This information may be useful for Roman Catholic marriage in Italy. Here are steps, which we passed befor the wedding.
First, ceremony can be religious or non-religious, and non-legal – symbolic, with elements of typical wedding. To make the ceremony in the church we needed especial paperwork. In Italy, no religious institute – other than the Roman Catholic Church by civil law. Non-Catholic Churches here ask you to hold a simple civil service before you get married. It can be done before church ceremony, in hometown or in Italy on the same day, or before, the religious blessing. When it done here are steps, what should be done:
1. Book the church. Our wedding planner contacted the priest from the church, which we choose, and booked it in our behalf. This serves; including sum of contribution to the church was 3 thousand EU. Church music is not included.
2. The couple should go through the normal procedures for Roman Catholic marriage in their home diocese, completing all the relevant documentation just as if they were to be married in their country of origin. Will take 1 month itself, not including time of preparation your own documents, what are:
- a) Pre-Cana certificate – a letter or other appropriate document signed by the priest who prepared the couple that they have received adequate instruction in the meaning of Christian marriage and understand its obligations (or equivalent). Make registration for Pre-Cana at least 6 month before ceremony, this is by Catholic law and it can be line for registration. We found our place on-line. It was one-day classes for 8 hours in the church basement. We made registration in 6 month before wedding – 1 month before classes and 5 month before wedding.
- b) Copies of his and her baptismal certificates make sure you have them at your home. Some dioceses ask it be updated.
- c) Certification that he and she have been confirmed (often this is an annotation on the baptismal certificate);
- d) A declaration that each of them is free to celebrate the sacrament (“stato libero eccesiastico” from the priest who prepares them for marriage;
- e) Copies of any relevant dispensations from their local bishop in the case of “mixed” marriages (i.e. of a Catholic with a non-Catholic or non-Christian) this can take several weeks or months make sure, you have enough time;
- f) Copies of the documentation relevant to annulment of a previously contracted marriage, where this applies.
- g) If couple legally married -copy of the civil wedding certificate In our church we bring all documents and they asked us to answer some questions.
We were given long tests with at least 70 questions. It took at least 1,5 hour to answer all of them. All questions are about future marriage live, including all possible situation – children, money and other relationship with other people. All these documents, accompanied by a letter from the bishop of the couple’s diocese or his delegate, should be sent in copy to the Italian bishop so as to arrive at least one month before the date of the celebration. We used wedding planner in Italy to make such type of work. We sent papers to the bishop and she delivered them directly to the church. We sent them 2.5 week before the wedding that was too advantage. Our advice is to do it earlier.
If the couple wishes to contract their legal marriage in the state of Italy, they must go through the same procedure as for a civil wedding in Italy – that is, obtaining Nulla Osta, and Atto di Notorieta’ for marriage. Wedding planners can assist you with these documents upon your arrival in Italy, but consider you’ll want to be in Italy a few days prior to the wedding. When possible, it is well to plan to arrive in Italy some time before the celebration, both to meet the priest who will preside at the nuptial Mass and the celebration of Matrimony. My husband visited alone, it was OK don’t do a mess.