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Catholic requirements to marry in Italy

Parish Permission

Formal letter from your parish priest granting permission for the wedding to be performed in the church you choose.
This letter is required by the Italian Curia (Diocese) to show that you have received permission from your parish priest to have your wedding ceremony performed in Italy. It should certify that your priest knows you and allows you to get married at the Italian Church of (exact name) at the specific date. This letter needs to be written on the letterhead paper of your Parish.

The letter from the priest must also state that you have fulfilled all PRE CANA procedures, and should include the certificate showing that you attended the premarital classes.

Bishop Permission

Your priest should also secure a letter from the Bishop of the parish stating the same as above and this letter should also be written on letterhead. The Bishop's permission to the wedding is one of the most important requirements for the Italian Curia. The letter must certify that:

  • You have no impediment to get married at the Italian Church of (name of the church) at the date (the date you are asking).
  • This letter must be written on the letterhead paper of your Bishop's office.
  • This letter shows that approval has been given by the authority over the priest who has written the letter referred in # 1.

 Prenuptial Inquiry Form

The original prenuptial inquiry form has to be issued by your parish and be on formal church letterhead of your Parish. The prenuptial inquiry form is not just the certificate but rather a type of signed questionnaire with church seals/signatures. Moreover this document must be stamped or sealed by the local Bishop's office (NOT just your priest).

A Prenuptial Inquiry is issued by the archdiocese of your city/town. It is the prenuptial investigation which your priest completes together with you. Your priest completes the questionnaire stating it has been approved so you can get married, signing the document as final approval.

Then this document has to be sealed by your local Bishop, so the Italian Curia/Diocese has the proof that it has been definitely approved by a higher member of the Catholic Church in your country.

Certificates

ALL certificates of baptism, first communion and confirmation must be sent together with the Prenuptial inquiry form and letters mentioned above and must also be stamped by the local Bishop's office. All these sacraments have to be received in order to have the Catholic wedding performed. Ask your Parish who performed these sacraments to provide these certificates. If you have problems obtaining the originals, ask for copies that have to be sealed by your local bishop. The seals of the bishop, are required on these documents by the Italian Curia.

For Catholic weddings with Civil validity

Original of the civil wedding certificate, (in event the Italian priest is not performing the civil part of the marriage the civil ceremony must be performed prior to the religious ceremony and that original certificate must be presented to the Italian priest) This would apply if you are not asking to be civilly married at the same wedding ceremony in Italy or in case that the Italian priest should not be able to do the civil and religious wedding together).

Please note: a wedding license is NOT a civil marriage certificate.

Permission of mixed religions

If one of you are not Catholic you will be required to obtain another document such as "Permission of mixed religions" to testify that the wedding celebration can be performed by the Italian Church. Generally this document is issued by the local Bishop of your country. Ask this information to your Parish, so they can help you to obtain this special permission.

All the documents mentioned MUST be sealed or stamped by the Bishop's parish office.  Please send your wedding planner a scanned copy of your documents once they are completed for review. Once this is done you will be asked to send all the ORIGINALS directly to the Italian Diocese, so they can proceed with the preparation of documents.

It is not possible to complete the Catholic marriage requirements without providing the originals documents.

NOTE: The Italian priest or Diocese has final say on granting official permission for the wedding to move forward after seeing the paperwork.

Keep the original documents with you, do not send these here in Italy before receiving the Italian Church approval based on the copies you send us.

Do not mail anything to Italy without first verifying the mailing address of where they should be sent.

Divorce

The above refer to a couple that has never been married previously. If you have been divorced in the Catholic church and your marriage was not officially annulled you cannot marry in the Catholic church. Please advise us if you have had your marriage annulled.

Expiration of Documents

Documents should not be done more than 6 months in advance or they expire. (Exception of the Baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation, that are issued when you received these sacraments).

For Catholic weddings only (not including the Civil portion), a certificate of civil marriage (note that the marriage license is not enough), is also required. The civil wedding certificate never expires. The only case is that the couple has divorced and want to get married again in the Church. In this case a civil reconciliation is required.


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