Now we are going to deliver you all the necessary information in order to get married in Italy, and to make it legal in the United States. This content is only for American couples interested in having a destination Wedding in Italy and assumes that either the bride and the groom are USA citizens.
1) ABOUT THE ATTO NOTORIO
Before leaving the US, the first document you need to obtain is called the “Atto Notorio”, or “Affidavit”. This is a declaration stating that you and your fiancé are who you affirm to be and that you are free to marry each other. You must present the following documents in order to get the Atto Notorio:
a) Your and your fiancé’s long-form birth certificates, which show your parent’s full names.
b) If one of you is divorced or widowed, you need your original divorce decree or the death certificate of your previous spouse. Note that in Italy, there is a law that specifies that women whose previous marriage was terminated within the last 300 days need to obtain a waiver from the Italian District Attorney’s Office. This rule is to guarantee that the bride isn’t pregnant with another man’s baby. The District Attorney will also be asking for medical evidence.
c) Once you have these documents ready, you have to send them in for translation (to a certificated translator), and you will also need to apostille them. The apostilles don’t demand your presence, you can send the documents via mail to the Secretary of State’s Notary Public of your specific state.
d) Both of your passports and one copy each.
e) Four witnesses with their ID and a copy of it (it can be their driver’s license). They must be over 18 and unrelated to either of the two parties or to each other. The number of witnesses may vary from state to state, so when you get your appointment at the Italian embassy/consulate in the States, double-check with them as to how many witnesses you are going to need to bring in order to get the Atto Notorio. The affidavit will state that the witnesses swear under the penalty of perjury that they personally know the U.S. citizens, and that they personally know that the U.S. citizens have never been married or that are now divorced or widowed, that to the best of their knowledge the U.S. citizens are free to marry in accordance with the local laws, and that there are no objections for the U.S. citizens to be married in Italy. On the Atto Notorio, the names of the US citizens who are getting married in Italy, must match the ones indicated on their birth certificate. The affidavit must be executed within 90 days from the date of marriage, so it is important to obtain it three months prior to your wedding date in Italy. For example, if you are going to get married in June, you must receive your atto notorio in the month of March, and not earlier, otherwise, it will expire by the time you get married.
Once you have these documents ready, translated and apostilled, you have to go on to step 2.
2) MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AT THE NEAREST ITALIAN EMBASSY/CONSULATE IN THE UNITED STATES.
The Italian embassy or consulate isn’t located in every state within the USA, so it can be a little uncomfortable to join it. Once your appointment is set, you need to bring your witnesses with you, submit all your documents and they will be sworn in. Done? Perfect! You're officially getting your first Italian document!
Please, check that at the top of the page of the Atto Notorio the details “Repubblica Italiana” and “Consolato Generale D’Italia” are specifically indicated, otherwise the Atto Notorio is not valid.
3) THE NULLA OSTA
You will get the Nulla Osta in Italy at the US embassy or consulate (in Milan, Genoa, Venice, Florence, Rome, Naples or Palermo).
In order to receive the Nulla Osta, you will need to make another sworn statement that no impediments will prevent you from getting legally married in Italy. You have to set an appointment in order to get the Nulla Osta, and this document is valid for 6 months. It is important to schedule it at least one month before your wedding date and to keep in mind that the USA embassy/consulate gives out appointments only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so make sure you arrive in Italy in time to complete the procedure correctly. They will release you two Nulla Osta documents, one for the bride and one for the groom, which cost $50 USD per person, or the equivalent in euros.
Please note that it is extremely important not to forget the original of your documents, your passports and your $50 per person otherwise the procedure won’t complete successfully.
Make sure that your full name is written in the same way both on your passports, atto notorio, and on the nulla osta. Otherwise, your paperwork will not be valid. The brides have to write out their maiden name!
Once you have obtained your Nulla Osta documentation, you can take your certifications to the local “Prefettura'' of the district where you are getting married that will legalize them.
You will have to bring with you two 16 € revenue stamps, also called “marca da bollo”, that you can purchase at any “Tabaccheria” (Tobacco shop).
5) DECLARATION OF INTENTION TO MARRY
Once everything is done, the last thing to arrange is the appointment at the Town hall where you want to get married. Complete a “Declaration of Intention to Marry” and present all the documents to the Marriage office. I recommend you to take an interpreter with you if you don’t speak Italian at all.
This process is undoubtedly complicated so if you want to avoid any mistakes, if you have problems finding an interpreter or making the proper appointments, WPS will guide you through every step of the way!