British Citizens Getting Married in Italy
British Nationals can get married in Italy and their wedding will be valid in their homeland. To be able to celebrate a civil legal wedding in Italy British Nationals will have to allow themselves a suitable time to deal with legal bureaucracy. Religious and Symbolic weddings can be an alternative, with or without legal validity. Catholic weddings in Italy are not a must in Italy, but they require the due preparation and several documents and authorizations which are issued by the couple’s local priest, their Bishop and the local Bishop of the church where they will be getting married in Italy. This procedure requires at least 6-9 months of preparation. Be advised that not all the Bishops in Italy will allow a wedding of non residents. Efffetti can assist you guiding through the complex matter of a Catholic Wedding and suggesting those venues where the Bishop will raise no objections to your wedding.
Let’s have a look at each possibility for a legally binding wedding in Italy:
Civil legally binding wedding ceremony
Civil Ceremonies are legally binding and will normally be performed in the local Town Hall by the mayor of the city or an officer appointed to celebrate. The ceremony lasts approximately 20 minutes and is by law conducted in Italian, so, in case one or both of you, and one or both the witnesses are not fluent in Italian, you are legally obliged to have an interpreter present throughout the ceremony, you or your partner speaking Italian cannot act as an interpreter. The interpreter must be a professional signing and making oath to translate accordingly.
1) Both the Spouses are British AND Reside in the UK
To celebrate a Legally valid wedding in Italy, when both of the British spouses reside in the UK will have to bring the following documents
- Certificate of No Impediment, one each. The Certificates have to be Legalized with an Apostille in the UK and then officially translated into Italian at an Italian Court (Efffetti will provide you with the translation of your certificates of no impediments as part of our service. Efffetti is a translator belonging to the list provided by the British Consulate who can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/italy-list-of-lawyers). This document has 6 months validity if released in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, if it is released in Scotland it has just 3 months validity.
- Statutory Declaration, one each. These declarations have to be filled in and signed at the presence of a Solicitor or Notary Public in the UK and also legalized with an Apostille in the UK.The statutory declaration is bilingual and does not need to be officially translated.
2) One of the spouses is NOT British
Should only one of the two spouses be British AND residing in the UK, he/she should follow all the steps as in the first scenario, and the other non British spouse should follow the paperwork required by his/her nationality. If the non British spouse is Italian, the Notice of Marriage must also be requested at the town hall where the Italian spouse is residing or, at the Italian Embassy or Consulate in the country of residence of the Italian part if registered to the AIRE.
3) British Not Residing in the UK
Should the British couple not be resident in the UK or one of the spouses not be British, you can only obtain the needed documents by coming to Rome in person and prove you have been residing there for at least 3 days (hotel registration is fine), different documents must be brought depending on your marital status and of the nationality of the other spouse. In Rome you will apply for a Notice of Marriage (NOM) and after around 15 days you will have a Nulla Osta delivered to us. This procedure will require you to be in Italy at least 30 days before the wedding (to be sure there are no delays) and NOT more than 6 months before the wedding. Alternatively you can apply for the Notice of Marriage in the UK, but you must prove you have been residing there – with an electricity bill or alike – for 7-70 days depending on the spouse’s nationality. Applying in the UK follows the rules above mentioned (CNIs and Statutory Declarations).
Wedding Timing in Italy
Please consider to be in the city where you will get married to swear a declaration in front of the authorities with a simultaneous translator at least 2-3 working days before the wedding, despite some town halls are quite flexible, most of them will not accept this meeting to be held any later than that. So be cautious when planning your trip.
Once the ceremony has been performed you will be issued with a Marriage Certificate in multi-language. The marriage will not be actually registered in the UK; the certificate will simply be deposited for record purposes only.
There is no legal obligation for a foreign marriage to be recorded in the UK and in fact it is not actually registered. The validity in English law of a marriage contracted in a foreign country is in no way affected by its having been, or not having been, thus recorded.
*please note in case you reside in the United Kingdom but your nationality is NOT British, you have to follow the regulations of your country of nationality