OUR CIVIL WEDDING IN THE PHILIPPINES: THE REQUIREMENTS AND PROCESSES, NO-HOLDS-BARRED

OUR CIVIL WEDDING IN THE PHILIPPINES: THE REQUIREMENTS AND PROCESSES, NO-HOLDS-BARRED

My British husband and I got engaged April of 2017 but because he couldn’t get a sooner date for our wedding day because of his work engagements, we haven’t really set a date until September. We both agreed to have the wedding in December of 2017 so we could have our honeymoon in the UK, the bitterly cold winter honeymoon. 😂🧥 The wedding planning started a month before the set date. And I wish, I really wish I had enough time to prepare because I never knew how crazy it could get getting married.

Anyway, I will be sharing with you our personal experiences on securing the requirements and the process we took to be able to get our marriage license and get married. I just want to remind that my own experiences may greatly differ from yours so there’s really no good comparing yours to mine for that matter. I just wish to share with you and that at least, I’d be able to shed light on some of your questions and uncertainties.

I started the process by doing my own research online. I gathered a fair amount of information regarding the requirements and the proper way of processing a civil wedding but I learned that each and every Local Civil Registrar has their own process to follow. I then went to visit the Local Civil Registrar’s Office in the town hall where I live. I was blessed then that my mom who’s also a government employee of our local government unit was there to help me facilitate our application. The Civil Registrar gave me a list of requirements in securing a marriage license which was identical to the list I have gathered from the internet.

Here’s the list of the requirements for securing a marriage license:

***Note: I prepared two sets of these documents. One set for originals and the other photocopies.***

Mine (Filipino)

1) PSA Issued Birth Certificate
2) Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR)
3) Certificate of Attendance in Pre-Marriage Counselling
4) Cedula
5) Barangay Clearance/Certificate
6) Marriage License Application Form
7) 1×1 photo

Fiancé (Foreign National)

1) Birth Certificate
2) Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR)
3) Certificate of Attendance in Pre-Marriage Counselling
4) Divorce Decree
5) Legal Capacity to Marry (Embassy-issued)
6) 1×1 photo
7) Photocopy of Passport Biometric Page and All the Pages with Stamps
8) Certificate of No Impediment

Let me explain to you the following:

1) I requested online for my PSA birth certificate and our Certificate of No Marriage. You may wonder why we were required to submit a copy of CENOMAR for my fiancé. The Local Civil Registrar explained to us that there were cases in the past that some foreigners were able to get married in the Philippines twice or even several times because they weren’t required then to submit such certificate. Thus, all foreign nationals now who wish to get married in the Philippines to a Filipina are required to submit a copy of CENOMAR. Be aware that the Certificate of No Marriage is only valid for six (6) months.

2) Certificate of No Impediment – My fiancé requested a copy from his Local Civil Registrar’s Office where he resides, Blackpool in his case. It took about two weeks before it was released to him so my advice is to ask your fiancé/fiancée to request for it ahead of time. I can’t remember now if the CNI was time-sensitive.

3) Affirmation/Affidavit of Marital Status – My fiancé scheduled an appointment with the British Embassy in Manila for the taking of oath for the Affirmation/Affidavit of Marital Status. Here’s the link if you want to pick a schedule for your appointment: https://www.consularappointments.service.gov.uk/fco/#!/british-embassy-manila/oaths-affirmations-andaffidavits/slot_picker. My fiancé prepared the following requirements to bring to his consular appointment:

a. Affirmation or affidavit of Marital Status – It should be typed and printed off a computer on A4 size paper. Everything must fit on one page.
Here’s the link to the Affirmation or Affidavit of Marital Status blank form: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/marriage-in-the-philippines.

b. Original British Passport

c. Proof of Address – My fiancé showed his driving license.

d. Payment of Php3,500.00 for the consular fee payable only at the embassy on the appointment day

e. Divorce decree – My fiancé’s divorced.

It only took him less than 30 minutes to process everything at the embassy.

4) Certificate of Attendance in Pre-Marriage Counselling – We found this at first a bit ridiculous because we’re both adults but we found out that aside from this certificate being a pre-requisite, the counselor explained to us the Philippine family law, Filipino culture, and even our customs and traditions. That was surprisingly refreshing, eh. During the counseling session, it was just us who attended and later found out that they actually had a separate session for couples where one is a foreign national. Their reasoning was that in respect to the foreign national, the method of counseling should be in English. Kudos!

My husband flew from the UK to the Philippines in October 2017 to surprise me on my birthday, to get his affirmation ticked off his list and to attend the pre-marriage counseling and finish the marriage license application. After a 2 week business-leisure, he went back to the UK to wrap everything up there work-related. He had six (6) weeks to do that before he flew back again here for our wedding. Basically, I almost did everything here on my own and I did it!

Our law states that after submitting the application of marriage license at the local civil registrar, a 10-day public posting of the intent to marry is needed. If no one contests the marriage application then the marriage license will be released. When our marriage license was released from the Local Civil Registrar’s Office, we checked with the Mayor’s office if he’s available on the date we chose for our wedding. Unfortunately, he wasn’t available. I decided to go to the Hall of Justice a couple of days after my fiancé went back to the UK. I ask how it should be if I were to schedule a wedding ceremony with an honorable judge. I was once again given a list of requirements to secure.

Here’s the list:

1) Marriage License
2) Photos of us together (as evidence that we really met in person)
3) Original Divorce Decree
4) Original Birth Certificates
5) CENOMAR (both)
6) Processing Fee

As soon as I completed the requirements, I submitted them to the Judge’s secretary for processing. They ‘raffled’ our request because I was told it was how they do it to be fair to all of the judges and the applicants. Fair enough!

I hope I covered everything. It’s been at least six (6) months since I did all these requirements-securing tasks. It’s quite a long time to really remember the details vividly but I hope I penned down all the important things.

All I can say is it’s all worth it. We finally got married on the 8th of December 2017. We had an intimate wedding ceremony. Just the way we liked it. Surrounded by people we love.

Happy life!

AFFIRMATION APPOINTMENTAFFIRMATIONCNIPMC

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