Getting Married in Spain

Formalities & documentation

Civil and religious (Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim) marriages can be celebrated in Spain for people over 18. While Spanish law appears to permit foreigners to marry in Spain, in practice it will usually be necessary for one of the couple to have been legally resident in Spain for at least two years.

An application for marriage in Spain will usually involve lengthy and time-consuming paperwork, and applicants should therefore allow plenty of time.

Civil and religious marriages between foreigners or a foreigner and a Spanish national are possible in Spain. Agreements between the State and the major non-Catholic faiths governing the acceptance of religious marriage ceremonies are being finalised and should be possible in the near future.

Subject to the agreement of individual priests, it is possible to have a civil marriage blessed in a non-catholic church.

Roman Catholic Marriages

These are a matter for the local Archbishop in the area of the forthcoming marriage and, in general, a baptism certificate and a statutory declaration by the parents of the English party to the effect that their son/daughter is single, is required. Formalities do, however, vary significantly from parish to parish and the requirements should be checked well in advance with the local priest.

Civil Marriages

Formalities may vary and applicants should check which precise documents are needed. In general you need the following documentation.

  • A birth certificate (accompanied by a sworn translation)
  • Passport, Consular registration Certificate and a
  • Consular Certificate of No-Impediment to the marriage are required.
  • If applicable an original death certificate

A notice of intention to marry is displayed on a Consular notice board for 21 days. The notice itself is sworn by the applicant and can only be accepted if he/she has been residing for a 21 day period in the area where the notice is displayed.

Where one of the parties to the forthcoming marriage is resident in the UK and will be coming to Spain for the marriage ceremony they should approach the nearest Spanish Consulate in the UK for full information.

If proof of UK residence is needed, a letter can be obtained from the local Electoral Registration Office.

All documents that are in English have to have the Hague Apostille on them. You can find further information on this subject on www.fco.gov.uk/legislation .

The current fee for the Apostille is £19 for each document. If you go there in person this process takes about 2 days. If you send the documents by post it takes about 2 weeks and you need to send an extra £2 for postage and packing.

All documents must then be translated into Spanish and presented at the relevant town hall at least 3 months before the planned wedding.

It is important to bear in mind that paperwork can be lengthy and time consuming and forward planning is imperative, especially when you re getting married in the summer.

Consular Marriages

There are no facilities for marriage at a British Consulate in Spain.

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By Spanish Sun Newspaper. The number 1 independently owned newspaper on the Costa del Sol and the Canary Islands. www.spanishsunnewspaper.com  .

Further reading

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