Marriage in Spain: Civil and Religious

Marriage in Spain: Civil and Religious

I live in Spain, can I get married here? We explain you everything about marriage in Spain

If you and your partner are adults, single, divorce, widow or widower and at least one of you is currently empadronado in Spain and you are not family relatives. You can get married here.

For this procedure is not required to have legal residence.

There are two ways to get married: the civil marriage and the religious marriage.

Civil Marriage in Spain

The Civil Register (Ministry of Justice) of the city were one of you is empadronado, will decided with an expediente previo if you both can get married.

Expediente previo is a procedure were the judge study your application to allows you to get married.

Once is granted you can get married at the Civil Register or at the City Hall of the same city you are living or in another city you prefer. After the ceremony your marriage will be register at the Spanish civil register of the place you got married.

Religious Marriage in Spain

Marriage in Spain

For this matter, there are three main groups of religions in Spain:

  1. Catholics: the procedure is according to DERECHO CANÓNICO and you don’t need capacidad matrimonial.

Capacidad matrimonial is a procedure actually really similar to Expediente previo, without it you won’t be able to register the marriages celebrated under other religions.

  1. Muslims, Jews and Evangelics, these religions have signed ACUERDOS DE COOPERACIÓN ENTRE EL ESTADO Y LAS CONFESIONES RELIGIOSAS.

You do need capacidad matrimonial previous in order to be able to register the marriage at the Civil Register.

  1. From 23 July 2015 also the religions registered on REGISTRO DE ENTIDADES RELIGIOSAS and that already have RECONOCIMIENTO DE NOTORIO ARRAIGO EN ESPAÑA.

Also do need capacidad matrimonial.

These religions are:

      • The Mormon Church, officially known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
      • The Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      • The Orthodox churches.


  • Buddhists communities who belong to the Federación de Comunidades Budistas de España.

Documents you will need for the expediente previo and for the Capacidad Matrimonial

Unless there is a legal instrument providing exemption from that obligation, all foreign public documents must be legalised in order to be valid in Spain and sworn translated.

From both of you:

  2. Birth certificate.
  3. Single certificate:
    • Depending on your civil status you may need other documents.
    • Depending on your nationality you may need a capacidad matrimonial from your own country (depending on your national law, it can be issued by your Consulate or by the Civil Register at your country).
  4. Empadronamiento from the last 2 years, proofs of you were living the last two years.

The day you will apply for one of this two procedures, you may need 1 or 2 witnesses (adults with their own ID), depending on your nationality and the practice of that specified Civil Register.


If are in this situation already or you are about to start the procedure and want to prepare your application properly, you can contact us and in the consultation we can study your case.

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