Symbolic & Civil Ceremonies
in Tuscany & Umbria

Civil Ceremonies

by Gemma


Is it possible to get civilly married in Italy for a foreign couple?

For foreign couples, getting married with a civil wedding in Italy is definitely possible. I’ve done it several times and any time a civil wedding is performed in Italy, a certificate of marriage is issued by the competent town hall. Many foreign countries don’t even register the marriage, it means that you are married and that’s it; you don’t have to demonstrate it. As a matter of fact, it’s NOT possible to contract a new wedding anywhere in the world as only the first one will be valid. Once married in Italy, you’re married everywhere in the world ☺️

The certificate of marriage can be obtained in a multi-language form and serves as proof in case you need to demonstrate you’re husband and wife, for example while opening a new bank account, or while asking to take your partner’s surname (if allowed in your country).

Civil wedding In Italy at San Galgano Abbey

What are the 3 options to get civilly married in Italy?

or in a “CASA COMUNALE” –

Getting married RIGHT IN THE TOWN HALL BUILDING is the first option. Think of Florence or the smaller Cortona and Castiglione del Lago (in Umbria). They’re beautiful medieval borgos hence, why not to have a short walk after the civil ceremony? Also, many town halls offer now locations such as gardens or theaters to get civilly married.

Another good option is to pick a “CASA COMUNALE”. This is a holiday villa, privately owned, where you can sleep, have the civil ceremony and reception too. These villas have been granted the permission to “host” civil weddings by their town hall. This means that you don’t have to move but a civil officer will come directly to you. See some CASA COMUNALE here.


The Catholic ceremony (Holy Mass) is also very renown.  This is possible in a Catholic church with an English speaking priest celebrating the Catholic religious wedding with civil effects. Some couples also invite a priest from home to hold the ceremony in Italy.


The Catholic religion is not the only option. In fact, many couples decide to get married with an Evangelic Pastor. In this case the ceremony will be religious with civil effects as well but differently from the Catholic ones, it can be performed at the villa where you’re sleeping (even not a “casa comunale”) and having the reception after the ceremony right there.

Personalization and differences


Please consider the documents to collect are almost the same for the 3 options, just the ceremony in a Catholic church requires extra documents and a bit more planning but all is feasible 🙂


—> a ceremony at a town hall normally allows a small personalization at the beginning (like your story or a reading). then, we have the reading of the articles of the civil code (about the residence of the family and children education), the exchange of vows and rings, pronouncement as husband and wife, the reading and signing of the act of marriage and some final words.
As location, as said, you can decide to have your guests heading to the town hall or book already a “casa comunale” in advance, i.e. a holiday villa* that has been granted the possibility to have a civil wedding on its grounds by the town hall. While booking ask them directly whether they’re a “casa comunale”. If not, evaluate option 3.

—> a ceremony in a Catholic church is the classical holy mass where it’s possible to have a minor personalization like the choice of the readings and religious songs (in collaboration with the priest). Of course this is the ceremony to go for if you’re Catholic and would like to be married under the Catholic religion. Please note, the reading of the articles of the Italian civil code as above is compulsory since the wedding is also civilly binding. As location, only churches are allowed to host Catholic-civil weddings.

—> a ceremony with an Evangelic pastor is more flexible in its content. In fact, I normally accompany the pastor and lead the ceremony together with him. I’ll include passages like some words about love and marriage, your story and a ritual, while the pastor will do a prayer and bless your rings. Of course, the exchange of rings and vows are also included. Being it civil, again the reading of the civil articles and the act of marriage is compulsory. As location, any villas can host this type of ceremony, even if it’s not a “casa comunale”*. A disadvatage about a ceremony with a pastor is that there are no many pastors around. Hence in case, the pastor won’t be available for any last minute occurrence, the alternative would be to do a quick civil ceremony at a town hall with your 2 witnesses and have a symbolic ceremony at the venue you’ve booked (in this case, performed by me, Gemma, as sole celebrant).

What are the documents to collect to make the ceremony civilly binding and valid worldwide?

Since the ceremony is civilly binding, the Italian town halls are competent to check that there’s no impediment and you’re free to marry. You do this while presenting some documents that vary from country to country: it can be a certificate of capacity to marry, a sworn declaration or a nulla osta. You can ask me about which documents your need or find very useful information online about, just make sure you check an official source like your government website. 

As a general rule, some documents are to be produced in your home country (or your embassy of reference if you’re not living in your home country) and some in Italy directly.

DOCUMENTS TO PRODUCE IN ITALY: For US and Australian citizens, it’s compulsory to take an appointment in the respective embassies in Italy before the wedding (in fact it’s recommended for you to be in Italy at least 5 to 7 working days before the wedding day).

For all other citizenships (including US and AU), please note a meeting is needed a few days before the wedding (1 up to 5 depending on the town hall own rules). This is compulsory notwithstanding the type of ceremony you go for (only civil or religious-civil). This appointment can be voided JUST in case you’re an Italian citizen living abroad (and regularly inscribed to the so-called AIRE).


As a general rule, documents required to get civilly married in Italy are valid for 6 months only. It means we won’t ever start to collect them before the 6 months to the wedding. However, it’s always advisable to book the town hall, or church, or pastor AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE in order to be sure you are able to book the right LOCATION, the right DATE and the right TIME for your needs.

What about me then? Here is how I can help you ☺️

    My assistance includes:

  • booking of the town hall/church and/or celebrant to perform the ceremony
  • guidance on the right documents to get and check of the documents once ready
  • translation and legalization of the same in Italy if required
  • to be present twice as interpreter (compulsory meeting at the town hall + on the wedding day)
  • assist your guests on the day welcoming them at the villa, letting them stand for your entrance, guiding them for your walk out from the ceremony
  • add a small personalization in case of a civil wedding
  • add a wider personalization in case of a civil wedding with a Pastor

    Areas where I work:

  • Tuscany: areas of Siena, Florence, Chianti, val d’Orcia
  • Umbria: areas of Trasimeno lake and Perugia
  • For CATHOLIC WEDDINGS (IN A CHURCH), I provide assistance just in a few Tuscan areas (Cortona, Lucignano, Monte San Savino, Sinalunga)
  • For other areas of Tuscany and Umbria, I can give you the contacts of trustworthy colleagues.
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