Malta has been emerging as a favourite destination wedding location and for good reason!
After holidaying in Malta & Gozo, I find it easy to see why this little island in the Mediterranean is such an appealing wedding abroad location.
Fabulous weather, friendly locals, delicious food, ease of communication (English and Maltese are both official languages), great public transport (even for my elderly parents), accommodation to suit all budgets and importantly the option to have a wedding that won’t break the bank…Malta has something for everyone!
To highlight the benefits of getting married in Malta, I have asked Martina who is a wedding planner Malta specialist from Wed Our Way, to provide some insider information in the form of a “Malta Destination Wedding Guide”.
In Part 1, Martina will walk us through the legal process and provides insider tips on how you can personalise your civil ceremony. Finally, Martina will give us her top picks for ceremony venues, including some hidden gems that you won’t find in the tour brochures!
One of the greatest advantages about getting married in Malta is that couples from all over the world can legally marry, with no need to be residents of the country. Malta is also a gay marriage friendly country, as in April of 2014 same sex civil unions became legal in the country.
The wedding ceremony is by default performed in English, which makes this Mediterranean country even more attractive to destination couples. It is also important to note that both religious and civil ceremonies are legally binding.
In order to obtain a marriage licence you will need to prepare one set of documents (in a case of civil ceremony) and two sets of documents (if you decide to have a church wedding ceremony).
For church marriages, be sure that you check with your parish for any guidelines you must follow as well. For Catholic ceremonies you will need to supply documentation to the Chancellory, which after approval is sent to the Curia in Malta. For Anglican ceremonies you will need to contact the Chaplaincy to make arrangements.
Be prepared to produce the following documents as you prepare for your destination wedding:
- Original birth certificates for both the groom and bride that show parents’ names.
- Free Status Certificate showing that the couple is free to marry. For couples from the UK, 3rd Party Declaration is required instead of Free Status. For couples whose countries issue Free Status but are non-English, translation is required together with the Apostille Stamp given by the ministry of foreign affairs.
- Request for the Publications of the Bans, filled in and singed by both the bride and groom. This form is given to a couple by the Public Registry or by their wedding planner.
- Declarations of Oath for both the bride and groom. This needs to be stamped by a notary or solicitor.
- Copies of passports of bride, groom, and 2 witnesses.
It is very important to keep in mind that most forms listed above can’t be dated more than 3 months prior to a wedding date, and the application should not be submitted less than 6 weeks before your wedding date.
You will need to pay legal administration fees in the amount of €52 for civil and €102 for a church wedding ceremony. Apart from this cost couples who are getting married in the church need to keep in mind curia administration fees of €120, and couples who have a civil ceremony outside of Public Registry need to settle transportation for the wedding celebrant.
A civil ceremony in Malta is very short (10-15 minutes) and mostly contains legal facts. You can personalise your ceremony by adding two readings and creating your personal vows. It is very important to submit the chosen reading and vows no later than 3 weeks prior to your wedding date.
Religious Wedding Ceremony Venues
For couples who wish to have a church wedding ceremony, Malta has 2 Anglican Cathedrals and 359 Catholic Churches.
The Sanctuary of Our Lady – Chapel
Located in the north part of the island, in the small picturesque village of Melieha, this chapel is one of the most beautiful and popular venues for religious weddings in Malta.
What makes this chapel our hot pick?
The sea views from the church front patio are spectacular.
Size – The chapel can fit up to 100 people yet it will feel cozy even with group of 20.
History – This is one of the oldest chapels in Malta with lots of history behind it. The Crypt of Our Lady of Melieha was originally one of the many natural caves found around the northern part of the island.
St. Paul’s Cathedral – Mdina
St. Paul’s Cathedral is located in Mdina, the former capital city also well known as the ‘’Silent City’’, in a very tranquil, beautiful and historic place.
What makes this church our hot pick?
Grandiose and luxurious feel – If you wish to impress your guests right from the beginning of your wedding day, this cathedral is a great pick for a church ceremony. St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the biggest cathedrals in Europe.
Location – Located in the silent city of Mdina (former capital of Malta), it is one of the top places for you and your guests to visit during your stay in Malta.
It provides a beautiful background for your wedding photos, with narrow, lime stone alleys of Mdina that make the location of this church one of the best picks for your post wedding photographs.
St. Paul’s Pro-Cathedral, Valetta
Located in the capital of Malta, Valletta, St. Paul’s Pro-Cathedral is one of two Anglican churches in Malta.
What makes this church our hot pick?
Exception – It’s one of only two churches of England in Malta, making it very popular among British couples.
Location – Valletta is a must see place in Malta, the capital city and main harbour.
Elegant look – This church has a very unique and elegant look.
Civil Wedding Ceremony Venues
For couples getting married in Malta who wish to have a civil ceremony there several locations where they can hold their ceremonies.
- Wedding Halls
- Hotels and Restaurants
- Public Gardens
- Castles and palaces
- Local Councils
- Cruise Liners
- Approved Beach Areas
Villa Bologna is by far our most popular wedding venue for both the ceremony and reception. This secret garden is a perfect choice for private, elegant ceremonies with a touch of vintage style.
Important tip about this venue:
Villa Bologna has two gardens and the time of year and day will define which one is the best choice for your ceremony. The grand isle in the Nymhpeum garden features a beautiful lime stone isle, and for summer wedding ceremonies that start before 5 PM, Dolphin garden will be better choice with a tree-shaded ceremony location.
This is an absolutely stunning sea-view venue located in the capital of Malta, Valletta. Views of Grand Harbour will surpass expectations of your guests.
Tip about this ceremony pick:
You can plan a lovely photo-shoot in the upper Barakka Gardens after your wedding ceremony, or like one of our couples did, take your guests for a tour around Valletta before the reception.
Beautiful sea-view venue suitable for smaller destination weddings of up to 60 guests.
What we love:
The elegant setup that comes with this venue and you will be amazed by number of hidden unique points within this venue that will be perfect for your post ceremony photo session. Your guests can enjoy a glass of sparkling wine and canapés with views of the Mediterranean Sea while you do your first photo shots as a married couple.
If luxury is what you’re looking for, Palazzo Parisio is definitely the venue for your ceremony.
Why we love this venue:
This palace from the 19th Century has everything destination couple can want for their ceremony – elegance, history, lavish outdoor gardens, and a luxury feel. The Grand Ballroom and terrace overlooking the garden are the most poplar spots for wedding ceremonies at this one-of-a kind venue.
Find out More
To ask a question about have a wedding in Malta, please use the form below as a quick and easy way to contact Martina from Wed Our Way a Wedding Planner Malta specialist, who will be more than happy to help you.