Italy is a country full of passion, romance and breathtaking views. It’s hard to imagine the better place for getting married than Italy. This is also a perfect location for a romantic honeymoon after the perfect wedding. In order to find out how to organize and legally get married in Italy, read the following information which will guide you step by step to your unforgettable wedding.
- Gather your documents. Of course, getting married requires some documents. These may vary according to the nationally but in general you’ll need: a valid passport, a birth certificate and evidence of the termination of previous marriages if necessary. Each of these documents must be translated in Italian to be considered legal in Italy. You’ll need all of the above to then get an Apostille stamp. After that, you need an Atto Notorio from an Italian Consulate in your home country. Though it can be done in Italy, it’s likely that the language and time barriers will make it much more difficult. This document declares that there are no obstacles to the marriage and that you are each eligible to be married.
- Choose your Ceremony. The best option is to hire a wedding planner to handle all the ceremony details abroad, as this usually also includes the bureaucracy. There are many who will work with you to coordinate the details for your special day, including setting up your ceremony. Planning the ceremony in another country presents a whole array of different problems. You might not be able to have a Catholic wedding in Italy. While it is possible, the number of priests who will perform the marriage is slim, and the couple will have to complete a full course of pre-Cana training, or marriage classes, before getting married. In any case, it’s likely you’ll have to have a civil ceremony before a religious ceremony can be held. By law, a civil wedding ceremony in Italy can only be held in a town hall. In a few cases, certain villas have been given special permission to host civil ceremonies as well.
- Head to Italy. Make sure to arrive in Italy early to avoid any delays or bureaucratic problems. Once there you’ll need to get a Nulla Osta, which is a document that also swears that there are no legal obstacles to the marriage under Italian law (or the country where you’re from.). Once you get the Nulla Osta, it needs to be legalized at the Prefecture’s Office or the Ufficio della Prefettura. First, stop in a tobacco shop, tabacchi, and buy a 16 euro marco da bollo, or revenue stamp. There is one prefettura in every capital. Normal operating hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Though it might seem overwhelming, it’s more about running around town than it is about filling out documents. Give yourself extra days so you can go calmly and not stress before the big day.
- The wedding. Traditionally, Sunday was considered the only day for a wedding. A holy day, it ensured a lifetime of happiness while any other day was considered unlucky. Though today this is no longer considered true – Saturday is a very popular choice – Sunday is still a top choice for couples getting married in Italy. A bride and groom have their testimony, or witnesses. The witnesses in Italy aren’t expected to dress alike and there is often only one or two bridesmaids and one or two groomsmen. The day of the wedding the guests wait outside of the church for the bride to arrive. The bride, for her part, will likely arrive late. In some parts of Italy it was a tradition for the groom to carry a small piece of iron in his pocket to ward off evil spirits and bad luck.