Being warm and sunny during the daytime for most of the year, the Maltese islands are a popular wedding destination for couples looking to tie the knot in the Mediterranean. There are two options for those getting married in Malta; a civil or religious wedding. With Malta being one of the most Catholic countries in the world, the majority of churches are Catholic and have strict requirements for marriage. The Maltese generally opt for a religious ceremony, with proof of baptism, confirmation and single status being prerequisites, along with a church-sanctioned marriage preparation course run by the Cana Movement.
For foreign Catholic couples, a church wedding is possible, but be prepared to be expected to obtain documents showing such proof etc from your church in your home country. Most foreign couples getting married in Malta opt for a civil ceremony, and these can take place in many historical venues, hotels and restaurants. Both types of marriages are legally binding in most countries such as the UK, USA, Ireland, Canada, Australia and elsewhere.
The requirements for a civil wedding are similar to those in your home country, and documents must be forwarded to the marriage registry within 6 weeks of the ceremony. This is a basic list of legal documents that you will need to get married in Malta:
- Photocopy of the main photo page of both the bride and groom’s passports; full, unabridged birth certificates showing the names of the parents of both spouses to be and these need to be authenticated by an attorney/solicitor.
- For a first marriage, you will need a “Free Status” certificate. In most countries outside the UK and Ireland, this is in the form of a document showing that you are legally single and free to marry. This is usually obtained from the Interior Ministry or Department of Home Affairs in the country where you are domiciled. In Scotland and The Republic of Ireland the document is known as a ‘Certificate of no Impediment’, whereas in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a Statutory Declaration is drawn up by a third party in the presence of a solicitor.
- Divorcees will also need the Divorce Absolute/Final Divorce Certificate as well as an Affidavit by a third party drawn up in the presence of a solicitor, stating that the divorcee has not re-married since the divorce was made final.
- Widows/Widowers will need the wedding certificate of their original marriage to the deceased, the death certificate of the former spouse and an affidavit stating that the Widow/Widower has not remarried since.
For more information about getting married in Malta, contact the Malta Marriage Registry on 22209200.