Wedding in Italy — a step-by-step guide for US citizens
If you are looking for something more interesting than traditional wedding at your local church, Italy is a perfect destination. The country of amore with it’s scenic locations is a popular choice among American celebrities. George Clooney & Amal Alamuddin, Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes, Emily Blunt & John Krasinski, Jessica Biel & Justin Timberlake — they all chose romantic Italian cities for the wedding ceremony. But you don’t have to be a Movie Star to tie the knot in Italy. I’m going to tell you what exactly do you need to do.
- Choose a destination
Whether you prefer scenic lake view, beach wedding or romantic historical landscapes, you are able to find all of that in Italy. So your first step is to decide in which city you would like to get married. Next, contact the authorities of the city or talk to the Priest who will marry you. Although most rules are the same state-wide, there are some differences between city laws. Double check the list of required documents and ask if the banns posting requirement can be waived. There is a provision that once Italian couple decides to get married, the announcement should be posted in the town hall for a certain period of time (from several days to two consecutive weeks). But since you and your spouse-to-be are not Italian residents this rule may be waived.
- Gather your documents
In the US
First of all, you need to have passports and birth certificates with you. If this is not a first marriage for you or your spouse, then an evidence of termination of the previous marriage is also required. All the documents need to be translated into Italian by a certified translator and verified by Italian Consulate. You will also need an Atto Notorio from both the bride and the groom — an oath sworn that you are allowed to get married under US law. The sworn has to be made in front of two witnesses and Italian consul if made in the USA. If you have any questions, consular employees might be able to help you. They usually are very friendly and respond to emails well, so locate your nearest consulate and don’t be shy to ask.
Your last step in the US is to get an Apostile stamp on your original documents and translations in order for your documents to be legally valid in Italy. The Apostile can be obtained from the Secretary of State in the State the documents were issued.
Other documents required by Italian law are Nulla Osta Form, this form confirms that you are free to get married, and Declaration of Intentions. After arriving in Italy you will have to visit the nearest Consular Section and sign the Nulla Osta form in front of the Consul. The Declaration of Intention to Marry is usually required by Civil Registrar and needs to be signed at least two days before the wedding.
- Enjoy the wedding of your dreams!
Italian landscapes and city views are perfect for an amazing wedding photoshoot, these are the memories to be kept forever! Whether you choose a classic church ceremony for your nuptials or prefer a civil marriage, both are fairly easy to arrange here in Italy. Italian law requires that you bring two witnesses to the ceremony. If no one in your group speaks Italian, an interpreter is mandatory.
Here is a tip: if you don’t want to bring witnesses with you and your dream is to run away with your future spouse and have a quiet marriage, you can ask your interpreter and a photographer to witness at the ceremony.