Getting Married in Italy: Legal Requirements

Created: Nov 26, 2020 | Updated: Dec 1, 2020

Italy must rank as one of the most romantic of destinations in Europe for a wedding. From the Lake District and Alpine landscapes of northern Italy to the canals of Venice, the dreamy Tuscan landscape and the vibrant islands of Sicily and Sardinia, Italy has a greater variety of landscapes and experiences than many other countries in Europe. 

This article outlines the requirements for UK citizens looking to get married in Italy, the documents and procedures required, and guidance on how to obtain translations or legalisations if any are required.


Getting Married in Italy

Italy is an easy country to travel to or from the U.K. and organising a wedding there that will be accepted when you return home is also quite easy with only the minimum of paperwork. Like any wedding destination outside of the U.K., however, it’s important to plan the wedding and any legal requirements well before you travel and not leave it too late. 

 

Civil unions and same sex marriages in Italy

You can have a ceremony for a civil union which is perfectly legal in Italy since the law changed in May 2016. Civil unions performed in Italy will be recognised in the U.K. 

If you were planning a same-sex marriage, note that same sex marriages cannot be performed in what is still a predominantly Catholic country, despite same sex relationships being treated relatively permissively in Italy. If you do have a same sex civil union in Italy, you can convert this into a marriage, if you so wish to do so, when back in the U.K.

Civil unions are normally performed by a registrar at an Italian town hall or comune.

 

What documents do I need to get married in Italy?

The two documents you will need to take to the registrar you have chosen in your Italian wedding or civil partnership destination will be:

  • a Certificate of No Impediment (CNI); and
  • a statutory declaration.

CNIs are issued to show that you are free to marry (e.g. you are not married to anyone else). You can get the CNI before you leave the U.K. and should have it translated into Italian. CNIs cost 35 pounds from your local registry office. You have to wait for 28 days while the intention to marry is posted at the registry office. You will then get the certificate as long as there have been no objections. 

The statutory declaration is a legal document which affirms that the information in the CNI you hold is true. If you get your CNI in the U.K. before you go to your wedding (the preferred option), you should get a statutory declaration by making an appointment with a solicitor who will sign and stamp your declaration.  

Both the CNI and the statutory declaration should be legalised before they are valid. You can get them legalised by sending the documents to the UK Legalisation office who will confirm that the details are correct and provide an apostille, which is a separate certificate with a stamp and signature that is valid in Italy and any country that recognises the Hague Convention. The apostille should also be translated into Italian by a sworn translator in Italy

For all other documents needed to obtain the CNI and statutory declaration please check our general destination wedding document information here.

Your civil partnership or marriage will be recognized in the UK as long as:

  • you follow the correct process according to the law in Italy;
  • it would be allowed under UK law.

 

Summary

  • Civil Partnership: Legal;
  • Same-Sex Marriage: Illegal;
  • There are no additional documents that you will need to marry in Italy, unless your wedding is a religious ceremony in a catholic church;
  • It’s worth noting that your statutory declaration and Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) will both need to be legalised;
  • There are no official residency requirements for marriage in Italy.

Your civil partnership will be recognised in the UK if:

Click here for more information about getting married in Italy.

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