Katie and Ben’s Church Wedding in Umbria – this photo is just beautiful.
For those couples who wish to get married in a Catholic church, be prepared for some complex paperwork, and depending on your personal circumstances be prepared to have your request refused if you are unable to meet the requirements.
I have listed down some of the key considerations if you wish to get married in a Catholic ceremony.
- Not all churches in Italy are willing to conduct ceremonies for foreign couples.
- If you wish to have the mass said in a language other than Italian speak to the Curia (equivalent of a UK Diocese) if they have details of priest who speaks your language.
- Your personal circumstances will dictate the documents you require (ie both Catholic, Catholic/Protestant or other faith, Catholic/person of no faith)
- Some churches will allow you to bring your home country priest.
- Communicating with a priest in Italy may not always be as easy as one would hope. Recently we spent many an hour tracking down an English speaking priest via his mobile phone which he would often leave with his housekeeper. Not all priests use email.
- There are two ways in which you can have a church ceremony.
Matrimonio Concordatario. This involves producing not only the Catholic documents (listed below) but also civil documents which means you will also need to communicate with the Comune (Town Hall) that covers the region in which you are marrying. Or you have the option of having a Civil wedding at home to meet the legal requirement and church ceremony in Italy. You will be asked to provide proof of marriage by submitting the civil ceremony certificate. Church documents are still required.
- Be organised – both sets of documents (church and civil) must be started within the validity period and also submitted to the relevant offices. Church documents:
Letter of freedom (from parents of bride and groom)
Mixed faith or Disparity of Cult form
Marriage course (Pre Cana)
Prenuptial enquiry to be completed by your local priest
Documents for the civil element of Matrimonio Concordatario
Certificates of No Impediment x 2 – to be translated into Italian in Italy
Statutory Declaration form x 2
After the church ceremony the Priest has 5 days to take the documents to the Town Hall to register the marriage. You will not be issued your marriage certificates immediately after the church ceremony.
- You are going to need the help of your local priest to help prepare the UK Church documents.
- If you are not regular church-goers be prepared to attend mass and also to follow pre cana (marriage preparation) instruction.
- Divorced Catholics – the only way it is possible to get married in a Catholic Church is to ask for an annulment of the previous marriage.
Changes in the Catholic Church for Annulment:
If you would like our help with the church documents you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org