Can you legally get married in Spain

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What are the possibilities and conditions of a legal wedding in Spain?

More and more wedding couples prefer to do the civil part of their wedding in their home country, and the ceremonial part abroad.
This is a lot easier and cheaper than doing a civil destination wedding. Please read all about the reasons on our civil weddings abroad page.

But what if you do want to organise also the civil part of your wedding in Spain, is it possible?
The answer is a conditional yes.
According to an EU directive, each member state can determine the conditions for a civil ceremony, which apply to all, citizens, residents and non-residents. As a result of this EU guideline, the requirements for a civil wedding are different in each country.

So what are the conditions in Spain?
There are 3 options to organise a civil wedding in Spain ;

  1. One of both partners has Spanish citizenship, OR
  2. One of both partners has been resident in Spain for 2 years or more. OR
  3. Bride or groom (or both) are catholic, and the wedding ceremony is performed by a Roman Catholic priest. In this case, the conditions of the Roman Catholic church apply.

This last option is particular for Spain as one of the few countries in the world where the catholic wedding ceremony is also registered as a civil wedding.
This is only paperwork, no additional service or procedures are required.
Read more about this option on the catholic weddings in Spain page.
What are the procedures for a civil wedding ceremony in Spain
The procedures for a civil wedding in Spain are ( they're similar in most other countries ) ;
1 ) All documents must be translated into the language of the destination wedding.
2 ) All document must be stamped ( apostilles )
3 ) Taxes and costs apply
4 ) After the wedding, everything must be translated into the language of the country of residence of the couple
5 ) These documents again must be stamped ( apostilles )
6 ) Once more, taxes and costs apply
7 ) Upon return to the country of residence, the destination wedding must be registered.
In some countries, weddings abroad are to be registered in a national register, instead of at the local authorities.
All these steps and procedures are time-consuming, and all translations must be done by a certified legal translator.
Hence the procedure is costly.
Where is the civil wedding ceremony held?
Usually in the town hall, or at the civil courts, but often officiants are also willing to come to a wedding venue.
Since 2016 it's also possible to have a civil wedding in Spain officiated by a local notary.

Related topics on this site and useful links ;
Are civil weddings abroad legal (38.1)
Church weddings in Spain (33.3)

Related pages on our site or useful links to other sites :

Can you get married in another country (page 38-01)
Getting married in Spain catholic church (page 33-03)
Catholic weddings abroad (page 38-03)
Wedding blessing ceremony abroad (page 38-05)
Same sex marriage europe (page 38-02)
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Can I get married in Spain