Here in Spain, Christmas has well and truly arrived, the shops are full of decorations, supermarkets are proudly presenting their hanging jamons, the famous Spanish turron is stacked high and every conceivable roundabout and walkway is planted with poinsettias.
It is so festive, Spanish style, I just love it!
Spain is a very popular destination wedding country with its fabulous weather, super easy access from all over the world and I just love and totally connect with my clients that adore this country as much as I do and want to host their weddings here.
I do get asked a lot of questions by clients who are looking to get married here in Spain, so before the busy engagement season gets underway, I thought it would be a good idea to answer some of the most common questions we get asked.
Image from Jeremy Standley from one of our fabulous June Weddings
1. Can you legally get married in Spain?
You can get legally married in Spain if you are Catholic and host your wedding ceremony in a Catholic church.
If one of you is a Catholic and the other is not you can apply for a Letter of Dispensation from your local church that will authorise a Catholic wedding to be held legally.
You have to initiate the necessary paperwork in your parish of residence, they will be requested to provide certain supporting documents/information
- Certified copies of Official Baptismal Certificates, not older than 6 months
- Photocopies of Birth Certificates
- Certificate of Marriage Guidance/Preparation Course – you can arrange for this to be done as soon as you wish. The sooner the better.
- Letter of Freedom to marry in the Catholic Church
- Parish, day and time of wedding
Once completed, this set of documents has to be sent by your priest to the Bishopric to which their parish belongs, who then sends it to the Bishopric of the area you wish to get married in here in Spain and they have to approve it.
Marriages then have to be registered with the local civil authorities.
If you would like to receive more information about what is required then do get in touch and we will send you our hosting a Catholic Wedding in Spain paperwork document.
Jewish and Muslim weddings can be celebrated in Spain as long as the officiant is legally allowed to officiate at weddings. Religious marriages have the same state as official unions. Therefore, it is important to confirm that the officiator of the marriage is licensed to marry and to establish arrangements for civil registration.
Image from one of our amazing Jewish weddings held here in Spain in June from Andrea Ferrara Photography.
You can get married in Spain if you one of you have been a resident for more than two years. If one of the couple is a Spanish citizen no residence period requirement applies.
The process for civil marriage begins with the application for a certificate of permission to marry (Certificado de Capacidad Matrimonial).
Couples wishing to marry must apply for this certificate in advance of the wedding. It is issued on condition that the applicants fulfil the legal right to marry.
Applications for civil marriages must be made to the Civil Registry (Registro Civil – see the Spanish Ministry of Justice’s website for contact details), District Court (Juzgado) or Town Hall in the place where the marriage is to be celebrated.
Applicants for civil ceremonies will be asked for a variety of documents. To obtain an official marriage certificate, the marriage must be registered with the local Civil Registry. Therefore, it is important to confirm that the officiator of the marriage is licensed to marry and to establish the arrangements for civil registration. The officiator may obtain the marriage certificate on your behalf.
Finally, you can get married legally in Gibraltar at their registry office. You can read all about getting married in Gibraltar here.
The majority of our destination weddings get legally married in their own country and host a wedding blessing/ceremony here with one of our lovely wedding officiants.
These celebrations can be as laid back or as formal as you would like and are often the ´real marriage´where you exchange your vows, do beautiful readings and celebrate your marriage. You can read more about how to host your wedding ceremony here with some wonderful ideas and tips from Natasha Johnson´s blog.
Phew, that covers that question!
Now onto the second most asked question.
Image from one of our 2018 weddings by Andrea Ferrara Photography.
2. How much does a wedding in Spain cost?
After 12 years of planning weddings in Spain, I can easily give you a starting figure to work on.
Some weddings can be done for less and some will cost a lot more, but a good guide for hosting a wedding in Spain you need to budget for 250 euros per head.
This will include the venue, catering with an hours drinks and canapes followed by a meal with drinks included. An open bar for 3 to 4 hours. A photographer, hair and make up, DJ, an average budget for decor and florals.
This does not include the dresses, rings, etc and anything you are bringing with you.
So for a wedding of 100 guests you have got to budget around 25.000 euros.
There are some companies that can do weddings for a lot less if you go for packages and of course you can spend more if your thing is beautiful florals, a luxury wedding or a 2 or 3 day event.
A lot will also depend on the area of Spain you wish to host your wedding, a quick example is Barcelona is almost twice the price of hosting a wedding in Andalucia. Catering in Andalucia is around 100 to 120 euros per head as a guide whereas Barcelona you need to be looking at around 200 euros per head. A DJ in Andalucia is around 600 to 800 euros and in Barcelona it is around 1200 euros.
I can only compare this to hosting a wedding in London to hosting a wedding in Manchester, the prices vary according to the area you wish to get married in. The same applies to Spain.
There are so many beautiful locations here in Spain to host your Spanish wedding, if you would like to find out more do just pop us over an email and we would be delighted to tell you more.
If you wish to follow me on social media I can be found on Instagram and Facebook. I do my best on social media but do get days where it overwhelms me but think overall I am doing a pretty good job! You will see many of the beautiful celebrations we have organised over the past 12 years here in Spain and do pop over to our blog, I have been running this now for 12 years which is rather scary but it is a gem of information about weddings in Spain!