Wedding in Rome

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TrustLove Posts : 73 Registered: 3/7/08
Wedding in Rome
Posted: May 16, 2010 11:43 PM

FH and I are planning to get married in Rome in about two years. We plan on getting married at the

Westin Excelsior, Rome
. I have a few question. Does anyone have any advice for planning a destination wedding? What paperwork needs to be filled out? Has anyone planned or gotten married in Rome? Is it worth it to get a wedding planner, and if so should the planner be from the destination where we plan on getting married? Any other advice or information is greatly appreciated. Thanks Ladies


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Wedding in Rome
Posted: May 17, 2010 1:05 AM Go to message in response to: TrustLove

Dear TL,

In my humble opinion, you totally need a wedding planner if you are getting married (1) a long distance from home and (2) in a foreign country.

There are tons of things to consider, and only a wedding planner located in Rome will be in a position to narrow down your choices. What do you plan to do, for example, for flowers? Open up the Rome phone book and pick a florist at random?

A wedding planner in Rome will already know several good, reliable florists and will offer you a defined choice.

Finally, you must, repeat, must become entirely familiar with Italian requirements for a legal marriage. Italy is the epicenter of Civil Law, and in Civil Law countries you typically need certificate after certificate, approval after approval. That's the polar opposite of Common Law, the basis for the US legal system.

(When I was in Rome, some years back, my business client showed me what he had to do when submitting a proposal for a government procurement request, including sealing the outside envelope with a wax seal in five places, signing his name across the seams of the envelope, etc.)

A wedding planner in Rome will be able to step you through the process, and make sure that everything is ready by W-Day. You don't want to walk out in your white gown only to find that some small but incredibly important part of the paperwork has been overlooked.


There is another message thread on this website where the couple planned a wedding in Mexico, another Civil Law country. Just weeks before the wedding, they discovered that they cannot get a marriage license in Mexico because the groom-to-be has been officially divorced for less than a year. They did not do their due diligence before planning the wedding. That's a good lesson to you. Find out everything you need to do, and get it all done.


TrustLove Posts : 73 Registered: 3/7/08
Re: Wedding in Rome
Posted: May 17, 2010 5:03 AM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride


Thank you so much for the advice. I was looking at all the documents and steps that need to be taken to have a destination wedding and realized that it would be much easier to get a wedding planner (from Rome) to help us plan and orchestrate our wedding day. The hotel were we plan on having the wedding has a list of wedding coordinators, so I will definately be looking at that along with other wedding planner in the area.

I would hate to have planned our wedding, ready to walk down the aisle only find out some paperwork had not been filed. I didn't even notice that Italy has Civil Law, not Common Law. Thanks for the heads up, I will defiantly look up information about that.



auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Wedding in Rome
Posted: May 17, 2010 10:07 AM Go to message in response to: TrustLove

Dear TL,

A lawyer could explain it better than I can, but I'll try.

Under Common Law, essentially, everything is permitted unless forbidden by law.

Under Civil Law, essentially, everything is forbidden unless permitted by law.

In general, there are several simple requirements for getting married. Each person must be of lawful age. (No 3-year old brides.) Each person must be free to marry. (No bigamy.) Each person must enter into the marriage willingly. (No shotgun weddings.)

Under Common Law, a couple who meets those requirements may simply move in together, and publically declare themselves to be married. No license, no permit from the state in advance. There are a few states in the US that still permit the establishment of a Common Law marriage.

Under Civil Law, the couple must prove to the civil authorities that they meet those requrements. They have to prove that they are of legal age, prove that they are both free to marry, etc, then once all that has been proved, they are issued a permit (license) from the civil authorities to marry.

Most states in the US have done away with pure Common Law marriage, as it gets very messy when the couple break up. One says "We were married", the other says "No we were not.". Without a license and marriage certificate, it's hard to prove it one way or the other. That's why most US states have gone to a sort of compromise between Common Law and Civil Law.

Most states require you to get a license from the state before the ceremony, and require the license to be signed by the officiant and (maybe) witnesses, then filed with the civil authorities. Once that is complete, the civil authorities issues a marriage certificate, certifying the marriage legally exists.

However, when you go to apply for a US marriage license, you do not have to prove your eligibility to marry. You usually have to supply birth certificates or other ID, but a never-married single person can simply declare "I'm single" to the civil officer, under penalty of perjury, and that's it.

Under Civil Law, you would have to prove that you are single before getting your marriage license. How would you prove a negative? That no marriage certificate with your name exists ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD?

Think about that for a while, and then go back and review all the requirements for an American couple marrying in Italy, and make yourself a list of things you have to do and paperwork you have to collect. You might start by asking if all this paperwork must be "officially" translated into Italian.


time94am Posts : 42 Registered: 5/16/10
Re: Wedding in Rome
Posted: May 17, 2010 11:24 AM Go to message in response to: TrustLove

You might want to check out the US government's site on weddings in Italy:


wzq103 Posts : 1,190 Registered: 9/11/12
Re: Wedding in Rome
Posted: Dec 14, 2012 4:54 AM Go to message in response to: TrustLove

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