Although civil partnership is still widespread, a large number of couples still desire to marry in church for several reasons:
- For one’s own religious faith
- Because a ceremony of this type gives more solemnity to the union
- Because, trivially, when we think of marriage, our minds go much more easily to the image of a church, rather than to a civil ceremony
The tradition of religious marriage in italy with a Catholic rite is also much stronger in Italy than abroad, and this especially in the south of the country. In short, if you are a believer, you cannot fail to pronounce the fateful “Yes” in front of the altar.
In Italy there are also many of the most beautiful churches ever built, which can be a wonderful backdrop for the ceremony. This is enough to understand why it is worth considering the idea of getting married in church.
Religious marriage – The necessary documents
As for a civil ceremony, even a religious one must follow a precise bureaucratic process, and for this reason it must be planned a little in advance so that everything can be done more calmly.
However, it must be considered that some documents for religious marriage are valid for six months, so it is necessary to prepare them not too long in advance to prevent them from expiring.
To carry out a religious wedding it is first of all necessary to participate in the premarital course, which serves as a spiritual preparation for the future spouses. At the end of this, the certificate of participation is issued which must be presented together with the rest of the documentation, that is to say:
- Certificates of baptism and confirmation, which must be requested from the parish where the sacraments were received, and delivered to the parish priest who will celebrate the wedding about 6-8 months before the wedding. If you have not been confirmed, it will be necessary to do so as soon as possible
- The certificate of “Free ecclesiastical state“, which serves to certify that whoever requests it has not previously contracted a religious marriage. This document can sometimes also be replaced by an oath that the person takes before the parish priest
In case you want to get married in a parish other than your own, or in a municipality other than that of residence, an Ecclesiastical Nulla Osta is also required as further documentation, which must be requested from the Curia.
After choosing the Church and the wedding date, the publications will be posted for eight days, including two Sundays. Once you have finally obtained the religious consent from the parish priest, you are ready to celebrate the wedding.
In Italy there is an accordance between the State and the Church that allows to religious marriage to have valence as civil marriage by activating an appropriate procedure called ” Matrimonio Concordatario “, which has its own documents needed.
Arrangements & wedding dress
Bureaucratic formalities are not the only thing to be respected in a religious wedding. We must in fact remember that we get married in church, therefore it is necessary to respect the sacredness of the place where we are.
As for floral decorations and any music, not all parishes accept too lavish settings, so it is best to inquire in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises on your wedding day.
Maybe you could visit the church some time before with your wedding planner and ask the parish priest for any rules on where to place the decorations, etc …
The same goes for the wedding dress. There is no need to repeat it, but in a sacred place it is absolutely out of place to show up with bare shoulders or a dress that is too short / low-cut.
In case you think that your dress may not fit, maybe you could combine a shrug for the ceremony. So there will be no embarrassment!