Congratulations on your engagement! Whether choosing to get married abroad was an easy or difficult decision, it has set you on the path to an incredible event you will never forget. The weather, culture, hospitality, and beautiful scenery make Portugal the perfect place for a destination wedding.
City, Countryside or Sea?
Portugal has more than 1,100 miles of pristine coastline giving you a wealth of stunning beaches and headlands on which to hold your ceremony and have your photos taken. Couples have the choice of all-inclusive resorts, private villas, and amazing restaurants, so it is possible to have exactly the sort of wedding you desire. The Algarve is the most popular coastal region and where you will find the most wedding suppliers and amenities. The Madeira Islands and the Azores Islands are also worth considering.
The Portuguese countryside does not garner as much attention from tourists as the beach, but it is simply stunning. Exchange vows in a vineyard, or in a private quinta nestled in the hills. The third option is a city wedding, with Lisbon being the most obvious choice. The capital’s magnificent architecture and rich history make it a fascinating city to visit and somewhere you and your guests will always remember.
For your marriage to be legally recognised you can have either a civil or a Catholic wedding ceremony. Both will be conducted in Portuguese, and you must meet the criteria of the Catholic church to have a Catholic ceremony. There are several Anglican churches in Portugal but these are not licensed for marriages.
All documentation must be original and accompanied by an official translation from an agency approved by the Portuguese Consulate.
- Non-residents need a passport, while Portuguese residents need a residents card.
- You need to submit a full birth certificate which has been issued within six months of your wedding date, and which has been translated.
- MP1 and MP2 forms
- Certificate of No Impediment
- A death certificate or divorce decree are required if you have been married previously. Both need have been issued within the last six months, or the last three months if marrying in the Azores.
- Couples choosing to marry in a Catholic ceremony in Portugal must submit additional paperwork including letters from your parish priest and Bishop of your parish, prenuptial enquiry form, and certificates of baptism, first communion, and confirmation.
Same sex marriage has been legal in Portugal since 2010 making it one of the hottest gay wedding destinations in Europe. The paperwork and the process is the same as for a heterosexual wedding, though there is no option to have a wedding or blessing ceremony in a Catholic church.
An alternative to organising a wedding ceremony in Portugal is to tie the knot in a civil ceremony in the UK before holding a celebration abroad. This enables you to have exactly the beautiful destination wedding you dream of without having to arrange any legal paperwork.