With its stunning vistas, a destination wedding in Turkey can offer sun, sea and sensational scenery. Here’s what you need to know about getting married in Turkey, and handy links to the wedding experts based there.
Unlike the UK, only civil marriage is legal in Turkey but that doesn’t mean you can’t also have a religious ceremony or blessing if you wish, it just needs to be in addition to the civil marriage ceremony. Religious wedding ceremonies in Turkey are not legally binding.
Weddings there can only be conducted by a Turkish official with the necessary documentation from the couple wishing to marry, and a marriage that would not be approved in the bride or grooms’ country cannot go ahead.
According to the British Embassy in Ankara, in New Marriage Procedures for British Nationals Marrying in Turkey, since March 2014, Turkish offices have accepted an affidavit/affirmation of marital status sworn before a UK Public Notary or British Embassy or Consulate.
Couples need to complete the bilingual affidavit or affirmation form. Their oath or affirmation should be administered by a local public notary in the UK and legalised by Foreign Commonwealth Office Legalisation Department before travelling to Turkey. The document will then be submitted to the marriage office in the town where the couple are to be married.
Couples need to complete the bilingual affidavit or affirmation form and book an appointment at the British Embassy Ankara or consulates in Istanbul, Izmir or Antalya for administering their oath or affirmation. The document must be legalised by the Turkish Authorities, either by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara or the Governor in Istanbul, Izmir, or Antalya. Once the document is legalised it should be submitted to the marriage office in the town where the couple intend to be married.
Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.