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Getting Married in Italy: A General Overview

Published:   |  Updated:   |  Posted in: Getting Married, Italy
Getting Married in Italy: A General Overview

If you’re looking for a perfect wedding destination, heaven awaits your arrival in Italy, arguably the most gorgeous country in the EU for caring couples. Sandwiched between the Alps and the Mediterranean, the Bel Paese is known for its three Ps, i.e., pizza, pasta, and passion in love.

You and your would-be spouse are lucky if you plan to get married in Rome or Venice in 2024 – Italy’s wedding season begins in April and lasts until October.

We can practically hear the wedding bells already…

In this article, we’ll take you on an informative journey, exploring the fine points of planning a big, splendid, sweet Italian wedding. Whether you’re an Italian citizen searching for creative wedding ideas or a hopeless romantic looking for a lover’s redemption, this article is perfect for you.

Here’s everything you need to know about getting married in Italy with your significant other.

Italy’s Booming Wedding Industry

Wedding tourism was a significant part of the country’s economy before it collapsed in 2020 when 90% of wedding ceremonies were canceled. In 2022, however, Italy’s wedding industry made a resounding comeback. In 2019 alone, wedding tourism was causing more than 400k arrivals and over 1.5 million overnight stays, making Italy the target destination for newlyweds worldwide.

If you want to imagine the sheer volume of this booming industry – again, based on 2019 statistics – in a single year, 8,000+ events took place, turning over more than €440 million. Also, over 5,000 wedding planners, catering services, and photographers were a part of this ever-evolving industry.

But why should you get married in Italy? After all, it’s every newlywed couple’s mecca! Here are a few reasons why Italy is the best wedding location in Europe for worldwide romantics:

  • Variety of fantastic wedding venues in picturesque locations (try the Aeolian Islands)
  • Delicious food, fantastic wine, and great weather to celebrate your wedding day
  • Multiple tourist spots for your guests and holy sites to visit for spiritual rejuvenation
  • 5,000 miles of coastline where you can spend your honeymoon and make new memories
  • Affordable, quick wedding ceremonies with less paperwork involved (especially for Catholics)

Different Types of Marriages in Italy

If you’re considering getting married in Italy, you must be familiar with the different wedding types prevalent in the country. Hold your horses; the list is shorter. Today, three types of marriages exist in the country: civil marriages, religious ceremonies, and civil unions.

  • Civil marriages: It’s the go-to wedding ceremony for most Italians, usually conducted by your town’s mayor. It’s a brief ceremony where the couple will say their vows, followed by a grand reception.
  • Religious ceremonies: Since 8 in 10 Italians are Catholic, a lot of them choose to get married in a ceremony led by a priest. A Protestant clergy member or even a rabbi can conduct the ceremony.
  • Civil union: Sam-sex couples can tie the knot via this route (explained in the sub-section below). In 2021, more than 2,000 homosexual civil partnerships were registered in Italy, showing signs of progress in a conservative society.

A Note on Gay Marriages in Italy

Sadly, homophobic sentiments remain prevalent in Italy, and the members of the LBGTQIA+ community don’t enjoy the same rights as married couples. Italy was the only Western European country where same-sex partners couldn’t legally get married. However, Italy allowed gay people to enter a civil union in 2016. Even though same-sex partners can’t adopt kids in Italy, they can be in a legally-binding relationship.

Getting Married in Italy: Legal Requirements

Let’s explore the legal requirements of getting married in an Italian city. You will learn the requirements for both civil and religious ceremonies. Here’s what makes you eligible for an Italian wedding:

  • Age: If you want to get married in Italy, you and your would-be spouse must be 18. However, 16-year-old individuals can marry if their parents are okay with that.
  • Relationship status: You have to be single to get married to someone in Italy, as polygamy is strictly prohibited. A woman can remarry 300 days after ending her previous marriage. If you are not an Italian citizen, you should get your previous husband’s death certificate translated into Italian.
  • Proof of identification: Before tying the knot, you and your spouse need proof of identification. If one of you was born in a foreign country, have your birth certificate translated into the local language.

Civil Ceremony

It’s straightforward to get married in Italy in a civil ceremony. It usually takes place in a town hall, but you can always change to a different location to make this event memorable. Just bring the following documents with you when registering the marriage:

  • National ID card or valid passport
  • Birth certificate (or its certified copy)
  • Divorce papers or previous spouse’s death certificate (if applicable)
  • Affidavit called Atto Notorio from your home country (it’s like a no-objection certificate)
  • Affidavit called Nulla Osta signed by two witnesses, permitting you to marry in Italy
  • A declaration of your intent to marry (filed 2 to 3 days before the wedding)

Religious Ceremony

Religious marriages were a norm in Italy before 2018. Now, more people are gravitating toward uttering their vows in civil ceremonies. Despite that, in 2019, 87k religious unions took place in Italy, in contrast with 96k civil unions. If you want to get married in Italy under the Church’s blessings, bring these docs:

  • Baptism, confirmation, and first communion certificates
  • Affidavit Nihil Obstat (it’s like an NOC issued by the Church)
  • Written letter by the priest and proof of your active church membership
  • Pre-cana classes (meet with the priest an hour a week for eight weeks for pre-nuptial lessons)

How to Plan Your Wedding in Italy?

Getting married is a straightforward procedure in Italy. Here’s a very simplified way to plan your Italian wedding and embark on the joyful journey of holy matrimony:

  • Decide what kind of wedding you want (civil or religious)
  • Contact the nearest ufficio matrimony to ensure you are eligible to marry
  • Submit all the documents to the office clerk
  • Get appointments for your declaration of intent to marry and the civil ceremony
  • If you’re Italian, announce the upcoming ceremony by posting the banns of marriage

Now, all that’s left is to pick a location and prepare for nuptial joys. But if an Italian wedding still looks expensive, let’s see how to get married in that country on a budget.

How to Get Married in Italy on a Budget?

Do you want to ensure your Italian wedding plans are within the budget? Don’t fret; this beautiful place is the prime location for an affordable wedding ceremony. Tying the knot in Italy will set you back about €10,000 to €20,000 if you count venue rental, delightful décor, and proper catering.

You can lower the number even below the € 10,000 mark by comparing prices online and searching for readily available discounts. Also, check out this table to learn how to get married in Italy on a budget without disappointing your esteemed guests. Some prices have been taken from here.

ItemApproximate Cost (€)
Wedding dress (for the bride)500 to 2,500
Wedding suit (for the groom)500 to 1,500
Wedding rings400 to 1,000
Photography1,000 to 4,000
Wedding favors (gifts for guests)500 to 1,500
Decoration (including flowers)4,000 to 20,000
Wedding venue2,000 to 15,000
Food and catering (including five-course meals, wine, and cake)100 to 200
Bridal transport200 to 1,000
DJ and guest entertainment500 to 1,500
Total Cost9,700 to 48,200
Table 1: Estimating the Cost of getting married in Italy (prices may vary)

Immerse in the Culture: Italian Wedding Traditions

The wedding bells chime in unison as guests raise their glasses to the newlywed, saluting the bride and the groom with a resounding echo of Cent’Anni. The best alcohol extracted from Italian grapevines adorns the table, and the sweet odor emanating from the delectable local cuisine spreads all over the venue. Guests have started banging their glasses with spoons, encouraging the groom to kiss the bride; the typical picture of a tradition-rich Italian wedding.

Here are a few Italian wedding traditions you should check out:

Sunday Wedding

Italians believe that getting married on a Sunday brings good fortune and boosts the couple’s fertility, an apparent effect of the country’s Catholic past. Friday is the unluckiest day to tie the knot.

Rice Throwing

Guests throw rice (or confetti) on the bride and groom after the ceremony, symbolizing good luck and fertility. This tradition goes back to Ancient Rome when the abundance of rise meant prosperity.

Vase Breaking

Ancient Romans broke vases to ward off evil spirits; modern-day Italians have kept this custom alive. It’s believed today that the vase’s broken pieces represent how many years the holy matrimony will last.

Spider Dance

Tarantella is a unique dance involving rapid footwork, hand gestures, and upbeat music. In many wedding ceremonies, the Dance of the Spider is the first dance performed by the bride and groom.

Gold Forbidden

Besides the wedding ring, the bride shouldn’t wear gold on her big day. Instead, she should wear something old, something new, something blue, something borrowed, and something gifted to her.

Wearing Black

Gold jewelry and white attire is deemed back luck for the bride. So, ensure you’re adorned in black on your wedding day. In a typical wedding in Italy, the gorgeous bride wears a black gown with a white hat.

Chocolate Kisses

Serving this 102-year-old sweet, called baci perugina, is a great way to say “I love you” to your would-be spouse. It’d help if you also served these chocolate kisses to your guests, thanking them for showing up.

Some other traditions include the groom auctioning his tie, serenading the bride before the ceremony, and proposing to her the night before the wedding has to take place. A wedding in Italy is only complete with minestra maritata or a traditional Italian soup dish. You may also serve your guests millefoglie or Italian cake made especially for wedding ceremonies.


Ecco! You just learned how to get married on Italian shores. Choose the most suitable marriage type in Italy, fulfill all the legal requirements, plan your big day with a wedding planner’s help, be mindful of the budget, and immerse yourself in the local culture by following Italian wedding traditions. That’s how you can create new memories with your significant other and begin your married life on the right foot.

If you’re a foreigner planning your wedding in Lo Stivale, ensure your documents are Italian. You may have to order a marriage certificate translation in case of remarriage in Italy. Certified translators will sprinkle their linguistic skills on your docs, making your Italian wedding obstacle-free.

Reach out to TranslateSwift and get your documents translated within 24 hours for $27/page.

FAQs – Getting Married in Italy

How Difficult it is to Get Married in Italy?

It’s easy to tie the knot in Italy and embark on a romantic adventure with your would-be spouse. All it takes is extensive research, having in-person conversations with the wedding planner, and clearing everything with government officials.

How soon can I Marry in Italy after Arriving?

Ensure you’re in Italy at least three months before the wedding date. It’ll give you ample time to make all necessary arrangements and plan the most beautiful of your life with your life partner.

Can I Get Married in Italy without a Residency Permit?

You don’t need a residency permit to say “I do” to your lover in Italy. Ensure you have a valid passport and documents declaring you can marry (Atto Notorio and Nulla Osta).

Can I Become a Citizen after Getting Married in Italy?

Good news for you – Italy does allow foreigners to apply for citizenship through marriage. If you have married a local and lived in Italy for two years, you can apply for citizenship.

What are the Best Locations to Get Married in Italy?

It would help if you searched online to find the most gorgeous venues for marriage in Italy. Travel gurus would tell you to get married in Rome, Tuscany, Lake Como, Amalfi Coast, or – if you’re romantic enough – Venice. The whole country gives off strong wedding vibes.

This blog is a part of a series covering many aspects of getting married in Italy and planning a romantic getaway. In this series, we’ll explore different countries, and you can read about this topic based on your country of citizenship.