Full of culture, history and romance, and just a short 3-hour flight from the UK, Portugal is a beautiful, sunny place to exchange your vows. Here’s everything you need to know about weddings in Portugal.
Weddings in Portugal are a wonderful fusion of fabulous sunshine, glorious landscapes and excellent food, all at surprisingly affordable prices, the warmest months being between June and September.
As the legal marriage ceremony in Portugese is so formal, without the customary exchanging of rings or sharing of vows, many couples choose to have a more traditional ceremony on a gorgeous sandy beach or under a pretty floral canopy at their venue after the legal ceremony has taken place.
Legal Requirements to Weddings in Portugal
Weddings in Portugal are not quite as straight forward as in the UK. In Portugal both Roman Catholic and civil ceremonies are legally binding but it is important to note that the Anglican churches are not licensed for marriages. For any other type of religious ceremony you will need to be married in a civil ceremony first, or the marriage will not be legally binding. As in the UK, you must be 18 years old to marry, or 16 with the written consent of your parents. You must also ensure the publication of banns (publicações) prior to the wedding for either civil or church ceremonies.
We recommend you plan your wedding in Portugal with the help of a wedding planner based in the country as they will be able to ensure you meet all the legal requirements.
You and your partner are required to produce:
- A valid passport or proof of residence if you live in Portugal
- Certified birth certificate
- A certificate of no impediment to confirm there is no obstacle to your marriage in Portugal. All foreigners getting married in Portugal require this document except UK nationals.
- If you have been married before, you must supply a certified copy of the death certificate of the deceased spouse or a certified copy of the decree absolute.
- For those who wish to marry in a Roman Catholic church, Baptismal certificates are also required.
Please note that all documents must be translated into Portuguese by a certified translator and a small fee is also charged by the Civil Register Office.
Civil Ceremonies in Portugal
- Your wedding will take place in the Civil Register Office (Conservatória do Registo Civil) by the local Registrar
- The whole ceremony will be conducted in Portuguese
- If neither of you speak Portuguese you should arrange for an interpreter to be present throughout the ceremony, though this is not a legal requirement
Religious Ceremonies in Portugal
- You should get in touch with the local priest in the region of Portugal you wish to marry in advance of your wedding to make necessary arrangements
- Once you receive approval, your wedding has to take place within three months.
- Like a civil ceremony, your church ceremony will be conducted in Portuguese and you should consider booking an interpreter to translate the service for you
- If you are divorced from a wedding in the Catholic church and your marriage was not officially annulled you cannot marry in the Catholic church in Portugal
For more information on planning your wedding in Portugal please contact one of the experts in Weddings Abroad.