Tips and ideas
The choice of the type of ceremony will depend on each couple’s preferences
You can have a simple civil wedding in the registry office in the nearest town hall to the reception area or even arrange for the judge to come to a more comfortable venue. If, on the other hand, you decide to have a religious wedding, the choice of church is essential.
To help you dispel any doubts you might have at this crucial stage of the preparations, we can give you some tips on these two types of ceremony.
Requirements for a civil wedding
Regarding the budget, you should know there is a set price for weddings in a registry office. If you are planning to ask the judge to go to a specific place, the cost will depend on the day, the distance he has to travel and the time of the event.
You will also to have the following documents:
- Marriage application required by the registry office judge
- Original and copy of birth certificates of each spouse
- Original of prenuptial medical certificate
- Agreement on the property regime that will govern current assets and those acquired during marriage
- Copy of official identification with photographs of the spouses
- Proof of residence
- Notarized proof of single status
- Four passport-sized photos of each
- Original identification with copies of four adult witnesses
- Payment of dues according to current rates
Requirements for a religious wedding
- Book the church where the wedding will be held
- Request a baptismal certificate from the churches where the bride and groom were christened.
- Complete the pre-marital course
- Take the following documents to the church nearest to the bride or groom’s postal code: proof of residence, IFE (voter’s card), baptismal certificate, proof of completion of pre-marital course, photos of each member of the couple and confirmation certificate. Once the required number of days have elapsed, you will be called to collect the envelope you must take to the church where the marriage will be held.
The religious ceremony also has certain elements that are present during mass, which symbolize various aspects of the future married couple:
The 13 Coins given by the Groom to the Bride
Their use comes from the ancient Hebrew weddings and their name comes from the word arrab, meaning promising and offering security. Nowadays, the handing over of these coins during the mass represents prosperity and material union. Thirteen coins are traditionally given, 12 of which symbolize the months of the year while the last represents the aim of sharing prosperity with the needy.
The main symbol of marriage, rings have had various meanings throughout history. For the Egyptians, for example, they represented eternal love, because of their circular shape. The Greeks placed them on the ring finger, because the vein of love that went directly to the heart was believed to start there. Whether or not these stories are true, the rings blessed during mass and placed on each other's hands by the spouses represent the eternal union of their love.
This ancient tradition symbolizes the union of the couple and the love that will keep them together for their whole lives. Just before the end of the mass, the maids of honor approach the couple and place the bow on the groom's and then the bride's shoulders, keeping it there until the end of the ceremony.
Three different bouquets are usually prepared: the first bouquet, representing fertility, happiness and generosity, is carried by the bride as she enters the church. The second (or Virgin’s) bouquet is offered to the Virgin by the bride as a sign of gratitude while the third, most festive bouquet, is the one the bride throws to her single friends. The one who catches it will be the next to marry!
According to this oriental custom, symbolizing abundance and wealth, rice should be thrown at the end of the ceremony when the bride and groom are leaving the church. Nowadays, rice petals are often replaced by rose petals or bubbles, but it all depends on the couple’s taste.