Catholic Wedding Requirements
Catholic Marriage Requirements and Catholic Wedding Requirements: The following documents indicated in bold are required for a Catholic Wedding in Italy.
1. Formal letter from your parish priest granting permission for the wedding to be performed in the church of __________________.
This letter is required by the Italian Curia to show that you have received permission from your parish priest to have your wedding ceremony performed. It should certify that your priest knows you and allows you to get married at the Italian Church of XXXXXX at the date XXXXX. This letter needs to be written on the letterhead paper of your Parish.
2. Your priest should also secure a letter from the Bishop of the parish stating the same as in # 1 and this letter should also be written on letterhead.
The Bishop’s permission to the wedding is one of the most important requirements for the Italian Curia. It must certify that you have no impediment to get married at the Italian Church of XXXXXX (name of the church) at the date XXXXX (the date you are asking). This letter needs to be written on the letterhead paper of your Bishop’s office. This letter shows that approval has been given by the authority over the priest who has written the letter referred in # 1.
3. The letter from the priest must also state that you have fulfilled all PRE CANA procedures, and should include the certificate (if a certificate was done) showing that you attended the premarital classes.
4. The Original prenuptial inquiry form has to be issued by your parish and be on formal church letterhead of your Parish. The prenuptial inquiry form is not just the certificate but rather a type of signed questionnaire with church seals/signatures. Moreover this document must be stamped by the local Bishop’s office (NOT just your priest).
A PRENUPTIAL INQUIRY is issued by the archdiocese of your city/town. It is the prenuptial investigation that includes your dates, names and general religious data which your priest completes together with you. Your priest completes the questionnaire stating it has been approved so you can get married, signing the document as final approval. Then this document has to be sealed by your local Bishop, so the Italian Curia has the proof that it has been definitely approved by a higher member of the Catholic Church in your country.
5. ALL certificates of baptism, first communion and confirmation must be sent together with the Prenuptial inquiry form and letters mentioned in # 1, # 2 and must also be stamped by the local Bishop’s office.
All these sacraments have to be received in order to have the Catholic wedding performed. Ask your Parish who performed these sacraments to provide these certificates. If you have problems obtaining the originals, ask for copies that have to be sealed by your local bishop. The seals of the bishop, are required on these documents by the Italian Curia.
6. Original of the civil wedding certificate, (in event the Italian priest will not perform the civil part of the marriage the civil ceremony must be performed prior to the religious ceremony and that original certificate must be presented to the Italian priest). This would apply if you are not asking to be civilly married at the same wedding ceremony in Italy or in case that the Italian priest should not be able to do the civil and religious wedding together).
Determined on a case by case basis. In case you will receive the Catholic wedding and not the civil one at the Italian church you need to provide the civil wedding certificate. Please note: Not only the wedding licence (issued in USA) but the original certificate that you are legally married.
7. If one of you are not Catholic you will be required to obtain another document such as “Permission of mixed religions” to testify that the wedding celebration can be performed by the Italian Church.
Generally this document is issued by the local Bishop of your country. Ask this information to your Parish, so they can help you to obtain this special permission.
All the documents mentioned (excluding # 6) MUST have been sealed or stamped by the Bishop’s parish office.
It is necessary for us to receive copies of all of these documents in advance, so as to verify with the Italian Church that they are complete.
At a later date you will be asked to send all the ORIGINALS directly to the Italian Curia, so they can proceed with the preparation of documents. It is not possible to complete the Catholic marriage requirements without providing the originals documents. If time does not permit, it is possible for you to bring the originals with you, however, we do not recommend using this option unless absolutely necessary.
We are happy to translate your documents for the Italian priest as required for an additional fee.
NOTE: The Italian priest or Curia has final say on granting official permission for the wedding to move forward after seeing the paperwork.
The agency does not have authority over religious regulations.
Keep the original documents with you, do not send these here in Italy before receiving the Italian Church approval based on the copies you send us.
FOLLOWING OUR INSTRUCTIONS WILL HELP MAKE YOUR WEDDING GO MORE EFFICIENTLY.
Catholic requirements** The above refer to a couple that has never been married previously. If you have been divorced in the Catholic church and your marriage was not officially annulled you cannot marry in the Catholic church. Please advise us if you have had your marriage annulled.
Documents should not be done more than 3 months in advance or they expire. (with the exception of the baptism, holy communion and confirmation, that are issued when you received these sacraments).
For Catholic weddings only (not including the Civil portion), a certificate of civil marriage (note that the marriage license is not enough), is also required. The civil wedding certificate never expires. The only case is that the couple has divorced and want to get married again in the Church. In this case a civil reconciliation is required.