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What you need to know about getting married in Spain

First and foremost you need to know that weddings in Spain are fabulous and there are many different options to suit all faiths and preferences, so that’s the good news!

However, there are strict rules and bureaucracy involved if you wish to have a civil ceremony in Spain and one of you must have been resident in Spain for more than two years. Most of our couples are based in the UK, so this isn’t an option for them, but never fear, there’s another great option for UK couples wanting a civil ceremony. We are very lucky to be really close to Gibraltar and as a British Overseas Territory, couples can have a civil ceremony in Gibraltar very easily so you are legally married. Then, you can head back to your perfect Spanish wedding venue and have a blessing with the wedding banquet and party and celebrate with all your guests. This is the best option for UK brides and grooms and whilst doing the ceremony twice can seem a little strange at first, it just means you can celebrate and enjoy the moment twice too.

If you are both Catholic then you can have a Catholic wedding in Spain once you have contacted the Bishopirc in the area you want to marry. You then need to have your birth certificate and baptismal certificate translated into Spanish and notarised and provide proof that both parties are free to marry and present these documents to the priest performing the ceremony. Following the wedding you need to register the marriage at the local registry office. Spanish churches and chapels can be beautiful and there’s something special about getting married in a country with such a strong Catholic culture. We can help you arrange a Catholic Marriage in Spain, as we’ve arranged several of these and have contacts with Marbella churches. To find out more about wedding ceremony options in Spain check out our dedicated page, or for more information read this useful article about getting married in Spain on Expatica.

Once you have decided what ceremony you want to have, then you need to think about the following things:

  1. When do you want to get married? – Weddings on the Costa del Sol are getting more and more popular by the year, so if you want to marry in the key wedding season of May to September and over a weekend then availability can be an issue. Make sure you get planning as early as you can to ensure your dates are available.
  2. What will you provide for your guests? – If guests are flying over from the UK or further afield then you need to think about more than just the wedding day itself, so that guests feel looked after and can really enjoy everything that this beautiful place has to offer. Think about whether you will arrange a meal or a welcome drink at the main hotel the day before the wedding, this can be a really good way to thank guests for making the effort of coming and allow people to get to know each other. If you can’t afford another party the day before, then how about something simple like a picnic on the beach? Or why not suggest a few things to do the day before and use a Facebook event or group to allow people to get together and do something fun as a group e.g. go to the beach, visit the waterpark, or explore Old Town Marbella. Think as well about the day after the wedding, will people want the chance to see you, or would you prefer to just have the day to yourselves? Make sure guests don’t feel neglected, maybe meet for breakfast or lunch if people are staying around, or make suggestions for things to do as we suggested before.
  3. How do you cope in the heat? – If you or any relatives struggle in hot temperatures, spring and autumn are great times to get married on the Costa del Sol as the temperatures are much more comfortable, although the weather is more unpredictable. If you’re getting married during high summer, make sure you have plenty of shade and think about a fun, interesting and practical wedding favour like a traditional fan with your initials on it or mini bottles of sun cream.
  4. How will you transport people? – Given most guests will be flying in, will you need to put on a mini-bus, or suggest people hire cars? Don’t rely on public transport, it isn’t reliable enough and you don’t want to leave people stranded.
  5. ¿Hablas Español? – Getting married in Spain of course means that the Spanish language can cause issues, so if you don’t speak Spanish make sure you have someone to help that does. If you use us to plan your wedding then we will speak to all the suppliers and venues on your behalf so you don’t have to worry.

It’s great that you’re interested in getting married in Spain, I hope this article has given you an overview of some of the things you need to think about to have a wonderful Spanish wedding. Remember we live and work on the Costa del Sol, so we know the place inside and out and have all the contacts and local knowledge to make your Spanish wedding a breeze. We look forward to helping you to have the best possible wedding in the sun.


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