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Getting Married in Italy: Tips for American Citizens
Whether you are an Italian American or are looking for a great destination wedding location, you will definitely want to consider getting married in Italy. Italy offers a wide range of stunning, romantic, elegant, and charming locations to choose from, including:
- Capri Island
- Como Lake
- Belmond Cipriani
- The Vatican
From stunning vineyards to villas and even Roman Catholic and other religious weddings, it is easy to plan your dream wedding in Italy. In order for your marriage to consider legal, there are several things you need to do ahead of time to avoid issues on your special day.
Prior to Your Arrival in Italy
You will want to make sure you have your passport and birth certificate. If you are planning a wedding in the Roman Catholic Church, you will also need proof of baptism and confirmation certificates. If you were previously married, you will need your official divorce or annulment decrees, or a death certificate if your previous spouse passed away.
Aside from your passport, each of these documents must be officially translated into Italian and have the official Apostille certificate attached. The Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program can help with all needed translations, as well as obtaining the Apostille authentication certification.
After Arriving in Italy
You will want to arrive at least a few days prior to your wedding. You need to visit the Ufficiale di Stato Civile (Registrar) of the city or town where your marriage will be taking place and file a declaration of intent to marry. In addition to you and your loved one, you need to bring two witnesses with you when you apply. This process is similar to applying for a marriage license in the U.S.
The ICP (Italian Citizenship Program) highly recommends checking with the nearest Registrar’s office or U.S. Consulate to inquire about making an appointment and/or which days one can apply and file their intent to marry. Doing so will allow you to plan your arrival time accordingly.
Types of Wedding Ceremonies
Depending on the type of wedding ceremony you intend to have, it will determine who you will need to perform the ceremony so it is legal. For weddings being officiated by non-clergy or non-priests, you will need to have the Officiale di Stato Civile or their proxy perform the ceremony. For religious weddings, you may require a separate civil ceremony, unless the wedding is being officiated by a Roman Catholic priest. The priest will register your marriage with the local vital records office on your behalf.
For some other religions, you will have to also schedule a civil ceremony to be performed by the Officiale di Stato Civile or their proxy. Some couples arrange to have the Officiale di Stato Civile or their proxy official present during their wedding and have the civil and religious ceremonies performed at the same time.
Please keep in mind, this is an overview of the processes required to get legally married in Italy. To learn about the exact processes, what documents you need to get translated, and other such details, please feel free to contact the Italian American Citizenship Assistance Program at (305) 812-5512 today.