Legal wedding in Italy

Getting married in Italy with a civil legally-binding ceremony

Congratulations, you decided to tie the knot in Italy!

You’ve already decided that you’d like to have your legal wedding in Italy, by saying your “I Do’s” in our beautiful country. You will have your legally-binding ceremony here instead of just having a quick civil ceremony at home and coming to Italy afterwards for a symbolic wedding. Perfect! Now, what are the legal requirements for a legal wedding in Italy?

Weddings in Italy can be legally recognized in your country, but to make this happen, you’ll have to prepare the proper paperwork. Of course, this legal paperwork can differ depending on the country you are from. For the couples who book my Full-Service Wedding Planning I take care of the paperwork procedure together with my legal advisor who is specilized in legal weddings for foreign couples in Italy. To understand all of the details about paperwork that must be prepared in your country (and the process also in Italy), I would encourage you to go ahead and read my articles:

Now that you have read the article that interests you, let’s talk about how a legal wedding is performed in Italy. Read my FAQ’S:
  • Who performs the legal ceremony in Italy? Civil ceremonies in Italy can be performed only by the Mayor or a civil registrar. You will need an interpreter ( it doesn’t need to be an “official” interpreter ; it could be a friend that speaks Italian, etc.)
  • Where do we need to go to have it performed? In the Town Hall of the town where you want to be legally married. In the last few years, local authorities have also given permits to a few venues (private villas, hotels, castles) to have the civil ceremony performed directly at their venue, instead of at the Town Hall. This happened because not all of the Town Halls have a beautiful hall with frescos and sumptuous details, and by extending the permit to these other venues, the wedding couple has the opportunity to have their ceremony in a more beautiful context and atmosphere. Of course, the Town Hall will require an extra fee for this service.
  • How long is the legal ceremony? About 15 – 20 minutes, during which the Mayor has to read the civil code articles and the marriage vows in Italian. If you don’t speak Italian, an interpreter has to be provided; it doesn’t have to be an official interpreter: it can be a friend, but not a witness. What is important here is that he or she cantranslate the civil code articles into English in a correct and proper way.


Hi, I’m writing a review for Michela because she was a great wedding planner for us! My husband and I are American, but we decided to plan a destination wedding in Italy since we went there on vacation before we got married and just fell in love with it. Our wedding was on June 28th, 2018, and we had 22 guests. We decided to have a legal wedding at the beautiful Villa Carlotta and then we had the reception at another amazing villa in Varenna. We actually organized everything in a very short amount of time (8 months!), and Michela was so helpful throughout the entire process. We organized multiple phone and skype calls with her, and many emails back and forth, and she was extremely available in helping us feel comfortable with all of the organization of the vendors, transportation details, stylist, catering, etc….and the fact that she speaks both fluent English and Italian (since we don’t speak the language!) is a real plus. I would recommend to other brides who are doing destination weddings, to travel to that country a few days before to work with your wedding planner to see everything in person and finalize the last minute details, which is what we did with Michela. In addition to our wedding, she also helped plan a rehearsal dinner with just a few close family and friends. I would recommend Michela based on her superior organizational skills, her commitment to us and delivering us exactly what we wanted for our wedding, and her sweet personality. She really was an important part of our wedding!

Julie C.

  • How many witnesses are required for a legal wedding in Italy? There needs to be at least 2 witnesses (both 18 years old or older) in attendance. You can choose to have more witnesses then that if you’d like, but only two of them will have to sign the wedding register.
  • Can be the civil ceremony personalized? Of course! For example, you can provide your personal vows, readings, etc. Also flower decorations, and even music, are permitted!
  • What should we do if we wish also a religious ceremony? The bishop of the area where you live will sign a Nulla Osta  and send it to the localm Bishop where the ceremony will be hold. Ask to your bishop which documents are requested,  to begin the process to obtain his Nulla Osta. All the documents have to be send to the Italian Bishop 3 months before the wedding. Please consider that if one of the two or both have been married before with a catholic celebration you can’t have another catholic marriage.  You can have a symbolic wedding or a civil (legally-binding wedding). The only exception is if your previous Catholic marriage has been annulled by the Sacra Rota.

Don’t worry I can help you to have your legal wedding in Italy, have a look at my wedding packages!

Legal wedding in Italy ultima modifica: 2018-12-11T11:13:56+01:00 da Michela Lunardi