How to get married in Gibraltar

by | May 29, 2020 | Featured | 0 comments

Getting married in Gibraltar is simple, not just for UK nationals but many other nationalities too. Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory on a piece of rocky land that sticks out on the end of southern Spain. The Gibraltar Register Office requires documentation in English which you can email for them to check in advance and basically the whole process for getting married is made as easy as possible. Here are the best tips for arranging your marriage in Gibraltar.


Getting to Gibraltar

Gibraltar is not an island, it is part of the Spanish mainland and very easy to get to. You can fly into the international airport at Malaga then hire a car to follow the Mediterranean motorway for 90 minutes to the border with Gibraltar. Alternatively, there are four buses a day to La Linea (the Spanish border with Gibraltar) costing about €14. You can then walk over the border and walk into town to the register office, take one of the many city buses, or a taxi for about €5.

The British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar has its own airport with flights to six main UK airports plus the Moroccan airports of Casablanca and Tangier. As the main road from customs into town crosses the runway, the road is understandably closed at certain times of the day – so take this into consideration if you need to get to the register office for a particular time!

Top tip: check the Gibraltar live flight info before planning your trip. Not just regarding flights, but also for when the main road across the runway is closed to traffic and pedestrians walking into town.


What paperwork do we need to get married in Gibraltar?

The Civil Status Register Office conducts marriages and civil partnerships in Gibraltar. Depending on your civil status the main paperwork you will need is an English translation of your:
• Birth certificate
• Proof of civil status
• Passport
• Proof of any change of name eg previous marriage certificate and divorce decree absolute
The register office will ask you to send all of your documents in PDF format in one email so that they can check them.
Top tip: download a copy of the current Guidance Document for Marriages and Civil Partnerships in GibraltarWhen the Gibraltar register office confirms your documents are in order, you can pencil in a date for your marriage ceremony, complete the Registrar application form and send your payment.


What happens when we get to Gibraltar?

Proof of stay

If you are not a resident of Gibraltar, the law requires you to spend one night immediately before or after your marriage in Gibraltar and present proof to the registrar – see the Guidance notes for acceptable evidence such as a paid hotel bill.

Present original documents

All of your ORIGINAL documents must be presented to the Registrar by at least 10:30am on the day before your marriage ceremony. You cannot make an appointment, it is a first come/first served system.

Sign an affidavit

You need to sign an affidavit saying that you are free to marry in front of one of the Commissioners for Oaths
or Notaries Public on Gibraltar which you can do the day before, or on the day of your marriage ceremony.
I have found Karl H Grambow, Commissioner for Oaths, to be particularly helpful and offers free advice by email

Find two witnesses

If you don’t have guests of your own, you need to persuade two English speaking people to be present at your marriage and sign the register as witnesses (try asking the couple getting married before you).

Top tip: Arrive in Gibraltar two days before your marriage ceremony so that you have plenty of time to get in and see the Registrar, sign your affidavit and have proof of your stay. Win! Win! Win!


Does our Gibraltar register office marriage include any kind of wedding ceremony?

Contracting your marriage in front of the Gibraltarian Registrar is the legal part of getting married. If you want to celebrate with more ceremony, you have three options for a wedding.

1. At the register office

The Registrar allows up to 30 minutes when contracting your legal marriage which allows time for a ring exchange and to include non-religious readings and/or poems approved by the registrar as suitable for a civil ceremony.

2. At an approved outside location

The Registrar can conduct your marriage at one of a number of approved venues with a non-religious ceremony under registration guidelines.
A list of outside locations is in the Guidance Document for Marriages and Civil Partnerships in Gibraltar

3. At a Celebrant-led wedding ceremony wherever you like!

Having contracted your legal marriage, you can then have a symbolic wedding ceremony officiated by a professional Celebrant on Gibraltar, over the border in Spain or back in your own country.

Top tip: Have a two-centre wedding! Get married in Gibraltar then celebrate with your perfect, Celebrant-led sunshine wedding ceremony in Spain with me!

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