For Catholic marriages in Spain there is some paperwork that you will need to do, this is basically the same paperwork that you would need to do if getting married in your home country. For a catholic wedding to occur in Spain, the couple must contact their local diocese and discuss their plans. The local diocese will then organize the paperwork through the Heads of the Catholic Churches in the couple’s country of residence and Spain. This process can be quite lengthy but the paperwork is only valid for 6 months so you cannot complete it before 6 months before the wedding day.
The Catholic marriage documents required are:
- Birth Certificate *
- Baptismal Certificate
- Proof that Both Parties are Free to Marry
- Photocopy of passport
- Document to say that you have attended the pre-marriage course with your local church.
* Legalisation of birth certificates. You need to ring the General Register Office and explain you’re getting married in Spain and so need new birth certificates issued with the Apostille of the Hague. It takes about 3-4 weeks to be done.
Many churches say that the paperwork needs to be translated into Spanish, however we have found that if we hand in the paperwork without translating it they will normally accept it. As it can be quite costly to translate all the paperwork we suggest that you send it to us as it is and then if they insist on it being translated we will arrange to do it here, but will try to avoid doing it if possible to save you some money.
All the necessary paperwork needs to be given to the priest in Granada that is marrying you at least 30 days before the wedding day – although we would recommend that you have it earlier if possible. Your paperwork will be valid for up to 6 months before the wedding. The next working day after the wedding we will take your papers to the civil registry office in Granada and they will issue your marriage certificate. 15-20 days later. Most churches in Granada have a fee of 260-300 euros to hold the wedding ceremony, and the cost of organising paperwork is 300 euros. We can arrange for an English speaking priest to perform the ceremony, the fee for an English speaking priest is approximately 180 euros.
One thing to be aware of is that in Spain, when getting married, women keep their maiden name, so if getting married in Spain your surname will not change to your husband’s name. You can however then change your name by deed poll.
Links to a few blogs of Church Weddings: