After all the fanfare of the wedding proposal and bookmarking pegs for your dream wedding, one of the most crucial parts of wedding planning is, of course, complying with the legal documents. It can be quite tricky since most of the documents are time-sensitive, but once you are aware of what you need to accomplish, it will really save you and your fiancé precious time and money in securing these documents!
We know the planning and preparation stage will get you excited more than anything, but we have to reiterate that your wedding documents are essential. (Read: Your dream wedding isn’t gonna happen if you miss even just one requirement.) Here’s a guide from Arbee Panga and Cece Mariano of Kiss the Girl Events to make sure you are legally ready to get married.
1. Get copies of your birth certificates. In this day and age, you can secure your NSO-certified birth certificate online. Consider this as your golden ticket to jumpstart your wedding planning, since this will further verify you, your fiancé, and even your parents’ correct names. You wouldn’t want your name to be misspelled on your marriage certificate, right?
2. Secure a Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR). For those who are not yet civilly wed, you will also need to request for your Certificate of No Marriage or CENOMAR. As the name implies, the certificate is issued to verify that you or your fiancé hasn’t had any form of marriage previously. Get a hold of this not more than six months before the wedding date. Both you and your fiancé will also need to request a copy of this via the NSO helpline. This document is only valid for six months, so make sure you don’t apply too early!
3. Finalize your wedding details then sign. Once everything is finalized (wedding date, ceremony venue, etc.), it’s time to head to the local civil registry of your town or your fiancé’s town to apply for your marriage license. It is the last and most crucial document that you need to process in order for you to make your union state-official. You and your fiancé will need to appear together during the application for this. It is best to inquire with the local government you are under to ensure a stress-free application.
It is important to note that the marriage license is valid only for 120 days (four months) including the date of your wedding, so you have to schedule it properly with you and your fiancé. Government offices are only open during weekdays, so if you’re working, you will need to take a day off to process your marriage license. Make sure you don’t apply too early, but don’t apply too close to the wedding day either because it might not be released in time.
Tip: Come in early. Most cities require Family Planning and pre-wedding seminars for all applicants so it’s best to allot half your day at your City Hall when you apply. Fees for the marriage license varies per city so best to bring extra cash.
You can opt to send a representative to pick up your marriage license–don’t forget to issue an authorization letter with a copy of your valid ID. The lead time for obtaining a marriage license is longer because the names of the couple are posted on a board in the Barangay Hall. During this period, someone may appeal and say that the person on the board has actually been married before.
So there you have it, darlings! As long as you get your requirements within the given timeframe, you’re sure to have your dream wedding come true. Best wishes!
This list is only for the state or civil requirement to get married. Depending on what type of wedding you will have (Catholic, Christian, Muslim, etc.), there are specific requirements for each religion. Best to talk to the person in charge of your church or congregation to ensure you’re complying with your wedding requirements!