Congratulations, you’re getting married! I am sharing some FAQs for a civil wedding in Italy with you. for what needs to happen and when?
It is so important to get these steps right to ensure your marriage will be legally recognised at home. Most of the FAQs are about the paperwork for a civil wedding in Italy.
This is the area most couples do seek help of an expert as there are many considerations to take into account.
The most important is that your personal circumstances will determine what process to follow, this includes your nationality, previous marital status, where you reside and also if you are a same-sex couple; the process and documents required will be different.
Remember if it all looks too daunting and too complex for you, you have the option of a different type of ceremony which you can find out more here.
For couples who are of different nationality or complex circumstances you can contact me here.
When do I need to start the paperwork for my civil wedding in Italy?
If you live in England, Northern Ireland and Wales the legal process can begin 6 months from the date of your wedding. For example if your wedding date is to take place on 10th September, you can begin the legal process after 10th April.
In Scotland the legal process cannot begin more than 3 months prior to the wedding date.
What documents will I need to provide?
If you are both UK citizens living in the UK there are two documents which need to be organised:
The first document is the Certificate of No Impediment (CNI). You will need to arrange this through your local registry office. The registry office will the CNI 28 days after the date of your appointment.
The second document is a Statutory Declaration form. You will find a template of this bilingual document on the Gov.uk website. To complete the document make an appointment with a notary public as you must sign and date the document in the presence of a notary.
You can organise the Statutory Declaration document while you are waiting for the CNIs to be issued.
Each partner will require a CNI and Statutory Declaration.
What do I need to do after I have my CNI and Statutory Declaration document?
You will have 4 documents in total, two Certificates of No Impediment and two Statutory Declarations*. These documents must then go to the Legalisation Department of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in Milton Keynes to obtain Apostille stamps. This Apostille stamp authorises the signature on the document for authenticity. It also permits the document to be used as a legal document in another country.
Apostilles can be booked and paid for on-line I have included the link below.
Each Apostille stamp costs £30 each and there will also be a postage fee for returning your documents.
*depending on your personal circumstances, you may also need to provide supporting documents which will also require an Apostille stamp. Check with the Italian town hall where you are getting married or if you are using a wedding planner they will guide you.
The turnaround time on Apostille documents is usually 5 days but can be longer during holiday periods.
What happens after my documents have been sent to the Legalisation Department?
Once you have the documents back from the Legalisation Department you then need to organise getting the Certificate of No Impediment documents translated into Italian in Italy. There is a list of Italian translators found on the Gov.uk website below. If using an Italy wedding planner this person may organise this for you.
The documents can then be sent to the Town Hall where you are getting married.
Is there a residency requirement for us before the date of the wedding?
If you are a UK citizen living in the UK then a residency requirement does not apply. However some regions of Italy require the couple to attend a pre-wedding day declaration appointment for additional administration. This takes place usually on a weekday, two days before the actual civil wedding ceremony. Make sure you allow for this time in your travel plans.
Top tip: Watch out for Italian holidays and opening hours of relevant offices when making plans.
Will I get a wedding certificate?
Yes. You usually receive ceremonial certificate at the time of the civil wedding. You will get the actual marriage certificate later the same day or the day after.
Getting a wedding planner look after the legal process is going to save you a alot of time during planning and on the wedding day. I will pop back to the town hall to pick up your marriage certificate after the ceremony and check to ensure there are no errors on the document. I will manage everything so that you can continue to enjoy your fabulous wedding day without the worry of the administrative bit.
The marriage certificate issued for UK citizens is currently a multilingual document. I don’t know what will change post Brexit.
What can I do if my documents are rejected?
This will depend on what information is incorrect or missing. Situations could be that there is an error on a CNI, or details on the CNI and Statutory Declaration form are not consistent, spelling mistakes.
The issue of a replacement is going to be time dependent. It will depend on when the Town Hall processes your paperwork and then able to notify you as to how much time you have left to address any errors.
Still unsure of what to do?
These are only a few FAQs for a civil wedding in Italy. I offer detailed guidance on what to do specifically related to your particular circumstances as there are just too many variables to list here.
It is best to avoid unnecessary surprises and stress close to your wedding day in Italy. It has been known that Town Halls will refuse documents if there are inconsistencies and insufficient back up documentation.
I am able to help in some emergency situations, especially if you need a speedy Apostille. There is a same day walk in service in London only available to Limited companies. I listed Accent Events to offer this to my couples.
It means I can turnaround replacement documents more quickly than the standard postal service. I will write more on this in another post.
Other things to know for your civil ceremony in Italy
You will require:
An interpreter if you do not speak Italian. The Town Hall official will conduct the ceremony in Italian not English.
Two witnesses over the age of 18 years
Provide personal details to the Town Hall in Italy (copies of passports, birth certificates and addresses) for you and your witnesses
Female divorcee: 300 days will need to have lapsed from receiving your Decree Absolute before your civil wedding in Italy can proceed.
Getting married abroad: https://www.gov.uk/marriage-abroad
Legalise documents: https://www.gov.uk/get-document-legalised
See the full wedding story here Livio Lacurre