Information about Catholic Weddings in Rome
The Sacrament of Marriage is an ancient tradition. As early as the fifth century, Christian couples would come to church to have the priest give them a blessing. Later, the priests added the gesture of joining the couple’s hands together or putting a garland over them. Today at the Church of Santa Susanna, couples come from all over the world (the United States, Canada, Ireland, England, and Australia) to be married.
Many Catholics want to marry in Rome. Perhaps it is because this is the city of St. Valentine, the patron saint of lovers. Perhaps it is because this ancient city has always been associated with romance. The Paulist Fathers here in Rome can assist English-speaking couples who wish to be married either Church of Santa Susanna and on occasion, at the Basilica of St. Peter in Vatican City. Because of an increase in our parish responsibilities we are not able to accept any more requests for weddings at St. Peter's Basilica at this time. We are now accepting requests for weddings at Santa Susanna/San Camillo through May, 2017.
Please note that as of July 5, 2013, the Church of Santa Susanna has been closed by order of the Fire Department. Weddings now take place in San Camillo de Lellis, with the Paulists as celebrants, unless they themselves decide otherwise. So far we have had 22 weddings and all have gone very well.
Please be Advised:
The following is provided as a service. It does not obligate us to arrange, provide specific services for, or perform your wedding. This decision occurs only after direct consultation between a priest at Santa Susanna and the wedding couple. Until a contract has been arranged, the Paulist Fathers and the Church of Santa Susanna do not assume any responsibility for your wedding! Please, please do not send us documents or paperwork unless you have first contacted us!
Please remember that Church weddings can only be planned through appropriate Church institutions and not through travel agencies! The licensing procedures in the State of Italy (i.e., Santa Susanna, or any church in Rome) are different from those in the Vatican City State (St. Peter’s Basilica), and the simultaneous civil procedures can be very different depending on the couple’s country of origin.
The most important step couples need to take is to begin the process with their own pastor. It all begins with your home parish where you worship. All marriage preparation, initial interviews and documents come from there. The couple needs to mention any previous marriage (please note that an annulment may be required even if one of the couple is not Catholic, and even if the first marriage was in a civil setting only.) It is a good idea to begin the process at least one year prior to the desired wedding date. Most parishes (world-wide) require a waiting period of at least six months (sometimes more) before the intended wedding date to determine whether there may be impediments to the marriage, and whether it is appropriate for the couple to be married in a Catholic ceremony.
After the parish priest completes all the documentation, the local chancery (diocesan office) must give a Nihil Obstat in order for the wedding to take place here. For Santa Susanna Church, we need your documents at least two months in advance. However, to avoid disappointment, it is best to plan early, to establish schedules well in advance and to check with the Paulist Fathers that all procedures are in order. For St. Peter's Basilica, please read over the St. Peter's guidelines very very carefully, as it is increasingly difficult to be married there and not everyone is allowed to do so.
For more information about the process and about our fees, please contact us. We will also send you a letter of information and one for your pastor, outlining specific requirements that may be different from your own diocese. As we say at the end of our full information packet: We have tried to inform you of as many details as possible regarding marriage in Rome. However, there may be some particulars relating to you or to your intended spouse that may cause difficulty, or even make the process easier. During our initial email exchange or telephone conversation, we will be happy to discuss your particular circumstances with you. As you can see from some of our wedding photos, getting married in the Eternal City can be a very special experience, and if we can, we would like to help you fulfill your dream!
Basilica of San Camillo de Lellis
If you have any additional questions, you can call us at (+39) 06.488.2748 or send us an email through this website to Fr. Greg Apparcel.
Please note that because of the time difference, it is difficult to contact us by phone as we are not always present here during the day. So begin the communication via email.
For specific information about weddings at St. Peter's Basilica.
For specific information about weddings at Santa Susanna.
The Paulist Fathers recommend the following Wedding Services and Agencies in Rome:
Wedding Consultants (planning, paperwork and documents):
Please note: While the Paulist Fathers perform weddings only at Saint Peter's or Santa Susanna, the following wedding consultants may also assist you with weddings in other places in Italy!
Brenda Babcock: Website: www.italiacelebrations.com, : : Tel: (+39) 333.483.9553
Brenda assists couples with all aspects of both small and large weddings in Rome, the Vatican, Tuscany, Florence and the Amalfi Coast. She specializes in elegant, high quality weddings and events. Brenda is an American and prior to working in Rome she was a director at Vera Wang in New York. She has been assisting couples to marry in Italy since 2003.
Daniela De Luca: www.dolcevitaweddings.com Email:. Tel: (+39) 340.598.0936; Fax: (+39) 06.722.2168
Daniela specializes in weddings in Rome, offering advice and on-site coordination to foreign couples wishing to get married. Services include flowers, transportation, photos and video, beauty services, music and wedding venues. Daniela was born in Rome and lived her whole life here except for a year in London. She always tries to meet every couple's requirements to help make their dreams come true.
Gabriella LoJacono: Office phone: (+39) 06.4390678, cellular phone: (+39) 348.517.4184, Website: www.wedding-in-rome.com E-mail:
Gabriella can assist you with weddings in Rome, Florence, Venice and the Amalfi Coast. She works with government and religious offices and serves as a general coordinator for the total experience. The scope of her services include photographer, videographer, flowers, musicians, hairdresser and make-up artist, reception venue, transportation and even more. Visit her website for more information.
Photographers (still photography and videography):
- Luca Bellocchio: Foto Bellocchio, Via del Mascherino 25, (near St. Peters) Tel: (+39) 06.686.5365 email:
- Vincenzo Modica: Agenzia Fotographica: Borgo Pio 106 (near St. Peters) Tel: (+39) 06.686.7490 Fax: (+39) 06.6880.6008 email:
- Rochelle Cheever at Rome Weddings Photography. website: http://www.romeweddingsphotography.com
- Pino Rostellato: Via dei Gelsi 95/A- Tel. (+39) 06.439.0678.
Our newest edition (2016) of As Romans Do, our periodic guide for pilgrims to Rome, is now available. This 100-page guide to Rome and the Catholic American Community of Santa Susanna is a real treasure. The Paulists currently on staff (Fr. Greg Apparcel and Fr. Steve Bossi) and the entire Santa Susanna Community are ready and willing to assist all pilgrims coming to Rome in 2016 and 2017 and to do everything to make your visit as fulfilling as possible. This edition of As Romans Do is dedicated to all of you who seek to deepen and enrich your faith during your time in Rome. It makes many and varied recommendations for what to see and do, provides opening times and costs for museums and other places of interest, and gives an overview of what it means to be a pilgrim. Just send Fr. Greg your name and address and he will mail you a copy. (We do not have an email version.) All we ask is that you consider sending us a donation to help with postage and to support our ministry here in Rome.