5 Tips for Getting Married in Portugal


Portugal – endless beaches at the Algarve, impressive buildings in Lisbon, sunshine year-round, a culture that’s influenced by sea travel and discovery, with it artistically decorated tiles as far as the eye can see. The paradise-like country on the Iberian holds thousands of fascinating details and it has very own charm. So it’s not surprising many couples are getting married in Portugal. Are you one of the many Portugal lovers and thinking about having your wedding in Portugal? How wonderful! The following post has 5 valuable tips and the best wedding venues in Portugal for you. Enjoy this post and get inspired!

In case you already lost your heart already in beautiful France, you might want to check out our top tips for a wedding in France!


Quinta Wedding and palace wedding

Portugal is known for its extraordinary architectural style. The quaint quintas and prestigious palaces are great options for your wedding venue. Enjoy your stay at a comfy and cute quinta, while admiring the lush forests and the high mountains surrounding you. Or celebrate a lavish wedding at a stunning palace. You can’t go wrong with either venue, as both have their own charm.

When is the best time to get married in Portugal?

Like with all weddings, it’s a good idea to start planning early on, with destination weddings maybe even a bit earlier. One and a half years in advance is a good time to start planning if you want to get married in Portugal. This way you will have enough time and can make sure to get a booking with your favorite vendors at your desired date. The same goes for family and friends since they also have tight agendas and are sometimes booked out years in advance 😉

Which season to favor?

In Portugal theres is moderate maritime climate which means it doesn’t get particularly cold or moody in the winter. The chance of having a sunny day in Lisbon even in February, while at home it’s grey and unwelcoming outside, is very high. The best time for travel is from April through October. The warmest month is August with an average of 30 degrees celsius. Nevertheless there will be a cool breeze coming in from the nearby Atlantic, you are better off scheduling your destination wedding outside of the holiday season. This way you avoid the general tourist turmoil and are not having to fear those absolute maximum temperatures taking a toll on your wedding. The wedding season in Portugal is from April to November.

wedding bouquet, bridal flowers, portugal wedding

How many guests should I invite and what about the budget?

We advice you to first get an idea of how your potential guests feel about a destination wedding in Portugal and not present them with a fait accompli. After you get a feel for who would make the trip to be part of your wedding, and would be willing to face the costs, you can start planning with this number of guests. In general we advise to limit the number of guests you invite to Portugal or any other destination wedding and include only your closest family members and friends. With those people you can be sure that they will make anything possible to be part of your big day. Of course nobody wants to miss their best friend’s or child’s wedding. And if you plan far enough in advance, you will still be able to get a hold of those really affordable flights to Lisbon or Porto.

What you need now is the budget for your destination wedding in Portugal. A lot of people immediately think that a wedding abroad is extremely expensive. If you plan skillfully and concentrate on the aspects most important to yourself, then you’ll be able to save some money. Nevertheless, a destination wedding often comes with extra costs like travel expenses and the rent for your stay. If you plan to work with very experienced and gifted wedding vendors, you need to have a certain budget. To minimize the spendings, you should consider hiring a wedding professional. They know what to do and they often have connections to other wedding professionals.

wedding couple, elopement in portugal, beach wedding

What are the legal requirements for a wedding in Portugal?

After you and your partner decided that you want to get married in France, it’s time to focus on the legal requirements! There are so many things to think of – the documents, the fees, the ceremony…

Nothing hinders your civil ceremony since the marriage is easily recognized in other countries. The required documents for your registry office wedding in Portugal are:

  • Passport, still valid for another 6 months
  • internationale birth certificate, in a long version with full names of both parents
  • international certificate of nubility from both parties
  • in case you are divorced or widowed: international divorce certificate

The 1961 Hague Convention  Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents ensures the simplification of the international recognition of documents. A certificate with the apostille stamp is valid in all participating countries. So this stamp refers the legalization and validity of your documents for international use. The apostille stamp is necessary for birth certificates, certificates of no impediment to marry and free to marry affidavits. There is also the CIEC convention. The certificate of nubility and the marriage certificate that are issued in several languages, don’t need any further validation. Every member state of this convention will recognize the certificate. Documents on a foreign language need to be translated to Portuguese.

TIP: By the way, Portugal is the only European country where you can get married right on the beach since the registrar can also preform at favored places. Many registrars are willing to perform a wedding at other places than the register office.  Still, it is advised to ask your registrar if they will perform the marriage ceremony at your preferred venue. Keep in mind that there are additional travel costs for your registrar that you need to cover.  Also it’s not required to have witnesses present during your ceremony.

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How to apply for marriage in Portugal

In general, the application for marriage can be made at any Portuguese register office. You then have to state whether you want a civil ceremony or a religious ceremony. This application must be done at least one month before the marriage or 6 months  in prior to the marriage at the earliest. You will also need a translator for your ceremony, if you and your spouse don’t speak Portuguese.

There are some fees that you need to keep in mind. The fees for the civil office are about 120 €. Then you also have the cost of the certificate and the travel cost for the registrar, in case you want to get married at a certain destination. If you want to celebrate your wedding at the beach, you will need a permission to do so from the harbor commandant’s office. This will cost about 220 €.

Applying for marriage in Portugal is not easy. Therefore, you might want to let a wedding professional do all the boring paper work. A Procuração will be needed in that case.  A Procuração is a power of attorney document, that allows another person, like wedding professionals, to organize the paper work for you.

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The best wedding venues in Portugal

In Portugal you really have the embarras de choix when it comes to choosing the wedding venue. For that reason we have focussed mainly on the Lisbon area. There you can find a vast variety of hip hotels, breathtaking, historic buildings, picturesque quintas in the countryside, venues right at the beach and many other locations to choose from. We have assembled a small overview on possible venues for getting married in Portugal here. And you can also get some inspiration for your Portugal destination wedding by taking a look at our past work. See a firework of colors at Palacio de Seteais or dream away with a romantic wedding at Quinta de Sao Thiago.

beach wedding, praia d'ursa, wedding couple
wedding flowers, bridal bouquet, wedding reception, portugal wedding

How can I find the best service for my wedding?

Portugal may be a relatively small country, but the density of vendors is quite high, especially in the metropolis Lisbon. That doesn’t make it much easier to find the photographer, make-up artist, florist etc. that fits with you and your personal style. In addition to that there is the language barrier.

Are same sex marriages legal in Portugal?

Same sex marriage is legal in Portugal since 2010.

Is a wedding in Portugal legal in UK?

Yes, foreign citizens can get married legally in Portugal.

Where can I get married in Lisbon?

There are so many beautiful wedding venues in Lisbon, we cannot decide which one we like best! Take a look at our most beautiful wedding venues in Lisbon, Sintra and other places and pick your favourite!

portugal destination wedding checklist

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