Getting Married In The Philippines

02/09/2012 12:14 pm ET

Some couples are content to tie the knot at the courthouse down the road. But for those who are more adventurous, a destination wedding -- and an international marriage -- are a must. The Huffington Post's guide to international marriages will tell you everything you need to know to get legally married in the Philippines. Read on to ensure all of your paperwork is in order before booking your ticket. --Joan Bahr

Residency Requirement And Waiting Period

U.S. citizens wishing to marry in the Philippines must file an application for a marriage license in the office of Philippine Civil Registrar. If one partner is a resident, he or she should apply at the office in the town or city where he or she lives. There is a 10-day waiting period between filing the application and getting the license.

Intent To Marry

If the wedding is to be a Catholic ceremony in a church, the couple must post the announcement of their wedding at their respective parish(es) for three Sundays. Some parishes may require that a photo of the bride and groom accompany the posting.

The Ceremony

A couple can have a church wedding in the Philippines or a civil ceremony before a judge or mayor. Weddings in a Catholic church require a marriage license, a canonical interview with the parish priest, a premarriage seminar, permission from the parish, posting of banns and at least two sponsors. If the couple will be married in a civil ceremony, they will need a marriage license before a judge or mayor can solemnize the marriage.

The Marriage Certificate

The Philippines marriage license is issued at the office of the Philippine Civil Registrar in a town or city. The U.S. citizen must appear at the office to file an application for the license.

Legal Documentation

U.S. citizens wishing to marry in the Philippines must present an Affidavit in Lieu of Legal Capacity to Marry. They can apply for this and have it notarized at the American Embassy in Manila or the U.S. Consular Agency in Cebu. A U.S. passport is also required, as well as documentation of paternal consent, divorce decree and/or death certificate of a prior spouse, if necessary.

Same-Sex Marriage

Same-sex marriage is not recognized in the Philippines, nor are civil unions or domestic partnerships. In early 2011, a bill was filed to amend the Philippine Family Code to disallow same-sex marriages that are entered into outside the Philippines.

Additional Information

Individuals under the age of 18 are not allowed to marry in the Philippines. Couples who are between 18 and 21 must present written parental consent, and applicants ages 22 to 24 must prove they have received parental advice.

View the full set of laws and regulations regarding marriage in Philippines.

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