Of course your personal circumstances are going to affect which ceremony options are available to you. Whether you will be saying “I do” for the first time or if you are going to repeat your original vows 5, 10 or even 25 years later there is so much choice as to the perfect place for the ceremony; but what are your options in how you say “I do”?
The Civil Ceremony
This is the most popular ceremony we do. This is legally binding ceremony and involves the Comune – Town Hall. The mayor or an appointed deputy will conduct the ceremony in Italian. According to Italian law the ceremony must take place at the Town Hall itself or on grounds or property owned by the Town Hall* To be legally wed in Italy there are rules and regulations which must be followed and elements of the civil ceremony that cannot be omitted, amended or embellished. It is necessary to obtain key documents in the UK and in Italy which will be submitted the Town Hall. (see legal requirements )
To make a civil ceremony more personal and special for a couple our interpreter usually provides guidance as to where and how the ceremony can be tailored and personalised, through the addition of readings, personal vows and an exchange of rings.
It may surprise you, but none of these elements form part of the legal requirement for the Italian civil wedding ceremony. This often confuses couples as they try to relate what happens in an Italian civil ceremony to the UK format. We will help you create the ‘romance’ element working within the permitted limitations and phases,
so your dream ceremony is just as you imagined.
*This is changing as Comune are now giving permission to venues for the civil ceremony to take place.
Catholic Church Weddings are possible in Italy if one or both of you are Catholic. You will require the help of your local priest and Bishop of the Diocese in your home country as they will provide the formal letters required by the Italian Curia/ Church in Italy to perform the ceremony with religious rite. If only one of you is Catholic and your partner is of another faith or a non-believer then additional documents will need to be provided by the Bishop of the Diocese in the home country.
A Catholic church wedding in Italy is legally recognised but it may not be recognised in your home country. If not, it will be necessary to have a civil ceremony – some churches will incorporate the signing of the civil register at the church service, or it may be necessary to have civil wedding in Italy or at home. Not all Catholic churches in Italy will allow weddings for non-residents.
If you wish to have church blessing in italy, in most cases the priest will wish to see a marriage certificate.
A symbolic ceremony is void of any legal obligation so for couples who wish to celebrate a wedding in Italy and are required to meet complex legal requirements – that can present some insurmountable hurdles – a symbolic ceremony is a godsend. Couples who choose to commit to each other in a symbolic, or unity ceremony do so with total freedom to show and share their love in a personally designed ceremony that can be of any length, style and tone, can include very personal stories and readings and can be genuinely inclusive of those present to witness the ceremony. It can also, and very importantly, be held in any private venue or location chosen by the couple. This means you can create the ceremony you wish, in the location you dream of.
Imagine writing your own vows, including much loved memories of how you met, the things you adore doing together, the hopes for the future and what it means to have everyone around you at this moment in your life it will, I promise, have everyone tearing up or at the very least embracing the emotion.
Symbolic Vow Renewal
Imagine celebrating a symbolic vows renewal ceremony in a location you love in Italy. A destination symbolic ceremony can be scaled up for a large gathering – as all of your family and friends join you to celebrate your enduring bond of love, perhaps creating the event that your original wedding day was unable to be – or it can be humble and understated for an intimate event – perfect for those couples who wish to renew vows just to one another or their nearest and dearest, or to acknowledge where they are in their relationship at a particular moment in time. Picture a symbolic ceremony where grown-up children, and their own children, will see their parents commit to each other again 25 or 30 years after their original wedding day. Wouldn’t some now and then photography be amazing. All our wedding photos are actual prints and due to the many house moves we have had they had remained in boxes. Having new album of vow renewal photography to add to the original photography would be so special.
Same Sex Weddings
As of February 2016 the Italian Senate approved the same sex – civil union bill. Although this is progress, in order to get the bill approved, the provision that would have allowed gay adoption has been removed – much to the disappointment of same sex couples. A final vote on the full text of the draft law is seen as a formality and is expected in the near future.
And while it isn’t yet possible to marry legally in Italy, this hasn’t stopped many same-sex couple choosing to celebrate their marriage with a symbolic wedding ceremony or unity ceremony in one of the many stunning and diverse settings Italy offers. It is as yet unclear whether same-sex marriages would follow the same regulations and ceremony format as opposite-sex civil weddings, but there are likely to be some differences.
So in the meantime, the future is symbolic!
Free from the legal requirements we can immediately focus on the more fun and enjoyable aspects of destination wedding planning, finding your dream location and venue in Italy, the styling and design; and of course the ceremony; there is no need to marry up (s’cuse the pun) the availability of the venue with the legalities.
Our symbolic celebrants are experienced professionals with many years behind them in ceremony design. They are also bilingual English and Italian-speaking adding to the overall Italy wedding experience you will be creating for your family and friends. Introductions will be made right at the start of the wedding planning, giving you ample time to get to know each other. Your ceremony will be tailored especially for you both, by getting to know you over the months our celebrant will give your wedding story its own voice and tone. It will be something to treasure.
Personal circumstances and being able to meet the legal requirements in your home country as well as Italy may cause confusion as to what is possible. We will discuss your options with you so you will be in position to make the right decision for you.