Marriage abroad: paperwork for US citizens

Marriage abroad: paperwork for US citizens

Legal weddings in Italy: marriage abroad for American citizens.

A marriage abroad in Italy is relatively simple, despite the intricate bureaucracy. The documents necessary to tie the knot overseas, depends on the law of the foreign country. Italy, unlike what you think, is one of the places that requires less documents.

marriage abroad - legal paperwork for a civil wedding in tuscany

In general, legal weddings performed in our country have a legal value also in the United States- To obtain the necessary paperwork, for a civil wedding for American citizens, the best choice is always to rely on an expert.

Classy wedding in florence - bride and groom during the ceremony

Get started

If you plan to marry abroad, first of all you should start collecting the essential documents. Couples getting married in Italy, should start with paperwork as soon as possible. In some cases, obtaining some legal documents in your home country it may require more time than you think.

whimsical wedding in Tuscany - church pew decor

Italy doesn’t have a strict requirement in terms of residence, it is enough to prove that you are in the country for at least 3 days. Airlines ticket or hotel bookings are considered as a proof of residency.

symbolic wedding in Florence -

The first legalities you should collect are your birth certificates. Original copies are required to obtain the affidavit.  After that, if you and/or your partner are divorced, collect also the divorce act. This is another piece of paper required to prove your eligibility to marry.

marriage abroad - catholic wedding with legal value in chianti

Check your passports, they will need to be valid for 6 months before the wedding date. They are also required as proof of identity in Italy in all the legal steps.

An Atto Notorio is required to get legally married in Italy. It is a document that certifies that there are not impediments to the wedding. Witnesses will be required at the signature. You can request one directly in the States, at the closest Italian Consulate from your town.

marriage abroad - civil ceremony in the town hall of Fiesole

Alternatively, it can also be done in Italy at any law court with. In some cases, this solution is not practical due to the opening times of the offices.

Last step is to book an appointment at one of the American Consulate in Italy to obtain an no impediment to marry. This is released by the American authorities and it will need to be validated to the local Prefettura.

marriage abroad - civil wedding in certaldo ceremony officiate by the major

It is important to know that US diplomatic and consular officers are not eligible to celebrate weddings.


Legal ceremonies in Italy can be catholic, civil and protestant. Each type of ceremony may require additional documents.  Catholic celebrations, require additional documents, such as a letter from your Priest, a pre-cana course certificates and a prenuptial inquiry form. Of course, at Wed in Florence, we offer a wide range of services and are very please to guide you through all the steps.

catholic irish wedding in florence

Protestant requirements, are easier. They foresee some meetings with the Priest that will marry you in Italy, and we will be happy to introduce you to one, along with the baptism certificates.

marriage abroad - catholic wedding with legal value reading of the italian articles

Once you have collected all the necessary documents, it is possible to book the appointments at the registry office of the local Town Hall for the pre-marriage declaration. You will need to appear in person to this meeting and to bring with you your passports to prove your identity. Don’t forget all the other papers!

Validity of marriage abroad

In general, the wedding certificate released by the Italian authorities is valid to be registered in n the United States. Some States may have a different procedure or require more documents, for this reason Wed in Florence, always suggests to contact the office of the Attorney General of your state of residence.

marriage abroad - bride before eloping with a fall bouquet

At the moment there is a big debate about civil union for same sex couples. Not always they are recognised as a legal wedding abroad. Considering this, for same sex couples, we suggest to get legally married in the United States and to perform a symbolic ceremony in Italy.

Get in touch with us and let us know exactly what you have in mind. Get prepped and start planning your wedding today.

ph: Sebastian David Bonacchi, Dam Studio, Daniela Nizzoli, Angelo for Carlo Carletti, Andrea Sampoli, lovefolio.

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