How to Get Married Online in Italy (Step-by-Step Guide)

May 20, 2024
8 min

In a world increasingly reliant on technology, the concept of marriage has evolved to embrace new forms. Online marriages, for instance, have emerged as a convenient option for couples seeking to tie the knot remotely. However, the legal validity of these ceremonies varies from country to country. 

This article explores the specific case of Italy, examining its stance on online marriages and the factors that influence its recognition of such unions. Traditionally, marriages performed legally in one country are accepted in most others, with specific requirements that must be met for them to be considered legitimate.

Orange Powerboat Between Medium Rise Buildings in Italy

The Legality of Online Marriages in Italy

Before the global pandemic, specific countries had strict rules requiring both the couple and the officiant to be physically present for a marriage to be valid. Moreover, couples had to personally visit the county clerk's office for a marriage license.

However, in 2019, Utah County revolutionized this process by introducing a fully digital marriage license application system. This eliminated the need for physical visits, making the process more efficient. Utah's online marriage system is notable for its inclusivity, accessible to all, regardless of location. 

Getting married in Italy offers a choice between a streamlined civil ceremony or a more involved Catholic wedding. Civil ceremonies are generally faster and easier for non-residents, with local authorities reviewing documents within a few days. The ceremony itself can be held in a charming town hall or a beautiful, officially sanctioned venue.

For a Catholic wedding in Italy, especially if you're not a resident, expect a more extensive planning process. Non-resident couples should typically allow 2-3 months for document processing to ensure everything is for the ceremony. 

Choosing an online marriage with Courtly provides a faster and more convenient option, allowing couples to marry at any time and from anywhere. This simplified process reduces the long wait periods associated with conventional ceremonies.  

Traditional Marriage Process in Italy

​​In Italy, weddings are often steeped in rich traditions that date back centuries, adding depth and significance to the celebration. Here's a walkthrough of the traditional wedding process in Italy.


Both parties must gather the necessary documentation. This usually includes:

  • Your passports
  • Your birth certificates
  • A certificate of no impediment (Nulla Osta), which confirms that there are no legal obstacles to the marriage
  • Non-Italian citizens may require additional documentation, such as a declaration of intent to marry (Dichiarazione Giurata)

Declaration of Intent

Couples must declare their intention to marry before a civil registrar (Ufficiale di Stato Civile) in the town where they plan to wed. This declaration is known as the "Atto di Notorietà" and must be made at least two to three days before the wedding ceremony.

Civil Ceremony

In Italy, civil ceremonies are the only legally recognized marriages. Couples can choose to have their ceremony at the town hall (Municipio) or another authorized location. The ceremony is conducted by the civil registrar and includes the exchange of vows and the signing of the marriage register.


Two witnesses, who are at least 18 years old and not directly related to the couple, must be present at the ceremony and sign the marriage register.

Marriage Certificate

Following the ceremony, the civil registrar issues a marriage certificate (Atto di Matrimonio), which legally recognizes the marriage. This certificate is essential for any administrative or legal purposes.

Publication of Banns

In Italy, there's a requirement to post marriage banns. This is a public announcement of your intention to marry, posted at the local town hall for a set period before the wedding. This allows anyone with objections to the marriage to come forward.

Registration of Marriage

The marriage must be registered with the local Italian authorities. The civil registrar usually handles this step, but couples should ensure that the registration is completed to avoid any legal complications in the future.

newly wed couple kissing in the streets of Italy

Religious Ceremony (Optional)

Couples who wish to have a religious ceremony can do so after the civil ceremony. However, the religious ceremony does not hold any legal significance in Italy. If the couple chooses to have a religious ceremony, they must adhere to the requirements of the relevant religious institution.

It's important to note that the specific requirements and procedures may vary slightly depending on the region in Italy where you plan to get married, so it's advisable to check with the local authorities or a wedding planner for guidance.

Courtly: Simplifying the Online Marriage Process in Italy

Courtly streamlines the online marriage process in Italy, but there are still a few steps you can take to ensure a successful experience. First, prioritize clear communication with Courtly representatives. Discuss your specific situation and needs, don't hesitate to ask questions about required documents, timelines, and any legal concerns you might have. This open communication will help us tailor our services to your situation and avoid any surprises down the road. 

While Courtly focuses on the legal aspects of marriage, you can plan your virtual ceremony with our help. They can connect you with authorized officiants and help confirm the date, time, and location of your ceremony with the chosen officiant. Following these tips will ensure a smooth and successful online marriage process with Courtly in Italy.

Step-by-Step Guide for Getting Married Online in Italy with Courtly

Through Courtly, couples can easily complete the entire marriage process online, regardless of where they are located. Obtaining a valid U.S. marriage certificate is fast and straightforward, often within 48 hours, with minimal documentation required. Here's a step-by-step guide to using Courtly:

1. Create an account.

To register with Courtly, click on the "Get Married" icon and follow the prompts to create an account. Once registered, you'll gain access to the platform.

2. Choose the ceremony format, setting, and officiant.

Select your preferred ceremony format, location, and officiant. Courtly will pair you with a legally qualified U.S. officiant based on your chosen time and day.

3. Receive an email confirmation after payment.

After selecting your wedding package, complete the payment process and await the confirmation email from Courtly. Once confirmed, your wedding plans are set in motion. For details on available packages and add-ons, refer to our Pricing Page.

4. Celebrate your marriage online with your loved ones.

Tie the knot online from anywhere with an internet connection. The ceremony typically lasts around 15 minutes. 

couple getting married remotely with a licensed officiant via zoom

Following the ceremony, you'll receive a digital copy of your U.S. marriage certificate immediately, with a printed copy delivered within 1 to 2 weeks. You can also download your digital marriage license shortly after the wedding.

Registration of Online Marriages in Italy

To register an online marriage in Italy, you'll need to follow specific procedures depending if you are going to register your marriage outside or inside Italy.

Registration of Online Marriage In Italy

If you were married abroad and you will register your marriage in Italy, you'll need to register the foreign marriage certificate with the Italian town hall (Comune) of your choice.

  • Legalization: Obtain an Apostille (or equivalent legalization) for your marriage certificate. This is typically done at the Italian Consulate in the country where you were married.
  • Translation: Have the marriage certificate translated into Italian by a certified translator.
  • Registration Form: Fill out a request form for marriage registration (usually available at the Comune).

Submit the following documents to the Comune:

  • Original marriage certificate with Apostille (or equivalent.
  • Italian translation of the marriage certificate
  • A completed registration form

Registration of Online Marriage Outside Italy

To register an online marriage that took place outside Italy, you can follow the guidance provided by the Consulate General of Italy in New York:

  1. Prepare Necessary Documents: Gather all required documents, including the original marriage certificate issued by the competent foreign authority. Ensure that the certificate contains all relevant details and signatures.
  2. Legalization and Translation: The marriage certificate must be legalized according to the regulations of the country where the marriage occurred. Additionally, if the certificate is in a language other than Italian, it must be translated into Italian by a certified translator.
  3. Submit Documentation to the Consulate: Present the legalized and translated marriage certificate, along with any other required documents, to the Italian consulate where you are situated. You may need to schedule an appointment or follow specific submission procedures outlined by the consulate.
  4. Verification and Registration: The consulate will verify the authenticity of the documents and register the marriage in the Italian civil registry (Registro Civile). This process may take some time, so it's important to be patient.
  5. Receive Italian Marriage Certificate: Once the registration process is complete, the consulate will issue an Italian marriage certificate (Atto di Matrimonio) or an extract of the marriage certificate (Estratto dell'Atto di Matrimonio). This certificate is officially recognized in Italy and can be used for legal purposes.
  6. Further Steps (if required): Depending on the specific circumstances of the marriage and the requirements of the Italian authorities, there may be additional steps or documentation needed. It's essential to follow any instructions provided by the consulate and ensure that all requirements are met.

Apostille certification for online marriage certificates

An apostille is a unique certificate issued by the Secretary of State or Lieutenant Governor, allowing a legal document from one country to be acknowledged and accepted in another. This certification validates your marriage certificate, ensuring it meets the standards outlined in The Hague Apostille Convention of 1961, making it recognizable in countries that are part of the convention.

Courtly offers the service of obtaining an apostille certification for your marriage certificate. It's important to know that the process, from obtaining the apostille to reaching Italy after your online ceremony, typically takes 15 to 30 business days. This certification adds an extra layer of legality and authenticity to your marriage certificate, making it valid in Italy or any other country that acknowledges apostilled documents.

It's recommended to keep yourself updated on the specific requirements and procedures for obtaining an apostille certification in your area. You can also consult with Courtly or relevant authorities to ensure you have the most accurate and current information available.


This guide has equipped you with the knowledge to navigate online marriage in Italy with Courtly. We've covered the legality of online marriages, compared them to traditional ceremonies, and outlined the registration and apostille processes. By prioritizing clear communication with Courtly and planning your legal ceremony, you can ensure a smooth experience. Ultimately, Courtly simplifies the online marriage journey in Italy, allowing couples to begin their new life together with confidence and ease.

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

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