Legal requirements to marry in Portugal

Make sure you have all the required legal documentation for your big day!

There are two basic options open to you for your wedding in the Algarve. You can opt to legally marry in Portugal by holding the civil ceremony as well a religious or celebratory ceremony here or you can legally marry in your own country and host the celebration ceremony in the Algarve.

Contact your nearest Civil Register Office in Portugal (INR) to find out about local marriage laws, including what documents you’ll need. As each option has it’s own set of requirements and the paperwork, particularly with the first option, can be daunting. We strongly recommend that you consult with a wedding planner and get legal advice from a local lawyer, to be sure that you have everything in place before the big day. 

Same sex marriages are legal in Portugal  In fact, Portugal joined the growing list of countries sanctioning gay marriage in 2010 - before the UK, who joined in 2013. 

1. Civil Ceremony - To legally marry in Portugal you will need:

  • Identification documents
  • Birth certificatesA Certificate of No Impediment. Portuguese law reuires that you have a document stating you are free to marry according too the laws of your country of nationality
  • Additionally you may need divorce certificates, death certificates of former partners or previous marriage certificates.

All documents must be translated into Portuguese and notarized locally, and you will need a translator for the civil ceremony.

A civil wedding is a contract that is bound to the laws of the country where the contract is issued.

2. Civil Ceremony and Religious Ceremony

In addition to the above and in the case of Catholic ceremonies,  you will need:

  • Documentation from your parish priest granting permission for the ceremony to be held.
  • Documentation for the Bishop of your parish.
  • Documentation regarding baptism, first communion and confirmation.

Celebration Ceremony

The celebration ceremony is not a legally binding act and therefore not subject to the restrictions of the civil ceremony. It complements the legal facts of the civil ceremony while allowing couples to truly experience their dream wedding as they can choose the location, the time of day, the words, promises, prayers and vows that mark the start their life as a married couple.

This information is correct at time of publication. It is not definitive nor is it intended to replace ascertaining all the legal requirements for each case. There is more information for Brit wishing to mayy in Portugal on the Gov.UK website.