birth certificate, plus a certified “Apostille” Italian translation
- If applicable, divorce decree, annulment or death certificate, certified “Apostille”
- Atto Notorio – a sworn declaration in front of the Italian Consulate in the US, with two witnesses.
- Nulla Osta – a sworn declaration in front of the US Consulate in Italy
There are small fees for both the Atto Notorio and the Nulla Osta. You’ll also need to pay a fee for the rental of the marriage hall, approximately 150 to 300 Euros.
A Religious Wedding in ItalyCouples who want to have a Protestant wedding in Italy will usually find that the minister will ask them to have a civil ceremony first, in order to ensure that all legal requirements have been met. It can be pretty difficult to find a Roman Catholic priest to marry non-Italians. If you can, and have certificates of Catholic baptism, confirmation, and documented completion of Pre-Cana requirements, then an additional civil ceremony is not necessary.
Please note: Marriage license laws often change. The above information is provided for helpful guidance only and is not legal advice. Please consult your US Consulate and other advisors before making any wedding or travel plans
Italian Wedding PlannersThere are many companies able to help you plan a destination wedding in Italy. Look for a knowledgeable wedding planner based in Italy, so that they can help you file paperwork in advance, and smooth things over with local officials.
These companies deal with many cities and regions across Italy. If you already know the city you want to get married in, there are also smaller companies that specialize in certain regions.
Weddings in Italy
Italian Wedding Planners