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Getting Married in Spain

16th April 2012 |By | 13 Comments

Getting married in Spain is becoming a very popular choice for couples! “When you think about the sandy beaches, a relaxing break, amazing locations and the summer sun – what’s not to like?” asks Spain based wedding planner, Louise Bradley of LyndylooinSpain.

Images courtesy of Schillings Photography

When some couples first decide to get married in Spain, they think there will be a minefield of choices and paperwork, but getting the right advice makes it very easy to have the wedding of your dreams abroad. Getting married in Spain is not just a wedding, it is a holiday for you and your guests that they will never, ever forget.

In Spain, there are many different ways to get married and to celebrate your big day in the sun. First you could choose a religious Catholic Church wedding. Second, a civil wedding at a designated venue, or third – a wedding blessing. The three options are all different and have their owns rules and regulations. Choosing the right type of ceremony is a crucial part to getting married, as it also influences other decisions like the style and location of the venue.

The Catholic Church Ceremony

There is only one type of religious ceremony that can be carried out in Spain and that is a full Roman Catholic ceremony. It must take place in a Catholic church and cannot take place outside of the church. It is a legally binding wedding and the local civil registry gets updated with the wedding details.

A Catholic wedding requires a lot of work to be done beforehand with your local Priest. Spain is a very religious country and the sacrament of marriage is a sacred commitment, so all the paperwork must be completed and submitted in the correct manner.

The main advantage of a Catholic wedding in Spain is that it will be a legally binding wedding, and it can take place in any Spanish Catholic Cathedral or Catholic Church.

The Civil Ceremony

A civil service in Spain is a fully legal marriage and is recognised throughout the world, even though your documents will always be in Spanish.

In Spain, a civil wedding can take place at a designated venue but must by law be registered in the civil registry at the local town hall or Justice of the Peace. This means that in most cases a civil wedding ceremony will be held at the venue of your choice alongside an appointment at the local civil registry. There are lots of different rules regarding civil weddings in Spain for both resident and non residents and this will vary from region to region , so it is important to check with the relevant authorities well in advance – please note not all areas of Spain allow non-residents to marry in a civil ceremony.

The civil ceremony itself is conducted in English but does have the Spanish Civil code to marriage in Spanish. The bride and groom are encouraged to make it personal and add any special readings, music or vows.

The legal part of the civil ceremony, which takes part in front of the judge in the civil registry, takes around five minutes. Here you agree to abide by the civil code and sign the legal paperwork. The wedding does require a lot of paperwork and the length of time required will depend on your nationality and if you have had any previous marriages. Paperwork is always started in your home town and then sent across to Spain and submitted to the appropriate authority.

Images courtesy of Schillings Photography

The Wedding Blessing

The wedding blessing is the most popular choice in Spain as it offers the most flexibility for the bride and groom and they can choose every detail of the wedding. They are not restricted to any particular venue or day and are most of all not required to do as much legal paperwork.

The ceremony itself takes the same form as a traditional wedding ceremony or a civil ceremony and can be conducted by a Church of England Vicar, Civil non faith celebrant or a Minister. The content of the ceremony can be designed by the couple alongside their chosen celebrant, so they can make it really personal to them. It is not legally binding as the legal side must be done in your home town.

The Weather

In Spain, there are lots of different areas to choose from. The Costa Blanca or the Costa Del Sol are popular choices because they have, on average, 340 days of sunshine each year, so you don’t have to worry about getting soaked in your beautiful dress! The best months to get married in Spain are from April to October and the most popular are June and September, with many venues booked up two years in advance for weekend weddings.

You want your wedding day to be the most amazing day of your life so you need to think about what works for you. Whatever your choice of wedding ceremony or venue, Spain will give you lots of different avenues to take and makes the whole event more of an adventure.

Louise Bradley is a wedding planner based on the Costa Blanca of Spain with over seven years experience in planning weddings.

We have lots of great weddings abroad advice on Confetti!

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13 Replies to “Getting Married in Spain”

  1. elaine wright

    hi we have booked a holiday in costa del sole for 20th of december for a week at bali hotel my daughter would like to get married over there how do we go about doing that

    Reply· Oct 15, 2017 10:51am
    1. Kate Thompson

      I recommend contacting one of the wedding planners based in Spain for help with this:
      You could also contact the hotel directly to ask if they have an in-house wedding co-ordinator who can help you plan the wedding. If you are going there on holiday this year then that could be the perfect time to ask all about it.

      Oct 30, 2017 4:16pm
  2. Mohsin ali

    Hi. i have a question.if i want to get married with british lady.i am from pakistan and living in spain.can you tell me the procedure of wedding in spain and paper work detail roughly.

    Reply· Oct 23, 2017 9:05pm
  3. Marta


    I am a wedding planner based in Barcelona. For those wishing to hold their wedding in Barcelona and/or sorroundings, contact us and I will be happy to assist you. If getting married can get complicated and can be stressful, imagine to plan and organize it from far away. Let us hold your back along the prepping process and, of course during your wedding day.


    Marta Grau

    Reply· Nov 27, 2017 12:54pm
  4. Lee hingley

    Hello, I met a Spanish woman in the uk we moved out to Madrid where I became a Spanish citizen, we got married in Madrid so all paperwork was done over there, we have since moved back to the uk and seperated I would like to no if my marriage is legal here so I can get divorced.

    Reply· Jan 12, 2018 3:19pm
    1. Kate Thompson

      Hi Lee

      Your marriage will be legally recognised in the UK. You should consult a solicitor (and/or mediator if necessary) for advice on how to proceed. My understanding is that under Spanish law you do not need to show grounds for divorce so unless you have been separated for two years or more, the process may be easier (in some ways) to undertake with Spanish solicitors. I hope that helps and wish you well for the future.

      Kindest regards,


      Jan 15, 2018 12:04pm
  5. Claire

    We currently live in Spain Benalmádena. We would like to get married. How do we go about it?
    Thanking you in Advance for your help

    Reply· Jan 19, 2018 3:14pm
    1. Kate Thompson

      I recommend you contact Perfect Weddings Abroad for advice at:

      Jan 23, 2018 2:33pm
  6. David Pellow

    Hi Kate. I am a British citizen, met my spanish girlfriend in the UK and now hoping to get married in Spain. The wedding blessing sounds good but i’m wondering about the legal side. If we completed the legal part in the UK would that work or if it was in Spain would it have to be in her home town of Leon? Thanks for the advice 🙂

    Reply· Jan 29, 2018 12:45pm
    1. Kate Thompson

      Hi David, you can marry in the UK and then have a blessing in Spain – the marriage ceremoney will be the legally binding part. Religious weddings in Spain are Catholic services so for a civil wedding or any other type of ceremony it will be easier to wed in the UK. You may wish to have a humanist blessing with a celebrant in Spain and this could be anywhere in the country as I understand it. I recommend you get in touch with the experts at Perfect Weddings Abroad for more information on how and where you can get married and/or hold your blessing in Spain- Wishing you both a long and happy marriage, wherever you tie the knot.

      Jan 30, 2018 11:08am
  7. David Pellow

    Both UK living residents but she’s a spanish national. Wanting to marry in Spain but wondering whether it’s easier to get the legal part done in the UK. Advice realy appreciated, thanks

    Reply· Jan 29, 2018 2:17pm
    1. Cristina

      Hello David, we are in the same situation as well. My partner is English and I’m Spanish, we are residents in the UK, did you find out any information about getting married in Spain? Thanks

      Apr 2, 2018 1:14pm
  8. kimberley

    me and my partner want to get married but we got a holiday booked for spain in june, just me and him how much is it to get married in spain just me and him

    Reply· Apr 30, 2018 10:32pm

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