Portugal became one of the best places to visit since 2017, so why not choose the country to get married and gather your family and friends in a trendy and beautiful location? We invite you to discover our wedding venues in Portugal and find your unique venue for your sensational and unique wedding to Portugal.
Congratulations on your engagement and decision on getting married in Portugal! If you are planning on holding your big day in the Algarve, Lisbon or another area of the country, this article may help.
What are the Portuguese wedding traditions ?
Portuguese weddings place the families at the centre of the event, with the parents of the bride and groom historically playing a large part in the process of organizing the wedding.
In the old tradition, the bride’s family would host the wedding party and ceremony, while the groom’s family would provide the gift of a new home for the couple. The idea was that the couple would move in to a new house on the night of the wedding, and would receive gifts from the wedding guests to furnish the property.
Traditional Portuguese weddings place Catholic ceremonies at the heart of the event. In these ceremonies, the father will walk the bride down to aisle in a church before a priest performs a service. As in many other countries, the groom will usually choose a best man (padrinho), and the bride will choose a maid of honour (madrinha).
The law in Portugal about the marriage
To get married, at least one of the couple must have lived in Portugal for a minimum of 30 days. After this period, the couple can obtain a certificate of no impediment (unless you’re a British national, in which case you don’t need this). This certificate will be provided by an embassy for a civil ceremony, or by a priest for a Catholic one.
If you want to have a religious wedding but don’t follow the Catholic faith, you’ll need to have a civil ceremony first. Civil ceremonies take place at the Civil Registry Office (Conservatória do Registo Civil).
If you’ve been married before, you’ll need to prove that you’ve either been divorced or that your previous partner has died, before you’ll be permitted to marry again.
While civil partnerships don’t exist in the same way in Portugal as in some other countries, there does exist a Civil Union (União de Facto) between a couple who have lived together for at least two years, that allows some of the rights of marriage, including your partner becoming your next of kin, having equal property and inheritance rights and any tax benefits, but you will need to formally apply to have your taxes assessed as a couple.
Legal requirements to get married in Portugal
There can be a lot of bureaucracy involved to get married in Portugal, and you’ll need to abide by various laws and provide lots of documentation, like:
- Proof of residence (a passport if you’re a temporary resident)
- A certified copy of your birth certificate issued within the last six months
- A certificate of no impediment issued from a consulate in Portugal, or officially translated into Portuguese if issued elsewhere. This isn’t required if you’re a British national.
- A baptismal certificate if you’re getting married in a Roman Catholic Church.
Wedding venues in Portugal
Once you have received approval to get married, your wedding must take place within three months.
Civil marriages are usually booked at least a month in advance and must be conducted in Portuguese, with a minimum of two witnesses watching on.
Catholic weddings don’t require a civil ceremony and can take place in any licenced church. You can usually arrange your ceremony directly through the venue.