Wedding Ceremonies with Marbella Bride.

How your wedding ceremony works here in Spain.

When it comes to getting married in Spain, many couples choose a blessing service, conducted by a humanist minister, rather than an "official" legally binding wedding ceremony, while completing the legal paperwork in their home countries. While it is not impossible to get legally married in Spain, there is often a lot of paperwork and red tape to get through. We will try to explain the basic rules and options here on this page, but if you require further help, please feel free to contact our specialist wedding team! Your wedding celebrant will help you decide on your vows and all the aspects of the ceremony together. A humanist wedding ceremony is non-legally binding and often non religious, although it can often include aspects of your religion if required.

Non law binding wedding ceremonies use a humanist celebrant, or wedding minister.

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Need a minister in another language, or for a specific religion? - Please ask, we can help!

Don't forget, Marbella Bride can take care of your flowers and ceremony decoration too, as well as all the other aspects of your wedding day!

Humanist Ceremonies Explained.


What you need to know about getting married in Spain.

The options for British and Irish citizens.

For most UK and Irish residents that do not have a property in Spain or are not Catholic, the most simple route would be, to have the civil wedding in Gibraltar or the UK followed by a humanist marriage blessing, or non religious ceremony here in Spain. A humanist minister can provide your ceremony in Spain, although all the legal paper work will have been done in your country of origin, see the Humanist ministers above. Many couples like to consider their ceremonial service as the real wedding, with the signing of the registry papers as a mere formality.

Before we go into the requirements to Marry in Spain and as many of Costa del Party's clients are British Nationals, let us mention a more simple route first! Here on the Costa del Sol, we border with the Rock of Gibralter and many UK citizens prefer to get married in Gibralter, while enjoying the wedding reception and honeymoon in sunny Spain.

Where legal marriage in Spain is not practical for nationality or other reasons, Gibraltar can offer a possible alternative. It is quite straightforward and the whole wedding ceremony takes place in English. The paperwork includes a sworn statement of eligibility at a local lawyers office. Full details can be obtained from the registers office.

New Rules: Just brought into force is a new requirement that any couple marrying in Gibraltar must stay at least 1 night in Gibraltar, either the night before the wedding or the night of the wedding. Documentary evidence* must be provided to confirm this or the marriage will not be permitted to take place! However, paying for hotel room is often enough, you don't actually need to stay there!

  • Other papers you may require for a Wedding in Gibraltar are:
  • Birth certificates
  • Passports
  • Decree Finite (if divorced) plus original marriage certificate
  • Death Certificate (if widowed)
  • If non UK citizen Freedom To Marry Letter from Embassy (in English/Spanish)

The first step is to contact the local registry office, town hall or church where you are planning to marry. They will inform you of the procedures and will also give you a list of documentation required by them for foreign nationals wishing to marry.

Spain is notorious for slow administration of Paperwork, so one of the most important aspects, is to give yourself plenty of time! In any case, you should approach the nearest Spanish Consulate, in your country, or your embassy in Spain, to obtain information about the procedures involved, as these are subject to change!

If proof of UK residence is needed, a letter can be obtained from the local Electoral Registration Office to the effect that the UK resident is on the electoral register for the year in question.

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.

  • 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.
  • All documentation issued in UK must be legalised by Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • For a Civil Ceremony in Spain (at least one party must live/own a property 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.

  • A valid 10-year passport.
  • Baptism Certificate.
  • Confirmation Certificate.
  • Certificate that you are single.
  • Certificate of completion of pre-marriage course.
  • Dispensation of impediments.
  • At least one of the couple must be Catholic, with neither party divorced, although some parishes do require both parties to be Catholic
  • Permission of Parish Priest – all documentation is done through the Priest
  • Documents should be done around 6 months prior to wedding date

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.

ADVICE FOR UK CITIZENS CLICK HERE FOR THE UK EMBASSY

ADVICE FOR IRISH CITIZENS CLICK HERE FOR THE IRISH EMBASSY IN SPAIN

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Situated on the Costa del Sol, Malaga coastline of southern Spain

Professional services for weddings and special occasions. Costadelparty Events.

Mark Antony Borrow

Event planner Spain