How to Get Married in the Philippines – An Ultimate Guide

This post was most recently updated on February 1st, 2019

Everyone has a dream wedding.

It’s an important milestone you’ve waited for all your life.

Whether it’s a simple civil wedding or an extravagant church wedding, you can’t wait to celebrate this day with your soulmate along with your loved ones.

But preparing for your wedding day is not all beers and skittles. You also need to know the legal documents and preparations required to ensure a hassle-free celebration.

If you’re clueless about the things you need to know to get married here in the Philippines, no need to fret. We have scoured the Internet for the best information that every soon-to-be couples ought to know.

Whether you’re tying the knot with a Filipino, American, or any other foreigner, this guide is for you!

 Related Article: An Ultimate Guide to NBI Clearance Application and Renewal 

 

How to Get Married in the Philippines in 3 Simple Steps. 

If you’re planning to get married in the Philippines, there are few legal requirements you need to know first, especially if you or your would-be spouse is 25 years old or below. Here are some of them:

  • Marrying parties should be a male and a female, at least 18 years old.
  • If you or your partner is 25 years old or below, a parental consent or advice is needed (
  • You and your partner must not be related by blood (up to 4th degree) and should be free of legal impediments, such as being in a previous marriage (unless annulled, widowed, or divorced).

After confirming that both of you are qualified to get married, proceed to the next steps.

 

1. Get a marriage license.

The marriage license is the most important legal document you need to secure when preparing for your wedding. After all, you won’t be allowed to have a church or civil wedding without this.

To apply for the license, both parties must go to the local civil registrar of the city, town, or municipality where either one of them habitually resides.

getting married in the philippines

The marriage license is usually released 2 weeks (10 days) after you apply for it.

Local civil registrars tend to interpret the guidelines differently so depending on where you’ll be applying, it may take either 10 consecutive days (including weekends) or 10 working days (excluding weekends) before the license is issued to you.

Anyone of the applying parties can pick up the marriage license from the local civil registrar. No delivery option is available as of this writing.

Once issued, the marriage license can be used wherever you want to get married in the Philippines.

However, it is only valid within 120 days of issuance and “shall be deemed automatically canceled at the expiration of said period if the contracting parties have not made use of it.”

 

Requirements for Marriage License Application.

a. Personal appearance of the applying parties.

b. Latest certified true copy of you and your partner’s PSA birth certificates (original and photocopy).

You can obtain this from the Philippine Statistics Authority (formerly NSO) office or through online application via e-Census.

If no record of birth, the latest original copy of baptismal may also be accepted. Foreigners must obtain their birth certificates from their country of origin.

c. Notarized affidavit of parental consent or advice for applicants below 25 years old. 

The legal age for marriage in the Philippines is 18.

For applicants between 18 and 21 years old, a  notarized parental consent is required (under Art. 14 of the Family Code of the Philippines). The father, mother, or guardian (in the order of mention) can either personally appear with valid ID (original and photocopy) or provide a notarized consent.

Meanwhile, for applicants between 21 and 25 years old, a notarized parental advice is necessary. The parents or guardian is likewise required to either show up with a valid ID (original and photocopy) or just provide a notarized written account expressing that they’re aware of the couple’s intent to marry as well as any other advice they wish to give.

Forms are usually available at the local civil registrar/city civil registry department where you’ll file the application.

In case the parents refuse to provide notarized parental advice, you may submit a sworn statement telling the reason why they refused, after which the marriage license can only be issued 3 months after you filed the application.

d. Latest Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) or Certificate of Singleness (original and photocopy for both bride and groom).

For couples above 25 years old, the CENOMAR provides proof that neither of you was married before.

To secure a copy, please follow the same procedure in ordering birth certificate–either walk-in at the nearest Census Serbilis Center or apply online via PSA Helpline.

A copy of CENOMAR costs Php 195 (walk-in) or Php 430 (online).

e. Certificate of Attendance in a pre-marriage counseling, family planning, and responsible parenthood seminar. 

The pre-marriage counseling is usually conducted by the Church or the DSWD for civil marriages.

The family planning and responsible parenthood seminar, on the other hand, is held at the health department (specifically the Division of Maternal and Child Health) of your municipal/city hall.

In most areas, family planning and marriage counseling seminar are combined into one program and conducted at the same venue.

Be sure to check the schedules as some are conducted daily while others have a specific schedule within the week.

Note: You won’t be issued a marriage license until you pass all the documentary requirements–including this Certificate of Attendance. Couples are required by law to attend the seminar. In fact, bypassing the pre-marriage seminar is grounds for annulment.

f. Valid ID (original and photocopy).

The valid ID should show proof that one or both of you are resident/s of the city/town/municipality where you’re applying for the marriage license. For example, if you’re filing an application in Manila, the valid ID must show an address in Manila.

g. 2 pieces recent ID picture with white background (2 x 2 or 1 x 1, depending on your local civil registrar).

h. Community tax certificates or CEDULA.

i. Marriage license application form (issued by the LCR office).

For foreigners:

  • Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry (Affidavit or Affirmation of Marital Status for British applicants) issued by the Consular Office/Embassy of the foreigner’s country.
  • If you’re a US citizen, the Consulate is prohibited by law to make any certification about your eligibility for marriage in the Philippines. They can only provide an Affidavit in Lieu of Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry which you can obtain by appointment from the US Embassy in Manila or through walk-in application at the US Embassy in Cebu.
  • Photocopy of passport (showing the Date of Arrival and Data).

Other requirements:

  • If annulled, Certificate of Finality of Annulment from the Court (1 original and 2 photocopies) and Certificate of Registration from the Local Civil Registrar (1 original and 2 photocopies). 
  • If widowed, Death Certificate of the deceased spouse.
  • Some city halls may also request for Barangay Clearance.

how to apply for marriage license in the philippines

How to Get a Marriage License in the Philippines: 5 Steps.

Now that you know the basic requirements to bring, here are the steps you need to follow in order to get the marriage license:

  1. Get an application form (Form 90) from the local registry office.
  2. Fill out the form. The left portion of the sheet should be filled out by the groom while the other half by the bride.
  3. Submit the necessary documents (see the list of requirements above) together with the duly accomplished application form. To avoid hassles and long queues, go to the municipal office either in the morning or right after lunch.
  4. Attend the pre-marriage counseling, family planning, and responsible parenthood seminar. Submit the certificate of attendance and return on the date indicated on the claim slip.
  5. Wait for 10 days before the marriage license is released. Once issued, you can get married anywhere in the Philippines within 120 days from the date of issue.

 

2. Choose between a religious or civil wedding ceremony.

Depending on your budget or preference, you may choose between a religious wedding ceremony which is held in a church or civil wedding ceremony held in a municipal court, mayor’s office, or even the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

Option 1: Civil Wedding in the Philippines.

For most Filipinos, a civil wedding is a cheaper, faster, and more convenient alternative to a church wedding.

It is usually conducted by a judge of the RTC court, but it can also be performed by the mayor of a city.

If you’re short on cash or still saving up for your dream church wedding, this option is for you.

Civil Wedding Requirements.
  • Marriage license.
  • Possible requirement: Letter of Intent to Marry. As the name suggests, this letter should express your intent to marry and also includes your name and your fiancee’s name, your signatures, and your suggested wedding dates.
How to Have a Civil Wedding in the Philippines: 6 Steps.
  1. Go to your civil registrar’s office to apply and pay the required fees for a marriage license. Beware of swindlers. Make sure you only deal with the staff of the Civil Registrar’s office.
  2. Proceed to the Mayor’s office and submit the Letter of Intent to Marry (if applicable) together with the marriage license to the secretary.
  3. Wait for the confirmation that your suggested wedding dates are available. Civil weddings are usually officiated by a judge or the mayor in a city hall court. If you have a preferred venue, seek the approval of your chosen officiant first.
  4. Find at least two people within the legal age who will serve as your witnesses. If either you or your partner is below 18 years old, a parent or a guardian is required.
  5. On your wedding day, you need to pay a filing fee which usually costs 100 pesos. This is to enable them to forward their own facsimile of the marriage contract to the local civil registrar. You will then get the facsimile of the marriage certificate from PSA (formerly NSO) after 1 to 2 months.
  6. Proceed to the official civil wedding ceremony.

Update: We have written a definitive guide to a civil wedding in the Philippines which includes the requirements and all the essential steps to get married in a civil ceremony. 

Option 2: Church Wedding in the Philippines.

Every Filipina bride has a dream of tying the knot in the church and wearing that long, elegant wedding dress.

And because the majority of Filipinos are Catholics, it’s no wonder why most prefer to get married in popular churches like Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, and the likes.

If you’re one of those lucky few who has a budget for a church wedding, there are specific requirements aside from the marriage license that you need to fulfill a few months before your actual wedding.

This is because the documents listed below have different validity periods and it’s your responsibility to ensure they don’t expire before your scheduled wedding date.

READ: How to Plan a Church Wedding in the Philippines (with Free Printable Wedding Checklist)

church wedding in the philippines

Church Wedding Requirements.

a. Marriage license.

The document must be valid and not expired. If you previously married in a civil wedding, you must submit a registered marriage contract.

b. Baptismal and confirmation certificates (6 months validity).

Because marriage is one of the church sacraments, you and your partner must submit a proof that you have previously received the sacrament of baptism.

The copies that you’ll submit must be new, acquired not more than 3 months before the wedding, and with an annotation “For marriage purposes only.”

Some parishes can’t issue these documents instantly as they don’t have digital records of these files yet. Make sure to process these papers as early as possible.

c. Latest Copy of PSA birth certificate and Certificate of No Record of Marriage (CENOMAR).

You can secure these documents either online (recommended for those based abroad) or by going to the PSA (formerly NSO) office.

Most churches accept birth certificates as long as they are still within 6 months from the date of issuance.

d.  Canonical interview.

This is when you and your partner will meet the parish priest (or his assistant) of your chosen church.

Request to the church coordinator to have the interview scheduled 1 to 2 months before your wedding.

The parish may also send you a list of questions before the interview to give you more time to prepare. During the interview, the priest will explore your decision to get married by asking questions about your family background, how long you have known each other, and so forth.

e. Pre-Cana/Marriage preparation seminar.

Because marriage is a lifelong commitment, this seminar is provided to help couples learn more about each other, resolve any issues prior to getting married, and gain insights about their future life together.

Topics may include parenting, sexuality, family planning, among others. Although most parish churches conduct the seminar every month, you should still ask the church coordinator about the schedules to make sure you won’t miss it.

Some churches also recognize other independent organizations like Catholic Engaged Encounter (CEE), Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM), and Discovery Weekend Philippines (DW) which provide seminars or retreats for couples. If you attend seminars from any of these, you need to submit certificates of attendance as proof.

If either you or your partner is currently based abroad, a certificate of attendance from the local parish is enough.

f. Marriage Banns.

These are written wedding announcements that will be posted on the bulletin boards of the couple’s respective parishes.

To obtain the marriage banns, both the bride and groom must know the specific name of their respective parish priest and the address of their parochial church.

After receiving this information, the wedding church will then prepare a letter requesting for the marriage banns.

The banns are posted in the couple’s parishes for three consecutive weeks, which explains why you need to complete the wedding requirements at least a month before the event.

Afterward, you can now retrieve the letter from the parish office with a reply indicating that no impediments exist and that the wedding can push through.

g. List of principal sponsors and entourage members (a.k.a. “ninongs” and “ninangs”).

The copy of the wedding invitation along with the official list of entourage members should be submitted to the parish church where you’ll get married a week before your wedding date.

Make sure to ask the church for any restrictions or additional requirements before finalizing the list. Some churches only allow a maximum number of principal sponsors and you may get fined if you go overboard.

The Manila Cathedral, for example, can only allow a maximum of eight pairs of sponsors to ensure that your wedding won’t exceed the allotted time for ceremonies, picture-taking, among other events.

Note that the names of the principal sponsors are important as they will be included in the marriage license.

h. Wedding or marriage permit.

Also known as Certificate of Freedom to Marry, this document may only be required for those who are based abroad.

While CENOMAR is required before you can obtain a marriage license, the Certificate of Freedom to Marry is a requirement of the church itself.

You need to obtain it from the parish where you usually attend. Requirements and fees may vary from one parish to another so contact your church abroad directly.

i. Confession.

Some churches require couples to attend a confession days before the wedding. Through this event, they will be forgiven of their sins and receive the most out of the sacrament.

j. For those who have been previously married in a Catholic church, you also need to secure annulment clearance paper from your Archdiocese.

This annulment process is done to declare the previous church wedding as null and void. It’s different from the civil rites annulment process that legally changes the status of your previous marriage as invalid.

k. For “mixed marriages” where the other party is a non-Catholic, you need to get Clearance from the Archdiocesan Chancery Office at the Archbishop’s Office, 121 Arzobispo St., Intramuros, Manila.

To obtain the clearance, the non-Catholic bride or groom must submit the following:

  • Letter of Approval/Certificate of freedom to marry from the pastor or minister of the non-Catholic sect that not only approves the marriage but also declares the person has never been married before.
  • Promise for Mixed Marriage Form which the applicant will fill up during the interview.

l. For foreigners marrying a Filipino, secure the following documents:

  • Clearance from the Archdiocesan Chancery Office at the Archbishop’s Office, 121 Arzobispo St., Intramuros, Manila.
  • Certificate of freedom to marry from the foreigner’s parish.
  • Legal capacity to marry from the foreigner’s Embassy.

m. For widow or widower, bring a copy of the death certificate of the deceased spouse and present it to the parish church.

n. For renewal of vows, present a copy of the Catholic Marriage Contract. 

Other requirements:

  • ID pictures. Size, color, and the number will depend on your church’s requirements.
  • List of songs, if applicable.
  • Permits for photographers and videographers, if applicable.

Note: If you have other questions, please contact your city hall or church directly. Know the exact date and time when all the requirements will be released so you can plan your wedding, hassle-free.

3. Obtain your marriage certificate.

A marriage certificate is an important document containing details of your marriage, signed by the couple and witnesses or all in attendance.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, a marriage certificate “is a document that shows social union or a legal contract between people that creates kinship. Such a union, often formalized via a wedding ceremony, may also be called matrimony.”

how to get marriage certificate in the philippines

Fortunately, you can apply for a marriage certificate online and have it delivered anywhere in the Philippines or abroad in a few simple steps.

 

How to Get Marriage Certificate in the Philippines: 7 Steps.

1. Go to PSA online application website and select “Click here to request now.”

how to apply for marriage certificate online

 

2. Read Terms and Conditions and click “I Accept.”

marriage certificate philippines

 

3. Enter your name and contact details to the “Contact and Delivery Information” form.

In the Delivery address, you can choose the specific country and address where you want the marriage certificate to be delivered.

Once you’re done, click “Next.” A box will then appear summarizing all the information you’ve just entered. If everything is accurate, click “Confirm.”

how to get marriage certificate online

 

4. Add a request by clicking the button that corresponds to Marriage Certificate.

marriage certificate online request

 

5. Enter all the requested information in the designated boxes. If you’re requesting a marriage certificate, you need to provide the following information:

  • The number of copies requested.
  • Husband’s name or wife’s maiden name.
  • Place and date of marriage.
  • Purpose of the request.

Once you’re done, click “Save.”

getting marriage certificate in the philippines

 

6. Upon completing the online application, you will be issued a Batch Request Number and a corresponding Batch Reference Number.

When paying for all requests in a batch, indicate the Batch Request Number. If you’re only paying for a particular request only, specify the Batch Reference Number.

As of this writing, marriage certificate costs Php 330 per copy which is inclusive of government taxes, processing, and delivery. If you’re applying from another country, the cost is USD 20.30 per copy.

You may pay through the following accredited payment channels:

 

Delivery within the Philippines:

  • Credit card.
  • BDO Branches, Online Banking (BDO account holders only), and ATM (BDO account holders only).
  • Unionbank Branches, Online Banking (Unionbank account holders only), and ATM (Unionbank account holders only).
  • Bayad Center.

 

Delivery to other countries:

  • Credit card.
  • BDO Remit subsidiary offices and remittance partners abroad offering Kabayan Bills Bayad.
  • Foreign correspondent banks.

 

7. Wait for your marriage certificate to be delivered.

The following are the estimated delivery times according to delivery address:

  • Metro Manila – 3 to 5 working days after payment.
  • Cities or provinces within the Philippines – 4 to 9 working days after payment.
  • Other countries: 6 to 8 weeks after payment.

If you’re in the Philippines and you want to receive the marriage certificate within 1 to 2 days, you may apply in person at the nearest Census Serbilis Center. For those in other countries, a special courier service offers faster delivery.

 

Frequently Asked Questions.

Any person–local or foreigner–who has decided to get married in the Philippines is required to submit specific requirements.

 

How to Get Married in the Philippines with a US Citizen.

In the case of U.S. citizens, a marriage license will not be issued unless you already secured a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry.

According to the US Embassy in the Philippines, this document “affirms that there are no legal impediments to the foreigner marrying a Filipino.”

However, the U.S. Consular Officers are prohibited by law to make any official certification about your eligibility to marry a person in the Philippines. What they can only provide is an Affidavit In Lieu of Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry.

You can get the Affidavit In Lieu of Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry either from the U.S. Embassy in Manila (by appointment only) or U.S. Consular Agency in Cebu which accepts walk-in applications on a first come/first served basis from 8:30 to 10:30 A.M.

The Consular Agency in Cebu is open every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8:00 to 10:30 A.M. Their office is located at the Ground Floor of the Waterfront Hotel in Lahug with contact number (032) 231-1261.

Personal appearance is required but you don’t need to bring your fiance/fiancee with you.

How to Get Married in the Philippines as a U.S. Citizen

To book an appointment for a Legal Capacity to Marry, here are the following steps:

  1. Book an appointment through this website. Select “Request notarial and other services not listed above.” Print the confirmation of your appointment.
  2. During your appointment, don’t forget to bring your confirmation printout together with your U.S. passport. Other requirements include death certificates and divorce decrees that show you are free to marry. Also, bring $50 (or the Philippine peso equivalent) or credit card. No need for your fiance/fiancee to appear.

Note: U.S. military personnel should directly contact their personnel office for a list of additional requirements.

Once you have obtained the Affidavit in Lieu of a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry, you can now apply for a marriage license at the local civil registrar of a city or municipality where either of you habitually resides.

After that, you and your partner can already marry in a church or civil wedding.

How to Get Married in the Philippines with Other Foreigners.

If you’re a Filipino who is planning to marry a foreigner, take note that there are basic documentary requirements that you need to obtain.

a. Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry issued by the respective embassy here in the Philippines. Although it may vary depending on your foreign spouse’s country of origin, here are the following basic requirements for the Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry:

  • Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) to be issued after booking an appointment and taking an oath in the embassy.
  • Original copy or certified true copy of birth certificate.
  • Original copy or certified true copy of divorce decree absolute or death certificate of deceased spouse, if applicable.
  • A Moral Character Reference, which takes the form of a letter or certificate from a person of authority, a social worker, health or education officer, or a church minister who has direct personal knowledge of the prospective foreign spouse’s character.

b. Passport (original and photocopy).

c. Latest Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) or Certificate of Singleness (original and photocopy) issued by PSA.

d. If your foreign spouse is a former Filipino citizen (and a divorcee) or someone who was previously married to a Filipino, he/she must obtain Judicial Recognition of the absolute decree of divorce from the country where the previous marriage was held.

For country-specific requirements and procedures, please refer to the following documents/links:

Marriage between Japanese and Philippine nationals

Marriage of Canadians in the Philippines

Marriage of Australians in the Philippines

Getting married in the Philippines – China Embassy

Getting married in the Philippines – Norway Embassy

How to get married in the UK embassy in Manila

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As you may already know, the marriage license application requires the personal appearance of both parties. 

OFWs with limited vacation leaves are in a tricky situation because of two reasons:

  • The marriage license is issued 10 days from the time of application. Most couples who aren’t aware of this usually set their wedding dates in advance, with their paid leaves reserved only for the ceremony itself and the honeymoon.
  • Even if they’re able to schedule a time to go back to the Philippines for the license application (e.g., during special holidays), there are instances when these leaves and the actual wedding date are months apart. It renders the license useless since it only has a 120-day validity period. 

If your jobs abroad are preventing both of you from personally applying for a marriage license in the Philippines at the right time, you can try one of the following suggestions:

  • If there’s a way to move your vacation leave closer to your wedding date, please do so. By doing this, you will be able to secure the marriage license and use it within the 120-day validity period to get married in a church. If this isn’t possible, try the next two alternatives.
  • Go to the nearest Philippine Embassy and have a civil union there. By doing so, you and your partner can be legally married (Consuls are allowed by law to officiate civil weddings abroad) without flying back to the Philippines to apply for a license. After the ceremony, you can choose to tie the knot in a church anytime using your marriage certificate.
  • If your vacation leave and your actual wedding date are several weeks or a few months apart, you can also try civil wedding, this time doing it in the Philippine soil. For example, let’s assume your wedding date is set in December and the only time you and your partner can visit the Philippines is during your vacation in June. Assuming again that your vacation in June lasts for only 2 weeks, I recommend applying for the license as soon as you arrive. Then, use that marriage license to have a civil wedding officiated by a mayor or judge in your city/municipality. This way, you can be legally married and simply proceed with the church wedding later on without the need for the license.

Although I admit that some places offer under-the-table negotiations for those who can’t personally apply for the license, I will never recommend it as an alternative.

By having a civil wedding before the church wedding, not only will your union be protected by both the law and the Church, you’ll also get a workaround for the stringent rules of the marriage license application.

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Under the Family Code of the Philippines, there are four instances when a marriage can be allowed despite the absence of a marriage license:

a. When either or both of the parties are on the verge of dying (marriage in articulo mortis).

In this case, the couple is no longer required to secure a marriage license and the wedding ceremony can push through wherever they are.

If the marriage occurs inside the plane or ship, the pilot or captain can solemnize the wedding whether they’re in the middle of a flight/voyage or stopovers/ports of call.

The marriage can be between passengers or crew members.

The military commander of a unit can also serve as a solemnizing officer in marriages of articulo mortis between civilians or members of the armed forces within the zone of military operation.

The marriage of articulo mortis will remain valid even if the dying party subsequently survives.

It is the responsibility of the solemnizing officer to state in an affidavit executed before the local civil registrar (or any legal authority that administers oaths) the nature of the marriage.

He/she should also state that the couple is at the legal age and there’s no legal impediment to the said marriage.

The officer should then send the original copies of both the affidavit and the marriage contract to the local civil registrar not later than 30 days after the marriage took place.

 

b. When there’s no means of transportation which prevents the couple from personally appearing before the local civil registrar. 

Examples are Filipinos who live in poor and remote villages in the provinces.

Solemnizing officers are likewise obliged to state in an affidavit executed before the local civil registrar that the couple’ residence is located in a barrio or barangay with no means of transportation, hence preventing them from securing the marriage license.

The affidavit should also emphasize that the solemnizing officer ascertain that there’s no legal impediment to marriage and both parties are of marrying age.

Both the affidavit and the marriage contract must be forwarded by the solemnizing officer to the local civil registrar within 30 days after the marriage rites were performed.

 

c. When the marriage is between Muslims or members of ethnic cultural communities.

A marriage license is not necessary as long as the marriage is solemnized according to their rites, customs, or practices.

 

d. When the couple (man and woman) has lived together as husband and wife for at least five years.

Instead of getting a marriage license, the couple can write in an affidavit the circumstances surrounding their relationship.

The solemnizing officer, on the other hand, shall also state under oath that the parties are old enough to get married and there’s no legal impediment to the marriage.

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This post was most recently updated on February 22nd, 2019

Yes.

The Catholic church in the Philippines is open to mixed marriages/interfaith marriages/mixed-faith marriages.

And contrary to popular belief, non-Catholics aren’t required to get baptized before getting married in a Roman Catholic church.

Couples with different religious beliefs can still get married in a Catholic church, provided that one of them is a Catholic and that they comply with the requirements requested by the church.

These requirements vary depending on religion.

A mixed marriage is one between a Catholic and a non-Catholic Christian (e.g., Methodist, Baptist, Seventh-day Adventist, etc.).

A disparity of cult, on the other hand, is a marriage between a Catholic and non-Christian (e.g., Hindu, Buddhist, etc.).

Please ask the church where you’re planning to tie the knot regarding the requirements and guidelines set for these types of marriages.

If you’re a non-Catholic Christian, for example, the church can grant you the freedom to marry by getting a clearance from the Archdiocesan Chancery Office at the Archbishop’s Office, 121 Arzobispo St., Intramuros, Manila.

The said clearance can be obtained by submitting a Letter of Approval from the pastor or minister of your non-Catholic sect which will state that you’re qualified to get married and there’s no legal impediment preventing you to do so.

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This post was most recently updated on February 1st, 2019

No.

While both the civil wedding and church wedding in the Philippines are legally binding, the Roman Catholic church only considers valid those marriages done in the church.

Also known as Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, the church wedding is officiated by a priest who unites the man and woman as one.

Therefore, “renewal of vows” is a ceremony in which couples renew or reaffirm their wedding vows previously made in a Catholic church.

If you previously got married through civil rites and then decide later on to tie the knot in the Catholic church, the latter is not technically considered a “renewal of vows.”

Couples who are civilly married doesn’t need to get married again in the church. Whether or not they want to have a more lavish church wedding is completely up to them.

After all, one record of marriage is enough.

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This post was most recently updated on February 1st, 2019

A civil wedding is already considered valid and legally binding.

Therefore, there’s no need for you to apply for a marriage license again should you decide to tie the knot in the church.

Instead, get a Certified True Copy of your marriage contract/certificate from the PSA and submit it to the church two months before the wedding.

For out-of-the-country civil weddings, you may also present a marriage certificate from the country where the civil marriage took place.

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127 thoughts on “How to Get Married in the Philippines – An Ultimate Guide

  • 08/14/2018 at 8:10 pm
    Permalink

    Good evening,
    I have a question regarding my marriage 4 years ago which lasted only 5 months, i was married in islam 2 years after i was married in civil. That was year 2014, However me and may ex husband got separated 5 months after we were married in a mass wedding provided by our municipal mayor. People say that the papers given a few weeks after the mass wedding is only a requirement to register our marriage to LCR, and i dont even remember my parents signing the papers during the mass wedding, and i tore the paper given to us which i forgot what paper was that. Now that we’re 3 years separated, me and my new partner planned to get married cause i didn’t expect that our wedding with my ex husband was registered, i got a cenomar last week and shows that i was registered, i really have a hard time understanding how the mass wedding goes, please help me understand.

    Reply
    • 08/15/2018 at 7:40 am
      Permalink

      @Cesia Baliola

      If you were able to participate in a mass wedding, that means your union is legitimate since no one won’t be allowed to get married in the Philippines without a marriage license. You need to go through a legal process before you can be remarried again.

      Reply
  • 08/13/2018 at 6:39 am
    Permalink

    Do you have any schedule on sept?for the legal capacity?

    Reply
  • 08/11/2018 at 11:18 am
    Permalink

    Hello I’m Melanie n my fiancee is egyptian we want to know about the the marriage license.we need to know if need to get blood test for foreign

    Reply
  • 08/11/2018 at 8:58 am
    Permalink

    Hello good day,
    Gusto po namin muna sa ngaun ng aking fiancé na Syrian na magpakasal sa west para po magkasama kami ng legal sa Dubai. Kasi po mahirap magpakasal sa Dubai lalo na he is a Muslim and I am Christian!, we’re staying now here in Dubai. Ano po ba ang requirements for him and for me as well, hoping your reply and waiting po ako… Salamat po God bless!…

    Reply
  • 07/30/2018 at 2:06 am
    Permalink

    Hi good day….
    I just want to ask about Certificate of Capacity to Marry. My partner is a Belarusian,we are planning to get married in the Philippines soon. I would like to ask if where we get that certificate?…We don’t have any idea about this.
    I am hoping for your reply.
    Thank you very much.

    Reply
  • 07/26/2018 at 4:11 am
    Permalink

    Great info here! Just want to ask (for anybody who has any idea about this) the 10-day waiting period, is it possible to get the license on the 10th day? (for example we sent our application on 5th and get the license on 15th) We’re a bit in a rush because my fiance can only be here in Phils for 14days and we want to get married immediately since he won’t be able to visit next time within the 120-days expiration period of the license. Any idea will be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
  • 07/25/2018 at 9:39 am
    Permalink

    Hi, I would like to ask about how one can get the Legal Capacity of Marriage. My fiance is from Ireland and he is now with me here in the Philippines. Should he need to go back to Ireland to request for the said document or he could just go to their Embassy and request it from there? Thank you.

    Reply
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  • 07/21/2018 at 2:29 pm
    Permalink

    Hi !

    Still the same process if my fiancee was french ? Just add the LCM ?

    Thanks !

    Reply
  • 07/21/2018 at 9:04 am
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    Hi me and my husband are planning to renew our vows in cebu and have church wedding i understand he need to get legal capacity paper… my question is do i have to get one also since i am a US citizen too? And can we get the legal capacity here in the US ? Your help is appreciated thank you. My name is Edna.

    Reply
  • 07/19/2018 at 10:27 am
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    Hi, what if in my cenomar, the requester’s name is misspelled but the information of the person being certified is correct. ” issued upon the request of ____________, the blank portion is the name misspelled, will the cenomar still valid?

    Thank you.

    Reply
  • 07/19/2018 at 4:19 am
    Permalink

    Hi, I need some help po. Im from Philippines, but currently living here in Uae. And my fiance is a US Citizen, were planning to go back home January for Our Civil Wedding… what are the requirements po for him? TIA

    Reply
  • 07/16/2018 at 4:10 pm
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    Hi. Im a filipino currently working here in japan and my fiance is in the US. We are planning to get married in the philippines right at the time we get in there. Is that be possible?

    Reply
    • 07/16/2018 at 4:44 pm
      Permalink

      @Wendy

      With careful planning, nothing is impossible. Use the guidelines in the above article to get you started. Best wishes!

      Reply
  • 07/15/2018 at 4:02 pm
    Permalink

    Clarification ONLY

    On acquiring “Affidavit In Lieu of a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage,” ….

    According to the US Embassy in the Philippines, this document “affirms that there are no legal impediments to the foreigner marrying a Filipino.” I feel that this requirement applies to a US citizen and a Filipino citizen. Do we have to worry about this requirement if both of us are US citizen intending to wed in the Philippines? Note that my husband was a US citizen by birth while I got my citizenship through naturalization.

    Please clarify if we have to worry about the said requirement. I appreciate if you can email your response at [email protected]

    Thank you so much.

    Reply
  • 07/13/2018 at 4:29 pm
    Permalink

    My embassy doesn’t issue “legal capacity” certificates, but I have only a certificate issued in my country from the Registry, certifying my single status. Can I use it in the Philippines?

    Reply
  • 07/12/2018 at 10:10 pm
    Permalink

    Hello,
    I am a UK citizen, in the process of retiring to the philippines (Midsayap) and to marry my Filipina lady, on the document planning to marry the affirmation document states I must give a place and date of marriage.
    Does this mean I do that before going to the embassy in Manila? Your answer/help would be appreciated
    Salamat

    Reply
    • 07/13/2018 at 7:16 am
      Permalink

      @William Hall

      Maybe you should ask the Embassy directly especially if you haven’t agreed on a definite place and date to marry.

      Reply
  • 07/11/2018 at 11:20 am
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    Can i ask how many months or days is the validity of the latest psa certificate and cenomar before the filling off civil marriage

    Reply
  • 07/11/2018 at 1:12 am
    Permalink

    you’ve gotten an important blog here! would you like to make some invite posts on my blog?

    Reply
  • 07/09/2018 at 8:39 am
    Permalink

    hello,
    Me and my boyfriend are planning to get married soon,i am in canada and he is in the phils..Now the problem is i can only take two weeks off from
    my work,how will i apply for
    the marriage licence when both parties have to be there? is it
    possible if i do my part online? coz i wanna make use of my two weeks to have
    it done and not waiting for the
    license to come out..
    I hope u can help me with this. Thank you

    Reply
    • 07/09/2018 at 9:29 am
      Permalink

      @Janeth

      Personal appearance of both parties is required and non-negotiable. Since it takes almost two weeks for the license to be issued, I suggest you contact the LCR office directly to see if they’re willing to compromise.

      Reply

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