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The Civil Ceremony

The civil service in Italy is a fully legal marriage, recognized throughout the world. The civil ceremony, by law, must takes place in a town hall, or a property belonging to the town hall, and will be presided over by the vice-mayor, or his substitute. In a few special cases, certain villas have been given special permission to host civil weddings.

The couple must complete certain documents here in Italy prior to the ceremony, and Italyweddings will assist fully with this, including, for American citizens, the Atto Notorio and Nulla Osta. For other nationalities, the process is quite simple, and the couple should consider being in Italy two or three days at least prior to the ceremony.

The ceremony is beautifully written, and full of significance - much more than a simple Justice of the Peace or Registry office ceremony you may be accustomed to. The couple are free (and encouraged) to add readings and music, and many of the elements of a religious ceremony may be included: the bride being given away, exchanging of personal vows, and exchanging of rings.

The witnesses are required for the civil wedding - usually two members of the wedding party, typically the maid of honor and best man, but often parents. If you do not have guests present, Italyweddings will take care of the witnesses.

Some previous civil weddings:

Kimberly and Alex, San Gimignano
Amanda and Andrew, Sala Rossa
Brid and Ian, Lucca
Angelina and Marco, close to Florence
Kara and Kevin, Siena
Arleen and Matthew, Cortona
Jenny and Richard, Certaldo
Tamara and Timothy, Pienza

You should consider:

Leave enough time during your stay to be present at your National Embassy to obtain the "Nulla Osta". This document will then be translated into a legally valid Italian document, by the staff of Italyweddings, and presented in the town hall where you will get married. In all, you should plan to be in Italy 3 days prior to the wedding.

Plan enough ahead: Italyweddings needs at least a month's notice for a civil service, to book appointments at the various offices.

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