Yes: the not so fun stuff. In this post, we have outlined the basic requirements for getting married in Europe’s most popular destinations, France, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Malta, Austria and one African country, Morocco. Despite our best efforts, our FAB Guides to being legally married in various countries throughout Europe are very “matter of fact” and honestly… downright boring! We are not going to try pass them off as enjoyable posts (although we have included some lovely wedding imagery to keep you encouraged as you read through!) as they are a hard read and were quite dreadful to write. We do promise you though that the task of actually going about organising the paperwork is no more cumbersome than getting your forms together for a wedding at home. In general, these guides just address how you can get married legally, not through symbolic ceremonies. So,  although it’s safe to say we much prefer drooling over real weddings, this has to be looked after and we are just going to get on with it.

First things first; We recommend clicking on the link below that corresponds to your nationality (again, we have only included those countries where the majority of our readership lies but we will certainly respond to requests) to understand the legal requirements your own country asks you to abide by when getting married abroad.

Marriage of Australian Citizens Abroad

Marriage of Canadian Citizens Abroad

Marriage of Irish Citizens Abroad

Marriage of UK Citizens Abroad

Marriage of U.S. Citizens Abroad

Will our marriage be legally recognised if we get married abroad?

For most countries, the answer is going to be “Yes”

Your marriage will be recognised but only if you can comply with local residency and legal requirements for the particular country. And these vary.

You will need to comply with both the legal guidelines for getting married in your chosen country and the laws of country in which you are resident for your marriage to be deemed valid.

Two examples of this could be;

✈ An Irish couple getting married in Scotland. In Scotland, the minimum age requirement is 16, but it is 18 in Ireland. An Irish couple where one or both of the couple is 17 years of age would be eligible to have a legal wedding in Scotland, but it wouldn’t be recognised as a legal marriage in Ireland unless the individuals had parental consent.

✈ An Croatian couple, both of the same sex getting married in Ireland. Ireland recognises same sex marriages and provided that other requirements are met, a Croatian same-sex couple could be married in Ireland but this marriage would not be recognised under Croatian law when they travel back home.

Guides for Legal Weddings in Europe

To read the guides on how to organise a legal wedding in one of Europe’s most popular countries, simply click on the images below. We will add two guides every week until we have made our way around Europe  – so if  it looks like you are reading the same post again – you are. We have just added new information!

austriafrance gibraltarireland italymalta scotlandspain

Your destination not listed yet? Let us know and we can prioritise it for our next update.

Important Note; We have put a great deal of effort into gathering all the appropriate information for you to have in one place but it is very important to mention, we at Fly Away Bride are bloggers and lovers of pretty things in foreign lands. We have Googled, spoken to Embassies, real brides, planners and photographers to make sure the information provided is as accurate as possible but we are not legal people, priests or civil registrars and things can change from time to time. Take these for what they are, guides! 


25 Responses

  1. Friday’s FAB 5 | Fly Away Bride

    […] saw us talk about things that need to be addressed when getting married abroad. The post looked at legal weddings in Europe. It outlines the basic requirements for getting married in Europe’s most popular destinations, […]

  2. Friday’s FAB 5 | Fly Away BrideFly Away Bride

    […] then a birthday party tomorrow night so a weekend of fun begins today. We started off the week by outlining the basic requirements for getting married in Europe’s most popular destinations, it gives advice and recommendations on all things getting married in […]

  3. 5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Wedding Planner

    […] you to have a legal ceremony, the paperwork and timescales can be quite confusing and even though we have made an effort to educate you on the legalities of getting married in certain countries arou…, a local wedding planner can actually walk you through the process, step by step. They will let you […]

  4. Allan

    I am a US citizen, my fiance is a Ukrainian citizen. We intend to marry in Europe outside Ukraine. Which country would it be easiest to get married in? And would it be recognized in USA?

  5. Kelly

    My fiancé and I are US citizens and are planning a trip to Salzburg, Austria with my kids and his kids. We are considering getting married while we are there. Will our marriage be legal in the United States? What documentation will we need to get married in Austria? Should we hire a wedding planner? Any other suggestions? Thanks so much!

  6. Nicole

    Hi – so which of the European countries would be easiest to get married in? My fiance and I are US citizens looking at a civil ceremony pretty much anywhere, but we are really worried about the difficult in some places (I saw in some places that Ireland requires 7-15 day residency?). Love your blog!

  7. Jen

    I am a US citizen and my fiance is a British citizen. We live in the Middle East. Which country outside of the middle east would it be easiest to get married in? Would it be recognized by the US? The UK?

  8. RW

    Hi. Very informative site. I am Canadian and my girlfriend is Russian. We currently live in Russia, but may end up back in Canada in a few years so it is important that our marriage be recognized in both countries. We just want a very simple wedding with only a few family members. I see that you mention Gibraltar several time as being one of the easiest locations for a wedding. Are there any complications with different nationalities? Any other suggestions or locations that might fit?

  9. Sarah compton

    I am traveling in Europe with my two sons for the school year. my fiancé will be visiting in scotland, Paris and Florence. where would be the easiest for us to have a simple wedding at a city hall.

  10. yilli

    Canadian citizen planning on getting married in England to an cypriot citizen (eu) what do I need but going from cyprus to england I won’t be in Canada to.get any documents

  11. kay

    we are both Canadians and are looking into getting married in Europe. Is there any country considered to be less complicated than others?


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