General Information on Spanish laws and rules. Marriage is legal for persons over 18. Same sex Civil marriages are legal since June 2005.
Civil Weddings :-
It always used to be that both persons getting married had to be resident here for at least 2 years. Now there are some Town Halls who will marry couples that apply with the correct paper work, even if they do not live in Spain all the time, or have lived here for less time. Others state that only one of the couple must reside here. There are many different rules and by-laws in various areas and these are changing regularly.
For this reason we always have to obtain the most recent information before we can advise clients on what procedure, venue, and paperwork is required or allowed. Some areas allow the ceremony 7 days a week, others state only certain days. Some towns allow only the Registry Office use, whilst a few will agree to civil marriages in private premises such as a Hotel.
A Civil wedding is normally a marriage solemnized by the Judge in charge, by the town Mayor or the officer duly authorised. Two witnesses are required.
Catholic, some Protestant and Jewish marriages may be held in Spain. Some Religious marriages are legal under Spanish Law, however for it to be accepted in the UK, the marriage must be registered with the local Civil Authorities here.
Allowed only if you are a practising Catholic. A pre-wedding Course is required in your own Country or in Spain. If one of the couple is not a Catholic or is divorced, then special dispensation is required from the Bishopric.
Same sex marriages:-
‘Gay & Lesbian ‘ Civil weddings are legal. However, the application of the new law varies from town to town. Some Councils are reluctant to comply, so it is important that we obtain the most recent information regarding the current situation when clients contact us with a Town in mind for their marriage.
In the Costa Blanca area, Valencia, Denia and Benidorm have already held same sex weddings, and other places are expected to follow suit before too long. None of the Churches in Spain, as yet, will agree to same sex weddings, therefore they will be at Civil Registry Offices only.
Paper work can be very slow, tedious and confusing! Although many articles and websites state up to 6 weeks- we know from experience it can take as many months. Bear in mind that some of the Town Halls here close for the whole of August.
You can organise the paperwork yourselves, applying to the British Consulate in Alicante. Be persistent and patient!
For more details about anything to do with wedding and marriages in Spain please visit Javea Organisers