Wedding ceremony booking advice - please help

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Hi. Hoping someone can lend some assistance please.

I have had a read through a lot of past forum threads in here and found a lot of info on weddings in florence and related bits on wedding planners etc. that is helpful. So thank you to everyone for sharing.

But I'm still trying to arrange things without a planner, from Australia, but may have hit a wall!
I have completed a lot of the leg work in relation to documents and paperwork required for the civil wedding ceremony at the town hall in florence that my partner and I are planning for October, this year.

We waited till now because everywhere I read, it says to book (in person or on the phone) within 6 months of requested date only. I am now up to booking the actual ceremony time, in la sala rossa, and tonight i tried to call the city of florence wedding office, on each of the four phone numbers provided on the website:

http://centroservizi.lineacomune.it..._of_weddings_for_not_resident_foreigners.html

But I wasn't able to speak to anyone in English. I was wondering how others have managed to get past this stage, and if I do actually need to contact a wedding planner to help book my wedding ceremony in.

Thanks for reading, I look forward to your advice.
From Cherie
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Ciao Cherie,

Congrats on your upcoming wedding! And kudos to you for doing everything from afar!

Trying to understand the problem you ran up against: you WERE able to talk to someone at those numbers, just not someone who actually spoke English?! Or none of the numbers were picking up?

If all you need is someone who speaks Italian to call and book the appointment, you can certainly ask the help of a wedding planner who likely knows all the people who work there. If not, I volunteer to call for you, not a problem, but I'm not an expert and don't know exactly what they will ask ahead of time... I would definitely need to get some info from you. If language is the problem, I'll send you a private message so we can communicate offline ;-)
 
Hi Lourdes,

Thanks for the kind words and for such a quick response :)

So I tried one of the numbers a few times, last week... No answer, then yesterday two of the numbers worked, so I was able to get through, but the woman on the other end just wasn't able to help me in English!

I wanted to know if the booking definitely does need to be made over the phone, and if so, if others have encountered the same issue.

Your offer of assistance is amazing and I would love to accept. Yes please, can you get in touch with me through a private message? Look forward to hearing from you.
Kind Regards,
Cherie
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
No one has ever posted about having had this problem before, maybe the person on staff that does speak English was out the day you called and they were unable to tell you this. Otherwise, I am thinking other people would have posted/complained about it before.... of course, if many people depend on wedding planners, that could be the reason why they didn't encounter this small challenge along the way!

I've sent you an email, as I just remembered I don't have PM active on my profile. When I did at first, many people were sending me private messages for all of their questions about their itineraries and then whatever I ended up replying could not be of any use to everyone else... so the only way to "reach" me now is to post on the forum! :D Don't worry, I do see all posts but sometimes get behind in answering all of the questions!
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
I called and Claire has her dates set up! :D

It is crazy but the Florence Civil wedding office confirmed they have no one on staff that speaks English. They often have contacts with wedding planners is how they explained it...... but I suppose they don't realize that if they did have someone who spoke English then maybe people wouldn't have need of the planners just for that?
 
Hi 'hitchedinitaly' thank you so much for your response to my query, and thank you for your offer of assistance. Its really generous.
Lourdes has proven so helpful and was able to help already by speaking to the town hall office in Italian, for me.
I do find it strange that it hasn't come up before now, but maybe it's not as popular as I thought!
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Florence is super popular for weddings!

I just think that most people just start from the very beginning with a planner helping them locally so they never realize it is one of the problems they can encounter. You are courageous doing in on your own from afar, as Italy is super bureaucratic, even for Italians themselves!! ;)
 
Florence is super popular for weddings!

I just think that most people just start from the very beginning with a planner helping them locally so they never realize it is one of the problems they can encounter. You are courageous doing in on your own from afar, as Italy is super bureaucratic, even for Italians themselves!! ;)

It always amazes me how difficult it is, no matter how many times I have done it - the rules seem to be constantly changing. You'll get there in the end.
I wish you the very best of luck for your wedding.
 
Update and bridal shop query

Thank you hitchedinitaly and Lourdes, for the kind and supportive words in your responses,.

Just a catch up of where I'm up to now that the Wedding is only in 16 weeks' time!

I've finally managed to obtain my Atto Notorio document. That was a long day at the Italian Consulate in Melbourne! We had to sit in waiting room with our 4x non related witnesses, they were able to leave after they had signed their paperwork. Will and I were there for a few more hours, before we were told we could leave and wait for a phone call later/next day perhaps, as the consulate General wasn't available to sign our document. Anyway, we were able to go in first thing, the next day so that's all sorted now, thankfully.

Can I ask if someone could please clarify for me the address/location of the Australian Embassy in Rome (the wedding office) where I need to go to make the sworn Declaration (Nulla Osta)?

And then once I obtain the Nulla Osta, I know I have to take that document to an Italian office (the prefettura) to get the consul's signature authenticated - is this office still in Rome, or is there one in Florence?

Also, the embassy website I have been looking through has advised me to contact the marriage office in Florence ahead of time to gain more detailed information on the marriage requirements, including a list of documents that to bring - is this a different building all together?

Lastly, I am planning on shopping for my wedding dress (and Will's suit) in Italy. Crazy, I know! I have found a couple of bridal shops but wanted to find out if they are any good, or if I could possibly get some recommendations: Marsilmoda & Giadacurti. Also does anyone know if it is the same process applies, as in Australia, with regards to having to call ahead and make an appointment prior to arriving at the shop?

Thanks so much.
Cherie x
 
HI Cherie

I'm assuming you've read this:

http://italy.embassy.gov.au/rome/Marriage.html

There is a prefettura in Florence, so I very much doubt it necessary for you to do this in Rome.

As far as wedding dress shopping goes, I'm sorry, I can't help with this. I have no idea how it works in Italy - usually my brides have this sorted and bring the dress with them.

Best of luck xx
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Cherie -

From that page linked to above, you'll find what you need to know about the prefettura:

Legalisation: Once you have obtained the Nulla Osta, it will have to be legalised by the Uffico Legalizzazioni of the Prefettura. The details of the Prefettura in Rome are: Viale Ostiense, 131L, 2nd floor, Scala B, Rome - open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9:00am-12:00pm (make sure you are there by 11.30 to lodge your request). Before going to the Prefettura, you will need to purchase a revenue stamp (marca da bollo) which costs Euro 16,00 (approx.) at a tobacconist (tabaccaio) to take with you.
The 'Ufficio Legalizzazioni' at the Prefettura in Milan is located at Corso Monforte no. 31 and is open Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 11.00 am.
If you plan to marry at a Roman Catholic Church in the Vatican State, you do not need this legalisation.

As far as this explains, and from my own experience, the Prefettura LEGALIZES the consul's signature as VALID so they need to have the consul's signature on file. Since you can do the nulla osta in either Rome or Milan, and only those two addresses are given, I would take it as confirmation that you need to go to the prefettura in Rome to get it legalized. Not in Florence.

You have to read these files and follow them to the letter. Get that revenue stamp (marca da bollo) before you go the office, you will be turned away if you don't have it.

The Marriage Office in Florence is the one in Palazzo Vecchio - the one that I called to help you out and doesn't speak English. Have you seen they do have a page dedicated to requirements for Australian citizens getting married in Florence?
Print that out and make sure you follow it to the letter, getting all the documents you need to come for the day of the appointment (at the marriage office in Palazzo Vecchio), a few days before the actual marriage ceremony.
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
As regards the wedding dress - I truly don't know how it works as I bought mine in the US and brought it over. I'll ask some friends and let you know!

I am thinking it is likely they do have dresses on display that they can adjust - how many days prior are you arriving in Italy? I do think looking for a shop in Rome is a great idea, there is bound to be more selection.... and yes, I'd call ahead and make an appointment, maybe if you also indicate sizes and styles (and indication of your budget, as both label themselves as "haute couture") you like, you might arrive with a selection of dresses you can already try on to make the timing work better.
 
Cherie -

From that page linked to above, you'll find what you need to know about the prefettura:



As far as this explains, and from my own experience, the Prefettura LEGALIZES the consul's signature as VALID so they need to have the consul's signature on file. Since you can do the nulla osta in either Rome or Milan, and only those two addresses are given, I would take it as confirmation that you need to go to the prefettura in Rome to get it legalized. Not in Florence.

You have to read these files and follow them to the letter. Get that revenue stamp (marca da bollo) before you go the office, you will be turned away if you don't have it.

The Marriage Office in Florence is the one in Palazzo Vecchio - the one that I called to help you out and doesn't speak English. Have you seen they do have a page dedicated to requirements for Australian citizens getting married in Florence?
Print that out and make sure you follow it to the letter, getting all the documents you need to come for the day of the appointment (at the marriage office in Palazzo Vecchio), a few days before the actual marriage ceremony.

Thanks again, for the informative responses. Much appreciated. Sorry for my delay in reply. Where is the time going?!
Im printing everything i find and read! Thanks for the advice.
I have also emailed your wedding planner recommendation of Cindy to see if she will be able to help me out and just ensure im on track and organized and have a clear head and confirm things for me like and document requirements.
Also if neither Will or i are Italian does that mean we don't need to display notice if our intent to marry (i think it's called pays)

Its literally around the corner now. Can't wait!
Could you recommend a delicious place to celebrate for lunch after the civil ceremony, there will only be 7 of us in total.
Also Lourdes do you know if you will be around in the first week of October still or not? Really would like to meet and thank you for your huge help.
Thanks cherie.
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Ciao Cherie,

Time if flying by! Did you ever get in touch with Cindy and get some tips/help?

I think you don't need to post the banns, that's why you can have the appt at Palazzo Vecchio just a few days before the ceremony.

I am here until the 13th -- so would love to meet up and hear how the plans have fallen into place. Are you still looking for a place for lunch afterward? How is the dress search going? I want some updates lol! :D
 
Hi Lourdes,

Thanks for the email/reply.
Time really is getting on. I can't believe I fly out next week!

I did get in touch with Cindy. And she is on board and helping me with the paperwork and document side of things. Which is exactly what I am after, and thank goodness too!
We have now been Skyping and emailing and she has helped heaps already.
She also has organised for an interpreter to be present at the appointments as she made it sound like there is a bit more involved than I realised with regard to having meetings translated for a Will and I, and then having the paperwork and certificates and documents translated, legalised and apostilled etc.

That is great news that you will be in town until the 13th. I definitely want to meet up and thank you personally. We certainly are still looking for a lunch place for after the ceremony. Being a Wednesday, will restaurants book out for lunch? Do we need to book ahead for our group? I would like something that is already traditionally Italian, and delicious, and well decorated as I won't have time to decorate at all.

I have decided not to buy a dress in Italy! I bought one in Australia, nothing extravagant but it's sweet, and pretty and it's less stressful! I do want to look for accessories though, I need shoes and I'm thinking I'd like a kind of floral headpiece thing! Do you know anywhere for accessories, or a shoe shop you could recommend, specifically?
Also, Will is going to look for a suit. Would you happen to know of any reasonably priced Italian suit shops?

Thanks so much for keeping in touch.
Looking forward to hearing from you.

Regards,
Cherie x
 
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