Investigating whether or not you can have a legal civil wedding in Spain?

In this post  you can find everything you need to know about getting married here in Spain. Are you ready?

Some quick facts about organising a legal wedding in Spain;

  • Catholic weddings are the only legally recognised religious wedding ceremonies in Spain. In fact, a Catholic wedding is the only way to be legally married in Spain if you are a non national.
  • For other religions, you can have a blessing, but the paperwork will have to be sorted out at home.
  • There is a 2 year residency requirement if you want to have a Civil Ceremony.

Civil ceremony

Not great news here I’m afraid. It’s just not possible to have a legal civil ceremony in Spain unless one of you is a citizen or a resident in Spain for at least two years.

We will explain what are the requeriments to have a legal wedding in Spain, in case one or both meet the requeriments. The documents required are as follows:

  • Original birth certificate in its long form
  • Passport
  • Fe de Solteria y VidaCertificate of No Impediment to Marriage). This is basically your proof of freedom to marry and may be obtained from your local registry office or consulate.
  • Original marriage and divorce / death certificate if appropriate.
  • If either party is widowed, then both the original marriage certificate and death certificate must be presented together with sworn translations.
  • Certificate of Empadronimiento (Proof of residency).This can be obtained from the Tenencia de Alcaldía (town hall) in which you are a resident.

All documents that are in English must be stamped with an Apostille Stamp. An Apostille Stamp authenticates documents executed outside of Spain (such as a birth certificate,) so that it will be recognised as genuine/ official / legitimate for use in other countries, such as Spain.

All Documents must be accompanied by their Spanish translations.

Banns must be posted for a period of at least 15 days. The Office of the Registrar will then issue a marriage license and once the wedding ceremony is over After the ceremony is performed, your marriage will be recorded in the Civil Registry and a Spanish marriage certificate is issued to you.

Options to have a legal civil wedding in Spain.

If a civil ceremony is what you require, there are only two options available to you to overcome the residency requirement.

  • The first is to get married in a civil ceremony back home and have a blessing in Spain.

The second is to get married in Gibraltar. I know it’s a different country but Gibraltar borders northern Spain and it is much easier for foreign nationals to get married here and because it is so close, you can hop back to Spain for your wedding celebrations

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