What you need to Know

If you’re a British national getting a marriage or civil partnership abroad, you might need certain documents from the UK government, for example a certificate of no impediment (CNI).

Use this tool to find out how to get the documents you’ll need.

You’ll need to contact the local authorities where you want to get married to find out what you need to do. Sunloud Events can help you with these issues and address any problems.

Your marriage or civil partnership will be recognised in the UK if:

  • you followed the correct process in Spain, where you got married, this is why its important to have the right assessment.
  • it would be allowed under UK law

There’s a separate guide if you want to get married or enter into a civil partnership in the UK.

Marriage in Spain

Before you start

Contact the civil registry office where you’re planning to get married to find out about local marriage laws, including what documents you and your partner will need. Our team can address these issues, specially if there is a language barrier, but bear in mind that:

One of you must live in Spain or be a Spanish national.

Prove you’re free to get married

What you need varies across Spain.

The civil registry office will ask for one or both of:

Contact us and we will be able to guide you on these issues and contact the civil registry where you’re getting married and ask them which you need.

If your partner is British they’ll need to make a separate application to the consulate with the same certificates. If they’re not British they’ll need equivalent documents from their local authorities.

Apply for all your certificates at least 3 months before you take your documents to the civil registry appointment. You need to present all your paperwork when you open the marriage application at the civil registry office.

The civil registry office will also ask you for proof of your address. This could be:

  • a utility bill or bank statement – if you don’t live in Spain
  • your registration certificate (‘padrón’) from the town hall (‘ayuntamiento’) – if you live in Spain

If you’ve lived in Spain for less than 2 years, you might also need to provide the ‘communication proof of address’.

You can have a civil wedding or a religious wedding.

Religious ceremonies aren’t valid on their own. You’ll need to have a civil wedding as well.

Civil Weddings

Take your certificates to the civil registry office where you’re planning to get married. The registrar will check your documents and set a date for your wedding.

Religious weddings

Take your certificates to the priest who’s going to marry you. The priest will check your documents and set a date for your wedding.

After your ceremony either you or the priest must register your marriage at the local civil registry office. You won’t be legally married until this has happened.

After you get married

Your marriage will be recognised in the UK if:

It’s not possible to register your marriage in the UK.

If your partner isn’t a British citizen, they can apply for British citizenship once they’ve lived in the UK for 3 years.