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Can you get married anywhere

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The conditions for a legal wedding are different in each country, and for each religion.
On this page, we'll explain the various options.

One of the first decisions to make is the type of wedding you want; religious, civil or ceremonial because the countries and even regions where your chosen type of wedding are possible will be different.

The decision will also have repercussions in your home country, because either way, the marriage must also be registered their.
 
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Can you get married in another country

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The answer to 'can you get married in another country' is not an easy one. The answer depends on 2 things; the preferences of the wedding couple, and the destination.

Let's talk about the wedding couples' preferences first.

Increasingly more wedding couples distinguish different types of weddings, and often a combination is chosen.

  • The civil wedding has vast administrative and financial implications but is usually of minimal emotional importance.
  • The ceremonial wedding has no administrative, nor financial implications, but has enormous emotional importance.
  • The religious wedding only has consequences within the church and can be very significant to the couple.

Couples nowadays often prefer to do the civil part in their home country.
In doing so, they avoid a lot of paperwork, translations and costs.
Before, or after the civil wedding, they celebrate their ceremonial wedding in a destination of choice.

So let's look at the first 2 options, and in the next topic, we'll discuss the religious wedding.

The civil wedding; 

If the couple prefers to do the legal wedding also abroad, then the choice of destination becomes essential.
Each country, even within the E.U., has the right to determine the conditions for a civil wedding.

So, if you're considering a civil wedding abroad, you need to look at the conditions in the country of your choice.

After the legal wedding abroad, the marriage must be registered in your home country.
Often (legal) translations, stamps, taxes, etc. are required.

For Spain, these conditions are shown on our 'civil weddings in Spain' page.

The ceremonial wedding or wedding blessing ; 

is when the bride and groom exchange vows in the presence of their closest family, friends and guests.
This is the wedding which is usually remembered for many years to come.
It's therefore often called 'the emotional wedding'.

De conditions and procedures for a ceremonial wedding are set by the officiant. 
This person leads the ceremony, such as a certified wedding planner.
The association of wedding planners may require that ;

  • The wedding couple is legally married before organising the ceremonial wedding, OR
  • The wedding couple certify that at earliest convenience they will get legally married, OR
  • The wedding couple have a civil partnership, OR
  • The wedding couple renews their vows

The officiant must be convinced, and if requested, the wedding couple must be able to proof, that the conditions set to perform the ceremony are fulfilled. Translations are usually not required.

The procedure of a ceremonial wedding

The ceremony is very personal, and often also children of the couple are involved.
The officiant will need some information about the wedding couple. 
This can be done via a personal interview, or by contacting (some of) the guest.
This information is used by the officiant to write a personal wedding ceremony.

At the end of the ceremony, the wedding couple and their witnesses, sign the ceremonial wedding certificate.

Often, family and guests are not told that the legal marriage is organised separately.

Related topics on this site and useful links ;

Differences between a civil, religious, and ceremonial wedding (15.1)
Civil weddings in Spain' (33.2)

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

Types of weddings and ceremonies (page 15-01)
Can you legally get married in Spain (page 33-02)
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Same sex marriage Europe

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Almost all the information that you can find on this website is also valid for same-sex weddings.

In Spain, for example, same-sex weddings are legal since 3 July 2005.  
 
Approximately 4500 same-sex couples married in Spain during the first year.
Spain is one of the most LGBTQ friendly wedding destinations in the world, where gay rights are high on the agenda.

To do the civil wedding in Spain, same-sex couples must, of course, comply with the same conditions as any other couple.

Please refer to our Can you get married in another country page

 

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

Types of weddings and ceremonies (page 15-01)
Can you legally get married in Spain (page 33-02)
Is gay marriage legal in Spain (page 33-04)
What do i need to get married in Spain (page 33-05)
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Catholic weddings abroad

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Unlike governments, the Catholic church is an international institute, and therefore, catholic weddings are internationally recognised and valid.

In most countries, the legal wedding must be organised separately.
 
The Catholic church has it's own conditions to which couples must comply if they want to have a Catholic wedding.
 
These conditions vary, as they depend on the local priest and bishop.
 
You're only able to get married once for the Catholic church, it does not recognise divorce.
 
So, if either bride or groom has been married before in the Catholic church, then it's not possible to do it again.
 
At least one of both, the bride or groom must be catholic, baptised, en documents thereof must be presented ;
 
          - Baptismal certificate
          - Authorisation of the local priest of bride and groom.
 
These documents must be presented when requesting a Catholic wedding abroad. They may not be older than 3 months ( in some cases up to 6 months is allowed ).
 
The dioceses can also request for additional documents or authorisations.
On average, it takes 6 months to obtain the necessary documents.
 
The wedding ceremony is held in a church or chapel and is performed in the local language.

Some priests are also willing to do the ceremony in Latin.
Some also allow for a priest from the homeland of the bride and groom to perform the ceremony.
 

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

Can you legally get married in Spain (page 33-02)
What do i need to get married in Spain (page 33-05)
Types of weddings and ceremonies (page 15-01)
Getting married in Spain catholic church (page 33-03)
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Indian weddings abroad

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Is it possible to do Hindu weddings abroad

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

Types of weddings and ceremonies (page 15-01)
What do i need to get married in Spain (page 33-05)
Advantages of weddings in Spain (page 32-02)
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Wedding blessing ceremony abroad

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The term 'wedding blessing ceremony' is also often used for a non-religious 'ceremonial wedding abroad'.

In fact, there are 3 options as we explain on the wedding blessing ceremony in Spain page.
 

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

Types of weddings and ceremonies (page 15-01)
The wedding blessing ceremony in Spain (page 15-04)
Getting married in Spain catholic church (page 33-03)
What do i need to get married in Spain (page 33-05)
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Renewing your wedding vows abroad

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Renewing your wedding vows abroad is pretty much the same as ceremonial wedding abroad.

Some couples choose to renew their vows during a very intimate ceremony. In contrast, others see it as the dream wedding they never had, and are inviting all of their family and friends.

Either way, our wedding arrangements are the ideal choice.

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

The ceremonial wedding (page 15-02)
Small wedding in Spain (page 08-01)
My Exquisite wedding in Spain arrangement (page 09-04)
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What do you need to get married abroad

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The documents and formalities required to get married abroad depend on the type of wedding and the chosen destination.

We strongly recommend contacting your embassy or consulate in the chosen destination.

For Spain, the requirements can be found on our 'civil weddings in Spain' Page
 

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

Can you legally get married in Spain (page 33-02)
Destination wedding ideas (page 36-04)
Get ready to travel (page 28-11)
Wedding insurance abroad (page 28-02)
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