Organising the Legalities

IMG_0783If you choose to legally marry in Madeira, rather than signing the wedding certificate in your home country, before or after your wedding here, there is some paperwork that needs to be organised, which I can assist you with.

Once you have legally married here in Madeira, you then return to home and can register your certificate there, which then ties you to the Marriage Laws of your home country.

The process can not start before 6 months prior to the wedding date, but it can take as little as 2 weeks to get everything done.

What you will need is:

Your Passports.  Photocopies of passports are accepted for the initial process to begin but on the day you will need to produce you actual passports for the Registrar to see.

Your Birth Certificates. International Birth Certificates are required which are within 6 months in date. Therefore the easiest option is to purchase new International Birth Certificates from your local Registry Office. It needs to be an International Certificate for it to be recognised here in Madeira. These are needed for the process to begin.

Divorce Certificate and Death Certificates.  These are needed if either or both individuals have been previously divorced or widowed. They need to be original or certified copies.

A Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage. This document you can obtain from your local registry office (if you live in the UK) and it proves that you are entitled to get married.  It will need to be translated into Portuguese which we can organise for you here.

A Procuração.  This is a Power of Attorney document allowing us to organise all your paperwork for you.  It needs to be signed by a solicitor or suitable official.We are able to send you a template with all the correct wording needed for the Power of Attorney Document, which you simply fill in your details and have signed and stamped.

Once we receive all the documents, we will organise to have them translated into Portuguese here in Madeira. Once translated and notarised by a Portuguese Notary, we can enter them into the Registry Offices here and book a Registrar for your wedding date.

After the wedding you will be issued with an International Wedding Certificate which you then register in your home country.

You then have a couple of options.
  1. You can choose to have the Portuguese Registrar conduct your ceremony for you. A Portuguese ceremony can be quite formal as all the paperwork needs to be read out, but it is legally binding.
  2. The second option is that I can write and conduct a ceremony for you that follows all the traditions that you are used to, and is personal to you both and we can build in the legal paperwork within the ceremony with the Registrar attending the ceremony on the day.  This would be similar to signing the wedding certificate as part of a ceremony which you may be used to in your home country, but it also allows you to say your own Vows and make the whole ceremony more personal.
  3. The third option is to finalise the paperwork in the offices of the Registrar to ensure your marriage is legally binding, but hold a ceremony in front of your guests that follow the traditions you are used to, using my services as a Celebrant.

You and your partner can make the decision that most suits your requirements.

Same sex marriages are legally binding in Madeira and the process is similar to that written above.