The Legal situation regarding getting married on Ibiza

By Richard Lawson | 25th November 2014

Most of the growing numbers of weddings that take place on Ibiza are actually wedding blessings. This is because Spain is a devout Catholic country and only recognises your marriage as legal if you are a member of the Catholic faith or a Spanish resident. If either you, or your partner, are Catholics you will be able to marry at one of the island’s churches. Spanish residents of other religious persuasions can legally get married in a civil ceremony at their local town hall – but many choose not to…

The reason for this is the tedious amount of paperwork required by the Spanish authorities. It can be very complicated and stressful even for local residents. Consequently, many couples choose to deal with the legalities of a civil marriage in their home country, then hold their wedding celebration here on the island with their family and friends. For residents who choose this route, the authorities simply require an official translation of their marriage certificate to meet Spanish legal requirements.
Couples who are neither Catholic, nor residents will also need to have a civil wedding in their home country before coming to Ibiza for their ‘wedding blessing’ celebration, and an unforgettable honeymoon…

The ‘wedding blessing’ celebration ceremony can take place at any venue of your choosing, from the beach to the mountain top and anywhere in between, if a spiritual ceremony is your preferred choice. There are a number of specialist wedding ‘celebrants’ on the island who will conduct the ceremony of your choice and help you to write your own vows. Talk to a few of them and choose the one you like the best.

If you would prefer a religious ceremony, these are conducted by the Anglican Church on Ibiza (the English-Speaking Church) and are known as the ‘Sacrament of Marriage’. This is a full church marriage ceremony including a Christian marriage certificate. Although this certificate is recognised by the church, it is not a legal document. This is why a prior civil marriage in your home country is required too.

If you, or your partner, are of the Catholic faith you should contact your local priest who will guide you through the process of application, which will involve contacting the Catholic Church on Ibiza on your behalf. Because your marriage will be a legal marriage in the eyes of the law, it will involve a lot of paperwork and therefore take quite some time for a date for your wedding to be agreed. Under the circumstances you should not make firm commitments on any of the other arrangements until you have your wedding date confirmed.

This also applies to any civil ceremony, either here or abroad, which has to take place before you choose the date or even begin finalising the details of your wedding celebration, reception and eventually your honeymoon…

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