We’re so lucky to have the guest expertise of a very talented lady, Diana Sorensen, owner of Sugokuii Events on the blog today. She specializes in destination weddings in Italy, is a regular on the scene in Capri, and has planned not only top secret celebrity weddings but private island elopements off the coast of Amalfi. She loves the region so much she spends her summers there. And today Diana is here to share with you just how to get married in the beautiful country of Italy.
Q: What are the legal requirements to host a destination wedding in Italy?
No residency is really required in Italy – it is more a question of being in Italy on the days that their respective consulate (you will need to bring your legal documents here) is open in the major town closest to where you plan to get married. Most consulates are closed for both their countries’ holidays as well as Italian holidays, closed on weekends and typically only open a few days a week as well as being dependent on opening hours from the Italian authorities to have an apostille affixed. Therefore, check with your country’s specific information for Italy prior to your departure so all is organized well beforehand – and no surprises arise.
Q: Is there a difference between a religious and civil ceremony in Italy in terms of what the couple may be required to do before the big day?
If the religious ceremony is performed by a Roman Catholic priest, a separate civil ceremony is unnecessary but the priest must register the marriage with the “Ufficiale di Stato Civile” in order for it to be legal. Because of special Italian requirements for marriages performed by non-Roman Catholic clergymen, they usually insist on a prior civil ceremony before performing a religious ceremony to ensure the legality of the marriage.
Q: Any tips or ways to make the legal process easier?
Yes! We work very closely with an amazing service in Italy (the only one in fact who offers this service) who not only can take care of all your handling and processing all the paperwork for the couple beforehand (all they have to do is show up 1-2 days before) but also offers legal ceremonies at all outdoor locations – should you choose not to get married in a church nor want to bother with the process of having to have a civil ceremony in the town hall beforehand. It is a little costly – but really worth the money and hassle that can be involved with all the paperwork and filing involved. Also for the fact that your outdoor ceremony overlooking a cliff in Capri is legal!
Alternatively, most of my clients typically have their civil ceremony in the town which they reside in – and “just” come to Italy for the outdoor ceremony and are married by their officiant of choice. This is definitely the easiest and less costly option. The couple can have a small civil ceremony with closest family and then have the big fun wedding ceremony in Italy later on.
Stay tuned for part two of our interview with Diana tomorrow when she’ll expand on ways to get around and what to look out for when booking your date!