The passion, drama and romance which characterize Spain make the country an especially alluring place to get married.  Add to that its famous cuisine, scenic beauty, and diversity of cultural and historical attractions, and you can see why Spain remains a European hot spot for destination weddings.

In Spain, there truly is too much to choose from in terms of locations.  Take in the relaxed luxury and beauty of the Belearics, eat and drink your way through Basque country, get your architecture kicks and nightlife on in Catalonia, or experience the rich heritage and culture of Andalucia.

We recommend a posh and elegant affair at the Villa Sueno in Marbella (above) or a fairytale ceremony at the Castle Pyrenees near Barcelona. If you’re having a quiet and intimate ceremony, Villa Christina may be the perfect escape.

Wedding Requirements

The laws in Spain regarding marriage do permit foreign couples to marry in Spain.  But while there is no residency requirement, policies and procedures vary from region to region, and different regions may interpret the law differently.  Do your homework ahead of time.  The U.S. Embassy recommends consulting beforehand with regional authorities of the area to ensure the marriage will be legal.

To apply for a civil marriage license, applications must be submitted to the District Court of the bride or groom’s residence, or in Madrid, at the Civil Registry.  Required documents include a birth certificate, proof of freedom to marry (for Spanish residents, this document can be obtained by the Civil Registry; for Americans, a sworn statement signed before an American Consul can be submitted), a certificate of residence or else an affidavit before an American Consul indicating one’s place of residence for the last 6 years, a posting of banns (public declaration of intent to marry) or statement from the American Consulate that this is not required in the U.S., a Certificate of Consular Inscription from the American Embassy, and for those previously married, legal proof of divorce.  Spanish authorities may take 30 to 45 days to approve a marriage application, and the Libro de Familia or certificate of marriage, must be registered and obtained at the Civil Registry after the ceremony.

Spanish law will recognize religious marriages without a second, civil ceremony, however customs and requirements vary per region.  Couples should research and obtain the necessary requirements for their locality beforehand.  Catholic ceremonies will require a Baptismal Certificate, issued no more than 6 months prior to the wedding, authenticated by the Bishopric of issuance, translated and the translation must be authenticated as well.

Spain requires parental consent for marriage of those younger than 18, and under U.S. law, only state-designated officials can perform the marriage (this excludes diplomatic and consular officers).  Same-sex marriage is also legal in Spain.

To learn more about Spain wedding requirements, visit the U.S. State Department page here.

To view our wedding venues in Spain, go here.

Don’t forget to follow us @ByeByeBride for regular destination wedding tips and advice!

Posted by admin on 12/12/12

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