A Civil Wedding in the Philippines

When traveling to the Philippines to marry someone special, you may encounter the term “Civil Wedding”, as opposed to a church wedding. The civil wedding is much cheaper, quicker and convenient.

The traditional  civil wedding is usually conducted by a judge of the RTC Court. However, it can also be performed by the Mayor of a city.

If you plan to marry in the Philippines, then you will first hve to go to the embassy, present your passport and any original copy of any divorce or annulment decrees, and obtain a “Certificate of Capacity to Marry”.  Next, you present the Certificate of Capacity to the Municipal Clerk along with your passport and the ladies documentation, and receive your marriage contract.  By law, you must then wait 10 days before you can marry. This is a so–called “cooling off period”, to allow you to make sure you are doing the right thing, or in case you change your mind. You will go through this process no matter whether a formal church wedding, or just a civil wedding. During the waiting period, you and your fiancee will have time to search for your Ninong and Ninang. (The godfather/s, godmother/s and sponsors).

While here this month, I am fortunate enough to be invited to a civil wedding between two Philippine citizens. They also agreed to allow me to video their civil wedding, which takes place at the Muntinlupa Municipal Building by a judge. Upon returning to the states, in January, 2012, I will make that video available to you here at the website, and also on Youtube. The girl is 18 and is 9 months pregnant, so the wedding will save the child’s birth certificate from having “unknown” for the father.

Even though this wedding is not with an American, I am posting that video so that you can see how simple and quick the civil wedding is in the Philippines.

This Link,  will allow you to view Marriage Contracts and Birth Certificates and MANY other official documents issued by the NSO (National Security Office) and/or other oficial Philippine agencies. Just copy and paste into your browser.


It is a good idea to obtain at least TWO copies of every document your fiancee may need. (I suggest THREE). This is because some of the same documents will be needed by both the passport agency in the Philippines, as well as the United States Embassy for the petition! She will also need a birth certificate as well as her passport when obtaining a state Identification, or even school admission in the states.


The couple who’s civil wedding was captured on the video made it just in time. Today, Dec. 20th, 2011, at 10:45 am,  one day after the wedding, she (GingGing)  gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl (Named Janel)  right in the house with the assistance of a midwife. I was lucky enough to be present, and will post photos when I return to the states.  Both mother and baby are fine. But daddy Lloyd was expecting a boy! ha ha ha

oooooooo – 0 – oooooo

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FEEDBACK: As always, your comments, questions and/or suggestions are invited and greatly appreciated! Also, Should you have a “Philippine Based or Related” story you would like covered, please feel free to contact us! (Priority will be gioven to disability-related stories.). We are also interested in great Pilipino foods! If you have a favorite Carenderia or restaurant you think makes the greatest dish, let us know about it and what makes the food so great!

We are also always searching for host families in the Philippines, for our reporters/verifiers to stay (usually just 2 or 3 days) , this allows us to save money, help host families, and be neutral in reporting since it saves us from having any fiduciary interest or link to the location/s we are reporting on. Dont worry about the size of your house, or even if it is finished, we are adaptable. Even Bahay Kubo or Dampa, we have seen it all! (Any and all Host family contacts or identification is strictly confidential.)





13 thoughts on “A Civil Wedding in the Philippines

  1. If plan to visit next time to philippines i can be your host, it will be an honor. Maybe you would find our city interesting. Its the city of golden friendship. Thanks for the civil wedding info as i am planning be wedded soon a,d i choose civil wedding.

    • It depends if you already have your birth certificates ready. Any Pilipino citizen MUST have an original o certified NSO Birth Certificate get Marriage contract from clerk, Make the appointment with officiating Judge or Mayor, and have your fees and witnesses ready.

  2. I did a civil wedding. It was a nicer experience than I expected. I flew in Monday morning and with lots of help from a ‘fixer’ and her 7,000 peso fee, we were married two days later! No counseling, no seminar, no waiting period.

    I couldn’t get much time off from work and my girlfriend was also pregnant so we organized everything as best as we could and luckily our ‘fixer’ came through for us. I was back at work on Thursday. (I work in another country in Asia)

    The Monday I arrived, we went to the U.S. embassy for my ‘Affidavit In Lieu of Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry’. After that, it was off to our fixer’s office to give her the last of the required documents. Tuesday, we were informed of the time and place. Wednesday, it all came together. We started at the Judge’s place. Then we had a small feast at a local restaurant. Finally, a few of us went for karaoke followed by a small meal. Amazing how it all came together.

    I was married abroad previously, but we were never asked for translations of my previous divorce documents although we had prepared them. However, we were asked for 500 pesos unexpectedly at the Judge’s office. The office was also inconveniently located about an hour from central Cebu, but that didn’t stop fifteen of her close relatives from joining us on such short notice. It was actually kind of beautiful. If there is a will (and a bit of money), there is a way.

    • Thanks for your response. Although I am sure the government does not want outsiders to know it, but minor corruption DOES in fact exist. (It is commonly called laguyguy). SOmetime the SPIRIT of the law is more important than the LETTER of the law! In your case and considering the totality of the circumstances, the “fixer”, as you called her, and the 500 thast went to the judge later, made everything happen to your benefit for your civil wedding. Good Luck to You, your asawa and your newborn bata! God Bless and Mabuhay!

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