Newlywed couples (sposi novelli) married in the Catholic Church who would like to attend a Wednesday audience of the Holy Father may often sit in a special section at the Audience. To qualify, couples should be married within 2 months of the audience they wish to attend (although some flexibility up to 1 year may be possible) and carry with them a copy of the Sacramental Marriage Certificate signed by the priest or deacon who celebrated the wedding. To be permitted to sit in the sposi novelli section, the couple needs to wear their wedding attire (or something similar, i.e., a long white dress with covered shoulders for the bride, and a suit with jacket and tie for the groom). If you got married wearing a traditional wedding attire from your culture, you can also wear this for the Papal Audience. The Holy Father will bless you for a happy wedded life when he gives his general blessing at the conclusion of the Papal audience. Occasionally, some couples also have the opportunity to greet the Holy Father personally after the Audience.
Tickets for the Papal Audiences must be requested through the Prefecture of the Papal Household. Since it can sometimes be a bit challenging to navigate the Vatican/Italian system, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have set up our office to assist American pilgrims with their ticket requests.
We kindly ask pilgrims to submit their requests to our office at least 2 weeks before the date of the Audience, since we then need to send our final request to the Prefecture of the Papal Household. If you contact us less than 2 weeks before the date of the Audience, we cannot submit a request for you, but we can add you to a reserve list in case we receive cancellations from other pilgrims.
To request tickets, please click here to fill out an online form. Once you have received a confirmation by email, the tickets for the General Audiences will be distributed at our office on Via dell Umilta, 30 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. the Tuesday afternoon before the Audience. Unfortunately, we are unable to email/fax/scan/mail tickets.
Bringing your Wedding Gown to Rome
If you choose to bring your wedding dress, the following information may be helpful: when you fly to Rome, most airlines will grant you priority boarding if you bring your wedding dress as a “carry on”. They will hang it in one of the special closets for you so that you do not have to check it and risk it being damaged or not arriving. You may wish to contact your airline for further details.