Planning on getting married but short on cash and not yet ready for an elaborate church ceremony? Or do you want to knot the ties but you want it to be in budget for the very special day wedding to come true? If that’s the case, then a civil wedding might just be the perfect action for you.
Most Filipinos who cannot afford a church wedding prefer a cheaper, faster, and more convenient alternative – a civil wedding. It is usually conducted by a judge of the RTC court, and can also be performed by the Mayor of a city or municipality. However, these venues may change depending on what you can agree upon with the offices.
Why do some people choose a civil wedding than a church wedding?
Aside from the fact that it can be done in short notice, it is also cheap. In addition to that, the process of a civil wedding is most often faster and more convenient than that of a church wedding. Although it’s a common thing here in our country, of course, a grand church wedding is still every couples’ dream; this is just an alternative.
So without further ado, here’s the list of requirements and procedure if you are planning to have a civil wedding in the Philippines:
1. Marriage License – is the most important document needed to secure when preparing for a wedding, whether civil or church ceremony.
- Certified True Copy of NSO Birth Certificate of both parties (1 original and 2 photocopies)
- Affidavit of Parental Advice (for 21 yrs. old to 24 yrs. old)
- Affidavit of Parental Consent (for 18 yrs. old to 20 yrs. old)
- Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR)or Certificate of Singleness (1 original and 1 photocopy)
- Certificate of Attendance in Pre-Marriage Counseling, family planning, and responsible parenthood seminar (from DSWD and MHD)
- Community Tax Certificate or Cedula (1 original and 2 photocopies)
- Barangay Clearance / Certificate (1 original and 1 photocopies)
- At least 2 valid IDs
- Recent 1×1 photo (colored or black and white)
- Marriage License Application form (issued by the LCR office)
- Divorced Paper/ Annulment Paper (if divorced/ annuled)
- Death Certificate (if widow/ widower)
- Legal capacity to marry issued by the Embassy (if foreigner)
- Xerox copy of foreigner’s passport (if foreigner)
2. Certified True Copy of NSO Birth Certificate and Baptismal Certificate of both parties
3. Community Tax Certificates (CEDULA) of both applicants.
4. 1 ID photo (colored background or black and white) of each applicant
5. Certificate of Attendance to a wedding seminar. First and foremost, the legal offices encourage and require couples to attend a pre-wedding and a family planning seminar; they conduct these seminars in the City Hall. Moreover, this is required required before you can claim your marriage license. Check with your municipality for the complete list of schedules.
Letter of Intent to Marry
Probably the most important factor you need to think of; as the name suggests, this letter should express your intent to marry and the name of your fiancée, your signature and your suggested wedding dates.
- If widowed, Certified True Copy of Death Certificate o deceased spouse.
- If divorce or annulled, a copy of Final Decree of Absolute Divorce or Court Decision and Absolute Decree of Finality from the court.
- For foreigners, Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry (or Certificate of No Impediment issued by the consular office / embassy of the foreigner’s country and a photocopy of passport (showing the date of Arrival and Data)
Now that we know the required documents for a civil wedding, what’s next? Of course, you would have to be aware of the steps you need to take to successfully execute the civil wedding.
Go to your civil registrar’s office to apply and pay the required fees. Make sure to deal only with the Civil Registrar’s Office.
Proceed to the Mayor’s office and submit the Letter of Intent to Marry together with the marriage license to the secretary.
Wait for the confirmation that you suggested wedding dates are available. If you have preferred venue, seek the approval of your chosen officiate first.
Find at least two people within the legal age who will serve as your witnesses. A parent or a guardian is required if either of the parties are under the legal age of 18.
During your wedding day, you need to pay a filing fee which usually costs 100 pesos. This is to enable them to forward their own duplicate f the marriage contract to the local civil registrar.
Proceed to the official civil wedding ceremony.
Featured Image Credit: Chito & Neri