There’s nothing more exciting in a couple’s life than those first steps to matrimony – the proposal, organizing the wedding and deciding on the honeymoon destination. But, before thinking about these aspects, it’s important to set a date for the civil ceremony and this step requires some preparation beforehand. Civil marriage is, by definition, the first and main step into matrimony, representing a non-religious ceremony performed and recognised by a Government official and some paperwork is needed. Check out this article for more information!


1. Civil marriage rules in the EU

When you decide on civil marriage in the EU, you will need a series of documents in order to be able to issue a marriage certificate following your consent. First of all, the minimum age for couples who want to get married in Europe is 18. Also, it’s mandatory to perform a series of medical tests to complete the prenuptial act. These tests are seen and approved by a family doctor, who will give the approval on the prenuptial certificate. 

Take into account the fact that the prenuptial certificate is valid only 14 days from the date of its issuance by the family doctor! Moreover, some countries in the EU, such as Spain, Malta and Denmark, to name a few, allow same gender citizens to get married officially.

Civil marriage rules in the EU - Weddo Agency

Therefore, the documents for civil marriage must include

  • birth certificates of borth parts 
  • prenuptial medical certificates 
  • IDs


Note! All documents must be presented in original, along with their copies. 


If one or both spouses were married before, additional paperwork is required:

  • The final divorce sentence in two legalized copies 
  • If the person who remarries has children from a previous marriage into their care,  it’s necessary to present both the original and copies of the children’s birth certificates

Moreover, if one of the parts is a foreigner or has its residency in another country in the EU or other continents, the following are also required: 

  • The passport of the foreign spouse, with a valid visa – if it’s the case
  • The legalized translation of their birth certificate 
  • An official declaration from a notary stating the person’s civil status
  • Legalized copy of the divorce papers, if it’s the case
  • A proof issued by the officials in a certain EU country 


The documents must be submitted to the Civil Registry with a maximum of 14 days and a minimum of 10 days before the chosen date of the civil ceremony. Also, both of you are required to submit the documents in person.

Steps after the ceremony:

  • The ID must be changed within 15 working days
  • Other documents must be updated to the new name –  health card, driving license, car documents, utilities, phone bill and so on. 


2. Rules of civil marriage in other countries around the world

Getting married abroad is an excellent idea, but before taking this decision you have to make sure that you can present all the needed paperwork on time. Even if civil marriage rules are similar on every continent, there are countries that have their own legislation, specific to the local culture

Rules of civil marriage in other countries around the world - Weddo Agency

Check out the rules of civil marriage in some other countries around the world:

  • Mexico. Even if it’s a popular wedding destination, Mexico is known to have a confusing application process that may take a while. On a positive note, it’s not necessary to be a resident of the country in order to tie the knot there. So, it’s possible for two foreigners to marry with minimum paperwork, such as notarized documents and a passport with a tourist visa. But, if one of the spouses is a Mexican citizen, a foreign marriage permit may be required in some municipalities.
  • Zanzibar. If Zanzibar would be like a dream come true for your wedding day and you want to say ‘I do’ somewhere under the African sun, then you have to take into account some marriage law requirements. The rules are simple and very similar to those in the EU, with some added aspects. For example, you have to post your intention to marry 21 days before the actual ceremony and to be in the country at least 2 days prior. 
  • Bora Bora. The civil marriage process in Bora Bora is pretty easy. Couples who are not French citizens can marry inside the country. For the official ceremony, it’s necessary for the newlyweds to be present at the City Hall. Usually, couples who want to say “I do” on a beach would organize a symbolic ceremony on their favourite spot on the island.
  • Thailand. Getting married in Thailand is pretty easy. The ceremony can take place only based on a declaration of both members of the couple. The consent can be made through a few methods, such as affixing the signature during the marriage registration or a verbal declaration in front of at least two witnesses. The good thing is that you can get married in any venue you want, either on a beach or in a hotel!
  • Dubai. Being the second most wanted wedding destination in the world, the Dubai officials have simplified the application process for foreigners who wish to celebrate their union in the city. Therefore, non-muslim visitors and expats can get married in Dubai according to the rules of their home country. 

Rules of civil marriage in other countries - Weddo Agency

Either you want to get married in your home country, in the EU or other amazing parts of the world, it’s always best to get the right information regarding the procedures of civil marriage. Therefore, make sure that you won’t miss any details, mostly when it’s about a ceremony abroad! If you want to avoid the hassle of bureaucracy, Weddo Agency will take care of everything, from visa and transportation to other formalities. Request the offer here!


Photo sources:,