Getting Married in Spain

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Welcome to our guide to getting married in Spain. Before you go into depth about the specifics for your wedding in Spain we have a couple of articles that we suggest you read first.

UK residents wishing to marry in Spain have three options available.

Whichever option you chose you must contact the local registrar, or priest, well in advance to understand the precise rules for marriage. There are many variances from region to region.

  • Registro Civil Ibiza : +34 971 310 435
  • Registro Civil Gibraltar : +34 350 722 89

Civil Ceremony in Spain

Couples wishing to have a Civil Ceremony need to apply to the Civil Registry District Court where they are “empadronado” in Spain.  One of the couple must be registered (“empadronado”) at the local Town Hall in order to apply for a civil wedding. To register you must either live in Spain or have a property there.  You can marry outside of the town or province that you are registered by making clear on the application where you wish for the wedding to take place.

The number of documents required to marry may vary from one Registry to the next so it is vital that you seek clarification on exactly what documents are needed and if there is a minimum residency period.



Basic Documentation for Spanish Civil Wedding

The basic documents needed for a civil ceremony include:

  • A valid 10-year passport.
  • An original full birth certificate must be provided.
  • A Consulate Certificate of No-Impediment.
  • Certificate of Residence also known as Certificado de Empadronamiento which proves you have been legally resident in Spain for at least two years.
  • Decree Absolute (the final divorce paper, if applicable)
  • Death Certificate (if you are a widow or widower) and the original Marriage Certificate.
  • Change of Name Deed (required if you have changed your name).
  • Proof of residence for the last 2 years.


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    If one or both of the parties is or has been resident in the UK during the last 2 years they may be asked to provide proof of UK residence. A letter can be obtained from the local Electoral Registration Office, stating that the applicant is on the electoral register for that year.

    All British documentation such as birth, divorce and death certificates must be stamped with the Hague Apostille (obtained from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office >> ) and translated into Spanish by an official translator recognised by the Spanish government.

    Religious Ceremony in Spain

    A Roman Catholic wedding is legally binding and recognised by the Spanish authorities.  There is no need for either of the couple to be resident or “empadronado” in Spain and all the paperwork is prepared in your home country.  You should contact your local parish priest who will help you prepare and then send the documentation via the Arch Dioceses to the church in Spain where you will be married. 

    After the wedding you take the signed certificate given to you by the priest to the local Registry or Town Hall and your marriage is registered with the civil authorities and made legal.  The official wedding certificate is issued some days, and sometimes weeks, after the church ceremony certificate is presented.

    Catholic ceremonies will only be performed in a Roman Catholic Church.  One of the couple must be catholic and neither of them divorced.

    For more information you should consult with your local parish priest in your home country and also the Spanish priest where you intend to marry.

    Basic Documentation for Spanish Religious Wedding

    The basic documents needed for a religious ceremony include:

    • A valid 10-year passport.
    • Baptism Certificate.
    • Confirmation Certificate.
    • Certificate that you are single (declaration made my parents).
    • Certificate of completion of pre-marriage course.
    • Dispensation of impediments.

    It is possible to marry through other churches in Spain, such as Protestant, Islamic and Jewish but couples must comply with the civil requirements and normally be a member of the local church.

    Marriage Blessing

    For most UK residents that do not have a property in Spain or are not Catholic, it will be necessary to have a civil wedding in Gibraltar or the UK followed by a marriage blessing in Spain. 

    Marriage Certificate

    Once you have obtained your Marriage Certificate you will need to have it translated into English. Visit your nearest British Embassy and have the certificate translated. Whilst you are there you can request the certificate then be forwarded by the British Consular to the General Register Office in the UK where it can be deposited.

    Getting married in Gibraltar

    If both parties are unable to marry in Spain then perhaps Gibraltar maybe considered as a viable alternative. UK citizens do not have to be resident in order to marry. A civil marriage is possible with the aid of a Special Marriage Licence, granted by the Governor of Gibraltar. The ceremony is conducted in English.

    Civil Status and Registration Office
    Marriage Registry
    277 Main Street
    Gibraltar
    00 350 72289 (From outside of Spain)
    9567 72289 (From Spain)

    For further information:

    Useful websites

     

    IMPORTANT

    Whilst every effort to ensure that the above information is correct, it may be subject to change at any time. Please always check with the official authorities before proceeding. If you notice some outdated information please let us know.