Legal Preparations for Marriage

Information on the legal requirements for marriage in Italy...

The couple wishing to marry should declare their intention to marry (promessa di matrimonio) at the Marriage Office (Ufficiale di Stato Civile) of the commune of residence. At that point they must present their documents (see below). A date may then be set for the ceremony.

Banns are public announcements of a person's intention to marry. They are displayed in the Town Hall. If at least one of the parties is Italian or has Italian residency then banns must be posted for at least eight consecutive days (including two consecutive Sundays) and the wedding cannot occur before the fourth day following the completion of the banns. If the wedding does not take place within 180 days, the posting of banns becomes invalid and will need to be repeated for the marriage to occur.

If neither of the couple has Italian residency then banns may be waived and the ceremony can occur from the fourth day after making the declaration.

Documents Required

  • Full valid passport or residence card
  • Stay permit (Carta di Soggiorno) or proof of recent entry to Italy
  • Nulla Osta or declaration of no impediment. This document, issued by the national's Consulate in Italy, confirms there is no obstacle to their marriage in Italy. All foreigners getting married in Italy require this document. This document is valid for six months
  • Certificato di Stato Libero for Italians, declaring that they are free to marry
  • Atto Notorio, an affidavit declaring single status and freedom to marry, witnessed by two people; available at an Italian Consulate outside Italy or in Italy at the Pretura Civile in the city where the marriage will take place, or through a notary. This document expires three months after issue
  • Birth certificate, long version showing parents' names; birth certificates of US citizens should be certified with an Apostile
  • Divorce decree or annulment or death certificate (a woman must wait 300 days following divorce, annulment or widowhood before being allowed to remarry or obtain a waiver from the local District Attorney (Procura della Republica)
  • Certified translations of all documents not in Italian
  • Written consent from a parent or guardian for those under 18

The above documents should be taken to the Uffico Legalizzazioni at the local prefecture (Prefettura) to be legalised, along with a tax stamp (marca da bollo) bought from a tobacconist.

Note: Gathering some of the documents may take time and appointments may need to be made with the Consulate for the Nulla Osta, and with the Pretura Civile or notary for the Atto Notoria.

Pre-nuptial agreements should be made with a notary before the event and submitted to the Marriage Office.

The Italian Government has comprehensive information in English on its Marriage in Italy page