The Legalities

Now this information is for couples who are going to organise the legal aspect of their marriage before arriving in Portugal.  If you would prefer to manage the legalities in Portugal, there are companies and wedding planners who can help you with the paperwork.

I can only speak here about the legalities from the UK. For other countries, you will need to check with your local Registrar. If you want to keep the costs down, pick a weekday! Remember the full ceremony will be here in Portugal.

In the UK the legal element of a marriage is in fact very short and very basic. It must still take place at a Registry Office or Approved Venue and must take place in front of two witnesses and a Registrar. However there are just three steps that make up a Civil Marriage/Civil Partnership:

1.  Declaration Word

“I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I ……… may not be joined in matrimony*  to ……….”

2.  Contracting words 

“I call upon these persons here present, to witness that I ………………………… do take thee …………………….. to be my lawful wedded husband / wife. *

3.  The Signing of the Marriage Register

* wording may vary very slightly for Civil Partnership Services

Couples may sometimes be given 2 or 3 choices of the Declaration and Contracting words, which are just slightly different ways of phrasing the same statements.

So no exchange of rings or vows….. these all happen on your wedding day in Portugal!!