How to Get Married in Italy

How to Get Married in Italy

Even if you don’t opt for one of our Italian Wedding Packages, we hope you will spend a little with this guide, and some of our other resources. We recommend reading this with your partner, with a bottle of wine and two glasses.

Given Italy’s natural, architectural, and artistic beauty, it’s no surprise that many people around the world dream of getting married here. Whether it’s the colourful Amalfi coast, the elegance and sophistication of Venice, or the breath-taking vistas of Lake Garda, there’s something in Italy’s diverse regions and cities to appeal to everyone. In fact, given the county’s incredible range of scenery, food, and culture, the only challenge may be in choosing where exactly in Italy you want to have the best day of your life.

Many guides cover the legal logistics of getting married in Italy, but they fail to capture and do justice to the country’s romanticism — which we know is the main reason people from all over the world choose to get married in Italy! In this guide, we will cover the practical and legal side of the wedding, but we also don’t want to lose sight of the beautiful intricacies of nature and culture that make Italy so special. Even if you don’t opt for one of our Italian Wedding Packages, we hope you will spend a little with this guide, and some of our other resources. We recommend reading this with your partner, with a bottle of wine and two glasses.

Sections in this guide:

i) Where in Italy Should you Get Married?

ii) What Kind of Ceremony Should you Have?

iii) Legalities and Paperwork involved with Italian Weddings

i) Where in Italy Should you Get Married?

We don’t want to instantly delve into the nitty gritty paperwork and legal side of things; you’re getting married in Italy and you should enjoy the process of finding your perfect venue before you need to worry about the finer details!

The quick answer to the question ‘Where in Italy should you get married?’ is ‘In your favourite part of Italy’. If you already have a place in Italy that means something to you, then that’s probably where you should plan your special day. Perhaps it was your first holiday with your fiancé, or perhaps it’s the setting for your favourite movie or novel. Whatever the reason, don’t second guess yourself; if your instincts tell you to get married in Sorrento, then Sorrento it is. However, if you need a little more help figuring out where to get married, we will include a brief summary below of the most popular wedding locations in Italy. This beautiful country offers a staggering variety of landscapes, seascapes, and cityscapes; the only issue may be choosing just one location for your dream Italian wedding.

Getting Married in Sorrento

Sorrento is one of the most picturesque destinations in the world and perhaps the most popular wedding destination in Italy. Apart from being a short train ride to the legendary Pompeii, Sorrento is a beautiful town with a lot of impressive architecture. Situated in Southern tip of the Province of Naples (previously part of the Campania Region), on the north-west of the Sorrentine Peninsula, many people refer to Sorrento as the gateway to the Amalfi Coast, and that’s what we’d like to discuss next...

Getting Married on the Amalfi Coast

Ravello, on the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast needs little introduction, as this beautiful Salento coastline has become increasingly popular in recent years. The fact that it was previously relatively undiscovered by the tourism sector is probably just down to its remote location. What makes the Amalfi coast so special is its combination of wild green mountains and the incredible coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. This is an area of contrasts and it makes for some of the most impressive vistas and photography you will ever see. The buildings in many of the coastal towns are idyllic white-washed cottages, a perfect setting for a rustic Italian wedding. Find out more about our Ravello & Amalfi Coast Wedding services.

Getting Married in Venice

A wedding on the docks in Venice

Of course, the city where Venice Events began, and where we got our name, would feature at the top of our list. Venice is widely regarded as one of the most romantic cities in the world. There are so many things that pull people towards Venice: the classic Italian architecture, the soft street lamps reflecting on the shimmering canals, the gondolas slowly gliding through the canals. Venice is a city of decadence, with wine bars, Bellini cocktails, and fine dining. Venice also offers a diverse range of venues, from the decadence of the Grand Canal to the more rural Veneto — the region just outside of the city. Find out more about our Venice Wedding services if the City of Water is your dream location.

Getting Married in Tuscany

Tuscan wedding

For many people, Tuscany is the most romantic region of Italy. The deep greens of the countryside, the classic architecture in the walled towns, the myriad vineyards and olive groves, the rich history and artistic legacy as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, the decadent, rustic cuisine… There are too many things to list about Tuscany that describe and explain why people choose to get married there, and we haven’t even mentioned Florence, arguably the artistic capital of the world. Find out more about our Tuscany and Florence Wedding services.

Other Incredible Italian Wedding Locations

Just one of the stunning views at Lake Garda

There’s simply too much to cover in this blog to break down all of Italy’s magical wedding locations. But we have provided plenty of information in our Italian Wedding Locations section. Perhaps you’ll choose Verona for its rich history and its connection to the most famous love story of all time: Romeo & Juliet. Or perhaps you’ll choose Rome for its classical beauty and unapparelled number of venues to choose from. Or perhaps it’s the extravagant natural beauty of Lake Garda that appeals to you; it is Italy’s largest lake, and its stunning scenery have made it an increasingly popular spot for weddings. Italy’s natural and architectural brilliance is perhaps unrivalled anywhere else in the world; so, wherever you choose to get married in Italy, you’re guaranteed to have a spectacular day.

ii) What Kind of Ceremony Should you Have?

Now that we’ve covered many of the locations on offer in Italy, we should take a little time to look at the different kinds of ceremony available. Perhaps it goes without saying that the ceremony is one of the most important elements of any wedding day, but we’d like to say it anyway, and to explain the specific details behind organising your wedding ceremony in Italy.

Civil Wedding Ceremonies in Italy

If you would prefer to keep religion out of your wedding ceremony, you might like to opt for a civil ceremony instead. In Italy, all civil ceremonies must take place in the town hall (known as the comune). However, this restriction certainly isn’t a negative, as most Italian communes are beautiful old buildings in the centre of town. There are also several locations around Italy where the local major has permitted civil weddings to occur in a villa close to the comune, so you’ll have plenty of venues to choose from. There are various legal requirements for civil ceremonies in Italy; you can read more about it on our civil ceremony in Italy page.

Symbolic Wedding Ceremonies in Italy

Are you dreaming of your big day with an unconventional ceremony, tailor-made to the personality and needs of your couple in a unique setting such as a stunning Venetian palace, or a real contemporary art gallery? The symbolic or humanist ceremony is probably the best option for you. This type of ceremony is non religious and not legally binding, and it is often added to a civil or religious ceremony, or used for the celebration of anniversaries or renew vows. It is becoming very trendy among the youngest couples who believe in the spiritual value of this ceremony and have more freedom to tailor it with personal vows, poetry, favorite songs, or pagan rituals. Here at Venice Events, our experienced staff can help you personalise your memorable day and find the perfect venue that suits your needs. If you are looking for inspiration, you can have a look at our exclusive symbolic ceremony package in Venice or contact us for more information.

Catholic Wedding Ceremonies in Italy

Italy is a Catholic country, and is, in fact, the birthplace of Catholicism. This, along with its vast array of beautiful Catholic churches, makes Italy the perfect place for your Catholic wedding. If you wish to get married in a Catholic church in Italy, you will need to plan at least 6–8 months in advance and you will need the following documents:

  • Certificates of confirmation
  • Proof of your attendance to a premarital course
  • Your local bishop’s permission to marry abroad
  • Baptism certificates

All of these documents should be given to the church in which you plan to marry at least 7–8 weeks before the wedding. This is to allow time for the documents to be processed. If you have any specific questions, you should contact your local parish and the parish where you plan to marry. One advantage of a Catholic service is that you can potentially ask for an English-speaking priest, whereas all other Italian wedding ceremonies must be carried out in Italian, with an English translator. Find out more about Catholic wedding ceremonies in Italy.

Protestant Wedding Ceremonies in Italy

Wedding in Florence

While Italy is the birthplace of Catholicism, it still has a rich heritage of protestant churches in Florence, Rome, Venice, and beyond. That said, protestant weddings can be arranged anywhere in Italy, and you don’t need a protestant church in which to do it. In fact, unlike England, outdoor ceremonies in Italy are completely legal in Italy, so you could take advantage of your surroundings and get married in the stunning Italian countryside. Find out more about Protestant wedding ceremonies in Italy.

Jewish Wedding Ceremonies in Italy

Jewish wedding arrangement

Having magical weddings in Italy isn’t limited to Christianity, but it is perhaps a little harder to find a wedding planning service with the required expertise. That is where Venice Events comes in: we have worked with an Israeli tour operator for many years and it has allowed us to better understand the needs and intricacies of a Jewish wedding ceremony. Wherever you want to get married in Italy, we can organise Shabbet Dinner, the Bedecken ceremony, the groom’s Tisch, and the Chuppah. We can also recommend and organise numerous suitable Jewish wedding venues throughout Italy. Please read our page on Jewish Wedding Ceremonies in Italy for more information.

iii) Legalities and Paperwork with Italian Weddings

There is a lot of documentation and organisation involved if you want to get married in any foreign country, and Italy is no exception. The legal intricacies and documentation required changes depending on the kind of ceremony you want. For instance, you will require proof of baptism for a Catholic service, as well as proof of your attendance of a premarital course. Each type of wedding requires its own paper work and forward planning, and this is why we can’t overstate the importance of hiring a wedding planner. Wedding planning is a service we offer and have offered for many years, and we know how difficult it can be to make sure every detail is crossed off the list. We don’t say this to put you off — just to prepare you for the logistical challenge. We can’t hope to cover everything here, but we’d like to mention many of the documents you will need for your dream Italian wedding.

Required Paperwork for Getting Married in Italy

  • You require an affidavit or equivalent document from your country of residence that states there is no legal reason why you can’t get married in your country of residence.
  • Up-to-date, valid ID (for both parties). This can be a passport or a national ID card.
  • Any divorce papers or death certificates if either party is widowed.
  • An official declaration of intent to marry. This will be sent to the civil registrar where you plan to be married.
  • Original (not photocopied) birth certificates for both parties.
  • There may be more documentation required, depending on which country you hail from.

Find Out More at your Embassy

Whether you hail from Britain, the USA, Australia, Ireland, or Israel, your country will have slightly different laws and regulations regarding getting married abroad. We have collected links to several countries’ embassy pages concerning getting married abroad. We advise planning far in advance and getting someone on the phone if you have any confusions or concerns. Once again, a dedicated wedding planner can take much of the headache out of this process.

There are plenty of details we haven’t covered in this Italian wedding guide, but we think this particular resource is long enough and we reckon there are enough links to other pages to get you off to a good start. If you have any questions about this guide and you would like to hire our Italian wedding planning services, please feel free to contact us. We have helped hundreds of couples plan the best days of their lives and we can do the same for you. Italy has some of the most incredible wedding locations in the world, and we love sharing it with the world. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your big Italian wedding today!