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Getting Married / Weddings in Tenerife – Paperwork & Procedures

CONTENTS OF THIS PAGE:

    1. Introduction to getting married in Tenerife
    2. Getting married in Tenerife, Procedures and Documentation

Getting Married In Tenerife

1.  Introduction to getting married in Tenerife

With it’s perfect year-round climate, stunning views and romantic hideaways, Tenerife is one of the most idyllic destinations on the planet in which to get hitched. Many lucky couples that get married here also stay for their honeymoon in Tenerife, making it the perfect all-round destination for newly-weds.

The only small issue is that in order to register the marriage legally in Tenerife, at least one of the couple needs to be legally resident in Spain. Therefore, most foreign couples, if neither are resident in Spain, usually choose to deal with the marriage legal formalities and paperwork back in their home country, but then hold the ceremony and the wedding reception in Tenerife.

However, where either person is a Spanish resident, the legal formalities and the ceremony can all be done in Tenerife.

Types of Weddings

Weddings in Tenerife generally fit into one of the following categories:

    • Religious marriages: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim marriages can take place in Tenerife without requiring a separate civil marriage. When conducted by authorised celebrants, religious marriages have the same legal status as civil unions.
    • Civil marriages: couples may legally marry in a civil ceremony without any religious association. This is available to either heterosexual or same sex partners.
    • Civil partnerships: Tenerife recognises and offers civil unions and registered cohabitation between gay, lesbian and same-sex partners.

Please note that for religious ceremonies, you may need to provide proof of your religious affiliation (e.g. baptism certificate etc). As Spain is predominantly a Catholic country, it is fairly easy to arrange a Catholic ceremony, although ceremonies for other denominations and religions are also available.

N.B. As religious marriages also have to be registered in Spain, it is important that the officiator of the ceremony (Priest, Rabbi, Imam etc) is licenced to marry couples. Some may also offer to process the civil registration paperwork on your behalf, whilst others will expect that you do it yourselves.

Wedding Packages & Wedding Planners

For foreigners planning their dream wedding ceremony and reception in Tenerife, the most popular option is to buy a Wedding Package, as a part of which you will be assigned your very own Wedding Planner to help you with every detail and to ensure that everything goes smoothly on your big day.

Below are a list of some of the providers offering Wedding Packages and Wedding Planner services in Tenerife:

Barefoot Bride Tenerife

Tenerife Wedding Planners

Tenerife Weddings

My Perfect Wedding Tenerife

For those of you wanting to take care of the paperwork and arrangements yourself, please be aware of Tenerife’s reputation for bureaucracy and paperwork in general, so anyone planning to get married here is strongly advised to plan several months ahead of the proposed wedding date. But don’t worry, this page has all the information you need to help make the process and paperwork as painless as possible.

Where a foreign couple (i.e. holding non-Spanish passports) wish to get married in Tenerife, it is required that one of them has been legally resident in Spain for a minimum period of 2 years. However, if one of the parties is a Spanish national (Spanish passport holder), the marriage may take place at any time, regardless of the Spaniard’s place of residence.

For this reason, where neither party has been resident in Spain for over 2 years but the couple simply wish to get married in Tenerife as tourists, they may still conduct the ceremony here, but the actual civil marriage and registration must be done back in their home country.

The following information therefore applies to marriages in Tenerife where at least one of the parties is either Spanish, or has been living as a Tenerife resident for more than 2 years.

Legal requirements to Marry in Tenerife

  • for non Spanish Nationals (i.e. not holding a Spanish passport), one of the couple must have been resident in Spain continuously for 2 years preceding the marriage application;
  • the couple must both be over 16 years old;
  • neither are already married at the date of the proposed marriage;
  • the couple are no closer than ‘third degree’ relatives to each other (e.g. cousins etc);
  • neither has been convicted of the fraudulent death of a former spouse (unless waived by a Judge);
  • neither is mentally or intellectually unsound, unless excusing medical evidence is provided;

Below, we look at the options and paperwork requirements for getting married in Tenerife.

2.  Getting married in Tenerife – Procedures and Documentation

Step 1:  Complete the Application Form

The first thing that you will need to obtain to get married in Tenerife is a ‘Certificate of Permission to Marry’ (Certificado de Capacidad Matrimonial).  To obtain this certificate, the couple are basically declaring that they meet the legal requirements to marry.

The form can be downloaded here:  APPLICATION FOR CERTIFICATE OF PERMISSION TO MARRY (In Spanish)

The form must be completed in Spanish, but here is a copy of the form translated into English for explanatory purposes: FORM IN ENGLISH

N.B. where it asks for signatures from ‘Solicitor & Applicant’ at the bottom of the form, that actually means the couple themselves must sign there.

Step 2:  Submit the Application

The next step is to file the marriage application. This is done in person at the Town Hall (‘Ayuntamiento’) for the borough where the marriage ceremony is to take place. A list of Town Halls in Tenerife together with their phone numbers here:  CIVIL REGISTRIES IN TENERIFE  What you need to bring:

  • The above Application Form signed by both of you;
  • Your original Passports, plus photocopies;
  • Your Birth Certificates (official copies less than 3 months old that have also been apostilled/legalised in the country of issue;
  • Certificates of Marital Status (Certificado de Fe de Vida y Estado) which can be obtained from the Civil Registry office in your home country. For UK citizens, you can apply HERE (CMS);
  • Certificates of No Impediment (Certificado de No Impedimento), which can be obtained from the Civil Registry office in your home country. For UK citizens, you can apply HERE (CNI);
  • Divorce degrees (Certificados de divorcio) – divorcees (if applicable);
  • Death Certificate (Certificado de defuncion) – widows/widowers (if applicable;
  • Spanish Town Hall Registration Certificate (Certificado de Empadronamiento or “Padrón”) for person(s) resident in Spain. For foreigners, a recent utility bill showing your home address is typically requested;
  • NIE certificate (or alternatively Residencia Certificate/card);
  • Officially translated copies of any of the above documents that are not in Spanish. For more info on obtaining Official Translations, see HERE;
  • For religious weddings, it is strongly recommended to also check your denomination’s specific practical and documentary requirements.

N.B. It is strongly recommended to check prior to filing the application which documents and copies your local Civil Registry requires you to bring, as some have different requirements to others.

N.B. The appplication, together with all required documentation detailed below must be submitted at least 2 months prior to the proposed date of marriage. Some of the above documents can take up to 3 months to obtain. It is therefore strongly recommended to apply for the following documents at least 6 months before your planned wedding date. Assuming everything is correct at the time of filing, the official will register your marriage application on their system and will publish the proposed nuptuals on their public notice board for a 21 day period (“Wedding Banns”).

Step 3:  Request a Civil Registry Interview Appointment

Meanwhile, after 10 days have elapsed from the date of filing your application, you can apply for the interview appointment, which is a compulsory step prior to the issue of all marriage licences. The appointment should be arranged by telephone (Online applications for Civil Registry appointments are being rolled out across Spain, but unfortunately are not available in Tenerife at the time of writing). Typical appointment dates in Tenerife can be up to 6 weeks away. Both partners must attend the appointment. You may also be interviewed separately to make sure you are genuine applicants. Assuming the appointment goes well, you will then be issued with a Marriage Licence, which is valid for a further 6 months.N.B. The appointment will invariably be conducted in Spanish, so non-Spanish speakers should ensure they bring along an interpreter.

Step 4: The Marriage Ceremony

To get legally married in Tenerife, a couple need to attend a Civil Ceremony before a local Mayor, Councillor or even a Notary. The Civil Registry can also help to arrange this. Many religious couples treat this civil ceremony as more of a formality, whilst then also holding a more elaborate religious ceremony afterwards, the certificate for which must be presented to the Civil Registry within 1 week of the religious ceremony. However, it is the civil ceremony that makes the couple legally married.

Step 5: Registering the Marriage

Finally, once the civil ceremony has been performed, the happy couple will need to register their union at the local Civil Registry (Registro Civil). This is done by downloading and completing the following marriage data registration form:  MARRIAGE REGISTRATION FORM.

As mentioned above, any religious ceremony certificate must be filed within 1 week of the date of the ceremony or otherwise it will not be officially recognised.

Finally, if everything is in order, the Registry will issue you with your Marriage Certificate.

Congratulations! You are now officially married in Spain!

Beach Weddings

For many couples, particularly those from colder climates, getting married on a beach is the most idyllic and romantic setting possible. This is a popular option in Tenerife, but requires some planning.

There are 3 main steps that you will need to take in order to get married on the beach:

1. Firstly, you will need to apply for a permit from the ‘Servicio Provincial de Costas’ . This is particularly important, as fines of €3,000 or more have recently being issued for weddings conducted on the beach without a permit. A refundable deposit may also be required to cover any potential damage or cleaning required after the event, depending on each individual Town Hall’s requirements.

When applying, you will need to know the number of guests, how much space you need on the beach and whether you will be bringing any decorations, furniture or structures. It is recommended to apply for the permit at least 2 months in advance, in case of any bureaucratic delays.

3.  Tenerife marriages for Non-Residents who live outside Spain

Beach Weddings

For many couples, particularly those from colder climates, getting married on a beach is the most idyllic and romantic setting possible. This is a popular option in Tenerife, but requires some planning.

There are 3 main steps that you will need to take in order to get married on the beach:

1. Firstly, you will need to apply for a permit from the ‘Servicio Provincial de Costas’ . This is particularly important, as fines of €3,000 or more have recently being issued for weddings conducted on the beach without a permit. A refundable deposit may also be required to cover any potential damage or cleaning required after the event, depending on each individual Town Hall’s requirements.

When applying, you will need to know the number of guests, how much space you need on the beach and whether you will be bringing any decorations, furniture or structures. It is recommended to apply for the permit at least 2 months in advance, in case of any bureaucratic delays.

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