Legal requirements for civil weddings at Castello di Meleto


What would be the possibilityies for a civil wedding at Castello di Meleto?

A civil wedding is performed by a public officer, Mayor or delegate, in the town/city/village town hall . At the castle itself is not possible to have a legal civil ceremony.

In the area next to Castello di Meleto there are the town hall of Gaiole in Chianti ( 5 minutes from the Castle) , Radda in Chianti ( 10 minutes from the castle), Castellina in Chianti ( 20 minutes from the castle) or Siena ( 30 minutes from the Castle).

A civil wedding does not include any religious blessing and strictly follows the articles of law of the Italian civil code. A civil wedding in Italy is legally binding in any country abroad recognized by the Italian government. Paperwork is required and procedures are different from country to country, but the internal wedding planner from Castello di Meleto  do assist you in every step to collect the required documentation and we will always assist you during the appointments in Italy.

Things that you really need to know..

Italy is the country of amore…the country of love, and if you have         always dreamed of marrying in Italy then let us help turn your fantasies         into reality. While getting married in Italy is not terribly difficult,         there are certain documents and approvals which must be obtained.

Italy has a very strange law that states that women who are divorced or widowed cannot marry for 300 days which may seem a little strange but the reason apparently for this is to ensure that the woman isn’t pregnant with another man’s child which could result in a paternity suit although to be honest I’m still not quite sure how a dead man could make a claim to a child… so as long as you have been divorced or widowed for more than 300 days you’re good to go.

If you have been married before then you will have to present your previous marriage certificate(s) and Decree Absolute(s) depending on how many times you have been married before, Richard Burton & Liz Taylor would have needed a mountain of paperwork to get married here, and if you are a widow or widower then you will need to produce the death certificate and marriage certificate for your previous spouse.

Everyone getting married in Italy will need a Nulla Osta, this is a certificate of No Impediment which is issued by the Embassy  or Consulate of your country of origin here in Italy. They are only valid for 6 months but I’ll let you know when you need to start the paperwork as applying for them too early will mean that you’ll have to do the whole thing all over again. The Nulla Osta is issued in Italian and is possibly the most important document that you will need in order to get married here.

If you are under the age of 18 or 20 if you’re from New Zealand then you will need the written consent of your parent or guardian in order to get married so no eloping I’m afraid!

You will need two witnesses who must be 18 years of age or over.

The wedding ceremony is conducted in Italian so you will need an official interpreter for this, at least 2 days prior to the wedding there is Verbal Declaration at the town hall where you are going to get married, this is where your documents are checked and you confirm there are no impediments to the marriage according to the Italian Civil Code, the date of this will be confirmed on booking your wedding date and must be here in Italy for that.

Castello di Meleto wedding services offer an Interpreter service, please ask for details.

So you’re getting married, you’ve booked the wedding – what do you need to do next?

In order to keep things nice and simple the following information is based on couples being the same nationality, if you come from different countries not a problem you each need to apply for your Nulla Osta from your country of origin and in some cases there are different forms for you to complete. Don’t be put off though I will confirm your individual requirements are so you can get married in Italy.


British couples

You should start the process for your documents 6 months before your wedding date if you are resident in England, Northern Ireland and Wales and 3 months before if you are resident in Scotland.

Step 1:

You’ll need to get a certificate of no impediment (CNI) from the authorities in the UK to prove you’re allowed to marry.

Your partner will need to follow the same process to get their own CNI.

You can normally get a CNI by giving a notice of marriage at your local register office or registrar in the UK. Find your local office or registrar in England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

A CNI issued in Scotland is valid for 3 months. A CNI issued in England, Wales or Northern Ireland will not expire, but you should check with the local authorities in the country where you intend to marry to find out how long a CNI is valid under local law.

Step 2:

While you’re waiting for your CNI, you and your partner will need to make a statutory declaration before a solicitor or public notary. The Italian authorities will need this in addition to your CNI. There’s a standard template in English and Italian that you can download and use.

Legalisation and translation

You’ll need to get your statutory declaration and CNIlegalised’ (certified as genuine) by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).

You will then need to have the legalised Certificate of No Impediment translated. As it will become an Italian legal document it must be translated by a translator based in Italy and recognised by the Italian courts. Castello di Meleto wedding coordinator services will offer this service to our clients. The Statutory Declaration does not need to be translated since it is already in both languages.

The names on all documents you provide must appear exactly as they do on your passports – if not, the authorities may refuse to allow the marriage to go ahead. You may need to provide evidence if the name on your passport is different to your birth certificate (eg marriage certificate or deed poll).

For British couples living abroad you will need to make an appointment to give Notice of Marriage at the Consular Section of the British Embassy in Rome.

On the day of your appointment, you will need to provide the following documents in original form unless otherwise specified:
·         Evidence of residence or physical presence in Italy for 3 clear days immediately preceding giving notice of marriage. If you live outside of Italy, evidence of a 3-day presence could be a hotel check-in or a boarding pass showing your date of arrival in Italy. Remember you need to have been Italy for 3 clear days which means, for an appointment with us on the 20th, you would need to have arrived in Italy on the 16th at the latest. If you live in Italy, please provide one of the following documents, issued within the preceding two months before the date of your appointment: utility bill, payslip, bank statement, employer letter, Identity Card, certificate of residence from the Comune – showing your name and your Italian address
·         Your British passport
·         Your original full birth / adoption certificate; this document MUST show your parents` names. If you do not have the version with your parents’ names you will need to obtain it. If you were born in the UK you will need to contact the General Register Office
·         If your partner is a foreign national: a copy of his/her passport. When you give notice of marriage, you will be asked to declare where he/she is officially resident according to the Italian authorities and his / her civil status
·         If applicable: deed poll or statutory declaration if you have ever changed your name (except if this is following marriage)
·         If applicable: evidence of termination of any previous marriages (i.e. original death certificate or divorce decree absolute) together with the previous marriage certificates for a divorced woman if maiden name is not shown on the divorce certificate;



American Couples


1.   Valid U.S. passport (active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces can present their military ID card instead).  

2.   Birth certificate (original or certified copy).

3.   Evidence of the termination of any previous marriage/s if applicable (e.g., final divorce decree, annulment decree, or death certificate of former spouse).  If you are a female whose previous marriage was terminated within the last 300 days, you must obtain a waiver from the Italian District Attorney’s Office (Procura della Repubblica presso il tribunale) at the court in the city where the new marriage will be performed.  The waiver is issued upon presentation of medical evidence that you are not pregnant.

4.   Affidavit or “Dichiarazione Giurata” sworn to before an American consular officer commissioned in Italy, stating that there is no legal impediment to your marriage according to the laws of the U.S. state in which you are a resident.  Your legal status must be such that you can legally marry under both Italian and U.S. law.  (Note that a pending divorce, for example, would be an obstacle.)  You will need to schedule an appointment for a notary service with one of the U.S. Consulates General in Italy or with the U.S. Embassy in Rome to obtain the “Dichiarazione Giurata.”  Please click here to schedule your appointment in Milan, Florence, Rome or Naples. Please contact the Agent in Genoa, Venice or Palermo directly to schedule an appointment at one of the Consular Agencies.

The “Dichiarazione Giurata” is valid for six months and costs $50 or the equivalent in euro.

Where will you be going to obtain your Dichiarazione Giurata?

Please select the appropriate Post and complete the form before your appointment in order to save time, but do not sign it as it must be signed in front of the consular officer. If one of the parties is an Italian national resident abroad and registered with an Italian Embassy or Consulate (Anagrafe Italiana Residenti all’Estero – AIRE), please contact the nearest Italian Embassy or Consulate for specific instructions.

Once the “Dichiarazione Giurata” has been issued, you must bring it to the Legalization Office (Ufficio Legalizzazioni) of the local prefettura to legalize it.  You will need to purchase a €16 revenue stamp (marca da bollo) from any tobacco shop (tabacchi) and present it to the clerk of the Legalization Office (Ufficio Legalizzazioni) at the Prefettura (an Italian government office) for each document to be authenticated.

5.   Atto Notorio: This is a declaration, in addition to the “Dichiarazione Giurata” described under point 4, stating that according to the laws to which you are subject in the United States, there is no obstacle to your marriage. This declaration is to be sworn to by two witnesses (who may be of any nationality, must be over 18, possess valid photo identification, and know the applicant; they cannot be family members, future family members or affines) before an Italian consul outside Italy or, in Italy, before a court official in the city where the marriage will take place.  If you are coming to Italy to be married, you should obtain this declaration at the nearest Italian Embassy or Consulate before leaving the United States, as some courts may have long waiting lists for this service.  If you decide to request the Atto Notorio in Italy, you should contact the Notary Services Office (Ufficio Atti Notori) of the court (tribunale ordinario) having jurisdiction over the city where you intend to marry, or any other court in Italy, and make an appointment in advance. If the applicant or even only one of the witnesses does not speak Italian, the presence of an interpreter is required. You, as well as the witnesses and the interpreter, must show proof of your legal presence into Italy by presenting, for example, your plane ticket, visa or permit to stay (permesso di soggiorno).  You will need two revenue stamps of €16 each and one of €10,62 to apply for the Atto Notorio, which generally will be ready for pick up after four to 10 days.  For an urgent Atto Notorio, issued on the spot, you will need two revenue stamps of €16 each and one of €31,86.

Contact information for the Notary Services Office in Milan, Venice, Genoa, Florence, Rome, Naples and Palermo is available at the Getting Married in Milan, Venice and Genoa, Getting Married in Florence, Getting Married in Rome, and Getting Married in Naples and Palermo links below.

Declaration of Intention to Marry: You should present all the above-listed documents to the Marriage Office (Ufficio Matrimoni) of the town hall (municipio) in the city where the marriage will be performed, and make a “Declaration of Intention to Marry” (Dichiarazione di Matrimonio) before a civil registrar (ufficiale di stato civile).  If you do not speak Italian, an interpreter should accompany you.  When all this is completed, you can finally set the date of the wedding.

Civil banns must be posted at the town hall for two consecutive weeks, including two Sundays, before the marriage can take place.  Please note that banns are posted only after the Declaration of Intention to Marry has been filed.  However, if neither party to the marriage is an Italian citizen or a resident of Italy, banns are automatically waived or posted for a shorter period of time which may vary from one day to a week depending on the town hall regulations.

Civil Ceremony: A civil ceremony is performed by the mayor or one of his deputies.  Two witnesses and, if necessary, an interpreter must be present at the ceremony.  Witnesses may be of any nationality, but must be over 18 and possess valid photo identification.  A witness cannot serve as interpreter.  You will have to pay a rental fee for the marriage hall, which varies according to the location, the season and the day of the week.  The fee ranges from a minimum of €500 to a maximum of €9,200.

Religious Ceremony: A religious ceremony is considered valid if performed by a Roman Catholic priest.  A separate civil ceremony will not be necessary, as the priest will register the marriage with the civil authorities.

The Roman Catholic Church requires baptismal and confirmation certificates in addition to the documents listed above.  For complete information, you should check with your priest.

Important Note on the Validity of Foreign Documents in Italy: All documents originating outside of Italy (birth certificate, divorce decree, etc.) must be legalized for use in Italy and must be translated into Italian.

To legalize a U.S. document for use in Italy, you need to have it stamped with a so-called Apostille stamp by the secretary of state in the state where the document was issued, in accordance with The Hague Convention on the legalization of foreign public documents.

Under Italian law, all public documents originating from outside the EU are considered valid for only six months from the date of issue.  Therefore, you should make sure that all documents to be submitted to Italian authorities have not been issued more than six months ahead of the marriage.
Important Note on the Validity of the Italian Marriage Certificate in the U.S.: A foreign marriage that is valid in the country where it is performed is automatically valid in the U.S.  An Italian marriage certificate is sufficient to prove your marriage and it is considered valid once legalized through the Apostille procedure.  The Apostille stamp can be obtained from the Legalization Office of the Italian Prefettura in Siena having jurisdiction in the town hall of Gaiole in Chianti, Radda in Chianti and Siena.

Additional Information: U.S. consular officers are not trained in Italian law and consequently are not qualified to interpret Italian marriage requirements.  If you wish more detailed information, you should consult the appropriate Italian authorities, such as an Italian consular officer in the U.S., civil registrars at town halls, or a lawyer licensed to practice in Italy.
Please note that you may need several days to complete all of the procedures so you should plan ahead. The timing will vary depending upon the number of marriages to be performed by civil authorities. Waiting lists are not uncommon, particularly in more popular towns and at certain times of the year, such as May, June or September.



Irish Couples

We’re going to assume for this that you both live in Ireland or England, if you don’t then please ask for details of where you should apply for your Nulla Osta. In Ireland these are dealt with by the Department of Foreign Affairsin Dublin and the Irish Embassy in London and they will send the documents to the Irish Embassy in Rome who will then post the Nulla Osta to the person organizing your wedding in Italy one month before the wedding. The processing of the documents takes around 4 months so it’s important that you submit your application in time but please note that the the application forms for the Nulla Osta cannot be completed earlier than six months before the date of your intended marriage. That is, the date of the Statutory Declaration which is completed in the presence of the Commissioner for Oaths, Public Notary or Solicitor, cannot be earlier than six months before the date of your intended marriage.

Documents you will need:

• Original Long form of civil birth certificate • Court Order if you are under 18 years • Death Certificate of previous spouse if widowed • Petition and Final decree of divorce: if divorced • Copy of Passport • Fee – the current fee is €20

Each person applying for a Nulla Osta will need to complete these forms MP1, MP2  if you are single form MP2A, forms relating to divorcees can also be found and downloaded from  this link.



Australian Couples

To get married in Italy you will need an “Atto Nottorio” this is an oath which is sworn in front of two witnesses and notarized by the Italian Consular stating that there are no legal impediments to the marriage according to the laws to which the person concerned is subject to in Australia.

The “Atto Nottorio” also states that there are no impediments for the person requesting to marry in Italy according to Article 116 comma 2 (art. 85, 86, 87 number 1, 2 & 4) of the Italian Civil Code. Basically these refer to you not being mentally insane, not related in any way and my personal favourite that you haven’t tried or been convicted for killing a partner or another person.

Although it is advisable to get this in Australia, it can be obtained in the lower courts in the region where you are getting married but you will need to be here early in order to do this as they are done by appointment only.

You may have to have your documents translated but the Italian Consulate will give you a list of translators who are qualified to do this. You should contact the Italian Consulate in the State where you live for an appointment.

You will also need a Nulla Osta which is issued by the Australian Embassy in Rome, no appointment is necessaryIn order to obtain the Nulla Osta you must go in person and present the following documents:

  • Full Birth Cerficates (showing your parents details)
  • Evidence of any previous marriages (marriage certificates and divorce certificates)
  • Your Australian passport
  • Fee in cash currently 50 AUS$ The Embassy does not accept credit cards.

Once you have your prized Nulla Osta they should be legalized by the Prefettura of Siena , (you will need to get two Marca da Bollo (administration stamp) to the value of €14.62) if you are using a wedding planner then they should do this for you, Castello di Meleto wedding services does!

After the wedding it’s important that your wedding certificate is taken back to the Prefettura to request the placement of an “Apostille” on the certificate so that your marriage is legal in the Australia, again Castello di Meleto wedding planner will do this for you and post your marriage certificates on to you at home.


Canadian Couples

For Canadians wishing to marry in Italy, you will need a Nulla Osta, the Canadian Government doesn’t issue these but don’t loose heart they do issue a declaration containing the relevant information which is accepted by the Italian authorities. Requests for the declaration can be made by appointment at the Canadian Embassy in Rome or by mail. Their delivery service standard is 3 business days from the time they receive a complete request so quite a quick turnaround.

You must first complete and swear an affidavit to the effect that there is no impediment to the proposed marriage. You may swear the affidavit in Canada, or you go go in person to the Canadian Embassy in Rome you will need to book an appointment and you can contact them by e-mail or fax to request one.

If going to the Canadian Embassy in Rome you will need to take with you the following documents.

  • Unsigned affidavit form  (you can download it from here).
  • Valid Canadian passport;
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship (Canadian birth certificate or Certificate of Canadian Citizenship). (If you were born in Québec: Only birth certificates issued on or after January 1, 1994, by “Le Directeur de l’état civil” in the province of Québec are accepted);
  • Complete details of the future spouse (full name, date and place of birth, residence, father’s name and mother’s full maiden name);
  • Final divorce decree or death certificate of previous spouse (if divorced or widowed);
  • Parents’ consent (if the person is under marriageable age).
  • Appropriate fees. (see here for how to pay and current fees payable)

If you are going to swear your Affidavit in Canada then you can do this with a Public Notary, the original Affidavit and certified copies of the above documents should then be sent to the Canadian Embassy in Rome, payment of the fee can be paid on line or by bank transfer see the link above for details of how to do this.

The Canadian Embassy will then send your Nulla Ostas to your wedding planner in Meleto, who will get them legalized at the local Prefettura before you arrive the cost for the Marca da Bollo (Administration stamp) is €14.62 per Nulla Osta.

After the wedding it’s important that your wedding certificate is taken back to the Prefettura to request the placement of an “Apostille” on the certificate so that your marriage is legal in the Canada, again the Castello di Meleto wedding planner will do this for you and post your marriage certificates on to you at home.

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