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  • Tenuta Corbinaia

Getting Married in Italy as a US Citizen: A Comprehensive Legal Guide

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

Imagine your perfect wedding in a rustic Tuscan villa or an ancient Roman castle. Italy offers enchanting venues for your dream wedding. As a US citizen, the prospect of getting married in Italy is thrilling. But it requires an understanding of the legal framework. Let's delve into the nitty-gritty of what US citizens need to know about getting married in Italy.

Initial Legal Requirements: Eligibility Check

As a US citizen, getting married in Italy requires you to fulfill specific legal requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.

  • If previously married, you must provide proof that the marriage has been legally terminated.

  • For widows or widowers, a death certificate of the previous spouse is required.

Begin gathering these documents at least six months before your planned wedding date to allow ample time for translations and legalizations.

Necessary Documents: Your Legal Toolbox

US citizens planning to get married in Italy will need to prepare several documents:

  • Birth Certificates: start by obtaining copies of both parties' birth certificates at least six months in advance.

  • Passports: you need valid passports. Check the expiration dates to ensure they'll be valid during your wedding period.

  • Atto Notorio: this affidavit, signed by two witnesses, states there's no impediment to your marriage under US law. Obtain it from the Italian Consulate in the US at least four months before the wedding.

  • Nulla Osta: this declaration similar to the Atto Notorio, is obtained from the US Embassy in Italy. Plan to get this document once you arrive in Italy, at least a week before the ceremony.

  • Declaration of Intention to Marry: made at the local marriage office in Italy a few days before your wedding.

These documents should be translated into Italian and legalized prior to submission.

Application Process: The Roadmap to Your Italian Marriage

To ensure a smooth process of getting married in Italy, US citizens should follow these steps:

  1. Apply for Atto Notorio in the US: start this process four months before your wedding. This allows time for appointments and processing.

  2. Obtain Nulla Osta in Italy: after arriving in Italy, immediately schedule an appointment at the US embassy. This should be done at least a week before your wedding.

  3. Visit the Local Marriage Office: About two days before your wedding, visit the Ufficio di Stato Civile in the town where you're getting married to make the Declaration of Intention to Marry.

Civil Vs. Religious Ceremony: understanding the Differences.

Your choice between a civil or religious ceremony will affect your document requirements and venue options. Civil ceremonies require additional documents and must occur in a town hall or government-owned property. In contrast, religious ceremonies can take place in a church but need religious authority approval.


The dream of getting married in Italy as a US citizen can indeed come true! Understanding the legal prerequisites is key to ensuring that your special day unfolds seamlessly. With these legalities in place, your perfect Italian wedding is just around the corner!



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