Both Americans and Canadians are permitted to wed in Spain and have their marriages legally recognized back home. It is advised, however, to start the process early as there are many documents to obtain to start the process and once the official application has been made, the marriage application can take as long as forty-five days to approve. The problem is further complicated by the fact that each region determines its own requirements so information must be obtained from the exact source.
Many people, when they find out how cumbersome and difficult it is to marry in Spain, try to circumvent the system by requesting their respective embassies to marry them. But neither the American nor Canadian embassies in Spain are authorized to conduct wedding ceremonies and are not permitted to marry couples. Generally speaking and at the very least, the documents that are required to start the process are:
- The couple’s original birth certificates accompanied by sworn translations. The translation must come from a legitimate, professional translator and the document must be stamped with the Hague Apostille.
- Both passports which are current.
- A certificate of non-impediment to marry. If either or both of the parties are divorced, divorce certificates, translated and sworn will be required. Further, if the parties are widowed, then the original marriage certificates along with death certificates will be required.
- In some areas of Spain, it may also be required that the bride and groom show themselves in person.
- Some areas will not allow non-residents to marry requiring as much as a two-year residency period for at least one of the couple.
- There are also rules according to religious faith so not only will the jurisdiction play a role in whether a couple will be married but also, the church will impact the decision.
Being married in Spain can be much like a puzzle. First, you must decide on the location of your wedding. Then you must contact that region specifically to ensure that you follow all the rules and regulations of that jurisdiction. But once all the necessary documentation and approval is in place, then things move much faster. There are some good online wedding coordinators who will work with you long distance to ensure a beautiful wedding.
One appealing attraction that Spain offers to couples and tourists is the immense history surrounding the locations in Spain. Many wedding destinations were built in the tenth and thirteenth centuries. Historic chapels, castles and convents are just as old and offer fairy tale settings for the bride and groom. Some of the more beautiful and popular spots for weddings in Spain are:
- Andalusian County Manor between Granada and Malaga is a private estate with its own chapel, hotel, luxurious gardens and little village.
- Thirteenth Century Fortress is a national monument located in Seville. The fortress was the actual home of King Ferdinand III and later Queen Maria de Molina. It includes a beautiful patio, gardens and eleven-bedroom hotel.
- Andalusian Finca, a private home in Moorish style offers a dining room, gardens and swimming pool.
Further the south of Spain has a more temperate climate with little rain so it provides an excellent environment for weddings in Spain. Mediterranean Cruises might also offer weddings. Once married in Spain, the couple will receive a “Libro de Familia”, the official marriage certificate of Spain.