Getting married in the Philippines? After the engagement, you would need at least three months of preparation. Why? Because before you can finally exchange I do’s there are a couple of things that you need to fulfill first. There are two different wedding requirements, that required by the government and the other required by the Church or congregation where you will get married.
Government Requirements: Talk with your fiancée and have the following documents ready for the application of your marriage license.
Certified true copy of your birth certificates, preferably issued by the National Statistics Office or NSO.
If you are under 18 to 21, you will need a written consent from your parents. On the other hand, if your age falls between 21 to 25, you will need a written parental advice that state your parents; awareness of your intention to marry.
You should attend a pre-marital counseling and responsible parenthood seminar. This is usually conducted by the health department within your municipality where you will apply your marriage license. You will get a certificate when you attend this seminar and will be presented when you apply for the license.
If you are your fiancé was previously married, he or she should present decree of divorce of annulment of the previous marriage. If you are a widow or widower getting married, you should present the death certificate of your deceased spouse. If you are marrying a Filipino citizen who have been living abroad for years, a certificate of freedom to marry will be required.
For foreign individuals who would like to marry a Filipino citizen in the Philippines, he or she should secure a certificate stating his or her legal capacity to get married. This is obtained from the consulate office of the foreigner’s country.
Church Requirements: If you wish to marry in the church, you will also need to fulfill the requirements stipulated by the church where you chose to hold the wedding ceremony.
Before you apply for a church wedding, try to secure your marriage license first. This is also one of the requirements of the Catholic Church. The marriage license should be issued by the municipality where you wish to marry.
You need to secure your Baptismal and Confirmation certificates duly annotated with the words “For Marriage Purposes Only.” This certificate should have been issued for the past three months. If you are marrying a non-Catholic individual, you should check with the Catholic church if his or her baptism would suffice to fulfill his part of the requirements.
If the couple had been civilly married, they will need to provide a certified true copy of the marriage contract duly issued by the NSO.
The couple should expect an interview with the parish priest or a duly authorized Catholic Church representative. They will then need to attend a marriage preparation seminar, otherwise termed as “pre-Cana Seminar” where, they will be issued an attendance certificate afterwards.
If the wedding is to take place in the groom’s locality, then the bride should secure a permit from her parish office. If your fiancé is non-Catholic, a certificate of freedom to marry from the pastor or minister will also be required.
Have the list of your wedding sponsors ready taking into account their complete names and addresses.
After the above mentioned requirements have been fulfilled, ecclesiastical or marriage bans will be posted at respective parish churches for three consecutive Sundays prior to your wedding date. You should take note to complete the required documents and seminars in order to prevent delay in your target wedding date. If not, you will have to inform your sponsors and change the date on your invitation, which will cost you more than it should.