The legal requirements for getting married in Croatia are relatively straightforward
The necessary documentation and the process to be followed in respect of the legal requirements for getting married in Croatia are outlined below. Please keep in mind that it is intended to be a starting point and guideline only.
Although much care and effort has been taken to ensure the information provided is correct please do not take it as legal advice. I strongly advise you to consult the Croatian Embassy or Consulate for first-hand information on the legal requirements for getting married in Croatia.
Please Note: Required documentation and the legal process may vary from nationality to nationality.
- A civil ceremony is the only legally binding type of ceremony in Croatia
- Civil ceremonies can take place in almost any location, provided it has approval from the Registry Office
- There is no minimum residency period
- A court-appointed translator must be present if either of the couple does not speak Croatian
- You may have a religious ceremony either before or after a civil ceremony has taken place, either in Croatia or in your own country
In Croatia a civil ceremony is the only legally recognised marriage ceremony
It is still possible to have a religious ceremony however you must also have a civil ceremony either in Croatia or your home country. The format of a Croatia wedding ceremony is very similar to those conducted in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
If you choose to have a civil service as your Croatia wedding ceremony it can be conducted in the town hall of the town where you are staying or in any outdoor location of your choice, provided it has approval from the Registry Office.
A civil ceremony takes approximately 25 minutes and is conducted in Croatian. If either of the couple does not speak Croatian a court-appointed translator must be present to translate your ceremony into English. The cost of this is paid by the couple.
If you wish to personalise your civil ceremony you have the option to choose your own music and readings.
If you wish to have a religious Croatia wedding ceremony, the following ceremonies can be performed:
- Catholic ceremony – can only take place in a church,
- Evangelistic ceremony – can take place in a church or outdoor location of your choice,
- Orthodox ceremony
- Muslim Ceremony
As the population of Croatia is predominantly Catholic, there are many churches and little chapels where you can choose to have your wedding ceremony. Croatians are very proud of their town church and try to keep it well maintained.
It is possible to find an English speaking Priest to conduct your wedding ceremony, which will usually consist of a full mass of 50 minutes. If you are using a Wedding Planner they should be able to help book an English speaking Priest.
The following documentation is required:
- Copy of Baptismal certificate (not older than 6 months)
- Permission to get married outside your local parish
- (If couple not legally married) Certificate from the local Registry Office (Maticar), confirming they can enter into a religious marriage.
- (If the couple is already married) Marriage certificate
- Discharge certificate
For a full list of the documentation required for all other religions you should contact your local religious institution in Croatia.
All documentation is required to be original or certified copies and translated into Croatian by the relevant authorities.
All documentation must be submitted to the Registrar at the Town Hall 30 to 45 days prior to your wedding taking place. If you are using a wedding planner they will organise this on your behalf. However, if you are organising your own wedding you will need to make provisions to ensure your documentation is correctly submitted and lodged on time.
The following documentation for both the bride and groom is required to be presented when applying for a marriage licence in Croatia.