Legal Requirements for Weddings in Croatia
Croatia has a beautiful coastline, ancient atmospheric towns and cities and a beguiling and varied mountainous interior. It is just so perfect for a destination wedding. Croatia is a relatively easy country to travel to or from the U.K. and organising a wedding there that will be accepted when you return home as it is also quite easy with only the minimum of paperwork.
Croatian Marriage Requirements
Like any wedding destination outside of the U.K., it’s important to plan the wedding and any legal requirements well before you travel and not leave it too late.
You can have a ceremony for a civil partnership in Croatia which is perfectly legal back in the U.K. You do need to spend a minimum of three days in Croatia before having the ceremony.
same sex marriages in Croatia
If you were planning a same-sex marriage, Croatia is not the place to have one because it has not been legalised yet. If you really want to celebrate your same-sex wedding in Croatia, have the wedding in the U.K. before you go and have your honeymoon in Croatia!
What documents do I need to get married in Croatia?
The three documents you will need to take to the registrar you have chosen in your Croatian destination will be:
- a Certificate of No Impediment (CNI).
- a statutory declaration; and
- a certificate of custom law.
You can get the CNI before you leave the U.K. and have it translated into Croatian. CNIs cost £355 from your local registry office. You must wait for 28 days while the intention to marry is posted at the registry office. You will then get the certificate if there have been no objections. You can get a CNI at the British Embassy in Zagreb, too. A croatian translation will be necessary. The CNI is valid for three months in Croatia.
The statutory declaration is a legal document which affirms that the information in the CNI you hold is true. If you get your CNI in the U.K. before you go to your wedding (the preferred option), you should get a statutory declaration by making an appointment with a solicitor who will sign and stamp your declaration.
The certificate of custom law is a document that confirms that your wedding in Croatia will be valid in the U.K. You may be asked for a copy (in Croatian) by the Croatian wedding registrar. You can apply for a certificate at the British embassy in Zagreb, the Croatian capital.
Both the CNI and the certificate of custom law will need to be legalised before they are valid. You can get them legalised by sending the documents to the UK Legalisation office who will confirm that the details are correct and provide an apostille, which is a separate certificate with a stamp and signature that is valid in Croatia and any country that recognises the Hague Convention. The apostille will also need to be translated into Croatian.
For all other documents needed to obtain the CNI, statutory declaration and certificate of custom law, please check our general destination wedding document information here.
Your civil partnership will be recognized in the UK if:
- you follow the correct process according to the law in Croatia.
- it would be allowed under UK law.
Click here for more information from the UK Government about Croatia’s marriage requirements for foreigners.