Marriage is a legal union between a man and woman under the eyes of the law and church (for those who also considers this). When doing wedding preps, both couple needs to make sure that all their legal documents are ready. But where should you start? Filipinos who are both based in the Philippines will find these easy but for those who are based overseas like us, we were told by the very helpful wedding suppliers that we need to be keen on the validity of our certificates. Yes, validity. All certificates have expiration dates, just like the food that you’re eating now. But there are categories, depending if the couple is both Filipino or one is a foreigner and if the wedding ceremony is Catholic.
Generally, the legal requirements and procedures are as follows for both Filipinos who plan to marry:
UPDATED AS OF MARCH 2018 with NEW E-CENSUS RATE
FOR CIVIL PURPOSE (compulsory for all who have not been married before and whether you will have a Catholic or non-Catholic wedding rite)
- Marriage License – for non-civilly married couples only, personal appearance needed with valid and proof of residence (Cedula) when filed at your local municipality, 120 days/4 months validity
- PSA (former NSO) Original Birth Certificate ** – 6 months validity upon issuance, a requirement for Marriage License Application
- PSA (former NSO) Original Certificate of No Marriage/CENOMAR ** – 6 months validity upon issuance, a requirement for Marriage License Application
- Family Planning Seminar – for 25 years old and above; held at the Health Dept. of the City Hall where you applied for the marriage license; will be scheduled after you filed your Marriage License application and submitted the necessary requirements; need a personal appearance
- Parental Consent and Family Planning Seminar with Counselling – for 24 years old and below, a requirement for Marriage License Application; need a personal appearance
- Cedula – for both bride and groom, from where you permanently reside in the Philippines, requirement for Marriage License Application
- Barangay Clearance ** – some City Hall will require this
- Photos ** – some City Hall will require this
- Processing fee
- Annulment clearance paper (if previously married) – this is an annulment process for a previous Civil wedding
- Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage – required for the foreign spouse only, this will state whether the foreign party has never been married, widowed or was previously divorced; this will come from their own Embassy located in the Philippines which should be signed by the duly Consul; requirements vary depending on the country
FOR CATHOLIC RITES PURPOSE
All these docs should be submitted to your church 2 months before the wedding. If you have issues with time, contact your local church for more info.
- Baptismal Certificate with annotation for Marriage Purpose – 6 months validity,
- Confirmation Certificate with annotation for Marriage Purpose – 6 months validity
- Certificate of Freedom to Marry + – only for based overseas, secure it from your local parish, 6-12 months validity (refer to your parish for more info)
- Pre-Cana or Wedding Seminar Certificate of Attendance – can be done at your parish overseas but check with your church first if they will allow it/4 months; need a personal appearance
- Marriage Banns Permit – done for 3 consecutive Sundays from you and your fiance’s local churches in the Philippines if no one objects you may secure a No Objective Marriage Permit to be submitted to the church where you will wed
- Canonical Interview – will be scheduled if all documents are submitted already
- Marriage License Permit from City Hall (120 days validity, see above requirements) if not yet civilly married, but if civilly married you can just submit your PSA/NSO Marriage Contract
- List of Principal Sponsors (with address and contact info)
- Name of Priest (with License and order) – if you’re getting your own
- PSA (former NSO) Birth Certificate ** (some church may ask for this)
- PSA (former NSO) CENOMAR ** (some church may ask for this)
- Processing fee
- Confession – this is something personal
- Annulment clearance paper – for people who have been previously married in the Catholic Church; that is acquired from your Archdiocese or contact your church for more info (if previously married) – this is an annulment process for a previous Church wedding and is different from the Civil rites annulment process
- Clearance from the Archdiocesan Chancery Office (Archbishop’s Office, 121 Arzobispo St., Intramuros, Manila) – for “mixed marriages” where the other party is a non-Catholic; prior to securing this, additional requirements aside from those listed above will be Letter of Approval from the Pastor of the Non-Catholic sect that they allow you to be married and that you have never been married, Dispensation Approval from the Parish Priest where the foreigner resides (in PH or abroad), Legal Capacity to be Married from the embassy if foreigner etc. Better to check with the Archbishop’s Office for more info.
FOR NON-CATHOLIC RITES PURPOSE
Check with your local church, sect and/or Pastor for specific requirements
(*) can be applied online and delivered to your Philippine address. Just make sure that you will personally order it online and address one of your family members who’s in the Philippines as the recipient
(**) additional requirement that is specific to your Church or City Hall for submission especially with the validity of the documents
(+) check with your local parish. If based in Middle East (Kuwait, KSA, Qatar, and Bahrain check AVONA website)
- For those who are based overseas, it is way easier to acquire your NSO Birth Certificate and NSO CENOMAR through the E-Census website. We used this to get our NSO docs and it was delivered around 7 working days (max) in our house in SJDM City. It’s Php 315 per Birth Certificate copy and Php 415 per CENOMAR copy. Delivery charge is already included. We paid online using our BDO Kabayan ATM/debit card. For inquiries about your PSA Civil Registration record, call +63 2 926 7333 and for inquiries regarding your E Census order and delivery, call +63 2 981 7702
- You can opt to have a representative with valid SPA to obtain your approved Marriage license from the City Hall. But inquire directly with your City Hall first since different rules apply for different localities.
Confused on what to do first? Don’t fret! For a quick timeline on what you’re supposed to start with here’s our Step-by-Step Wedding Legal Requirements Process, click HERE.
What to have an idea how to obtain a Certificate of Freedom to Marry from your church overseas? Please click HERE.
To get an idea of how we did it. Please see this post Wedding Legal Requirements Timeline HERE.
You haven’t done your Confirmation ceremony yet? Don’t worry, you can check Express Kumpil in Manila HERE.
Some reference credit to SAC, to our Coordinator and HERE 🙂