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 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.
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 legally 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). 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 legally translated.
Should the British couple not be resident in the UK or one of the spouses not be British, please follow the following procedures as indicated by the British Consulate in Italy.
When a British National resident in the UK is getting married to a foreign national (Italian or otherwise) – Please note that your Italian wedding planner is still able to interact directly with the British consulate in Italy on your behalf
When both parties are British nationals and both are resident in Italy – Please note that your Italian wedding planner is still able to interact directly with the British consulate in Italy on your behalf
When a British national, resident in Italy, wishes to marry a foreign national, Italian or otherwise – Please note that your Italian wedding planner is still able to interact directly with the British consulate in Italy on your behalf
When a British National resident in the UK is getting married to an Irish national – Please note that your Italian wedding planner is still able to interact directly with the British consulate in Italy on your behalf
When two British nationals are resident abroad (not Italy, not Commonwealth) wish to marry in Italy – Please note that your Italian wedding planner is still able to interact directly with the British consulate in Italy on your behalf
When a British national resident abroad (not Italy, not Commonwealth) wishes to marry a foreign national (Italian or otherwise) in Italy – Please note that your Italian wedding planner is still able to interact directly with the British consulate in Italy on your behalf
There is a fee for your Nulla Osta certificate as per scenarios 2-7. Please see payment information (unless covered by a package you bought from your wedding planner in Italy). Proof of payment is required before the Nulla Osta can be issued.
If you fall in one of the scenarios 2-7, your Nulla Osta certificates will be returned to Efffetti, the town hall or whichever other address you will ask, paying the courier, together with an envelope containing your original documents for you to collect. Usually the Nulla Osta is issued within 20 days from receipt of documentation at the consulate, but consideration is always given to the date of marriage/local requirements.
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. The parties may decide to do so if they consider that it would serve some useful purpose (e.g. easier to obtain a copy of the foreign marriage certificate). 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.
In case you actually want to register the marriage please see the procedure clicking here. Be advised that by no mean the wedding planner or any other except for the couple is entitled to request a marriage registration