Getting Married in Italy – UK Citizens

Civil celebrationPAY ATTENTION! New Rules have been disclosed for British Residents CNI release for a wedding in Italy (Update January 22nd 2015 applies to BRITISH NOT RESIDING IN THE UK – read the greyed box)

Getting married in Italy is possible, provided you allow yourself at least 3 months of time to deal with all the legal bureaucracy, more to secure the most renowned venues. New Procedures have been disclosed and are available in this page under the Basic Documentation for a Civil Wedding In Italy section. Also you can read a sneak peak on the new procedures for weddings in Italy of British couples here. Alternatively you can decide to legally tie the knot privately in your country and then organize a symbolic wedding in Italy and celebrate in one of the most romantic countries in the world.

But let’s have a look at each possibility:

Civil Ceremony

Civil Ceremonies are legally binding and will normally be performed in the local Town Hall and last approximately 20 minutes. The ceremony will be conducted in Italian and you are legally obliged to have an interpreter present throughout the ceremony, even if you or your partner can speak Italian. The interpreter must be a professional signing and making oath to translate accordingly.

Basic Documentation for a legally binding wedding (if the British parts reside in the UK)

If you intend to marry in Italy you will need the following documentation. There are several scenarios depending on how the couple is formed and residency and nationality of both, The most common is when both parties are British and reside in the UK. For other scenarios please refer to the British consulate website wedding in Italy)

When Both are British and reside in the UK:

  • Your two original Certificates of No Impediment (CNIs) issued by the British Registrar.
    • These will have to be legalized by mean of an Apostille via the legalization office in the UK (Legalization Office),
    • and then sent to an official translator in Italy for a legalized translation done in Italy at a local curt. Efffetti is a recognized translator of the British consulate and can handle this for you.
  • A Statutory Declaration (one for each of the spouses)  filled in and signed in the UK in front of a Solicitor or a Notary Public. (Be sure you write in your full names EXACTLY as spelled on your passports and your CNIs.)
    • Legalize these two statutory Declaration at the same office as the CNIs
    • Send the two legalized statutory declarations and the two legalized CNIs to your wedding planner in Italy to have them ready for your wedding.
  • Be advised that these documents will expire after 6 month from their issue date in the UK, in case you obtaioned your CNI in Scotland, the validity is instead of ONLY 3 MONTHS.


  • CNI: around 7 to 23 days
  • Statutory Declaration: depending on the schedule of your notary public or solicitor. You can ask for an appointment even if you do not have your CNIs ready
  • Legalization from 10 to 20 days
  • Postage to Italy around 1 week with Registered Royal Mail
  • Translation in Italy around 1 week depending on office hours of the local court.

The British Consulate in Italy is no more responsible of issuing Nulla Ostas valid for your wedding in Italy if you both are British and reside in the UK. The British Consulate in Italy will still issue Nulla Ostas for all the other scenarios of your wedding in Italy. Contact us for further information about your case if you have doubts and to request a copy of a Statutory Declaration to fill in. Contact us

Residency Stay and British not residing in the UK

Where one of the parties to the marriage is a British national and living in Italy or NOT IN THE UK you will only be able to request a NOTOCE OF MARRIAGE (NOM) in Rome or in the UK (NOMs will not more accepted at any consulated outside the UK or Italy for a wedding in ITALY). To apply for the NOM you will have to be able to demonstrate you have been staying in Italy for at least 3 clear days, or a number of days in the UK depending on your registrar requests (7 to 70 clear adys). If you come to Rome, you can prove your residency with a hotel declaration or passport stamp. Make an appointment with the consulate in Rome well in advacne and do not plan your trip without being sure your meeting is confirmed. You will be requested to bring several documents and be there in person. After 7 clear days you will be given a NULLA OSTA to get married in Italy. The nulla osta can be sent to us by the consulate or you can collect it and bring it to us. Upon the issuance of the Nulla Osta you can get married from 2 days after to 6 months after.

Where both parties are British nationals and both are resident in the United Kingdom there is no requirement for a residency stay in Italy for getting married there. You are only requred to be in the city where you will get married to swear a declaration in front of the authorities with a simultaneous translator a couple of days before the wedding. Contact us for further information about your case if you have doubts. Contact us

Religious Ceremony

A Roman Catholic wedding is legally binding and recognised by the Italian authorities, because they contain a civil element within the service, therefore it will not be necessary to perform a separate civil ceremony. The ceremony will be performed in the local Roman Catholic Church, but first you will have had to contact your local parish priest in the UK to help you prepare. It would be very unlikely that any catholic church in Rome would permit the marriage of non-catholics.  As long as one or both are catholic that is OK. Please allow at least 9 months to organize this and be prepared to contact your local catholic priest to prepare yourselves to the sacrament properly. If you are not an authentic faithful, we suggest you perform either a civil or symbolic wedding as many restrictions apply to a catholic wedding and you should be prepared to fulfil them.

Other religious ceremonies

If you wish to have any other type of religious ceremony you will be required to have a civil ceremony first, otherwise the marriage will not be legally binding under any law. In such cases couples may wish to have a civil ceremony in the UK and have a blessing in Italy.

Consular Fees

You should allow plenty of time for your paperwork to be processed in Italy, in case there are any complications. Please be aware that the processing of your documents if you are residing in the UK are no more subject to consular fees but the legal translation of the documents is to be done in Italy. Consular fees still apply to those couple residing in Italy, or who do not reside in the UK an decide to come to Rome for the NOM and Nulla Osta.

Marriage Certificate

Once the ceremony has been performed you will be issued with a Marriage Certificate. You must then provide the Consular Officer in the town where the marriage was performed with a certified copy of the marriage certificate in multilingual format.

The document can then be forwarded on your request to the General Registrar Office in the UK. Your marriage will not be registered in the UK, your marriage certificate will merely be deposited for their records, and consequently your original marriage certificate will not be returned to you. This in no way makes your marriage invalid. Should you both need your marriage certificate in the future the General Register Office can issue you with a certificate, should the need arise.