Marriages which take place outside of Ireland are normally
registered in the country in which they occur and are NOT
registered in Ireland. The civil marriage
certificate issued by the country in question would
normally be accepted as the legal proof of the marriage. For
further information, please consult the website of the General Register Office.
According to the Central Civil Registry Office in Madrid, in order
for two Irish citizens to get married in the province of Madrid,
one of the parties should be legally resident in Spain for
approximately the previous two years. Naturally this is not
the case if an Irish citizen is to marry a Spanish citizen.
This can vary across Spain and therefore, it is essential
to check with the Civil Registry Office in the area where you wish
to get married as to their specific
requirements. A list of Civil Registries and
further information regarding civil marriage in Spain can by
found by regions on the Spanish Ministry for Justice’s website.
An application to get married in Spain usually involves a lot of
bureaucracy and can be time-consuming. Applicants should
allow enough time before the intended date of the marriage for the
paperwork to be completed. Individuals wishing to be married
must first certify, in a file processed in accordance with the
legislation for the Civil Register, that they meet the requirements
established by law.
The requirements for religious marriages vary according to the
denomination and region in which an applicant lives.
Applicants will be asked for a variety of documents. To
obtain an official marriage certificate, the marriage must be
registered with the local Civil Registry. Therefore,
it is important to confirm that the officiator of the marriage is
licensed to marry and to establish the arrangements for civil
registration. The officiator may obtain the marriage
certificate on your behalf.
You may be asked for the following documentation:
- A recently issued
long form birth certificate authenticated by the General Register
Office in Roscommon and translated into Spanish.
Please note that you can now apply online for a wide range of
Irish certificates (birth, death, marriage, etc.) via
an official HSE website.
- The Hague Apostille stamp on the back of the
birth cert which is obtainable from the Department of Foreign
Affairs in Dublin. Further details are available
- A civil letter of
freedom or “Certificate de Coutume” which you can obtain from the
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin or the
Embassy or nearest Consulate if you are living in
Spain. You can find comprehensive information and
apply online on the marriage abroad page of the website of the
Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade. Only
online applications will be accepted.
This information is provided as a general guide to marrying in
Spain. It is neither exhaustive nor specific to different
autonomous regions or communidades. Again, it is essential
that Irish citizens wishing to marry in Spain contact the relevant
local authority to inform themselves of the specific requirements
in that region.