The legal documents and their expiry dates.

Even if you plan a small civil ceremony without a wedding reception, you still need to take into consideration how long it takes to complete the legal procedure and the expiry dates of the required documents in Italy. That’s why the timing is very important when you decide to get married abroad. There are a few factors to be considered.

First of all, if you choose a very famous and requested destination and you opt for a date that is a weekend, it is always better to book at least a year in advance.

Then, the timing of the legal procedures and the expiry date of the documents is very important. No matter what your nationality and country of origin is, the documents to be presented to the Italian authorities expire after 6 months. For some European countries,  they are only valid for 4 months. However, when it comes to European states, also the times required to complete the procedure are shorter as the procedures are simpler.

By contrast, for non-European countries, the procedure is more complex. In such cases it is always preferable to get informed at least a year in advance on the procedures and types of documents to be collected.

A quite recent case that I remember is that of an American citizen, residing in the USA but born in India. He had to produce a birth certificate issued by the Ministry of Foreign  Affairs in India. This certificate had to have the apostille done and had to be translated into Italian. All this in order to obtain the Atto Notorio released by the Italian authorities with the expiry date after 6 months. Knowing the steps that we had to complete to obtain the document, we were able to start the procedures and complete them on time.

For this reason it is essential to know your personal situation at least a year before and understand what to do. Once you know how to proceed and the times required, you can proceed with the booking of the wedding venue and start the procedure with the right timing.

In other blog post I have explained the types of documents required for legal marriage according to the nationality. Here you can find out more. 

To sum up, knowing beforehand how long it takes to complete the procedure and the expiry dates of the documents, you will be able to avoid stressful and unpredicted situations. With the right guidance it will be completed smoothly and you will be able to focus on the more pleasant parts of the wedding preparations! 

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