How to Get Married in Portugal as a Foreigner

Created: Mar 27, 2024 | Updated: Mar 28, 2024

Marriage brings companionship, emotional support, and a sense of belonging, so it’s no wonder we all try to find that person we can spend the rest of our lives with. If you are looking for answers on how marriage is done in Portugal,  especially from the perspective of a foreign national, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve done the research and covered all the steps concerning how to tie the knot in Portugal, from the legal requirements to the necessary documentation, all up to the planning process so you don’t have to. 

The Legal Requirements for Marriage in Portugal 

Like most European countries, in Portugal, you need to meet some legal requirements and submit legal documents to the registry office if you want your wedding ceremony to be legally binding. These include:

Legal Requirements

1. You both must be at least 18 years old. If you wish to marry any younger than 18, you need to have an authorisation from the Registry Office. 

2. You both must be single.

3. You must not be suffering from any visible dementia.

4. You must not be an accompanied person of legal age and the court should not have determined that you can't get married.  An accompanied person of legal age cannot - fully, personally and consciously - exercise their rights and comply with their duties due to health, disability or behavioural reasons. 

5. You cannot marry a family member such as: 

  • sisters/ brothers.
  • mother/father.
  • daughter/son.
  • grandmother/grandfather, grandchildren.
  • aunt/uncle.
  • niece/nephew.
  • stepchildren.
  • mother/father-in-law.
  • daughter/son-in-law.

6. You must not have been convicted or be awaiting a sentence for an intentional homicide against the person your partner was married to. 

7. You must not be bound by a guardian where someone else is responsible for your care and management of your properties. 

Documentation Requirements
  • Your original birth certificates (certified and translated into Portuguese).
  • Passport or Resident permit or Citizen Card (autorização de residência)
  • Divorce or Death Certificates if either of you have been married before.
  • Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (Certificado de Capacidade Matrimonial).
  • A notarised prenuptial agreement certificate.
  • Parental or guardian authorisation (if either of you is under 18).
  • Power of Attorney (if you need representatives at any time). The power of attorney can be in the form of:

- A certified document.

- A formal document from a notary or a Portuguese consulate officer.

- A document signed by the couple.

 Documents for Catholic Weddings 

If you want a Catholic wedding, you will need to have the following in addition to the above documents:

  • A letter from your local Bishop permitting you to marry in Portugal.
  • A document permitting you to marry in a Catholic church in Portugal.
  • All Pre-Cana procedures in the form of a letter and issued by the priest.
  • The prenuptial inquiry form, issued by your parish in your country of origin.
  • Baptism, first communion and confirmation certificates stamped by the local Bishop.
  • A document that permits you to marry if one of you is of a different religion.
  • All Catholic documents must be sealed by the Bishop’s parish office.

Documents not in Portuguese need to be translated by a certified translator or a certified translation service in Portugal like Translayte, where highly skilled translators work to accurately convey the message of your documents. You can get Portuguese translations to or from a large variety of languages. Moreover, foreign documents must usually be legalised or bear an apostille stamp from the country of issuance to be valid in Portugal.


How to get married in Portugal


How to Get Married in Portugal

So, we’ve looked at all we need to put in place before marrying in Portugal. Now, let’s simplify the entire process for you into a few steps. 

Confirm Your Eligibility

You and your partner must meet the criteria listed above. Be sure to go through each one and confirm if you qualify to be married in Portugal.

Declare Intent to Marry 

To begin the process of marriage in Portugal, you have to declare your intention to marry at the Civil Registry Office (Conservatória do Registo Civil) or online. In the declaration, you have to indicate:

  • the kind of wedding you want to have (civil or church wedding).
  • a matrimonial property scheme.
  • the venue, date and time of your wedding.

The declaration can be made by:

  • Either you or your partner or your representatives.
  • A priest or religious minister of a church or religious community established in Portugal.

Online Declaration 

Your partner who is a Portuguese or Brazilian citizen will have to make your declaration online. To do this, they will need:

  • a Citizen Card, with an activated authentication certificate.
  • a PIN code for the Card’s authentication.
  • a compatible card reader.
  • A fee of €120.

They must be over 18 years old to submit this request. In addition, they must either be a Portuguese citizen or be a Brazilian with an equal rights status and hold a Citizen Card.

When they get the confirmation that the marriage request has been submitted, you also need to go online and sign up with your Citizen Card and confirm the request. The request will be sent to your chosen registry office and you will be notified of the process’s progress.

Cost of Marriage in Portugal

The marriage process and registration in Portugal costs €120. This covers all the registrations before and after the marriage.

The cost goes up to €200 if you want to get married:

  • on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday.
  • on a business day, outside the registry office or at the registry office but outside the operating hours. You must pay for the travelling costs of the registrar in such cases.

In the case of an urgent marriage that has been deemed so by the law (like if your partner is ill and may pass away soon), only the cost of €120 will be charged. 

The costs of a prenuptial agreement are as follows: 

1. To prepare, amend or revoke a prenuptial agreement in the Civil Registry Office:

  • Civil Code Schemes - €100
  • An atypical matrimonial property scheme (a scheme where the engaged couple defines the rules, within the law’s limits) €160.

2. To register an already prepared prenuptial agreement or its amendment - €30

All payments can be made via:

  • Multibanco.
  • Cash (if you make the request in person).
  • Certified or bank cheque to the order of Instituto dos Registos e do Notariado (IRN), in euros, from a bank represented in Portugal and withdrawn from an account domiciled in Portugal.
  • Postal order to IRN.
Can a foreigner get married in Portugal?


Plan Your Ceremony

After you have finished with all the major paperwork and payments, you can now get into the real fun. Let’s give you a few tips on how to plan the ceremony. 

1. Choose Your Type of Ceremony: Decide on the type of ceremony you want to have. This could be a quick wedding or it can be something elaborate.

2. Set a Budget: Determining your budget will guide many of your decisions, from the venue to the number of guests and the style of the event. Make sure to account for any potential costs like the venue, attire, officiant fees, decorations, and any additional services you might want.

3. Select a Venue: The venue sets the tone for your wedding. Popular options in Portugal include:

When choosing a venue, consider its location, capacity, availability, cost, and the logistics of getting married there (some venues have their own rules about catering, decoration, and music).

4. Choose a Date and Time: When selecting your wedding date, consider factors like the weather, special dates for you and your partner, and the availability of your desired venue and key vendors. Saturdays are a popular choice, but a weekday wedding might offer more flexibility and cost savings.

5. Hire Vendors: Depending on the size and style of your ceremony, you may need to hire various vendors, such as:

  • Wedding Planner: This is especially helpful if you're organising a destination wedding or need help with local customs and logistics.
  • An officiant: Ensure they are legally recognised to perform weddings in your city.
  • A Photographer/Videographer: Book early, as the best ones often have their schedules filled months in advance.
  • Hair and Makeup Artists: To ensure you look your best, consider hiring professionals who can provide hair and makeup services on your wedding day.
  • Music: Whether you want live music, a DJ, or a simple playlist, plan how music will be integrated into your ceremony.
  • A Florist: For bouquets, boutonnieres, and any venue decorations.
  • A Caterer: If your venue doesn’t provide food, you may need to hire a caterer.

6. Plan the Ceremony Details: Decide if you want to write your vows or stick with the traditional ones. Select your wedding party, including bridesmaids, groomsmen, ring-bearers, and flower girls. Don’t forget to decide on how you want the ceremony to unfold, from start to finish.

7. Have a Dress Rehearsal: A rehearsal is typically held the day before the wedding, especially for complex ceremonies or large wedding parties. This helps ensure everyone knows their roles and the event runs smoothly.

8. Personalise Your Ceremony: Incorporate elements that reflect your personalities and relationships. This could include unique music choices, a special reading, or a ritual that has personal significance.

9. Have So Much Fun!

Register Your Marriage

After the ceremony, you will receive an international marriage certificate. You can register the marriage by submitting the marriage certificate to the civil registry in your country. 



Can Foreigners Get Legally Married in Portugal?

Yes, foreigners can legally marry in Portugal if they have all the required documentation. 

How Much is it to Get Married in Portugal?

The marriage process and registration in Portugal costs €120. This covers all the registrations before and after the marriage. The cost goes up to €200 if you want to get married:

  • on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday.
  • on a business day, outside the registry office or at the registry office but outside the operating hours. You must pay for the travelling costs of the registrar in such cases.

For an  urgent marriage that has been deemed so by the law (like if your partner is ill and may pass away soon), only the cost of €120 will be charged. 

What Age Do People Get Married in Portugal?

The minimum legal age for marriage in Portugal is 18 years, although you can get married at 16 years if you have written permission from your parents or guardian and approval from the Civil Registry. 

Can Two Non-Citizens Get Married in Portugal?

Yes, two foreign nationals can get married in Portugal. There are no legal residency requirements needed to have a wedding in Portugal. 

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