Getting married is a great way to start a new chapter in your life. It's also a beautiful thing to be able to share it with your partner in person, but sometimes things don't go according to plan. Especially, if your time is involved. For whatever reason you may have, getting married quickly might be your only option. With the wonders of technology, you can finally say “I do!,” to your beau and get your marriage certificate in 48 hours. All you need is a good internet connection, a valid ID, and a couple of documents.

Are online marriages legal in the Philippines?

In the Philippines, marriage is a civil union and not a religious or spiritual ceremony. Thanks to the pandemic, our whole lives shifted into the online world–from education to work. So, it’s no surprise that marriage should also adapt to the new normal. In 2021, the House of Representatives filed a bill proposing virtual marriages to be considered legal and valid under the Family Code of the Philippines. It is called the “Virtual Marriage Act.”

Public reception of the bill was mixed. Many Filipinos were opposed to the idea of online marriages in the Philippines because they believe it takes away the spiritual and cultural essence of the ceremony, while others found it convenient. Online marriages are considered timely and practical. Couples no longer have to deal with the minimum standard protocols for the church or venue if the ceremony is online.

Currently, for a Philippine marriage to be legally valid, the bride, groom, witnesses, and solemnizing officer must all be physically present in one place to hold the wedding ceremony. If any one of them could not be present at the wedding venue, and would instead be joining virtually, the marriage is non-binding.

Until the Virtual Marriage Act is approved and the current provisions on the essential and formal requisites of a valid marriage are amended, Filipino weddings must be done in the flesh before a solemnizing officer and other witnesses.

That being said, there are ways to get around this by getting legally married abroad.

Are online marriages performed in the US legal in the Philippines?

The short answer is: YES!

Although Filipino marriage licenses do not allow online marriage, other countries, like the US, have actually legalized online marriage. In 2020, Utah County legalized getting married completely online, meaning that everything from the marriage license to the wedding ceremony can all be done online.

According to Article 26 of the Family Code of the Philippines, a marriage celebrated abroad is valid in the Philippines provided that the same is also valid in the place where it was celebrated. Since online marriage is considered valid and legal in the US through Utah County, it would also be recognized in Philippines as a valid marriage.

What if I want to get married traditionally in the Philippines? What are the steps required?

Getting married in the Philippines is a long process. If you have time constraints and need to get hitched as soon as possible, it will be a big challenge. A Philippines civil marriage license is required before the ceremony can be performed. A marriage license is issued by the local civil registrar in the municipality where the wedding will take place. The marriage license is valid for only 30 days from its issuance date, and must be renewed every 30 days there after (or more often if needed) until you get married!

The usual requirements for getting married in the Philippines include:

  • At least one person needs to submit an affidavit stating that they are free from any kind of legal relationship with another person (such as common-law marriage). This means that there are no other spouses involved in your life or vice versa (unless this was already stated).
  • Both parties need to submit their passport validations showing that they will return home after their honeymoon vacation abroad if requested by their respective governments.

Compared to this lengthy process it’s way easier to get married in the Philippines with Courtly. All you need is a valid ID, and a great internet connection, and within 48 hours you can get your marriage certificate. You can even enjoy your honeymoon without thinking of paperwork! 

What is the step-by-step process to get married online in the Philippines?

Using Courtly, couples may do the entire process online from any place. A legitimate U.S. marriage certificate may be acquired quickly, easily, and in most cases, in less than 48 hours, without any documentation.

1.Complete the sign-up procedure by creating an account.

It's as simple as ABC to register with Courtly to be married online! To join up, simply click the "Get Married" icon in the top right corner and follow the on-screen instructions. As soon as you create your account, you should be able to access it.

2. Upload your pictures and private data.

A government-issued I.D. with the applicant's name and birthday clearly displayed is required. In order to help you obtain your marriage license, our concierge will use our secure I.D. verification procedure. Our system accepts several types of I.D.s from more than 200 nations!

We will check for any ambiguities and work with the authorities to make sure everything is ready for your big day.

3. Decide on the ceremony's format, setting, and officiant.

It's time to act! Choose a venue and ceremony style that suits you. Depending on the time and day you select, we'll match you with one of Courtly's legally qualified US officiants.

4. After paying for your wedding package, you will get an email confirmation.

Make the payment and watch for Courtly's email of confirmation. When this is finished, the wedding bells should start to sound!

5. Join your family and friends online to celebrate your marriage!

Finally, get hitched online while lounging in your house (or any other place with a strong internet connection!). It should take roughly 15 minutes to complete the ceremony.

A digital copy of your U.S. marriage certificate will be sent to you immediately after your online wedding, and a printed copy will be sent to you within a few business days. Soon after the wedding, you may download your digital marriage license.

Is there a need to get your online marriage registered in the Philippines?

If you would like your marriage to be recognized in the Philippines, then online marriage between Filipinos or between a Filipino and a foreign national must be reported and registered with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) via the Philippine Embassy/Consulate General in the area where the event occurred. You must provide the following:

  • Report of marriage form (notarized)
  • Marriage contract or certificate issued by the U.S.
  • Proof of Filipino citizenship of applicant/s at the time of marriage
  • Birth certification of both parties
  • Valid passports or I.D

If you want to avoid a time-consuming process, you have the option to have the marriage certificate we provide you appended with an Apostille Stamp, certifying its authenticity and legitimacy.

What is an Apostille and do I need one?

An apostille is a special certificate issued by the Secretary of State or the Lieutenant Governor that allows a legal document created in one country to be recognized in another. An apostille ensures that your marriage certificate is legal, verifiably authentic, and acceptable in any of the countries that have signed The Hague Apostille Convention of 1961.

Courtly provides Apostille certification, which can take between 15 to 30 business days to reach the Philippines after the online ceremony. 

How much does it cost to get married online in the Philippines?

Compared to planning an offline wedding, getting married online is significantly cheaper since you don’t have to pay for a venue, decorations, catering, wedding gown, etc. Venues alone can range from ₱100,000 to ₱1,000,000 per event. Courtly offers packages that cover everything you need for a successful online marriage.

Courtly’s standard marriage package includes a valid marriage license, online ceremony, and legal, US marriage certificate for just ₱26,999. There are extra fees if you want to include an apostille stamp or request witnesses. You can learn more about potential add-ons on Courtly’s Pricing Page.

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to get married in the Philippines, then an online wedding is a good choice. Marriage ceremonies have always been an important part of Filipino culture and traditions. Either offline or online, you can still find ways to make your online wedding a heartwarming event with friends and family. Just make sure you have a good internet connection.

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

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