How To Get Married In Spain
Spain is awash with romantic spots, which make for the perfect venue for destination weddings. Many US citizens have gotten married in the south and east of Spain for the beautiful weather. Take Costa Blanca, for example, which boasts at least 300 days of sunshine each year. Not only would it be a great wedding destination, but it can also serve as a honeymoon spot. But of course, before setting your eyes on such unique venues, you must first understand the marriage requirements for US citizens getting married in Spain.
What Are the Marriage Options Available in Spain?
Like with most countries, you can choose between:
- A civil marriage: If you do not want to have the religious aspect in your marriage, you can hold the wedding at a town hall, district court, or civil registry office. Same-sex couples in Spain can legally marry in Spain, thanks to the legalization of same-sex marriages back in 2005.
- A religious marriage: Spain is home to a large Catholic family. Moreover, you also have protestant, Jewish, and Muslim ceremony options, among others. However, for such a ceremony to be recognized as legal, a licensed marriage officer must perform the nuptials.
- A civil union: The Spanish refer to this as Pareja de Hecho, which enables you and your partner to enjoy most marriage benefits. It’s mainly for couples that live together and share domestic roles but are not married. Same-sex couples can also choose civil unions or partnerships, though this cannot grant them all the benefits of tying the knot.
What Are the Marriage Requirements in Spain?
The requirements to get married in Spain vary based on the union as follows:
To qualify for such a union:
- You and your partner must be at least 18 years old
- One of you must either be a Spanish citizen or be a resident in the country for at least two years. To prove this, you will need to provide a certificate of residence. If you have lived there for less than two years, you can execute an affidavit on your place of residence before a consular officer. Once this has been executed, you must legalize the officer’s signature through the Foreign Affairs ministry in Madrid. Please note that for same-sex marriages, at least one of the partners must be a Spaniard. If two US citizens wish to marry in Spain, they must obtain legal residence in Spain.
- You and your partner must be legally capable of being married and must present a ‘certificate of no impediment’ that proves as much.
To enter a religious union:
- You and your partner must meet the requirements of civil marriage (as described above).
- You must also present proof of religious upbringing or conversion, e.g., confirmation certificates.
- You must obtain a ‘freedom to marry’ letter from your priest showing that you have completed the premarital course.
The rules on civil unions are not nationwide and vary from one region to the other. You must thus check with the region where you wish to hold the ceremony. Generally, you must prove that:
- You and your partner are aged 18 and above or are emancipated minors aged 16 and above.
- You and your partner are not married to other people.
- One of you is a member of the community where you wish to get married.
- You and your partner have lived together for a specified amount of time, as the marrying community requires. Usually, communities require at least 12 months of cohabitation.
What Documents Must You Present?
Now, let’s cover the most crucial part of how to get married in Spain. In line with the requirements above, both you and your partner must provide the authorities with:
- Original birth certificates,
- Original valid passports with four copies,
- A certificate of your marital status,
- Divorce/ annulment/ death certificates where applicable,
- A certificate of no impediment,
- A Spanish town hall registration certificate,
- An extranieria application form with three copies,
- Proof or religious backgrounds (for religious weddings).
All these documents must be apostilled in the US for use in Spain and translated into Spanish. They must also bear an official seal. Please note that the translations should be no more than three months old. We provide English to Spanish translations and should have your documents back to you in as few as 5 days.
See? It’s not that hard to get married in Spain. As soon as you’ve met the above requirements, you can start choosing your wedding venue. Will it be a villa, or will you say ‘I do’ in a castle overlooking picturesque greenery? Talk to us today, and let’s start working on that paperwork to help you inch closer to your new relationship status.