How To Get Married In Italy

Disclaimer – This website contains affiliate links. We may earn a very small commission if you make a purchase using links on this site, at no extra cost to you. That’s how we can afford to keep this awesome site running!

Welcome to the ultimate guide on saying ‘I do’ in one of the most romantic destinations on Earth – Italy! For couples seeking to exchange vows amidst the timeless beauty of this Mediterranean gem, navigating the intricacies of Italian marriage procedures can be both exciting and daunting. Whether you dream of a lavish ceremony overlooking the rolling hills of Tuscany or an intimate affair along the sun-kissed Amalfi Coast, this comprehensive blog is your passport to understanding the ins and outs of getting married in Italy.

Can you get married in Italy as a Foreigner?

The simple answer is YES you can! Unlike many other European countries, foreigners can get married in Italy without a residency requirement.

In this blog, we break down the requirements for how to get married in Italy as a foreigner, including the types of ceremonies that are legally recognized, an overview of the paperwork required, and the timeline for submitting your documents.

Legal Marriages In Italy

There are only two types of marriage ceremonies in Italy which are recognized as legally binding: civil and Catholic. Any other type of ceremony (such as a religious ceremony of a religion other than Catholic) needs to be combined with a civil ceremony to make it legally binding (although the civil ceremony can take place on a separate day).

Civil Marriage in Italy

An Italian civil marriage ceremony is a legally binding, non-religious ceremony. These civil ceremonies are conducted by the local mayor or a certified registrar and take around 20 minutes. When choosing a civil ceremony, you may be able to choose to get married in the town hall or an approved external venue (which may include some outdoor or historical location options).

Many ceremonies take less than 20 mins, and that is sometimes a bit disappointing for the couples. But they can have someone do a short reading or play a song and make the ceremony more personal.

Gemma – Dolomites Wedding Planner

Catholic Weddings in Italy

If you want a legally recognized church wedding in Italy, your only option is a Catholic wedding, which means one of you must be Catholic.

Same-Sex Weddings in Italy

In Italy a same-sex couple can enter into a “civil union”, however at this time, a civil marriage ceremony is only possible for cis-hetero couples (we desperately hope this will change in the future).

What’s the difference between a marriage and a civil union?

Marriage, traditionally understood, is a formal union between two people that is recognized by law and often has cultural, religious, and social significance. In Italy, marriage is regulated by both civil and religious laws. Civil marriages are performed by a government official, such as a mayor or a registrar, and are legally recognized. Religious marriages are performed by clergy members and may or may not have legal significance, depending on whether they are also registered with civil authorities.

On the other hand, civil unions, introduced in Italy in 2016, provide legal recognition to same-sex couples and heterosexual couples who choose not to marry but still wish to formalize their relationship. Civil unions offer many of the legal rights and protections of marriage, such as inheritance rights, next-of-kin status, and healthcare decision-making, but they may not carry the same cultural or religious significance as marriage.

If you are in an LGBTQIA+ relationship, we recommend getting legally married in your home country (where possible) and planning a symbolic ceremony in Italy instead.

Can You Have An English Marriage Ceremony in Italy?

For a civil marriage ceremony in Italy, the ceremony is conducted in Italian (or in German if you are in the bilingual region of South Tirol – Alto Adige). If you don’t speak Italian, you will be required to have a translator present for the ceremony (which usually can be your local wedding planner).

Bride and groom stand facing each other holding hands during their civil marriage ceremony in the Italian Dolomites
Photo: Wild Connections Photography

What paperwork do you need to get married in Italy?

The exact paperwork you will need to get legally married in Italy will depend on both of your nationalities and place of residence.

Here’s a general overview of what is required:

  • Passports or ID cards
  • Birth certificates
  • Certificates of divorce/widowed if previously married (women need to be single for at least 300 days)
  • Nulla Osta (a certificate of no impediments to celebrate the wedding)

Where to find more information based on where you are from:


It’s always quite confusing to know when you need documents translated or “validated” through stamps in Italy. Basically the rule is: once a document crosses a border, it needs to be officially translated and legalised. That means, for instance, that if you are getting a certificate in the American embassy in Italy, that document, even if produced “in Italy” it is technically issued by the United States (as Embassy ground is its own country’s ground). So it will need to be legalised. Apostille for the countries that are from the Apostille Convention.

Gemma – Dolomites Wedding Planner
Photo: Shelly Pate Photography. Header image also by Shelly Pate Photography

How much does it cost to get married in Italy?

While the administrative costs of getting married in Italy are pretty standardised, the total cost to get legally married in Italy varies depending on the location you choose. Having your ceremony at the local town hall may only cost you €200-300, whereas some of the most popular external locations in cities like Rome have an additional fee of €1500-€2000.

We want to caveat this by saying that there is a difference between getting married (the act of legally marrying) and having a wedding. No matter where you are in the world, getting legally married can be a relatively cheap process, whereas planning a wedding can cost as much as you are willing to spend.

However, as soon as you start considering getting married in another country, there will almost always be additional costs that make it more expensive than a wedding in your home country, for example, the translation and verification of documents (both before and after the wedding).

The Dolomites & South Tyrol

It really depends on the country where the couple is from, and where they’d like to get married. For instance, for Austrians and Germans, it’s pretty simple and there’s only the town hall fee , which for some town halls even as low as 100-200€. If the couple is from America for example, there are many more certificates needed, so the costs are higher. You also need to factor in the of travelling to get the required documents.

Gemma – Dolomites Wedding Planner

Do you need a wedding planner, or can you arrange everything by yourself?

There is no requirement to hire a wedding planner to help you coordinate all of the paperwork, however, we highly recommend it if you want to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Meet The Italian Planners

Dolomites Wedding Planner – Jlenia Costner & Gemma Garriga

Website: jleniacostner.com
Instagram: @dolomitesweddingplanner

We are professional wedding planners in South Tyrol and the Dolomites. We have years of experience and expertise, as well as an unconditional passion for this profession. It is our mission to bring dreams and desires to life, and our job consists on understanding your vision and capturing your personality to turn it into an event that tells your story. We plan elopements, weddings, micro-weddings and love dates, just let your imagination run wild and trust us to bring it to life.

Save this post

More Italy Wedding Inspiration

Similar Posts