Planning a destination wedding in Tahiti can be difficult. Here are the rules of having a legal, binding ceremony in the Tahitian Islands:
Eligibility to Get Married in Tahiti
- Both spouses must be at least 18 years old.
- Neither spouse can be currently married.
- The couple cannot be related by direct lineage.
- The couple cannot be French nationals or residents of France
- The bride and the groom must each choose a witness who must be 18 years of age or older (if the chosen witness is not present, the mayor’s office can provide a witness).
- The “Marriage of Foreign Citizens in French Polynesia” application must be completed.
- A letter signed and dated by both future spouses, addressed to the mayor of the commune chosen for the marriage ceremony.
- A copy of both spouses’ passports is required for proof of identity
- A certified copy of both spouses’ birth certificates authenticated with an “Apostille” (note: the birth certificates must have been issued less than 6 months prior to the date of the marriage). Both of the birth certificates and the “Apostille” must be translated into French by an approved translator and legalized by the French Consulate. Translators can be found on the consulate’s website.
- A “Certificate of Non-Marital Status” (“Certificat de Celibat”) signed by a lawyer, translated into French and legalized by the French Consulate. Lawyers can be found on the consulate’s website.
- Proof of residency for both of the future spouses (a utility bill or any bill noting names and physical address will suffice). A photocopy of bills for both spouses is acceptable.
- Optional, if a prenuptial agreement has been created, it must be translated into French and authenticated by the French Consulate.
Send All Materials to French Polynesia!
- Expedite all materials to the mayor’s office of the commune in which the couple is getting married at least 45 days prior to the ceremony.
- The mayor’s office will then contact the bride and groom to advise them of the approved date and time of the wedding.
About The Wedding Ceremony
- On the day of the wedding ceremony the couple, their guests and the witnesses go to the city hall (Mairie).
- The mayor (or an appointed representative from the mayor’s office) will perform the ceremony, in the presence of at least two witnesses in the language chosen by the wedding couple.
- After the ceremony, the mayor will give the couple a Marriage Certificate. This certificate will be dated and signed by the mayor’s office of the commune in which the marriage takes place.
Due to the complexity of the legal ceremony many resorts offer symbolic wedding ceremonies. The couple can get married by their pastor or at the courthouse in their home-town and then have their dream beach wedding on a resort property. Or the couple can work with a local wedding coordinator on having the ceremony on a private beach off of the hotel property.
Not only does the symbolic ceremony require much less planning, but the price difference is quite significant; sometimes by multiple thousands of dollars.
Are you interested in having your wedding ceremony on the beaches of an island in Tahiti? Contact me here!