How many times have you heard about someone, maybe even a celebrity couple, getting married abroad only to find out their marriage isn’t legal in their resident country? It happens more times than it should. We assume that because love is universal, so too are the marriage laws. However, the truth is quite different.
In fact, did you know that a religious ceremony isn’t recognized in Turkey? If you want to get legally married in Turkey it has to be a civil ceremony and if you’re not a resident, it has to be performed by a government official. Yep, the marriage laws around the world can be a bit unexpected. However, for the most part, they’re pretty straightforward.
The trick is doing your research before you book your wedding. Make sure you know everything you need to know to make sure your marriage is legal and recognized in your resident country. Here are a few tips, the legal lowdown, for getting married abroad.
#1 Know that you need to make sure the marriage will be recognized not only in your resident country but also in the country where you got married.
#2 Contact the foreign embassy to confirm the legal and residential requirements to get married in your chosen country.
#3 Calculate, based on the information you’ve gathered, if the requirements fit into your wedding timeline. For example, if it takes three months to get a marriage license and you want to get married in thirty days, you’re going to have trouble.
#4 Determine what type of ceremony you would like to have. Remember, in some countries certain types of ceremonies are not recognized. Turkey, as mentioned above, doesn’t recognize religious ceremonies. You can have one but you won’t be legally married.
#5 Find out what documentation you need to get into the country. You wouldn’t believe how many people forget something as simple as their passport when they head to their wedding destination. How awful! Find out what paperwork you, and your guests, need to enter the country.
#6 Understand that if you’re not able to legally marry in your home country, the country you’re considering getting married in will also not recognize your marriage.
#7 Here is a list of the potential documentation you might be requested to produce for your marriage license. Note that original documents are required:
* Birth certificate
* Passport with at least six months validity remaining
* Sworn affidavits confirming both parties are free to marry
* Notice of Marriage / Certificate of Freedom to Marry
* Proof of Residence
Again, how long it takes to process paperwork, the time frame they require the paperwork to be submitted in, and what is required varies by country – as does where you submit your paperwork. Check with your embassy or consulate.
#8 Find out how you register your marriage and what documents you need to register your marriage in your resident country.
Getting married abroad can and should be a wonderful thing. Just make sure to do your homework before you set the date to make sure you’re actually getting married when you’re there.