Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Civil Weddings in Italy

It is possible for foreign nationals to have a legal civil wedding in Italy. It has recently become much easier for foreigners to marry legally in Italy, however Italy is notoriously bureaucratic which can make it a complicated and time consuming task.

In most regions of Italy civil weddings can take place in hotels or villas as an alternative to the registry office. There are however some restrictions, e.g. a wedding cannot be held outdoors. Some cities only allow weddings in a registry office, but as these are usually located in historic and beautiful buildings this is not as bleak an option as it would be in some other countries.
By law in Italy an official interpreter must be present at all marriages between foreign nationals. The registry office will supply you with a list of interpreters in the area.

Publication of Banns: For marriages between Italian nationals it is a requirement that banns be posted for at least two weeks (it varies by region) before a wedding licence is issued. This requirement may be waived in the case of marriages between non-nationals, but it is important to check this with the registrars office in the area where you plan to marry.

Documentation: Birth certificates, Valid current passport, A Certificate of Freedom to Marry. This should be completed and returned to the registry office where you will marry not less than 8 weeks and not more than 12 weeks before the marriage takes place. In Italy a divorced person cannot marry until at least 300 days after the issuing of a Decree Absolute and will need to supply a copy of the Decree Absolute. In some regions an affidavit by a 3rd person drawn up in the presence of a solicitor, stating that since the date of divorce you did not re-marry may be needed.

A widowed person will require the Certificate of their first marriage and the Death certificate of the deceased spouse. An affidavit by a 3rd person drawn up in the presence of a solicitor, stating that since death of former spouse you did not re-marry may be asked for.

There is no legal residency requirement in Italy, but local regulations vary and some registry offices require that you register 2-3 days before the wedding takes place.

A Marriage Certificate will be provided by the registrar immediately after the wedding.

You can find out more about weddings in Italy in 'A guide to weddings in Italy' available now from http://www.lulu.com/jolinsdell

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