City Hall Requirements for a Catholic Wedding in the Philippines


The Family Code of the Philippines defines marriage as "a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life." The Philippines is 80.9 percent Roman Catholic, according to the CIA World Fact Book's 2000 census. Most weddings take place in Roman Catholic churches, but a small number opt for a civil wedding in a city hall.

Application for a Marriage License

  • According to the official government website of the Philippines, a marriage license is required for both a civil or a church wedding. The Local Civil Registrar from the city or town that the bride or groom resides is where the application for a marriage license must be confirmed, and both bride and groom must be present. Filing of an application to issuance of a license takes 10 days under Philippine law.

Required Supporting Documents

  • A certified copy of a birth certificate is required in order to apply for a marriage license, according to the Philippine government website. Also, for those from the ages of 18 to 21, a written consent from a parent is needed. For those 22 to 25, the parents' advice, which is a written notice of the parents' awareness of an intent of marriage, is required. Pre-marital and family planning counseling also is required and a Certificate of Attendance must be provided when applying for a marriage license.


  • Under Article 7 of the The Family Code of the Philippines, marriage may be officiated by a person other than a priest, rabbi, imam or minister. Included are "any incumbent member of the judiciary within the court's jurisdiction." Even ship captains and military commanders under certain cases may solemnize a marriage.


  • According to Kasal, an online guide to Filipino weddings, a civil wedding must be solemnized publicly in the judge's chambers or in an open court. The office of the consul-general, consul or vice-consul is also acceptable.


    1. Divorce is not legal in the Philippines, however, annulment is.
    2. Many of the Filipino wedding rituals, such as the use of a veil, candle and cord, are from 400 years of Spanish colonization that brought the Roman Catholic religion to the country.
    3. The Philippines, being the only predominantly Christian country in Asia, does not allow same-sex marriages.
    4. The most popular month for a Filipino wedding is December.

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