In Italy you can choose to have either a Civil or Catholic Religious Wedding Ceremony.
Civil wedding ceremonies are an extremely popular choice for couples getting married in Italy and are easier to arrange than religious wedding ceremonies. Whilst it is possible to have a legally-binding Catholic wedding ceremony, non-Catholic religious ceremonies are not legally recognised in Italy.
Civil Wedding Ceremony
Italy has some absolutely stunning venues in which you can have a civil wedding ceremony. If you are from the United Kingdom, Italian Town Halls and Government-owned ceremony venues are very different from Registry Offices. Instead of your typical Registry Office think of 13th century monastery cloisters, stunning frescoed rooms, beautiful palaces, and balconies overlooking the sea; if you choose to have a civil wedding ceremony, your backdrop is bound to make for breathtakingly beautiful photographs.
A civil wedding in italy usually takes between 15 to 25 minutes and may be personalised with your own vows and readings.
The ceremony will be conducted in Italian and translated into English by an official interpreter. Note: even if you speak and understand Italian it is a legal requirement that non-Italian residents have an official interpreter at their ceremony.
Italian Civil Wedding Vows – Celebration of Matrimony
Following are the vows you will be required to say for an Italian civil wedding ceremony. These may vary slightly, so please use them as a guide only.
You are Mr Henry Richard Hughes
You are Ms Sarah Jayne Green
In accordance with the law of this office, I will now read the civil law that regulates the duties and rights concerning both spouses.
With marriage, husband and wife acquire the same rights and assume the same duties.
The reciprocal obligation of faithfulness, moral and material assistance, collaboration in the interest of the family and cohabitation, all derive from the rite of matrimony.
Both spouses have a duty, each in relationship to their patrimony, professional or domestic capacities, to contribute to the needs of the family.
The spouses must agree on the management of the family and fix the family residence according to both their needs and those pre-eminent to the family itself. Each consort has the right to decide on the management of the family as agreed.
The rite of matrimony obliges both spouses to maintain, instruct and educate their offspring to their natural inclinations and aspirations.
Do you Henry Richard Hughes take the here present Sarah Jayne Green to be your lawful wife? (I do)
Do you Sarah Jayne Green take the here present Henry Richard Hughes to be your lawful husband? (I do)
Have both witnesses heard?
In the name of the law I now pronounce Henry and Sarah husband and wife.
Non-Catholic Religious Ceremony
Non-Catholic religious ceremonies are not legally recognised in Italy.
If you choose to have a non-Catholic religious ceremony, you must first have a civil wedding ceremony in order for your marriage to be legally binding.
Catholic Religious Ceremony
Catholic wedding ceremonies are the only religious ceremonies that are legally recognised in Italy. However, for non-Italians, Catholic wedding ceremonies are generally more difficult and time consuming to arrange than civil wedding ceremonies.
If you would like to have a Catholic wedding ceremony, as well as meeting all the criteria set by the Church, you must be able to find a local priest who is willing to marry you in his church. Unfortunately it is becoming a little harder to find priests who will conduct ceremonies for non-Italians, so many couples choose to bring their own priest over to Italy and hire a private church for their ceremony.
Another option, which can also simplify the process, is to have a civil wedding ceremony followed by a Catholic wedding ceremony (or Convalidation). It is a lot easier to arrange a religious ceremony that confirms an existing civil union.
If you would like to have a Catholic wedding ceremony I would highly recommended you employ the services of a wedding planner to help deal with the paperwork and legalities. If you use a wedding planner you are guaranteed that you will receive all the correct information and they will guide you through the process, ensuring that your wedding ceremony will take place without a hitch.
Note: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the above information is current and accurate, please check with the local authorities to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information.