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Can you legally get married in Italy from the UK?

Photo By : Cristiana Fiorini Photography
Can you legally get married in Italy from the UK?

Getting married in Italy as a UK citizen may seem like a challenge, but with the right guidance, you can legally say “I do" with Tuscan hills or cobalt coastlines as your backdrop.

Planning a foreign wedding does, of course, come with its logistical complexities – documents, timelines, and language barriers, but that’s why we’re here!

In this guide, we'll demystify Italy's processes so you can avoid obstacles on the path to your perfect matrimonio, leading you through potential pitfalls so you can fully embrace Italy's romantic charm on your special day – legally and stress-free!

Let’s get started.

Can I legally get married in Italy from the UK?

The short answer is – absolutely yes

Yes, it involves navigating a bit of paperwork and procedures, but it's very doable with the right information and support. The process seems daunting at first glance, but it becomes smooth sailing with step-by-step guidance–which is what we’re here for!

The key aspects you'll need to make your dream Italian destination wedding a reality are:

  • Compiling the correct legal documents like birth certificates and certificates of no impediment.
  • Following the proper procedures for valid paperwork, including apostille stamps and translations.
  • Understanding the differences in requirements for civil ceremonies versus religious ceremonies.
couple getting married in Italy

Borgo Laticastelli Country Relais

What documents do I need to get married in Italy?

It's time to get those hands dirty – in a charming, 'ink-stained fingers navigating through official paperwork' kind of way

Below are the documents you'll need to ready:

  • ?? Birth certificates: Official records of your birth details such as date and place of birth. Provides proof of identity.
  • ? A Certificate of No Impediment (CNI): Issued by your local register office, this confirms that you can you legally get married in Italy from the UK .
  • ?️ Statutory Declaration (Nulla Osta): Swears you are free to marry with supporting documents like passport, birth certificate, and affidavit if divorced.
  • ? Apostille: An international certification stamp that verifies and legalises your documents for use abroad.
  • ? Additional documentation if divorced or widowed: Like a decree absolute or death certificate of your former spouse, to prove you are free to remarry.

The process of gathering and checking paperwork can take anywhere from 3-6 months, but as with all legal procedures, the timeline can vary. The website has a super handy tool for figuring out exactly which documents you’ll need, linked here.

It’s best to make this the first thing you do to prevent any mishaps.

? Side note: If you’ve got Italian dual citizenship or Italian parents, you’ll have to apply as an Italian citizen. Italy appliesJus Sanguini,which means that nationality here is inherited by blood, not by birthplace.

What’s the procedure for UK citizens to get married in Italy?

Understanding the procedure can simplify your wedding planning process. Let's guide you through the formalities while keeping some of the excitement of your big day alive!

Here are the steps for UK citizens:

1. Post a notice of marriage in the UK ? 

The first port of call is to make sure you clue the UK authorities in on your wedding plans. To do this, pop by your local register office and post a notice of your intent to marry.

2. Obtain your Certificate of No Impediment (CNI). ??

Think of this as your golden ticket to matrimony – it's the British government giving you a big thumbs-up to get married abroad. Without this can-do slip, the wedding venue keeps the doors closed.

3. Translate your necessary documents into Italian.  ?️

A quick swap of the Union Jack for the Tricolore, converting your English into Italian. But no worries! Italy isn't short of translators who'll ensure your documents get dressed up in perfect Italian. They'll turn your “I Dos" into “Lo voglios" before you can say tiramisu.

4. Apply for the Apostille ?

The Apostille is the final document that says, “Yep, these documents are as real as the Queen's corgis." Applying for this is an essential step because it’s the UK government's way of backing you up and verifying your documents are genuine for global use.

5. Make a sworn declaration before a local Italian authority. ?

This declaration is your Italian debut, where you officially declare your intent to marry your beloved in front of a local authority, also known as a Ufficiale di Stato Civile in Italy.

bride and groom getting married in Italy

JoAnne Dunn Photographers Italy

When should we arrive for our Italy wedding?

We’d say it’s best to arrive at least a week before your wedding, but it really varies from couple to couple.

Early arrival will give you time to grab documents like the Nulla Osta, post banns at the town hall, and get your Freedom to Marry paper from the embassy.

You'll be glad to have a buffer if anything unexpected pops up!

Can civil ceremonies be conducted in Italy for UK citizens?

Absolutely! But it's important to remember that civil ceremonies in Italy have venue restrictions. There’s not much difference from there.

Oh, and unless you're fluent in the language, you'll need an interpreter to comprehend and confirm your vows legally. This isn't a moment you want to get lost in translation! 

Note that if you have Italian blood (i.e., one of your parents is Italian), you’ll need to have a religious ceremony by law–unless you’re a same-sex couple. 

What do I need for a religious ceremony in Italy?

You can perform religious ceremonies in Italy, but the requirements vary

For a Catholic wedding, you’ll need additional documents, and you might have to follow specific instructions. Some may require pre-marriage courses, too, which can take up to 9 months to complete, so work with your priest early!

Other faiths also have their own rules, but a rabbi or imam can guide you on needs for Jewish or Muslim weddings.

In short, we suggest that you coordinate each step with your spiritual advisor or the Italian ecclesiastic authorities early on. They'll steer you through religious traditions so your ceremony aligns with both faith and Italian law.

real wedding in Italy

Photo by: Eros d'Angelo Ph

Is a destination wedding in Italy worthwhile for UK citizens?

At first, wondering can you legally get married in Italy from the UK may seem like a hurdle, but with all the right information and guidance –  the payoff is oh so worth it! 

Once you've conquered the legal steps, you're free to celebrate your amore amid rolling vineyards or sun-kissed seas.

We've covered the key ingredients, but your Italian wedding adventure is just beginning!

For more inspiration, tips, or vendor recommendations, wander through our blog – your hub for bringing your Italian wedding dreams to life with beauty and meaning.

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