GETTING MARRIED IN SPAIN
Nerja and Almuñecar are lovely places for your wedding ceremony or to renew your existing wedding vows, perhaps on a special wedding anniversary.
If you are thinking of getting married here or in the surrounding area and want to have a religious ceremony, then we can usually help.
Weddings in Spain all require a civil ceremony first at which the couple become husband and wife in the eyes of Spanish law.
This civil marriage requires at least one of the couple to have Spanish residency. Even when this is the case, it is not an easy way to proceed. You will certainly need a person who is a fluent Spanish speaker to make the arrangements with the local Town Hall (Ayuntamiento).
If this does become a realistic option, then the civil ceremony can take place at the Town Hall or possibly even at the venue for the religious ceremony. In the latter case it can come immediately before the church service.
If neither of the couple fall into the above category, than a civil ceremony is required by British law in a UK Registry Office or in Gibraltar followed by a religious ceremony in church or other location here.
Before proceeding with the church service we shall need to have sight of the marriage certificate.
THE SERVICE OF BLESSING
For this we follow the Order of Service authorised by the Church of England of which we in this Diocese in Europe are a part. In practice, this means that it is clearly a Christian ceremony which seeks God’s blessing on the union of a newly married couple.
The service, in English, is basically the same as the Church of England Marriage Service – hymns and music, bridesmaids, vows, blessing of rings, etc. In short we can promise you a memorable and enjoyable Service of Blessing.
We take a lot of trouble in preparing for, and conducting such a service, and will
try to accommodate your particular requests if at all possible.
THE SERVICE OF THANKSGIVING FOR MARRIAGE
Many couples today wish to give thanks for the years of married ife they have shared together, often on a special wedding anniversary. We therefore are pleased to offer an Order of Service of Thanksgiving for Marriage.
The service follows the shape of the wedding service including the renewal of vows and possibly the giving and receiving of new rings. It can include music, hymns and readings chosen by the couple.
For either service, here are some points you will need to consider –
Fixing The Date:
Please contact our Parish Priest, Fr Nigel Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as you can to ensure that the date and time are possible and put in our diary.
We strongly suggest that if your service is in the months of June, July or August, you avoid the middle of the day as it will be very hot – it can be well over C40 degrees – and we don’t want you fainting!
Order Of Service:
Many couples like to have a personalised form of printed service. There are parts of the service which are mandatory but plenty of opportunity for personal choice as well. It is usual to include the words of the hymns as well (if chosen). PLEASE do talk with us and certainly let us see the draft before you get these printed – we are more likely to spot mistakes.
Ideally the service will take place in a Church building – we usually use El Salvador or occasionally San Miguel, both are in Nerja.
By arrangement, other local Roman Catholic priests allow us to use their churches too.
These days the use of a hotel, villa or even a beach bar can be arranged (but NOT on a beach).
If it is not to be in a church we shall need to satisfy ourselves that it is possible to create an atmosphere which is conducive to an act of Christian worship. After all, you are asking for God’s blessing on your union as man and wife!
Please bear in mind that we only have an English church here because it has been possible to raise the funds to make it so. An important part of the revenue we manage to raise is through services such as these.
The suggested donation for a Wedding ceremony and a Service of Thanksgiving is €400 from 2020. To this needs to be added €50 for an organist (if applicable), and a further €150 which goes to the Roman Catholic Church for the use of their premises. Expenses for travel might be added if the venue is a considerable distance from Nerja.
If the person making the donation is also a UK taxpayer, then we invite you to gift-aid it which gives us a further 25% without any extra cost to you. We will provide a special envelope for you to do this.
We may also ask the ushers to take a retiring collection after the service from those attending.
Photographs & Videos:
It would be a strange occasion if there were no photos! If you are hiring a professional photographer you will get better pictures, probably, but at a cost!
Ensure that such a person takes pictures which YOU want – after all you are paying! But please, whoever it is, we ask that you use only ONE photographer during the ceremony itself.
Some other questions that are frequently asked:
How early do I need to start making my arrangements?
You would normally need a minimum of three months to make your plans with either the Town Hall or Registry Office.
Why can’t we have the legal part of the marriage in church as well?
Unfortunately the Anglican Church in Spain is not qualified to perform legal ceremonies without a lot of expense and administration which we do not recommend.
Can we still have a marriage ceremony if one of the partners has been divorced?
Yes, but please talk it through with the resident priest as early as possible in your planning.
Is it possible to use another location apart from the usual church in Nerja or Almuñecar?
Yes, the Roman Catholic Church offers us hospitality in many of its churches in the towns and villages in our area, such as Maro, Frigiliana and Competa.
Many couples ask if the ceremony could be performed in a hotel, private home or villa, this is usually possible.
This photo was taken at the Church of San Juan, Melegis in the Lecrin Valley.
What about music?
The possibilities are endless. Some couples book our church organist for traditional hymns and music, others choose recorded music or provide their own live music. It is not unknown that couples have included Flamenco guitarists, soloists and string quartets.
Does the service have to be complicated and formal?
No, ceremonies range from just the couple being present to large gatherings of family and friends.
We look forward to hearing from you!
For more details or to contact our Wedding Blessings Organiser, click here