Paperwork & legalities

lake como wedding planner italian

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Legal requirements for civil weddings in Italy.

Independently from your nationality, in order to get legally married in Italy you should be able to provide certain documents and comply with specific requirements of Italian law in order to obtain a marriage license.
Things that you really need to know.
  • If you have been married before then you will have to present your previous marriage certificate(s) and Decree Absolute(s).
  • If you are a widow or widower then you will need to produce the death certificate and marriage certificate for your previous spouse.
  • Please note that a woman who has been divorced or widowed and wishes to re-marry in Italy cannot do so until 300 days have passed from the date of her divorce/death of husband. It is possible, however, to apply for a dispensation to this through the Civil Law Courts (Tribunale Civile).
  • Everyone getting married in Italy will need a Nulla Osta, this is a certificate of No Impediment which is issued by the Embassy or Consulate of your country of origin here in Italy. Under Italian law, all public documents originating from outside the EU are considered valid for only six months from the date of issue. Therefore, you should make sure that all documents to be submitted to Italian authorities have not been issued more than six months ahead of the marriage. I will let you know when you need to start the paperwork
  • The names on all documents you provide must appear exactly as they do on
    your passports - if not, the authorities may refuse to allow the marriage to go ahead.
  • You will need two witnesses who must be 18 years of age or over.
  • At least 2 days prior to the wedding there is Verbal Declaration at the town hall where you are going to get married, this is where your documents are checked and you confirm there are no impediments to the marriage according to the Italian Civil Code
  • The wedding ceremony is conducted in Italian so you will need an official interpreter for this.
The following list of documents is given as an indication only. Therefore in case you would need to provide an additional document, your wedding planner will be in charge to advise you.

US Couples.


Step 1: Gather all of your personal documentation.
  • Valid U.S. passport (active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces can present their military ID card instead).  
  • Birth certificate (original or certified copy).
  • Evidence of the termination of any previous marriage/s (death certificate of previous spouse or divorce decree or annulment decree)
If either of you are under 18, you need a sworn statement by a parent or legal guardian that gives consent to the marriage
Step 2: Request an Apostille stamp. All documents originating outside of Italy (birth certificate, divorce decree, etc.) must be legalized for use in Italy and must be translated into Italian.
To legalize a U.S. document for use in Italy, you need to have it stamped with a so-called Apostille stamp by the secretary of state in the state where the document was issued, in accordance with The Hague Convention on the legalization of foreign public documents.
All birth and death certificates, divorce decrees and statements are required to be translated into Italian. There are professional translation services that you can hire for this, or you can locate an Italian consulate to perform the service for you.
Under Italian law, all public documents originating from outside the EU are considered valid for only six months from the date of issue.  Therefore, you should make sure that all documents to be submitted to Italian authorities have not been issued more than six months ahead of the marriage.
Step 3: Visit the Italian consulate to get an Atto Notorio. This is a declaration stating that according to the laws to which you are subject in the United States, there is no obstacle to your marriage. This declaration is to be sworn to by two witnesses (who may be of any nationality, must be over 18, possess valid photo identification, and know the applicant; they cannot be family members, future family members or affines) before an Italian Consul OUTSIDE Italy.  If you are coming to Italy to be married, you should obtain this declaration at the nearest Italian Embassy or Consulate before leaving the United States.
Verify that the Atto Notorio has the words "Repubblica Italiana" and "Consolato Generale D'Italia" on it or the document is not considered valid.
If you decide to request the Atto Notorio in Italy should advice the wedding planner in advance in order to be able to fix an appointment with the Court since some Courts may have long waiting lists for this service. The Atto Notorio can be executed at any Tribunale Ordinario in Italy. It requires many revenue stamps (marche da bollo), two witnesses over 18 years of age and an interpreter. You, the witnesses, and the interpreter must show proof of recent entry into Italy, i.e. plane ticket or visa, or a Permit to Stay (permesso di soggiorno).


Step 4: Secure your Nulla Osta. Nulla Osta or Dichiarazione Giurata sworn to before an American consular officer commissioned in Italy, stating that there is no legal impediment to your marriage according to the laws of the U.S. state in which you are a resident.  Your legal status must be such that you can legally marry under both Italian and U.S. law. You will need to schedule an appointment for a notary service with one of the U.S. Consulates General in Italy. It’s VERY important that you both book an appointment. Security is very tight at the Consulate so you will only be admitted if you have an appointment.
The Nulla Osta is valid for six months and costs $50 or the equivalent in euro.
Step 5: Legalize the Nulla Osta at a local Office of the Prefecture. Once the Nulla Osta has been issued, you must bring it to the Legalization Office (Ufficio Legalizzazioni) of the local Prefettura to legalize it.  You will need to purchase two €14.62 revenue stamp (marca da bollo).
If you are using a wedding planner then they should do this for you, Lake Como wedding Dream does!
Step 6: Declaration of Intention to Marry: You should present all the above-listed documents to the Marriage Office (Ufficio Matrimoni) of the town hall (municipio) in the city where the marriage will be performed, and make a "Declaration of Intention to Marry" (Dichiarazione di Matrimonio) before a civil registrar (ufficiale di stato civile).  If you do not speak Italian, an interpreter should accompany you.
Step 7: Validation of the Italian Marriage Certificate: A foreign marriage that is valid in the country where it is performed is automatically valid in the U.S.  An Italian marriage certificate is sufficient to prove your marriage and it is considered valid once legalized through the Apostille procedure.  The Apostille stamp can be obtained from the Legalization Office of the Italian Prefettura having jurisdiction over the area where you were married.
Again Lake Como Wedding Dream will do this for you and post your marriage certificates on to you at home.

British couples

You should start the process for your documents 6 months before your wedding date if you are resident in England, Northern Ireland and Wales and 3 months before if you are resident in Scotland. There are 4 simple steps that each British national, resident in the UK, must follow to get the right paperwork for marrying in Italy.
Step 1: Certificate of no impediment You’ll need to get a certificate of no impediment (CNI) from the authorities in the UK to prove you’re allowed to marry. Your partner will need to follow the same process to get their own CNI.
You can normally get a CNI by giving a notice of marriage at your local register office or registrar in the UK. They’ll post your notice, and as long as nobody has registered an objection after a specified number of days (normally 15 or 21), they’ll issue your CNI.
It is important that your names on your CNIs are exactly the same as those on your passports.  These documents do not need to be translated into Italian.
Step 2: Getting a statutory declaration While you are waiting for your CNI, you and your partner will need to make a statutory declaration before a solicitor or public notary in UK. The Italian authorities will need this in addition to your CNI. There’s a standard bi-lingual template that you can use (we can send the declaration form that will be required to you via email). Step 3: Legalisation You’ll need to get your statutory declaration and CNI legalized (certified as genuine) by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO). You need to send them both to the FCO Legalisation Office in Milton Keynes for each to be legalised with a Hague Apostille. The Legalisation Office will charge for this – please check the current charges and procedure on the Legalisation Office website.
Step 4: Translation Once both these documents have been legalised, you will then need to have the legalised CNI translated. As it will become an Italian legal document it must be translated by a translator based in Italy and recognised by the Italian courts. You’ll also need to get your CNI sworn before the Italian courts or an Italian Justice of the Peace. We can provide you with a list of recommended translators.  A fee will be charged – fees vary depending on the translator. They will also charge a delivery fee to have the translation couriered back to you or to our local office. The Statutory Declaration does not need to be translated since it is already in both languages.

Australian Couples

Two main documents are required for Australian citizens to marry in Italy. These are the Atto Notorio and the Nulla Osta.


Step 1: Visit the Italian consulate to get an Atto Notorio. Before leaving Australia, we strongly recommend that you obtain an Atto Notorio (sworn declaration) from the Italian Embassy or Italian Consulate in Australia in the state where you reside. Atto Notorio is an oath which is sworn in front of two witnesses and notarized by the Italian Consular stating that there are no legal impediments to the marriage according to the laws to which the person concerned is subject to in Australia. You may have to have your documents translated but the Italian Consulate will give you a list of translators who are qualified to do this. You should contact the Italian Consulate in the State where you live for an appointment.
Although it is advisable to get this in Australia, it can be obtained in the Tribunale Civile (Civil Courts) in the region where you are getting married but you will need to be here early in order to do this as they are done by appointment only. If you are requesting the Atto Notorio from the Tribunale Civile, you must attend in person together with two adult witnesses. If either spouse or one of the witnesses does not speak Italian, it is necessary to provide an interpreter, in addition to the two witnesses. Neither spouse can act as witness or interpreter. Foreign citizens who wish to obtain an Atto Notorio stating that they are free to marry, must show a "Permesso di Soggiorno" or an entry visa or a ticket which shows recent entry into Italy or into the European Union.


Step 2: Secure your Nulla Osta. In addition to the Atto Notorio, an Australian citizen intending to marry in Italy will need to make a Sworn Declaration (Nulla Osta) at the Australian Embassy in Rome or the Australian Consulate-General in Milan.
A Nulla Osta literally states that "there are no impediments" and that one is free to marry. This Sworn Declaration must be signed, whether you are single, divorced or widowed, in the presence of an Australian Consular officer at the Australian Embassy in Rome or Australian Consulate-General in Milan.
In order to obtain the Nulla Osta you must go in person and present the following documents:
  • Full Birth Cerficates (showing your parents detail
  • Evidence of any previous marriages (marriage certificates and divorce certificates)
  • If you are widowed, the death certificate of your late spouse.
  • Your Australian passport.
  • Fee in cash currently 50 AUS$ The Embassy does not accept credit cards.
Step 3: Legalize the Nulla Osta at a local Office of the Prefecture. Once you have your prized Nulla Osta they should be legalized by the Prefettura of the district where you are getting married. You will need to get two Marca da Bollo (revenue stamp) to the value of €14.62 each. Your personal wedding planner will provide you to legalize your Nulla Osta.
Step 4: Validation of the Italian Marriage Certificate After the wedding it’s important that your wedding certificate is taken back to the Prefettura to request the placement of an “Apostille” on the certificate so that your marriage is legal in the Australia. Your personal wedding planner will do this for you and post your marriage certificates on to you at home.

Canadian Couples

Italian law requires EACH non-Italian wishing to be married in Italy to present a "Nulla Osta" (Certificate of non-Impediment) or equivalent documentation. The Government of Canada does not issue "Nulla Osta". However, to assist Canadians to meet the Italian requirements, the Embassy of Canada issues a declaration containing the relevant information.
To obtain this declaration a Canadian Citizen must first complete and swear an AFFIDAVIT to the effect that there is no impediment to the proposed marriage. The affidavit can be sworn in Canada in front of a notary public or in Italy at the Embassy or one of the Consulates.
If going to the Canadian Embassy in Rome or Canadian Consulates you will need to take with you the following documents:
  • Unsigned affidavit form  (we can send the affidavit form that will be required to you via email)
  • Valid Canadian passport
  • Proof of Canadian Citizenship:
  • for persons born in Canada, original or certified true copy of both sides of the long-form birth certificate, which includes information on the parents.
  • for persons born outside of Canada, original or certified true copy of both sides of the Certificate of Canadian Citizenship.
  • If you were born in Québec: Only birth certificates issued on or after January 1, 1994, by “Le Directeur de l’état civil” in the province of Québec are accepted.
  • Final divorce certificate or decree (if divorced)
  • Death certificate (if widowed)
  • Complete details of the future spouse (full name, date and place of birth, residence, father’s name and mother’s full maiden name);
  • Certified copy of the fiancé(e)’s valid passport
  • Parents’ consent (if the person is under marriageable age).
  • Appropriate fees. (see here for how to pay and current fees payable)
The original Affidavit and certified copies of the above documents should then be sent to the Canadian Embassy in Rome, payment of the fee can be paid on line or by bank transfer see the link above for details of how to do this.
The Canadian Embassy will then send your Nulla Ostas to your wedding planner, who will get them legalized at the local Prefettura before you arrive. The cost for the Marca da Bollo (Administration stamp) is €14.62 per Nulla Osta.
It is recommended that the newly-married couple obtain from the Town Hall (Comune) where the marriage was celebrated several copies of a marriage certificate in multilingual format, called Estratto dell’atto di matrimonio in formato plurilingue. For this certificate to be recognized in Canada, the following steps must be undertaken subsequent to its issuance: the signature of the officer must be authenticated by the competent Prefettura and then sent to the Embassy of Canada in Rome for authentication. Lake Como Wedding Dream will do this for you and post your marriage certificates on to you at home.

Other Nationalities

Please contact us and we will let you know which documents you will require and whether it will be necessary for you to visit an embassy in Milan in advance of the wedding date.

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