Getting Married in Italy: all documents needed and all things you need to know

4 March 2021
getting married in italy

Getting married in Italy is the Dream of many couples all over the world.   

Italy, in fact, is a role model country for its lifestyle, culture, art, food and the beauty of its territory and landscape. How emotional would it be to host your American guests in a Sardinian beach admiring  the sun reflecting in the crystal clear waters, tasting delicious typical dishes from this italian region and dancing the night away? 
Feels like a Dream, right? 
To make it real you’ll need a few documents though, mandatory documents that aren’t always easy to gain access to. Here is a guide to help you with the bureaucracy leading you to your Wedding Day in Italy and a Dream come true.

Legal documents required for Foreigners

© Daniele Cherenti

The documents needed to get married in Italy can vary based on the couples nationality. There are, though, some common documents required to anyone deciding to celebrate their wedding nel Bel Paese.

Naturally the passport, mandatory document for the Bride, Groom and Witnesses. Other documents will be required in addition but those will depend on the country of origin of the Bride and Groom.

Obtaining these documents can require time, even if these have a short expiry, so it is important to get organized well in advance to have these ready on time. Many of these documents aren’t valid for longer than six months.

Here’s another useful topic you need to know concerning a possible previous wedding: if the bride was previously married, according to the Italian marriage law, the divorce decree must have been issued at least 300 days prior to the celebration date of the second wedding.

Always check that the documents issued have the exact same names written on the passports: pay attention to the spelling and, if for example you have a second name, that it’s fully written correctly.

documents for get married in italy
© David Bastianoni

Getting Married in Italy: the legal documents required for American citizens

If you’re an USA citizen, here are all documents required to get married in Italy. 

  1. Valid American passport
  2. Registry Act: in the USA at your local Italian Consulate (request info, you must book an appointment in advance). The Registry Act can also take place at a Notary Services Office or Court in Italy, but you’ll have added costs to cover for an interpreter, witnesses with mandatorily italian citizenship and government tax fee.   
  3. An original or authenticated copy of birth certificates for both Bride and Groom with Italian translation.
  4. Endorsement of the Birth Certificates, not on the translation;
  5. Certificate of No Impediment (or “Affidavit”), issued in Italy at an American Consulate or Embassy (here you will also need an appointment booked in advance), and legalized at the Prefecture.

In the event of having been married before, you’ll also need:

  1. The final Divorce Decree or Death Certificate of former spouse translated in italian;
  2. Endorsement of the final Divorce Decree document;

Getting Married in Italy: links and useful resources

If you choose to get married in Italy, surely it will be crucial to have someone, as a wedding planner, trustfull that can coordinate all the organizing in land and assist you with the filling in of the documents. 

In the meantime, you can go through various useful links, for example the 

Page of the American Embassy relating to weddings in Italy or the one explaining how to authenticate the documents.

wedding lake of como
© Ginepri