One of the most frequently asked questions I get as a wedding planner is “how can I have a legally binding wedding ceremony performed in Italy yet recognised in my home country?”. There are two possibilities:
- A civil ceremony: This is the easier legal ceremony to organise in Italy. The number of spectacular city halls and outdoor locations is certainly a great way to celebrate an unforgettable wedding. From frescoed city halls, rustic stone courtyards to a beautiful outdoor terrace overlooking the mediteranean….there is something for everyone.
- A Catholic wedding: Although the process is slightly more complicated, it is considered a full legal marriage recognised by the catholic church all over the world. In this case you are required to obtain both civil and catholic document requirements.
I’ll explain shortly the biggest differences between the two different weddings and what is required, how much it costs and the timing.
- Must takes place in a town hall or a propriety belonging or rented by a town hall. This means that most of the time it is celebrated indoor, in ancient palaces or in a mediaeval courtyard. There is the possibility to marry civilly in a few selected locations however it varies from tuscan town. Tuscania Events can assist in the search for locations that allow on site civil ceremonies.
- The couple must complete the paperwork here in Italy prior to the ceremony. Tuscania Events will assist fully with this.
- The bureaucratic process can vary according to nationality so it is important to mention both nationalities to be sure the necessary paperwork guidelines are followed. Tuscania Events can assist in the specific document needs and with navigating the cumbersome and often difficult Italian bureaucracy.
- The couple should be prepared to be in Italy three or four days prior to the ceremony to finalize all the necessary paperwork.
- The cermony lasts around half a hour and it is performed in Italian and translated in your native language by one of our interpreters. It is pretty straight forward and beautifully written and full of significance. The couple is free to add few readings, music, personal vows and the exchanges of rings.
- Two witnesses are required: one for the bride and one for the groom. Usually it is two members of the bridal party or the parents. If you don’t have any guest present Tuscania Events will provide the witnesses.
- Pricing: you will have to pay a rental fee directly to the town hall (with our assistance) that could be from 300€ to 5000€ depending on the Town Hall. For the paperwork expect to pay from 150€ up depending on your nationality. If you need other services, you will also have to consider additional expense for the musicians, photographers, florist, photographer, etc.
- We suggest that the process should begin around 6 months before the actual ceremony date.
- Must take place in a catholic church. Italian churches are usually ancient charming buildings. They can be simple stone chapels even 1000 years old, or frescoed magnificient churches depending on the style you prefer.
- A Catholic marriage in Italy is not possible if one of you was previously married in a Catholic church and then divorced without a formal annulment from the catholic church.
- The couple must complete the catholic and civil paperwork here in Italy.
- Refer to civil ceremony above as the documents required for a civil ceremony are also required for a catholic wedding.
- About catholic paperwork: it is basically the same for all nationalities. Around two months before the ceremony you will have to present your religious pre cana peperwork to the italian bishop. Tuscania Events will assist you and guide you through this process.
- We will also provide you a parish that speaks your native language. You’ll have to meet up with the priest a few days before the actual wedding day. So the couple should consider being in Italy at least three to four days prior to the ceremony.
- The ceremony lasts around one hour. The wedding will be celebrated during the mass if both spouses are Roman catholic. If one of the two is protestant it is easier if they only celebrate the Rite of marriage without the mass. However this is decided also by the parish. In this case the ceremony will last around 30 min. and must be approved by your own Bishop that must give you permission in writing.
- The mass is the same all over the world. Tuscania Events will provide you a parish priest that can perform it in your native language. You will have the possibility to add readings and music. Then there will be of course the personal vows and exchange of rings.
- Four witnesses are required: two for the bride and two for the groom.
- There is no rental fee for the use of the church but you certainly can not forget to make a donation that can be from 300€ for the church and from 100€ for the priest. You’ll also have to consider the expenses for the paperwork that are from around 150€ depending on your nationality. Then, if you need musicians, photographers, florist, photographer and other vendors, you will also have to consider the possibility of additional costs.
- We suggest that the process should begin around 6 months before the actual ceremony.
Whether you decide to have a civil wedding or a catholic wedding in Italy, Tuscania Events is available to guide you through the entire process and turn your dream of an italian wedding into reality. To find out more about the beautiful city halls, the panoramic terraces or the breathtaking churches please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ease of mind comes with an expert!!!