American citizens

Civil wedding ceremonies in Italy – First Important Information:
– Civil ceremonies are officiated by an Italian authority and are legally recognized in the US
– Ceremony is performed in Italian by the Mayor or a civil registrar, with an interpreter
– Ceremony consists in a mix between the articles of the Italian civil code and traditional marriage vows
– Ceremony lasts about twenty minutes
– Two witnesses are necessary (you can have a higher number but only two will sign the wedding register)
– Civil ceremony by law must take place in buildings or places approved by the Italian government. Marriages involving US citizens cannot be performed by U.S. Consuls nor take place on the premises of the US Consulate

Basic Documentation to provide for US citizens and procedure to follow:
1. Valid US passport (active duty members of US Armed Forces can present their military ID card instead, along with a permission to marry issued by their Commanding officer)
2. Birth certificate (original showing the names of both parents.). If the birth certificate was issued outside of Italy, it must be translated into Italian and authenticated by the nearest Italian Consulate having jurisdiction over the place of issuance in the U.S. before it can have any legal validity for the Italian authorities
3. A certificate of non-impediment, also called “nulla osta” by the Italian authorities, sworn to by the US citizen before an American Consul commissioned in Italy, that states that there is no legal impediment to the marriage, according to the laws of the United States. Once issued, the certificate of non-impediment must be stamped by the Legalization Office of a Prefettura
4. Atto Notorio: This is a declaration stating that according to the laws to which the citizen is subject in the United States there is no obstacle to his/her marriage. An American who does not reside in Italy should obtain this document from the nearest Italian Consulate in the U.S. before coming to Italy. If an American Citizen is unable to complete the Atto Notorio in the U.S., then it can be done in Italy at an Italian Pretura (Lower Court House) in front of two witneses
5. Evidence of the termination of any previous marriage, if applicable
6. A woman whose previous marriage was terminated within the last 300 days must obtain a waiver from the Procura della Repubblica presso il Tribunale (District Attorney’s office) at the Palazzo di Giustizia (Courthouse), in the city where the new marriage will be performed. Such waiver is issued upon presentation of medical evidence that the applicant is not pregnant
7. Declaration of Intention: Bride and groom need to present all the above documents to the Ufficio Matrimoni (Marriage Office) of the Municipio (Town Hall) in the city where the marriage will be performed, and make a “Declaration of Intention to Marry” before an Ufficiale di Stato Civile (Civil Registrar) at least 3 days before the ceremony with two witnesses. Banns are posted only after the Declaration of Intention to Marry has been filed. Eventually, the day of the wedding can be established. Civil Banns will be posted at the Town Hall for two consecutive weeks including two Sundays before the marriage can take place. However, banns are automatically waived if neither party to the marriage is an Italian citizen or a resident of Italy

– Waiting lists not being uncommon in Italy, it is recommended to take appointment in due time as several days may be needed to complete all the procedures
– All documents originating out of Italy (birth certificate, divorce decree, etc.) MUST be legalized for use in Italy and MUST be translated into Italian
– To legalize a US document for use in Italy, you need to have it stamped with a so-called “APOSTILLE” stamp by the Secretary of State in the State where the document was issued, in accordance with The Hague Convention on the legalization of foreign public documents
– Under Italian law, all public documents originating from outside the EU are considered valid for only six months from the date of issue. Americans are therefore advised to make sure that all documents to be submitted to Italian authorities have not been issued more than six months ahead of the marriage

After the wedding – How to get a marriage legally recognized in the US?
After the wedding will be performed, the couple will need to ask for an original copy of your wedding contract ( “atto di matrimonio”), and will need to have it legalized through the ‘apostille’ procedure by the Legalization office of the Italian Prefettura having jurisdiction over the area where the marriage was performed.