How can we Help?
If there is one aspect of planning a wedding abroad that can strike fear into the hearts of most couples, then it is most definitely the legal paperwork! And quite rightly so. Probably the most famous case of marrying, or rather NOT-marrying abroad is, of course, a celebrity story… that of Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall and their wedding in Thailand that ended up not being legal – a fact which only came to light at the time of their divorce.
There has also been an article in the news about an Irish couple who found out they were not legally married, two years after their ceremony in Italy. They found out when remortgaging their house and it came to light that as they had not given notification of the marriage at the town hall in Riva del Garda the marriage was not recognised in Italy nor in Ireland.
The legal requirements are, of course, paramount for those couples who wish to celebrate a wedding that is both legal and recognised in their home country. Those couples who wish to celebrate a symbolic wedding are totally free of any legal processes and paperwork. This is one reason why symbolic ceremonies are growing in popularity, couples choosing to do the legal bit back at home.
Accent Events Limited is a UK based destination wedding planner and a specialist for weddings in Italy. The majority of couples who use our wedding planning service are British nationals who live in the UK or abroad. Accent Events Limited is able to guide couples through the UK legal requirements and procedures, providing a timeline of what needs to be done, and when, both in the UK and in Italy.
We also receive inquiries from Australians, Americans, Canadians and Irish nationals and this is only a fraction of the combination of nationalities who wish to get married abroad.
Some wedding planners will have a section on their website for legal requirements . I choose not to. The reason for this relates to how Accent Events operates, we prefer to give our clients information that is specifically relevant to them. If couples are using a bespoke planner it is unlikely they wish to wade through the details of a lengthy process on a wedding planner’s website that has been copied from an embassy website. Rather, they wish to have the process, in their specific case, explained to them simply and clearly and to be supported through that process. As legal processes and requirements are subject to frequent amendments, I also do not wish to add another administrative task or risk information being outdated or no longer relevant. It is far better to go straight to the source.
So what is the remit of a wedding planner when it comes to the legal requirements? It’s a good question and an important one. Here, we list what Accent Events can do for you and also some things we cannot.
Accent Events will guide you through the process, we will breakdown what needs to be done into phases. Some couples are great with admin and can cope with the volume of information and are happy to work through the steps as listed on the www.gov.uk website, other couples prefer to be given a step by step approach as to what needs to be done and when.
We can also arrange for the necessary documents to be translated in Italy, to receive the judicial registration and stamp and to be delivered to the relevant town hall.
We CAN contact the Town Hall to check what documents they require from you. Some Town Halls may ask to see additional documentation e.g. birth certificates or divorce certificates which may or may not need to be translated in to Italian.
For elope couples we can provide witnesses for the legal ceremony (we can also offer this for couples of other nationalities).
We can provide an interpreter for your legal ceremony in Italy.
We can offer you the opportunity to personalise your ceremony around the requirements of the Italian civil ceremony format, with the assistance of our preferred celebrant.
The complexity of a wedding abroad escalates with nationality; particularly when the bride and groom are of different nationalities so they each have to follow the process stipulated by their home country’s embassy. This could mean that there are different application lead times and that documents may have different validity periods. This is why putting in place a timeline is fundamental to the legal requirements process.
We will check the embassy website for each nationality and where possible (language permitting) contact the embassy of your home country in Italy to check the process if it is not listed. We do suggest that the bride and groom should contact their home country embassy in the location where they wish to marry and also contact the embassy of destination wedding location in their home country.
We can assist with obtaining the “Prefettura” stamp which is required for non-EU nationals. This is a stamp to validate the signature of the embassy official when issuing the Nulla Osta (No Impediment to Marriage document) and also the signature of the Town Hall official who signs the marriage document.
For USA Couples we can assist you with your embassy appointment in Naples if you are getting married on the Amalfi Coast.
The couple to be married has responsibility for gathering the documents required and ensuring that they are valid. Each individual is also responsible for meeting the requirements for their government department and/or embassy to issue the documents that are to be used in the preparation of marriage records in the destination wedding location.
Accent Events is UNABLE to help with the following:
If you are requested to attend in person at your Embassy in Italy – we are unable to attend in your place. Some embassies require pre-booked appointments and do not allow walk-ins.
We are unable to influence or by-pass any part of the legal process to fit your individual situation. This means we are unable to obtain documents for you if you do not have the appropriate, and valid, paperwork required.
We are unable to provide you with a legal view or implications of getting married abroad. This information should be sought from a specialist.
Occasionally we receive inquiries related to residency and immigration. Accent Events is NOT an immigration specialist and in spite of what some couples may think we cannot circumvent the powers that be and guarantee that a marriage in Italy will permit entry and/or residency in Australia, America, UK or any other country.
If you find yourselves in a position of marrying someone who may be on a limited visa or has complex documentation requirements to remain in the home country of the future spouse then this is something that requires specialist immigration input.
That said, Accent Events Limited will provide you with our support, guidance from the years of experience helping many couples successfully and legally get married in Italy. We provide this through our comprehensive wedding planners services.
At the consultation meeting you will have the opportunity to tell us how you wish to get married, symbolic, civil ceremony, church wedding/blessing and we will discuss your options. You can then make a choice to what will work best for you. Our wedding professionals will be with you every step of the way.
Our role is about making the wedding happen, in whatever format your choose, if it is possible. We love to see happy faces especially on the wedding day so if you feel that you are getting lost in the bureaucracy of paperwork and are feeling stressed about who to approach and where to start then please do not hesitate to reach out as we can offer you an affordable option to ensure no surprises down the line.
You can read how we helped Ray & Beth (USA citizens) with their wedding in Italy. We were able, at extremely short notice, to help them with their USA Consular office appointments, personalise their legal civil ceremony, provide witnesses for their elope wedding and also ensure all the documents were stamped by the relevant offices for their return to the US.
If you are about to begin the documentation phase of your wedding plans or are now struggling with communication with Italian departments please contact us www.accentevents.co.uk
“I also have to say thank you for getting us to do our first dance in Palazzo Murat, photo’s look great fun and if we hadn’t we would never have had a chance for a first dance. I never thought that would be important to me, but it was amazing.”
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