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Couples who wish to be married in Italy must follow specific governmental requirements. They must appear together with two witnesses before the Ufficiale di Stato Civile (Civil Registrar) of the area where the marriage is to take place and file a declaration of intent to marry. When making this declaration, the couple must submit the following required documentation:

  1. U.S. passports (U.S. Armed Forces personnel must submit military ID).
  2. Birth certificates, preferably noting the names of both parents.
  3. Legal evidence of termination of any previous marriage.
  4. Parental or legal guardianship consent to the marriage of anyone under the age of 21.
  5. Affidavit from U.S. legal authority certifying that there are no impediments to the marriage under U.S. law. Since there is no federal registry of marriages in the United States, this obligation is fulfilled by providing both of the following:

    a) Affidavit sworn before a U.S. Consular Officer in Italy, in which the applicants state that there are no hindrances to their marriage under U.S. law. Armed Forces personnel must also submit a consent to the marriage from their Commanding Officer. The U.S. Embassy or Consulate must be contacted for an appointment prior to departing the United States. 

    b) Affidavit (ATTO NOTORIO) sworn by two witnesses appearing for this purpose before an Italian Consular Officer outside Italy, or before an authorized agency in Italy (mayor, local public registrar or notary), in which the witnesses verify that there are no holdups to the marriage under U.S. law.

Once the declaration and the documents have been recorded, it is customary for a marriage announcement to be posted at the local city hall for two consecutive Sundays prior to the date of the wedding. This condition is often waved when neither party is an Italian citizen nor resides in Italy.

The wedding ceremony can take place anytime after the fourth day following the second Sunday of the posting or at any time after the posting is waived. Civil ceremonies are performed by the Ufficiale di Stato Civile, while ceremonies performed by Roman Catholic clergy must guarantee that the marriage is recorded with the local civil records office. Religious ceremonies performed by non-Roman Catholic clergy are administered by a series of legal requirements. To ensure the legality of the marriage, most non-Roman Catholic clergy advise having the religious ritual preceded by a civil ceremony. It is advised that U.S. citizens planning to be wed in Italy obtain the Atto Notorio before leaving the United States in order to avoid any problems associated with locating two witnesses to perform this function. Documents issued outside of Italy must be accompanied by expert translations into Italian, be affixed with an Apostille, and be authenticated by an Italian Consular Officer.