To plan a destination wedding in Spain is to prepare yourself for a day you and your guests will never forget. With incredible weather, stunning architecture, amazing beaches, and a cultural appreciation of beauty and style, Spain is the ideal location for a spectacular wedding. Obtaining permission to get married in Spain can be somewhat convoluted, but having a destination wedding planner to assist will certainly reduce the stress.
To have a civil wedding ceremony in Spain at least one of you needs to either be a Spanish citizen, or to have been a resident in the country for two or more years. If you meet this criteria then you will also need the following paperwork:
- Full original birth certificate
- Original marriage certificate and divorce decree or death certificate of former spouse, if previously married
- Certificate of no impediment to marriage (Fe de Soltería y Vida)
- Proof of residency (Certificate of Empadronamiento)
Any documents which are written in English (or a language other than Spanish) must be stamped with an Apostille Stamp to authenticate it for use by officials.
If you do not meet the requirements for a civil ceremony you can either have a Catholic ceremony (providing you qualify), or have a civil ceremony in the UK followed by a blessing or celebration ceremony in Spain.
If one of you is Catholic you can wed in a Catholic church in Spain. The process for permission takes around six months, and starts with you speaking with your parish priest at home. As well as the documentation required for a civil ceremony, couples must also fulfill the Church’s requirements and submit documents including a Bishop’s letter of special permission, and a Fe de Solteria y Vida proving you are free to marry in a Catholic church.
After your ceremony you will need to deliver the marriage papers to the local Spanish Civil Registry to legalise your marriage.
In order to marry in a Jewish, Muslim, or Protestant ceremony you need to have been a Spanish resident for at least two years.
There are so many fantastic locations to tie the knot in Spain. If you like the vibrancy and buzz of a city, Madrid, Seville or Barcelona are good choices. All are easy to reach from the UK and have a wealth of restaurants and hotels where you can hold your wedding reception.
Malaga, Alicante, and Cadiz all have dramatic coastline fringed with white sandy beaches, with private villas and luxurious resorts perfect for hosting a special event. An alternative is Basque country in northern Spain. It is a wonderful mix of stunning beaches and lush countryside dotted with medieval churches and welcoming villas where you can relax and celebrate with your family and friends.