Legal requirements and documentation necessary for a wedding in Croatia
This blog post about documentation necessary for a wedding in Croatia was inspired by a phone call from a couple who decided to organize a wedding in Croatia by themselves.
They wanted to get married in September, somewhere in Dalmatia. In the beginning of August, they went to a local registrar’s office in order to sign proceedings. However, it was determined that they don’t have all documentation necessary for a legally valid civil marriage. While their family gather all necessary paperwork in their country of residence, the couple’s vacation will be over and they will have to leave Croatia, empty handed and frustrated. Besides, now they have to return to Croatia once more in order to finish the paperwork before the wedding.
This awkward situation could be avoided by hiring a local wedding planner who is familiar with Croatian bureaucracy and who can manage all paperwork before the couple even comes to sign the proceedings. Moreover, wedding planner could save them time, money and nerves and enable them to fully enjoy their vacation after dealing with formalities at the registrar’s office. In the end, the fee you’ll spend on your wedding planner will pay off through other benefits such as discounts they’ll have with local vendors and the experience in wedding industry they gathered over the years.
Bear in mind that, although it sounds unlikely, most of registrar’s offices doesn’t have officers who speak foreign language and therefore you can end up with incomplete information.
That been said, here are initial guidelines for documentation necessary for both civil and church wedding in Croatia. If you`ve decided for a church wedding ceremony, you`ll need:
- Permission to get married outside your local parish
- Baptismal certificate with mandatory indication of free matrimonial status
- Pre-marriage Course Certificate
- Discharge certificate
Depending on your preferences and budget, the ceremony doesn’t have to be performed at church; you can have a civil ceremony at almost any inspiring outdoor location. Keep in mind that an official court interpreter must attend the wedding and translate the ceremony if the bride or the groom doesn`t speak Croatian.
It is very important to note that relevant documents cannot be completed and submitted later than 90 days before the wedding day and you need to bring originals.
For your civil ceremony, you’ll need:
- Birth certificate
- Free matrimonial status certificate
- Marriage license
- Copies of passports
*Documentation must also include copies of your maid of honor and best man`s passports.
Required documents and legal processes may differ depending on nationality and have to be checked in detail. Depending on contracts Croatia has with certain foreign countries you`ll need to check which documents will require an Apostille verification or Croatian translation.
We do hope it should be easier now we`ve entered the EU, but at this point there are no official changes from Croatian government.