What Australians Need to Know Before Getting Married in Italy

by | Destination Wedding Tips & Tricks, Honeymoons, Location Europe


Ms Polka Dot

Wedding by Anna Ambrosi photography
Photo by Anna Ambrosi Photography

We have loved celebrating all things Italy for The Italy Issue and we knew amongst it all, that we needed to get to the legal  requirements for those of us jetting off on a jet plane to wed in the sunny country. Design Anarchy, who plan many, many stunning Italian weddings for Aussies stepped up to fill us in with their expert knowledge!

Civil Weddings

Two main documents are required for Australian citizens to marry in Italy. These are the Atto Notorio and the Nulla Osta.

1. “Atto di notorietà per uso matrimonio” (also known as Atto Notorio): this should be obtained from the Italian Embassy or nearest Italian Consulate in the state where you reside before leaving Australia.  If you are unable to obtain the Atto Notorio from an Italian Consulate in Australia, you may obtain one from a Tribunale Civile (Civil Court) in Italy or from the civil registrar (ufficiale di stato civile) of the marriage office of the city where you plan to get married.

Unfortunately despite this is the procedure required, our agency has encountered several problems in obtaining the Atto Notorio from an Italian Tribunal, requesting our agency to wait for months due to the long waiting lists.

For these reasons, we had to send our request to smaller Tribunals, in smaller cities of Italy.

Italian Destination Wedding Anna Ambrosi photography
Anna Ambrosi Photography

We, therefore, alert Australians wishing to get married in Italy that this process is long and frustrating and will require them to travel to Italy several times before their wedding day.

If you are requesting the Atto Notorio from the Tribunale Civile, you must attend in person together with two to four adult witnesses. If either spouse or one of the witnesses does not speak Italian, it is necessary to provide an interpreter, in addition to the two witnesses.

  1. NULLA OSTA: In addition to the above-mentioned Atto Notorio, an Australian citizen intending to marry in Italy will need to make a Sworn Declaration (Nulla Osta) at the Australian Embassy in Rome or the Australian Consulate-General in Milan. Make sure you travel with your Australian passport as this has to be presented to Embassy/Consulate officers when signing the Nulla Osta.
    A Nulla Osta states that there is no impediment to marriage and must be signed, whether you are single, divorced or widowed, in the presence of an Australian Consular officer at the Australian

The Nulla Osta (Sworn Declaration) is valid for six months so you don’t need to do it too much in advance from the date of your wedding. 

Destination Wedding in Italy Anna Ambrosi photography 1

Photo by Anna Ambrosi Photography

Religious Weddings

Where can religious weddings can be celebrated?

Catholic – The Catholic rite can only be celebrated inside the Catholic church and it is the only one in Italy that can bear legal validity if the relevant bureaucratic procedure will be followed.

If you have been married already for the civil law in your country, you can still marry inside a Catholic church, showing the civil wedding certificates which state your wedding details and validity.

Please note that due to the high demand from foreign couples to get married inside Catholic churches in Italy, has brought many Italian churches to close their doors to NON-residents, therefore, the search for availability of a Catholic church is not obvious and the permission will depend from priest to priest, from town to town.

Anglican – The Anglican rite can take place in an Anglican church or at the venue, and it doesn’t bear any legal validity in Italy.

Orthodox – The Orthodox rite can take place in an Orthodox church and it doesn’t bear any legal validity in Italy.

Jewish -The Jewish rite shall take place in a Synagogue or at the venue with the presence of a Rabbi.

Lisa Poggi Italian Wedding
Lisa Poggi 1

Photos by Lissa Poggi

Italy & Its Location

You should take into account that if you choose to get married on an island or on a remote village you won’t have access to all the facilities and services you would usually get in a bigger town. Flexibility, in this case, is important and you should appreciate the beauty of the place accepting the constraints it brings along.


Italian Food

Italian food is yummy and Italians are famous for their culinary ability, their simple recipes and the freshness of the ingredients they use.

If you are looking for a French style nouvelle cuisine, Italy might not be the right place unless you pick a venue with a Michelin starred restaurant or you hire a gourmet chef for your special day. Italian products are presented according to our history and experience on food. Some chefs are more open to experimenting with new ways of presentations of their dishes but this is the exception and not the rule. Our food culture is simple, fresh and of seasonal quality.


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Design Anarchy is an international team of eclectic, extravagant, dedicated, passionate, energetic experts in wedding production, creative experiences, unique trends and everything Italian with an influence from remote inspirational places around the globe.

Constantly travelling between London, Amsterdam, Bali, Italy and other similarly amazing spots in the world, they work with a suitcase in their hand and their phone in the other, struck by the beauty of life and by the importance of celebrating it.

The founders and creative directors, Clara & Eva, are obviously Italian. They head two event production agencies and consult in styling and strategies from private properties that want to make a statement in the world of private celebrations.

Ms Polka Says: A big thank you to this talented team for sharing the ins and outs for Aussies wanting an Italian celebration. We can’t wait to see the magic weddings set to unfold!

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