Is it possible to get married in an Italian castle hotel?
Yes. Many castle hotels in Italy make a perfect wedding venue, but very few can hold a legal ceremony. If you’re not Italian, a wedding planner who specializes in Italian weddings is indispensable. They are experienced in ensuring that paperwork is in order, and they have lists of magnificent villas and castles that suit your requirements.
Getting married in Italy is not complicated, and there are no residency requirements. People wishing to marry in Italy must appear with two witnesses before the Ufficiale di Stato Civile (Vital Statistics or Civil register) in the city or town where the marriage is to take place and file a declaration of their intention to marry. At this time, the following required documents must be presented:
1. Passport (or armed forces card if in the US military)
2. Nulla osta or a Certificate of No Impediment. You usually obtain this from a consular official at your country’s embassy. You must make a sworn declaration that there is no obstacle to your forthcoming marriage. Proof of identity, citizenship, and termination of any previous marriages (death certificate or final divorce decree, translated into Italian and stamped with an apostille) must be shown.
3. Atto Notorio This is another sworn statement (with witnesses) that states according to the laws to which the citizen is subject to is not prohibited from marrying. This document can be obtained at the Italian consulate in your home country or in Italy through a notary public or the Pretura Civile, or magistrate court in the city or town where the marriage will take place.
4. A new certified copy of your birth certificate, which must be translated into Italian and legalized with an apostille.
An apostille is an official stamp from the Secretary of State where the original certificate was issued. This legalizes the document.
Note! Women who have been divorced or widowed and wish to remarry in Italy technically must wait 300 days from the date of death or divorce. Sometimes dispensation can be made through the Tribunale Civile.
If one or both of you live in Italy, your wedding announcement or banns must be posted at the town hall for two consecutive Sundays. You are free to marry four days after the second Sunday. If neither one of you is Italian or a resident, you do not have to post banns.
Once presented with the paperwork, it takes approximately four days for the town hall to process everything. Always check with your consulate for specific guidelines.
A Civil Ceremony is easy to arrange and ensures legality. It also makes a religious ceremony to follow less complicated.
A Roman Catholic ceremony for non-Italians is possible, but difficult. You’ll need to plan far ahead by starting with your local church. All of the above documentation, as well as copies of your baptism, first communion, and confirmation will be required. A lot of stamps and seals will take place. An Italian priest who will perform the ceremony must be found as well.
A symbolic ceremony: Many couples follow a civil ceremony with a symbolic one. It carries no legal weight, the officiant does not have to have a relationship with a religious institution. You can write and exchange your own vows, and this symbolic ceremony can be held at a castle or villa garden.
It all sounds more complicated than it really is. Don’t worry! Non-Italians get married in Italy everyday, surely one of the most romantic spots on earth.