Getting married in the Philippines ? Practical advices

Are you getting married in the Philippines ? Here you will find everything you need to know.

Many people ask me, what documents are needed to get married in the Philippines, and how it all looks from a practical standpoint. So, an idea for today's article, where I will try to describe to you all the procedure, we had to go through with my wife. Right from the very beginning, I will tell you, that nothing was so terrible, and all the information we found on the Internet was of no use to us, indeed it was far from the facts. So I described everything in the form of practical advice.

Civil wedding in the Philippines, required documents for a Pole to marry a Filipino woman in the Philippines.

To get married in the Philippines, you need a lot of documents, so if you still have the time, you better start collecting them now. All of them, must be translated into English, you need the originals too. What documents do you need ? Well, first of all, the most important one, is the translated in english, birth certificate, and this is probably the only document that I was told at the beginning that I must have. I should  mention, that when you are already in the Philippines, the post from Poland goes about three weeks one way. So it is better to get it done in Poland. To find an English translator in Poland it will be easy, but to find one in the Philippines, it will be a miracle.  My birth certificate came by mail after the wedding. We were getting married in a civil way, so we didn't need all the documents from the church.  Although, as we talked to the priest, he would have given the wedding without these documents. So, I'll tell you how it was with our wedding.

Preparations for the wedding in the Philippines.

Preparations for the wedding in the Philippines

When we decided to get married, We searched for information, related to it on the Internet. We were afraid, that the whole procedure would take a long time. Just the waiting  time for the documents will be long and tedious. We went to the city hall, to talk to the official there, to find out more about the subject, the documents, and the whole procedure. I had previously agreed with my parents, asking them to arrange for my birth certificate in Poland and the problem appeared. Here, a birth certificate is required, but in Poland only a shortened copy of the birth certificate is issued.  The lady in the office turned out to be very nice and helpful. She asked us for all the information and directed us to the Polish embassy, but there is no such thing in the Philippines.  The nearest one is in Malaysia. As I said to the lady clerk, she thought for a while and said to go to the lawyer, he will write you a document. So we went to a recommended lawyer. He looked at us, and smiled and said, it  cost  500 pesos,  passport and residence card. I gave him these, and within 10 minutes I had a ready document in three copies to sign. The letter contained more or less, that as the undersigned I want to marry, and that under the law nothing stands in the way and I take responsibility for myself if I lied in this document. With this document we went to the office and there, the official asked us politely, when we wanted to get married. We were very pleased to say, that as soon as possible. The next free term was in two weeks time. So all  of preparation was about preparing food and clothing. As you can see in the Philippines, it's not that bad at all, you can do everything in a very friendly way.

Wedding costs in the Philippines.

Here I can only say, what the costs were in our case, I don't know, if it is standard or depends on the location, or what it depends on. We paid 500 pesos for the document, and for the wedding itself about 2000 pesos, these were all the official costs we incurred. To be more funny, from my wife they did not require any document. The only question the official asked, was whether she was married and if she had any document. My wife had a birth certificate, but they didn't even take it. 

The wedding ceremony

The wedding ceremony in the Philippines

A wedding in the Philippines is similar to a civil one in Poland. The only difference is that it was at 9 am. Filipino time, We were about an hour late, there were several couples there, and everyone waited for us politely and without any pretensions. The wedding itself lasted about two hours. You just have to watch out for those with cameras, they take pictures of everyone and then ask for payment. We had our cameras and camcorders and the whole family of photographers, so we sent them back with a nothing. After all, none of them asked us if we need someone to take pictures of us. So after the whole ceremony, signatures and ring exchanges we went home to party till the very morning. It was superb. 

Wedding practices.

Wedding practices are  similar, which surprised me a lot. There was throwing glasses, there was dancing and kissing, throwing flowers, the only thing that was different was that they made us dance, and all the guests put money in our shirts and pants, and finally they sprinkled us with rice. It may smell like countryside, but they told us to change our clothes to enjoy ourselves more comfortably. 

In the Philippines, life takes a different course, you just have to get used to it. We are a happy young couple, we greet everyone warmly and wish you all the best.