The practicality and other advantages that come with civil wedding make it ideal for couples who are on a tight budget and schedule, or for those who simply want to do away from traditional religious ceremonies due to personal reasons.
The Procedures in Civil Wedding
Below is a simple step-by-step guide to getting married via a civil wedding ceremony:
Step 1: Secure and prepare all the documentary requirements needed to get a Marriage License. These requirements are listed and detailed further below.
Step 2: Secure a Marriage License for a civil wedding at the local civil registry found in the municipal or city hall of residence by accomplishing and submitting an application form together with all other documentary requirements.
Step 3: Proceed to the Office of the Mayor and submit the Letter of Intent to Marry, if applicable, together with the Marriage License to the secretary or the officer in charge. During this step, the couple will be asked to provide their preferred wedding dates.
Step 4: Wait for the confirmation about the availability of the preferred wedding dates. Once a date is available, the couple will be asked if they prefer to do the ceremony in a city hall court or if they have a preferred outside venue
Step 5: Civil weddings usually transpire in the court of the city hall and are officiated either by the mayor or a judge. However, the couple has the option to choose who will officiate their wedding. Under the Philippine law, military commanders, airplane chiefs, and ship captains can officiate a civil wedding under certain circumstance; as well as religious leaders such as a pastor, priest, rabbi, imam registered with the civil registrar.
Step 6: Once the date and venue are set, the couple needs to find at least two people within legal age who will serve as their witnesses. This is also the time to get some sponsors and invite some close relatives and friends.
Step 7: During the wedding day, the couple should prepare a filing fee that usually costs around PhP 100.00 depending on the municipal/city hall. The municipal/city hall will take care of forwarding the marriage contract to the local civil registry that in turn, would provide the necessary records to PSA.
Step 8: The couple would have to wait one to two months before they can get a copy of their marriage contract from PSA.
Summary of the Documentary Requirements
• Marriage License: The couple needs to apply for a marriage license for a civil wedding at their local civil registry
• Marriage License Application: Accomplish a marriage license application form. This form can be obtained from the local civil registry of a municipal/city hall.
• Valid Government-Issued IDs: The valid IDs of the couple must indicate name, address, and date of birth. Examples of these IDs include passport, UMID, PRC ID, Driver’s License, and Voter’s ID, among others.
• Recent 1×1 Photo: Both parties need to prepare at least two copies of their most recent 1×1 photos. Take note that the photos should be in color and in white background, and acceptable resolution.
• Birth Certificate: Both parties need to provide a certified true copy of their birth certificate issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority or PSA
• Certificate of No Marriage: The couple also needs to secure a CENOMAR at the PSA to attest to their singleness
• Letter of Intent to Marry: In some cases and depending on the municipal/city hall, the coupled would be required to submit a letter of intent to marry penned by the groom. The letter should explain that he is legally able and willing to marry his bride.
• Certificate of Attendance to Seminar: Before granting a marriage license, the municipal/city hall requires all couples to attend a seminar about family planning, responsible parenting, and pre-marriage counseling.
• Community Tax Certificate: Each party has to pay a community tax certificate or cedula at their barangay or municipal/city hall.
Take note that before securing a marriage license and when submitting the accomplished marriage license application form, the couple need to attach and submit all other documentary requirements.
Other Documentary Requirements for Special Cases
• For Foreigners: If the other party is a foreigner, he or she needs a photocopy of his/her passport, a photocopy of the immigration entry stamp inside the passport, and a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry from his/her embassy and authenticated by the Philippine DFA
• For Widowed/Separated: If widowed, secure a Death Certificate of the deceased spouse at the PSA. If separated, provide annulment or divorce papers authenticated by the Philippine DFA.
• For Parties Aged 18 and 21: If both or either one of the parties is between the age of 18 and 21, they need to secure a notarized Affidavit of Parental Consent from their mother, father, both parents, or legal guardians