It is only possible to legally marry in Spain if you are either Catholic and wish to marry in a Catholic Church or if you are legally registered as living in Spain and can then have a civil ceremony in your local town hall or occasionally in another venue conducted by the Town Mayor.
There are no exceptions to this at the moment so if you are neither of these, we advise you to do the legal bit in your country of residence.
You can treat this just as getting the license to making your blessing here legal and you don’t have to exchange rings or vows, keeping these special moments for your blessing ceremony in Spain.
A symbolic wedding ceremony, also called a humanist ceremony is a meaningful non-religious ceremony performed by a wedding celebrant.
Many couples like to include one or two symbolic rituals in their ceremony to do something that they think reflects their personalities, or represents them as a couple or in some cases to incorporate a cultural element into their ceremony. Some couples include a symbolic ritual because they want to do something different during their ceremony, and why ever not?
Because it has no legal value, a symbolic wedding ceremony offers you a lot of flexibility: It can take place pretty much anywhere. You can include everything you like, provided it is suitable and in-keeping with the official nature of a traditional wedding ceremony.
A symbolic or humanist wedding ceremony allows you to make a statement if you wish to stray from traditions or, on the contrary, keep some elements of traditions in a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere.
If you are catholic then again this process is a relatively easy one and we can help you with all the paperwork, contacting priests, arranging translators or if preferred an English speaking priest and also legalizing your marriage certificate with the relevant departments over here.
To get the paperwork started for a Catholic ceremony you will need to visit your local parish priest.
We strongly recommend you do this in good time and contact your priest at least six months prior to your wedding day.
Usually the documents you need are:
Once you and your priest have completed these documents he will send them off to the Archbishop in your area. From here they will be sent on the Archbishop of the diocese in Spain where you will get married.
The Archbishop’s office will check your documents and send them on to the parish where your wedding will be held. They will arrive approximately one month before your wedding if all paperwork has been completed on time.
Do I need to have a civil ceremony as well as the Catholic ceremony?
No. If you are having a Catholic marriage ceremony here in Spain then you do not need to have another legal ceremony either in your country or in Spain as the Catholic service also counts as the legal one.
At the rehearsal your wedding co-ordinator will take your civil letters of Freedom and use these and your other documents to register your marriage civilly at the townhall the day after your church ceremony.