Are you a foreigner whether you are living in or outside Italy and planning to get married? Then, this blog post is just for you. Italy is full of many splendid wedding venues from the open fields to the ancient villas and cathedrals plus its perfect weather conditions to its rich arts and culture, food and wine just to mention a few. It is a dream destination for many couples.

Just like any other weddings, getting married in Italy requires advanced planning with a budget in mind and in this case a basic understanding of the Italian law and the type of wedding you would want to have.

Now let us take a look at the type of weddings in Italy.


There are basically three kinds of weddings you can have in Italy according to the Italian law. There is the civil wedding, the religious and the non religious weddings. The non religious weddings are mainly symbolic and usually do not have any legal binding.

The non religious weddings are mainly symbolic and usually do not have any legal binding.


civil weddings in Italy
Civil Weddings are quite popular in Italy

Civil weddings are celebrated by a State official for example a Major of a city or town officer and comes with some administrative procedures prior to the wedding. It usually takes place in a town hall or registry office but in some Regions (very few) weddings are allowed to take place in a hotel or villa provided it is done indoors.

If you planning to have a civil wedding and you live in Italy, you must request the banns of matrimony to the Municipality of the city where you have residence or that of your spouse. This should be done at least three weeks before your wedding. Banns of matrimony are needed to let everyone know that you want to get married so that if anyone has any reason to oppose the marriage, they can come forward to say so.

To request for banns of marriage, you should have the following documents with you:

1. A valid passport or national ID card for both parties

2. Original birth certificate for both parties

3.  Divorce papers or death certificate if you have been previously married and divorced or widowed

4.  An affidavit, Nulla Osta or Dichiarazione Giurata sworn before a consular office of your home country, stating that there’s no legal impediment to your marriage in your home country

5.  An Atto Notorio signed by two witnesses, further confirming no legal impediment to your marriage

6.  A declaration of intent to marry that will go to the civil registrar.

Two weeks after the publication of the banns of matrimony, then you’ll get your Certificate of Bann Publication. This certificate should be given to the Officer of Civil Status of your Municipality at least within 180 days from the certificate release date, after which you are free to set a date for your wedding.

If none of you is Italian or residents of Italy, banns are waived and you just need the authorization usually called a NULLA OSTA issued by a consular of foreign authority in Italy.



Most religious weddings take place in a Catholic church as a result of the vast majority of Catholics in Italy. This, along with its vast array of beautiful Catholic churches, makes Italy the perfect place for your Catholic wedding. But if you are not a Catholic or your spouse, Italy recognizes religious weddings from all faiths, including Jewish, Hindu and Muslim religions.

It is importance to note that a civil ceremony must be incorporated into the other types of marriages before a wedding is officially legal except it is a Catholic wedding. You’ll be required to prove you’re civilly married before you can celebrate in a religious house of worship.

A Catholic wedding requires time because of the back and forth communication between your local parish and the parish you intend to get married here and there are lots of paper work involved too. I would advice that you consult with your local parish at least 9 months to your preferred date of wedding.

It is also important to note that, if neither of you is Catholic or one of you is divorced, you will not be able to get married in a church in Italy.

Catholic weddings may also require some or all of the following documentation:

1. Baptism certificates

2. Confirmation certificates

3. Letter of no impediment to marry

4. Proof of attendance of a premarital course

5. Local bishop’s permission to marry abroad

For a non Catholic wedding, the marriage process under these religions is similar in any country, including Italy. It is advisable to contact your local place of worship to find out the requirements for a wedding.

Italy recognizes religious weddings from all faiths, including Jewish, Hindu and Muslim religions.


In Italy, they are basically symbolic blessings kind of ceremonies that gives couples a lot of flexibility. You can choose to have your wedding any where you want, when, and how you want it based on your preferences, cultural background and values. The only down side to it is that it is not legally binding.

However, you can make it legally binding if you follow the civil administrative procedure prior to the wedding.

You can choose to have your wedding any where you want, when, and how you want it based on your preferences, cultural background and values


Couples must be 18 years old to be legally married, and under-18s must have written parental consent. Muslim individuals aged 16 can marry with the permission of sharia authorities.

It is importance to note that a civil ceremony must be incorporated into the other types of marriages before a wedding is officially legal except it is a Catholic wedding

Women who are divorced or widowed cannot marry for 300 days after their divorce or as soon as they become widows. The reason for this is to ensure that the woman isn’t pregnant with another man’s child which could result in a paternity suit.

if you are a widow or widower then you will need to produce the death certificate and marriage certificate for your previous spouse.

It is important to note that all documents originating outside of Italy (birth certificate, divorce decree, etc.) must be legalized for use in Italy and must be translated into Italian.


The cost of weddings is such an important factor to consider when planning to get married.  Unfortunately, there is no straight forward guess as to an actual cost or estimate for a wedding in Italy as there are too many variables to consider. For example the cost of your location, catering, music, photographer, flowers etc.

My advice would be to contact a wedding planner. The average cost to hire one would be between 700- 1,500 euro.   A wedding planner would help you go through all the list of items needed, and with a budget in mind would help you in your plans to have that perfect wedding you have always dreamt up. To find a list of wedding planners in Italy, you can click on this link here wedding planners in Italy.

I would like to hear from you: What are your thoughts on this subject. You can share your thoughts and experiences with me and others in the comments section below!

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