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Getting Married in Spain

An exotic wedding in Spain... the stuff that dreams are made of! If you are planning on getting married in Spain, there are several legal hoops to jump through. The key to success, as always, is good research and preparation.

Always check with your embassy well in advance for up-to-date requirements. Many embassies recommend that you arrange your Spanish wedding through a professional agency, but here are some guidelines if you choose to do-it-yourself.

Documentation

The following documents will be required:

- Application form - from the Civil Registry or the District Court
- Passports
- Birth certificates
- Evidence of termination of all previous marriages – previous marriage certificate and final divorce decrees, annulment decrees or death certificates
- Certificates of no impediment
- Certificates of residence – from a consular official in Spain
- Certificates of consular inscription – from a consular official in Spain

All civil documents must be originals endorsed with an Apostille Stamp.

All documents issued in a foreign language must be accompanied by official Spanish translation certified by the Spanish consulate. Arrange to have documents translated by a Spanish Sworn Translator (Traductor Jurado).

You must be eighteen years old to marry in Spain.

Notice of Intent to Marry and Certificates of No Impediment

Before the wedding can take place, a notice of intent to marry should be displayed on the consular notice board for 21 days and parties must be resident in this consular district for 21 days.

After publication of the intent to marry and residence for 21 days, a sworn statement may be signed before consular officials in Spain to the effect that the parties are single and free to marry. This is known as a Certificate of No Impediment.

Civil Ceremonies

Applications for civil marriages should be made at the local Civil Registry (Registro Civil), District Court (Juzgado) or Town Hall in the place of the intended marriage.

Applications for civil marriage in Madrid should be submitted at:

Civil Registry
Calle Pradillo, 66
Madrid
Phone: 91-397-3700

Applications for civil marriage in Barcelona should be submitted at:

Civil Registry
Plaηa Duc de Medinaceli, 2
Barcelona
Phone: 93-412-0474

Spanish law appears to permit non-Spanish residents to marry in Spain, but various autonomous communities in Spain interpret this law differently. Outside Madrid, one party to the wedding may be required to be a Spanish citizen or resident. To avoid disappointment and frustration, consult with regional authorities where you plan to marry.

For further information, please contact the appropriate local Civil Registry for guidance.

Religious Ceremonies – Roman Catholic Church

Bishopric's permission is required for a Catholic ceremony involving a foreigner. This permission can take from one to three weeks.

For Catholic marriages, the required documents must be presented to the priest performing the ceremony.

The following additional documents are required:

- Baptismal certificates - issued within the last six months, authenticated by the Bishopric of issuance and accompanied by an authenticated translation

- Sworn statements from parents witnessed by local parish priest – affidavits stating that neither party has been previously married, authorized and sealed by the Bishopric of the parents' place of residence.

For further information, please contact:

Madrid Bishopric
Calle Bailen, 8
Madrid
Phone: 91-454-6400

Barcelona Bishopric
Calle del Bisbe, 5
Barcelona
Phone: 93-270-1010

Religious Ceremonies – Other

Spanish law now also recognizes Protestant, Islamic and Jewish marriages as valid without the need for a second civil marriage. But couples marrying through these ceremonies first need to obtain authorization from civil authorities by presenting the required documents.

To avoid disappointment, consult the relevant local church authorities regarding requirements well in advance of the intended marriage. To be accepted as valid under Spanish law non-Catholic religious weddings must subsequently be registered with the local civil authorities.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Lisa Shea. All rights reserved.
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