Frequently Asked Questions
Paperwork: What paperwork do I need for a Catholic Marriage in Spain?
To get the paperwork started for a Catholic ceremony you will need to visit your local parish priest. He should be able to talk you through what you need to do and the documents you will need. 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:
- Pre-nuptial enquiry form for each party to the marriage (can be obtained from your local parish)
- Baptismal certificates for each party, issued from the parish of your baptism and dated within six months prior to your wedding. IE if your wedding is in May the date on your certificate must be within the six months prior to this (December of the previous year – May of your wedding).
- Confirmation certificate issued from the parish of your confirmation and dated within six months prior to your wedding.
- Permission from both your Parish Priests to say that you may be married outside your own parish ).
- You may be required to complete a marriage course. Your priest will supply you with this information. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO BRING PROOF OF THIS TO SPAIN
- 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.
For the civil registration of your catholic marriage:
- LETTER OF FREEDOM: In IRELAND this document is issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs usually 6 weeks prior to the wedding, though you must apply in advance. Please contact:
Department of Foreign Affairs Consular Section
Line 1: 69-71 St. Stephen's Green
County: Dublin 2
Tel: +353 1 408 2308/2585/2302
In the UK however there is no central agency for the issue of Civil Certificates of Freedom so you will need to go to your local Registrar for the Civil Certificate of Freedom. A separate certificate is required for both bride and groom.
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 the UK 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.
Do I need to be in Spain for any period of time before the wedding?
No. We recommend you arrive 2 or 3 days prior to your wedding to allow time for your rehearsal. However there is no minimum period that you must be in Spain before you get married.