Cyprus Weddings Legal Issues

Document requirements are dependent upon your nationality and status. It has got a little more complicated for British passport holders to get married in Cyprus but we have a comprehensive instruction pack which we send out to all our couples to help them with the paperwork.  The marriage is completely legal in the UK and Ireland. There is no need to pre-register the marriage. There are however, a number of criteria that by Cyprus Law you must meet before the marriage can take place.

You can choose to have a civil wedding ceremony or an Anglican or Catholic Church ceremony. Catholic couples who elect to have a church ceremony must also have the civil ceremony before the church service. it is also now possible for single sex couples to have a Civil Partnership.  If you would like a Symbolic Ceremony or Renewal of Vows, no legal paperwork is required.

Document Requirements for British & Irish Passport Holders

English, Welsh & Northern Irish couples must have a ‘Letter or No Trace’ from the General Register office, and a  Statutory Declaration.  The rules do vary slightly at each Town hall in the area so it is important that you use our sample documents and the wording of these will be tailored to your specific legal status.

Changes now UK has left the EU

England left the EU at the end of 2020 and as a result the Cyprus Government now requests  additional paperwork  for British passport holders.  All documents supplied with the exception of your passport and birth certificate must now carry a UK issued Apostille.  These are issued by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in the UK seee

Alternatively there are a number of private agencies who can also arrange Apostilles for you, but they do cost more than going directly to the government office.

Paphos  Town Hall will  accept a joint Statutory Declaration for both the bride and groom, so you can supply one document instead of two and have this apostilled – this will help you keep the cost of the legal paperwork down.  Peyia Town Hall no longer accepts joint declarations.

It will also be necessary to have an Apostille placed on your marriage certificate after your wedding by the relevant Cyprus Government Ministry, in order that the marriage can be correctly registered,  this is also something we can arrange for you for a small charge.

Your Country

Scottish nationals should obtain a Certificate of No Impediment from the local registry office in place of the Statutory Declaration.  This must  be apostilled.

Irish Nationals must obtain Freedom to Marry Certificate from the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ireland or the Irish Embassy in the UK. The  certificates are only valid for 3 months prior to the date of your wedding. These do not require an Apostille as Ireland is a member of the EU.

All couples should bring photocopies of the two witnesses passports with them.

Your Legal Status

If you are a widow or widower, you must supply a death certificate.

Your original Decree Absolute document is also required  if you are divorced.  The Town Hall  will retain your Decree Absolute for their files. If you think you may need a copy  be sure to take copies before you arrive in Paphos, Cyprus.

Proof of parental consent it required if the bride or groom is under 18. The document must be stamped and signed by a solicitor.

If you have changed your name by Deed Poll, you must bring the Deed Poll document with you.

Birth Certificates for both of you (not required by all Town Halls).

If adopted, please bring your adoption certificate.

You are legally required to have 2 witnesses to your marriage ceremony. If you do not have any guests who can act as witnesses we can provide them for you, we have witnessed many weddings!

All documents must be the originals, copies will not be accepted. It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct papers, failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the wedding for which we cannot be held liable.  These documents must also be apostilled.

UK passport holders living outside the UK

There are now some specific challenges facing UK passport holders who do not live in the UK and wish to marry in Cyprus. It is a requirement that you supply  a  Statutory Declaration prepared by a UK based solicitor which must then be apostilled in the UK. This would normally require a trip to the UK which is not a practical option for many people.  We do now however have a solution to this, we are able to provide a remote signing service with a UK solicitor via Zoom, arrange the apostilles and then courier the documents to you – please contact us for full details.

Church Weddings

The Anglican church does like either the bride or the groom to have been baptised or possess a christening certificate, although this isn’t compulsory.  Both parties in a Catholic wedding must have a Baptismal Certificate. it is possible for a non-Catholic to marry a Catholic in a Catholic church, please contact us for details. The paperwork for a Catholic wedding does take longer so the couple should start their Pre-nuptial Inquiry process with their local priest at least 6 months before the wedding.

Non British Nationals

It is possible for people from countries other than the UK and Ireland to marry in Cyprus. Every year we arrange weddings for couples from a wide range of different countries including Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Lebanon, Portugal, Nigeria, Israel, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, USA, Canada and others. The paperwork requirements for each individual country do differ, and documents from non Greek or English speaking countries must be translated into English by a certified translator. Please contact us for full details.

Please note that ceremonies are conducted in English so couples should have basic understanding of spoken English. For non British couples we can also arrange for the marriage certificate to be taken to the Ministries in Nicosia to obtain Apostille stamps – this is necessary for countries outside of the Schengen area, and for British Nationals who live permanently in certain countries.

It is not possible for anyone with a refugee status to marry in Cyprus.

Document Checking Service

To ensure that there are no legal problems, you should send us  electronic copies of all relevant documents 6 weeks before your wedding. This will give us sufficient time to check them, and for you to rectify any problems.   If we have any doubts about the documents we will take them to the Town Hall to be checked by the Marriage Officer to ensure that the documents will be accepted.

You must bring all the original documents with you as copies will not be accepted by the Town Halls. It is a good idea to carry these documents with you on the plane, to minimise the risk of them going astray. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct legal paperwork with you. If you fail to bring it the marriage may not take place and we can’t be held responsible for this.

Last Minute Weddings

If you wish to arrange a wedding  at the last minute we will do our best to help, we can normally arrange this for you.

Wedding License Applications

Before the wedding we send your license application form to the appropriate Town Hall so they can prepare your file. The four Town Halls in Paphos all have slightly different requirements for documents. Be reassured that we will give you the correct advice on the paperwork required. Please do not rely on information you see on Facebook as much of it is incorrect!  When you arrive your wedding planner will  take you to the Town Hall to obtain your special Marriage License.  Both the bride and the groom must attend this meeting. There will be paperwork to sign, and you will need to supply your witnesses details, including their passport numbers. If you do not have any witnesses we can provide them for you, we have witnessed many weddings!

Please check all the details on the paperwork you are given at the Town Hall very carefully. This information will go onto your marriage certificate and cannot be easily corrected later. If you are having an Anglican Church wedding  a Certificate of Notification will be issued by the Town Hall. You will need to take this with you to your pre-wedding meeting with the church. We will arrange the date and time of this meeting for you. The Marriage Officer will give you your marriage certificate on your wedding day. You can  request additional copies of the marriage certificate for a small additional charge. Please notify us in advance if you require copies, so we can inform the Town Hall.