Language barrier, formalities and hiring a local wedding consultant

Fot. Say Yes To Madeira

I do not speak Portuguese- Can I get even married in Portugal?


No worries – not speaking Portuguese, or even having poor knowledge of English, is not an obstacle to getting married in Madeira.

The wedding ceremony will take place in the presence of a representative of the Portuguese civil registry office and any necessary translators. For people, who do speak English fluently, the wedding consultant herself will fulfil this function and no additional translators are required. 

What about the formalities of getting married in Portugal?

Portugal is one of the few European countries that allow marriages of non-citizens or residents. Bureaucracy can, however, be quite an obstacle for foreigners, and here we recommend using the services of a wedding planner.

A local wedding planner/wedding consultant living in Madeira can, after obtaining a scanned copy of a couple of basic documents by e-mail, arrange all formalities in a very short time. By using her services, we are sure that the most important points will be dealt with correctly and you will not encounter any unpleasant surprises upon arrival in Madeira.


An interesting fact is that during the Portuguese wedding ceremony no documents are signed, all you need is a verbal oath. The role of wedding witnesses is also only symbolic.

Is it necessary to hire a wedding planner/wedding consultant in Madeira?

While a wedding planner’s assistance in booking a venue, photographer, hairdresser etc. is convenient and recommended, it is not absolutely necessary. In the case of formalities, organising everything without knowing the language, at a distance, without the help of an experienced person knowing exactly which office you should go to, is… if not impossible, at least very, very difficult. 

We recommend using a local wedding planner’s services while arranging the entire event.


Obrączki ślubne - Nasza najlepsza pamiątka z wesela na Maderze
Fot.: Miguel Ponte Photography

During our wedding in Funchal in 2017, we used the services of a local wedding consultant. She knows from her own experience, which civil registry offices on the island are the friendliest for wedding tourists, and she can arrange everything smoothly on your behalf.

After arriving at Madeira, all we had to do was deliver the original documents. The wedding planner, on our behalf, organised a mandatory meeting in the carefully selected civil registry office, where it took us about 10 minutes to arrange pre-marriage formalities. The office is located outside the city, so her services also included driving us there and accompanying us throughout the entire meeting.

Another advantage of using the services of the local wedding planner is that afterwards, you will have a reliable contact person on the island to help us when it is needed. For example, if you need more original copies of the documentation (if you live abroad and the local municipality or another office also asks for one) you can always contact the planner, who, for a small additional fee, will send you the required documents.

You do not have to stay on the island after the wedding, waiting for the marriage certificate. A few days after, the consultant goes to the same office to receive your files, which she sends to your country of residence and also returns some of the originals provided to you. You receive two marriage certificates: the original Portuguese and the international version. With these documents, you can go to your local registry in order to register the marriage and change your name.

Advantages of hiring a wedding planner/wedding consultant in Madeira


The advantages of letting the wedding planner take care of the entire wedding planning process (so not only the formalities part but also finding a venue, suppliers etc.) are many. I highly recommend this option because:

– The consultant knows many great venues, which can not be found easily on the internet; she will know where to go to meet your expectations; even the strangest!

– She knows the price ranges in many places, so she knows immediately, which options are most appropriate for your budget, so you do not have to waste time on contacting multiple companies;

– You can be sure that everything will be dealt with correctly, and thanks to her experience, any sudden changes, emergency situations or problems can be resolved efficiently;

– However, above all, thanks to her experience and connections, the consultant will be able to negotiate the best prices and conditions for her clients. It means that, especially in the case of bigger parties, you can get a good return on your investment. She can even get you better rates on transportation, accommodation and additional activities and tours. 

Would you like to start planning your wedding in Madeira or Porto Santo? Do you have any wedding-related questions? Feel free to contact us!


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Advantages of hiring a local wedding consultant in Madeira - Organize your dream destination wedding in Europe.

Comments (2)

  1. Thank you for all the info on getting married in Madeira, Portugal. It is such a great place to have a destination wedding, and your post highlights how important it really is to have a wedding planner there!

  2. This sounds like a gorgeous spot to get married! Would love to see more photos from your wedding! I definitely agree about hiring a wedding planner. It seems like it would make the process of planning from a far way easier. Thanks for the tips!!

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