No need to go to the Far East, Middle East or some Pacific Island where it would be impractical to expect the families and guests to attend and be entertained, unless of course you happen to be very wealthy. Andalucia is probably one of the best locations for weddings abroad and if you happen to be a resident, then it is even better and more practical.
The idea of an Andalucian wedding can conjure up beautiful thoughts of sunshine, blue skies, beaches with expanses of sparkling blue sea and silvery sand, white villages with traditional, classical looking churches and romance.
Bearing in mind that Spain is a Catholic country, unfortunately getting formally married means formalities to be seen to and as a foreigner either living on these shores or a foreigner coming over for that special occasion there are certain legalities which need to be adhered to.
The minimum mandatory age to get married in Spain is 18 and there are 2 types of legal ceremonies, civil and religious. Civil marriages are performed by the Judge in charge of the Civil Registry or by the towns Mayor. Religious marriages can be of the Catholic, Protestant or Jewish faith but please make sure you register the certificate of marriage with the Spanish civil registry after the wedding in order to get an official marriage certificate.
There are various documents that will be required and they are as follows:
Original birth certificates.
Marriage application form duly completed.
A form from the civil registry of your home country to prove that both parties are single.
If previously married, the original Absolute Divorce Certificate or Death Certificate of partner.
Residence Certificate. If you are non-resident, a certificate of Affidavit made before your Consular Officer.
If it is a Catholic Church wedding, you will also need your Baptism certificate.
All documents in a foreign language must be translated into Spanish and authenticated by apostille.
Of course, there are other ways to get hitched Andalucian style and some people will think them as far easier ways. Often couples have the ceremony at home (Registry Office or Church) and then come to Spain either for a church blessing or a celebratory bash. It may be advisable to consult a firm of Wedding Planners such as J & K Wedding Planners, who do absolutely everything for you from the cake to providing fireworks. They can of course also help to arrange the actual wedding if it is your preference to have the whole thing done in Spain.
Another alternative is to do the deed in Gibraltar, made famous when John Lennon and Yoko Ono flew there in a private jet on 20th March 1969, went directly to the British Consulate and were married in a 10 minute ceremony performed by the Registrar. In so doing, at least you will actually understand the ceremony, which takes place in English, and then have your reception on the Costa with all the lovely attributes it has to offer. It is probably advisable, to book the Registrar several weeks ahead and this can be done by telephone, but remember to complete the paperwork in advance as a special license is required for non-residents. Gibraltar airport may be convenient for family and friends travelling over.
However you do it, your wedding day really has to be the best day of your life and preparation is the key to success, especially when marrying in a foreign country. With the right advice and careful planning there is no reason why your wedding on the Costa del Sol shouldnt go without a ´hitch` and be the wedding that everyone remembers.