Everything you need to know to get married in the Algarve
Here we detail all of the Algarve wedding legal requirements. The Algarve, in the south of Portugal, is an
ideal place to hold a wedding for many reasons: the romantic scenery of
white-washed towns and villages, old chapels perched atop cliffs with incredible views, mountains, golden beaches and blue seas,
the abundance of top quality venues, the finest catering services, luxury
accommodation and of course, spectacular weather. The Algarve has all the
ingredients to make your wedding an unforgettable event, which you will
remember forever! Whether you are planning an intimate wedding or a large
lavish celebration, your special day will be even more special in the Algarve.
have opted to marry in the Algarve, we congratulate you, because you couldn't
have chosen better! However, before you start sending your wedding invitations,
you need to consider the type of wedding you want and also take into account some legal requirements and read the Portuguese
regulations carefully. To make it easier for you, we have outlined below the
legal requirements for getting married here. This is a heavy read, so any questions or clarification, just call or email us.
may only be married in the Algarve according to Portuguese law. This
means that, if you marry in Portugal, you won’t be able to marry at an embassy
or consulate by a consular from your country, nor under the law of your own
minimum age to get married in Portugal is 16. However, written consent of both
parents is required for those aged under 18.
there is no legal residency requirement for a wedding in Portugal.
You have two options here, either a Civil or Catholic wedding. Both are legally recognised and legally binding. Religious
ceremonies for all other churches and faiths must be preceded by a civil
ceremony and the marriage certificate should be made available.
civil weddings are permitted with the same provisions.
ceremony, Civil or Catholic, will be conducted in Portuguese. It's not a legal
requirement to have a translator, but if neither of you speak Portuguese you
can arrange for an interpreter to be present throughout the
getting married in Portugal, the wife doesn’t necessarily have to adopt the
surname of the husband, although she can if she so chooses. Even so, the wife
will still keep one of her original surnames as well as the new one. Children
in Portugal usually have their mother’s surname first and their father’s
Matrimonial Regimes in Portugal
There are four types of matrimonial regime in Portugal (regime de bens).
default regime is 'marriage in community of estate' (Comunhão geral).
Pre-nuptial agreements can also be drawn up to alter this in any way.
of property (Comunhão geral): All property brought to the marriage and acquired during the
marriage is communal. This marital regime cannot be chosen if one or both of
the marrying parties already has children.
community of property (Comunhão
de adquiridos): only goods and property acquired after the marriage are
of community of property
(Separação geral de bens): The law imposes this marital regime if one or both
of the couple is aged 60 or more.
Other: Portuguese law allows
couples to choose their own marital regime, or combine certain characteristics
of the three above.
citizens do not acquire Portuguese nationality when marrying a Portuguese
citizen. However they may apply for Portuguese citizenship after three years of
documentation must be original and endorsed with
an Apostille (an Apostille is a certificate that authenticates
documents executed outside of Portugal, such as a birth certificate, so that it
will be recognised as genuine for use in other countries. This is usually done by a notary). Any documentation
that is not in Portuguese must be accompanied by official translations,
translated by an agency verified by the Portuguese Consulate.
and your partner will need:
Newly issued full length birth
certificates (must show the name of your parents) dated within 6 months of
your wedding date
Passports for Bride and Groom (expiry date
must be more than 6 months after your wedding). If one of you
lives in Portugal, the residents card is enough.
this is not your first marriage, a divorce decree or a death
certificate to prove termination of previous marriage(s),
must be provided. Again, these documents must have been issued within the last
six months. If you have been divorced from a wedding in the Catholic
church and your marriage was not officially annulled, you cannot
marry in the Catholic church in Portugal.
These are the general documents required for getting married in the Algarve, but
according to your nationality or country of origin, further documentation may
be needed. If you are seriously considering holding your wedding in the
Algarve, please contact us to discuss your individual
requirements. Please be aware that a fee usually accompanies some of these
ceremony for a civil wedding can take place at the registry office (Camara) or
at a location of your choice. It doesn’t need to be a location licensed for
weddings, as there is no such license in Portugal. Hotels,
restaurants, quintas or holiday apartments are some options; beach
weddings are also possible, but an additional license from the maritime police
is required. Also, the ceremony will always be performed by a celebrant from
the Camara to be legally binding, so if you wish to have the civil wedding outside
of the registry office it needs to performed by a celebrant from the Camara as
well. This needs to be arranged well in advance.
can also legally marry at the registry office (either in Portugal or your home
country) and then hold a symbolic ceremony that
suits your tastes better in your chosen venue.
Catholic wedding, you will need to get in touch with the local priest in
the Algarve in advance of your wedding to make the necessary arrangements. Once
you receive approval, your wedding has to take place within three months.
required extra documents must be translated
in Portuguese and must have been sealed or stamped by your Bishop's parish office, not just the local priest.
These documents are:
A formal letter from your parish
priest granting permission for the wedding to be performed in
your chosen Portuguese church and a letter from the Bishop of
the parish stating the same.
The same formal letter must state that you
have fulfilled all PRE CANA procedures and should include some
mandatory certificates. This letter must then be sent to the Portuguese
Original prenuptial inquiry form has to be issued by your parish and
be on formal church letterhead of your Parish.
certificates of baptism, first communion and confirmation must be sent
together with the Prenuptial inquiry form and letters.
one of you is not Catholic, you will be required to obtain another document
such as "Permission of mixed religions" to testify that the wedding
celebration can be performed by the Portuguese Church. You can get this from
your local priest.
Our Legal Document Checking Team will check and
confirm that your documents are in order before you post them to Portugal via
courier, however it is the couple's responsibility to ensure that you have all
of the correct paperwork on time. It's imperative to do
your homework and verify all information you provide in the official
documentation is correct and make sure it is fully up to date. Our wedding packages do not include any legal
documentation costs or courier fees.
conclude, many couples choose to legally marry in their own country and have a
blessing performed in the Algarve. This means that all of the paperwork is done
in the country of origin, where the legislation is more familiar to them and
the procedures maybe faster. After getting legally married in their home
country, the big event takes place here in the Algarve. Consider if this option
best suits your needs.
you decide, we are here to plan and organise your wedding, and answer all of
your questions, so everything goes smoothly with all the hassle removed. So do not worry! We will make everything simple.