Apart from its obvious attractions such as climate and language, Gibraltar is becoming an increasingly popular venue for couples who wish to get married without the tedium of residency restriction, paperwork, or regulations that govern English and other European countries.
Gibraltar’s quick, hassle free, wedding system has attracted the like of John Lennon, who in 1963 married Yoko Ono on the Rock, to the surprise of English press in an event that is still proudly remembered by local Gibraltarians.
The attractions are obvious to see; firstly you must select a date, ideally three months in advance to ensure that the registrar is available on your chosen date. That all you have to do until the day before your chosen date, when you need to obtain the special marriage license, which will involve submitting a certificate to that effect that you are free to marry from your Civil Authority. In addition you’ll need your birth certificates. (Should it be in another language, then both documents should be translated into English). You will also need your passports.
If you’ve been married or widowed before, or are under 18 or have changed your name by deed poll or some other way, you will need to check with the Gibraltar registry office for further information.
With this documentation in hand you simply apply in person at the Registry office in Gibraltar and to swear and affidavit each before a Gibraltar Commissioner for Oaths.
The registry office then will allocate a time for you, and the following day would be your wedding day! A day for you to enjoy after all the tedious paperwork.
After the service Gibraltar has many beautiful spots where your wedding pictures can be taken, including the picturesque Alameda Botanical Gardens, with the ‘Rock’ as a background or by the sea.
A lunch or champagne reception could be had at a beautiful venue overlooking the Marina and the Strait of Gibraltar. There are beautiful restaurants, which have the finest selection of food and wine from all over the world, catering for a delicious lunch or a romantic dinner.
Twenty minutes from Gibraltar, in the Andalusia mountains, there are a variety of luxurious hotels with spas including hairdressers, masseurs and beauticians, with golfing and horse riding facilities, for your perfect honeymoon with a difference. Double rooms range from €155.00 per night, plus IVA, with breakfast often included.
Alternatively you could stay at a marina hotel in the prestigious port of Sotogrande.
For those who are looking for something a little more peaceful there are some charming beach hotels near Tarifa, which is on the Atlantic side of the coast, and more of a rural area
There are plenty of things to be done in Andalusia and Gibraltar from Dolphin Safaris and Rock tours to diving or windsurfing in Tarifa.
In the afternoon before your wedding day, perhaps you have time for some pampering, e.g. facial, manicure or/ and pedicure? There are lovely Hotels in Gibraltar, each with it’s own charm and depending on what you wish it can be either central or a little further out (still within walking distance) with beautiful views over the Bay of Gibraltar.
If you find the choice overwhelms you, you can even choose to use the services of a wedding consultant – Jeanette Obytz, who runs Mediterranean Weddings, recommends Gibraltar to her clients because of its liberal residency requirements and relaxing atmosphere, as well as the obvious attraction of such an exotic and historical location:
“We like our clients to feel that they can enjoy all the fun of the decision making without having to worry about how to make it all work. Our skills and local knowledge mean that we can offer excellent value for money while ensuring that their day is memorable for all the right reasons.”
If this sounds like the sort of wedding you are looking for Jeanette would be delighted to meet up with you for an informal chat either in person or by telephone to see how she could be of assistance to you on your wedding day and the lead up to the event.