Wedding Ceremonies in Spain.

How your wedding ceremony works here in Spain - Jargon-free!

Wedding ceremonies in Spain using a celebrant.

When it comes to getting married in Spain, many couples choose a blessing service, conducted by a humanist minister (often referred to as a wedding celebrant or wedding officiant), rather than an "official" legally binding wedding ceremony. This method means that they still need to legally marry in a registry office in their home country. So basically the wedding ceremony in Spain is "symbolic", It has no legal basis and therefore no strict rules, but it's treated as the real thing, as this is where you will say your vows in front of all your family and friends! Your wedding celebrant (officiant) will help you decide on your vows and all the aspects of the wedding ceremony together. Again, a humanist wedding ceremony is not an official wedding and often contains no religious reference, although it can frequently be blended with aspects of your religion if required.

Wedding ceremonies in Spain under the Catholic Church

Generally, It's not at all easy to legally marry in Spain unless you are a Spanish resident, or, at least one of you is Catholic and you wish to marry under the Catholic Church. Catholic Church weddings are possible to arrange here in Spain and are legally binding so that you would be officially married by the Catholic church. We will try to explain the basic rules and options further down on this page, but if you require further help, please feel free to contact our specialist wedding team who can get you on the right path!.. More info

Non-binding wedding ceremonies often referred to as a wedding blessing, use a humanist wedding celebrant, (or wedding minister) to conduct a personalised ceremony. However, the couple is still required to legally marry at the registry office in their home country in order to legally validate the marriage! 

Please refer to the information further down this page, to learn more about your wedding ceremony options in Spain.

Recommended Wedding celebrants for your blessing / ceremony in Spain..


Liz Wilkinson

Liz is a humanist minister for conducting ceremonies and blessings in Spain


Kurt Kettner-Borough

Kurt is an ordained Pastor, but also conducts non religious symbolic wedding ceremonies…


Debbie Skyrme

Independant wedding celebrant (officiant) based in Nerja, but covering the Costa del…


David Parker

Celebrant David Parker is available to create and perform a personalised, hand written…


Tony Wilcox

Anthony Wilcox is an English Marriage celebrant living on Spain's Costa del Sol.


Amor Ceremonies

Scottish wedding celebrant Geraldine provides symbolic wedding ceremonies, vow renewals…


Simone Lisa

Pastor and wedding celebrant Simone Lisa is the perfect choice to conduct your ceremony…


Church Weddings

If you are Catholic then it may be possible for the Catholic Church in Spain to legally…


Ceremony set up

Wedding ceremony set up and ministers for your wedding on the Costa del Sol, southern…


Your Faith and Culture

Marbella Bride cater for many faiths and cultures, let us know your needs and we will do…


Greg Townsend

Greg is a professionally trained wedding celebrant based in Nerja, in the province of…

We must reiterate that after a blessing or humanist wedding ceremony in Spain, you are not legally recognized as married, but this type of ceremony can be conducted anywhere and can include the aisle, flowers and decoration just as you dreamed it should be!  These symbolic wedding ceremonies are still treated as your main wedding ceremony where you take your vows in front of all your invited family and friends, flowing through to a fantastic wedding reception.  You must still follow through with a legal wedding at a registry office in your home country, but this can be treated as a much more basic affair, if you wish, maybe with just a couple of witnesses.

Need a minister (officiant) in another language, or for a specific religion? - Please ask, we can probably help!

Marbella Bride is English-speaking, but we cater to a wide range of international clients every-year.

Don't forget, Marbella Bride can take care of your flowers and ceremony decoration too, as well as all the other aspects of your wedding day! It's better with Marbella Bride by your side!

Humanist Ceremonies Explained.

What you need to know about getting married in Spain.

The options for British and Irish citizens.

For most UK and Irish residents that do not have a property in Spain or are not Catholic, the most simple route would be, to have the civil wedding in Gibraltar or the UK followed by a humanist marriage blessing, or non-religious ceremony here in Spain. A humanist minister can provide your ceremony in Spain, although all the legal paperwork will have been done in your country of origin, see the Humanist ministers above. Many couples like to consider their ceremonial service as the real wedding, with the signing of the registry papers as a mere formality.

Before we go into the requirements to Marry in Spain and as many of Costa del Party's clients are British Nationals, let us mention a more simple route first! Here on the Costa del Sol, we border with the Rock of Gibraltar and many UK citizens prefer to get married in Gibraltar, while enjoying the wedding reception and honeymoon in sunny Spain.

Where legal marriage in Spain is not practical for nationality or other reasons, Gibraltar can offer a possible alternative. It is quite straightforward and the whole wedding ceremony takes place in English. The paperwork includes a sworn statement of eligibility at a local lawyers office. Full details can be obtained from the registrar's office.

New Rules: Just brought into force is a new requirement that any couple marrying in Gibraltar must stay at least 1 night in Gibraltar, either the night before the wedding or the night of the wedding. Documentary evidence* must be provided to confirm this or the marriage will not be permitted to take place! However, paying for a hotel room is often enough, you don't actually need to stay there!

  • Other papers you may require for a Wedding in Gibraltar are:
  • Birth certificates
  • Passports
  • Decree Finite (if divorced) plus original marriage certificate
  • Death Certificate (if widowed)
  • If non-UK citizen Freedom To Marry Letter from Embassy (in English/Spanish)

The first step is to contact the local registry office, town hall or church where you are planning to marry. They will inform you of the procedures and will also give you a list of documentation required by them for foreign nationals wishing to marry.

Spain is notorious for slow administration of Paperwork, so one of the most important aspects is to give yourself plenty of time! In any case, you should approach the nearest Spanish Consulate, in your country, or your embassy in Spain, to obtain information about the procedures involved, as these are subject to change!

If proof of UK residence is needed, a letter can be obtained from the local Electoral Registration Office to the effect that the UK resident is on the electoral register for the year in question.

All British documentation such as birth, divorce and death certificates must be stamped with the Hague Apostille (obtained from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office >> ) and translated into Spanish by an official translator recognised by the Spanish government.

  • A valid 10-year passport.
  • An original full birth certificate must be provided.
  • A Consulate Certificate of No-Impediment.
  • Certificate of Residence also known as Certificado de Empadronamiento which proves you have been legally resident in Spain for at least two years.
  • Decree Absolute (the final divorce paper, if applicable)Death Certificate (if you are a widow or widower) and the original Marriage Certificate.
  • Change of Name Deed (required if you have changed your name).
  • Proof of residence for the last 2 years.
  • All documentation issued in UK must be legalised by Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • For a Civil Ceremony in Spain (at least one party must live/own a property in Spain)

Weddings under the Catholic Church in Spain.

If you are Catholic it may be possible to marry in the Church. 

A Roman Catholic wedding is legally binding and recognised by the Spanish authorities. There is no need for either of the couple to be resident or “empadronado” in Spain and all the paperwork is prepared in your home country. You should contact your local parish priest who will help you prepare and then send the documentation via the Arch Dioceses to the church in Spain where you will be married.

  • A valid 10-year passport.
  • Baptism Certificate.
  • Confirmation Certificate.
  • A certificate that you are single.
  • Certificate of completion of pre-marriage course.
  • Dispensation of impediments.
  • At least one of the couple must be Catholic, with neither party divorced, although some parishes do require both parties to be Catholic
  • Permission of Parish Priest – all documentation is done through the Priest
  • Documents should be done around 6 months prior to the wedding date

It is possible to marry through other churches in Spain, such as Protestant, Islamic and Jewish but couples must comply with the civil requirements and normally be a member of the local church.




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Situated on the Costa del Sol, Malaga coastline of southern Spain

Specialist in the planning and provision of weddings and events

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