Can a Lawyer Officiate a Wedding in the Philippines?

Yes, a lawyer can officiate a wedding in the Philippines, provided that the lawyer falls in any of the persons authorized by law to officiate a marriage. Art. 7 of the Family Code provides that the following person can officiate a marriage in the Philippines:

  1. Any incumbent member of the judiciary within the court’s jurisdiction. It means that a judge in Quezon City cannot officiate marriage outside of Quezon City.
  2. Any priest, rabbi, imam, or minister of a church or religious sect. Please note that they must be duly authorized to officiate marriage by their church or religious sect and registered with the civil registrar general. Please note further that at least one of the contracting parties belongs to the solemnizing officer’s church or religious sect.
  3. Any ship captain or airline chief only in cases between passengers or crew members in articulo mortis while the ship is at sea or the plane is in flight, or during stopovers at ports of call. In articulo mortis means at the point of death, a moment before death, or the person is about to die.
  4. A military commander of a unit, who is a commissioned officer only in cases between persons in articulo mortis who are within the unit of military operation, whether members of the armed forces or civilians. 
  5. A Consul-general, consul, or vice-consul in cases between Filipino citizens abroad. 

A mayor1 of a city or municipality, or in his absence, the vice mayor2 acting as Acting Mayor is also authorized to officiate marriage within the mayor’s jurisdiction.

All judges are lawyers, and many mayors in the Philippines are also lawyers. 

Go back to the main article: How to Get Married in the Philippines (Civil and Church Wedding Guide)



  1. Republic Act No. 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991). Metro Manila, Philippines.
  2. People of the Philippines vs. Bustamante, G.R. No. 11598 (Supreme Court of the Philippines 1959).