Catholic Wedding Requirements
For a Catholic wedding the following documents are required:
- Certificate of Baptism
- First Communion
all to be stamped by the local Bishop’s office. If your local Parish is not able to provide you the originals, ask for some copies that have necessary to be sealed by your local Bishop.
- Declaration (formal letter)
from your Priest/Pastoral Advisor which could state that both bride and the groom are active in the Catholic Church and that they intend seriously to have a religious blessing in Italy (specify the name of the church you selected in Italy and your wedding date). This letter represents a permission released by you Priest and required by the Italian Curia which testify that your local Priest knows you and allows your wedding in Italy.
Being an official and formal letter, it has to be written in the letterhead paper of your Parish. The letter has also to state that you have fulfilled all the Pre Cana Classes. Certificate of the Pre Martial classes (if a certificate was done) should be included.
- Nihil Obstat
Letter from the Bishop of your Parish (written on letterhead of your Bishop’s office) This is one of the most important documents required by the Italian religious Authorities.
This letter must specify that you have No Impediment to get married in the Italian Church you selected (specify the name) at the date requested. This letter certifies that the religious authorities over your local priest have approved your wedding in Italy.
- Original Prenuptial Enquiry Form
issued by the archdiocese of your city (the Italian Curia must have a proof that your wedding has been approved by the higher member of the Catholic Church in your country).
This document has to be issued by your Parish (written on a formal letterhead). It has to be signed and stamped with the Church seals by your local Bishop’s office (not by your Priest).
The Prenuptial Enquiry Form is a prenuptial investigation which includes your personal details and some general religious data. This questionnaire has to be filled with you together with your Priest.
Catholic Wedding with Civil Portion
In case your civil ceremony was performed prior the religious ceremony you should show the original civil documents (the civil wedding certificate which states that you are legally married) to the Italian priest. Note that The civil wedding certificate never expires.
If you wish to have a religious ceremony legally recognized by the Italian authorities you should be able to provide the civil paperwork requested.
If one of the Parties has been divorced, the Italian Catholic Church won’t allow you to re-marry in a Church, unless the Rota (the only Institution legally able to officially annull marriages) had previously annulled your wedding.
In case the couple has been previously civilly divorced and want to get married again in the Church it is required a civil reconciliation certificate.
Permission of Mixed Religion or Dispensation
If one of you are not Catholic you are allowed to get married but you should provide this additional document which testify that your wedding can be performed by the Italian religious authorities.
This certificate is usually issued by the local bishop of your country, but I would suggest to ask for information to your local Priest who will easily help you to obtain this document. The ‘Permission of mixed religion’ has to be sealed or stamped by the Bishop’s Parish office.
Translation of Documents
Most of the Italian Churches will directly translate your documents but if you select an area where they do not offer this service I will provide it for an additional fee.
Document Expiry Dates
Documents should not be done more than 3 months in advance or they expire. (except for the certificate of baptism, holy communion and confirmation, issued when you received these sacraments).
Therefore you have plenty of time to obtain these documents as they can not be received any earlier than six months before the wedding and usually by two months before. Please note that at least 2 months is the minimum requested from the Italian religious Authorities to review and approve the paperwork.
At this time you should send all the originals directly to the Italian Curia, so they can proceed with the preparation of documents.
In order to complete the Catholic marriage requirements it is fundamental to provide the originals documents. If time does not permit, it is possible for you to bring the originals with you and show the originals during the meeting I will organize with the Priest (usually 1 or 2 days before the wedding, according to the Priest’s availability). However, I do not recommend using this option unless absolutely necessary, as it is not normally a valid option.
Keep the original documents with you, do not send these here in Italy before receiving the Italian Religious Authorities approval based on the copies you send us.
The above are some general religious procedures which can vary from one diocese to another and therefore must be verified in each individual case: being constantly in contact and updated with all the churches all over Italy we can consequently guarantee you a professional assistance.
All the copies if these documents should be sent to us via fax or scan via email.
It is necessary to receive copies of all of these documents to verify with the Italian Church that they are complete and correct.
Please send all the original documents to us or to Italy by DHL or FEDEX (always save the tracking number). Please never use the normal postal service.
NOTE: The Italian priest or Curia has final say on granting official permission for the catholic ceremony to move forward after checking the paperwork, therefore the agency does not have authority over religious regulations.