Everything you need to know about marriage in Andorra

30 Jul 2023·19 min to read
Articles
Everything you need to know about marriage in Andorra 01

Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra, is a country in Europe famous for its tourism and ski resorts. Every year, over 250 people get married in the small, independent country. Andorra is both a country and a principality. The country is governed by two princes, and it remains the only country in the world where Catalan is the official language. A lot of visitors and tourists from other countries visit Andorra annually, and in some cases, some decide to tie the knot there. Both foreigners and Andorran nationals are allowed to get married in the country. 

There are various ways through which marriages are contracted in Andorra; however, only civil marriages are recognized and protected under the laws of the country. Couples may decide to perform a religious, traditional, or symbolic wedding. Religious and civil marriages are the most popular types of marriages in the country. Most Andorrans are Christians, and the majority of the wedding ceremonies performed are in churches. Church ceremonies are often attended by the respective families and friends of the bride and groom. However, it all
It comes down to the preferences of both couples for how many guests they want at their ceremony. Couples may decide to go big or small depending on their financial capabilities and personal choices. 

Weddings are very important occasions in the country, and their celebrations often last several hours. Andorran wedding receptions are usually packed with various ceremonial rites that are performed by the best man, maid of honor, and other members of the wedding party. Andorra recognizes civil unions and partnerships. Spouses are able to enjoy most of the marriage rights and benefits by living together without facing all the marriage formalities in the country. As you read on, you will find out more about the types of marriage in Andorra as well as their customs and traditions. Let’s get started.

Civil marriages 

Civil marriages in Andorra are performed in the presence of a state-authorized marriage registrar in the civil registry. This is the only type of marriage that is legal in Andorra and other countries around the world. Both foreign spouses and Andorran nationals are allowed to perform this type of marriage. To register a marriage and hold a civil ceremony, both spouses must meet certain criteria and submit the necessary paperwork. The paperwork is often submitted for the purpose of verifying the identity of the spouses and ensuring they are fully eligible for marriage in the country. To apply for a marriage license in Andorra, spouses may use the official marriage registration website of the country. 

On the website, they will be able to download an application for a marriage license. This form must be filled out by both spouses with the inclusion of all required documents. Upon its submission, spouses have the freedom to determine how they would like to receive their license. The license can either be obtained at their home address or in person at the civil registry office. For a marriage to be legally binding in Andorra, it must be performed at the civil registry office. Once both spouses obtain a marriage certificate, they have the freedom to perform any other type of wedding or marriage. Most couples in the country often organize two marriage ceremonies. The first is a civil marriage, and the second is usually held in a church. However, there are several cases where couples perform only civil ceremonies. 

Both spouses who intend to get married must not be related to each other. Foreign spouses are required to provide either a certificate of no impediment to marriage or an affidavit of their single status. The certificate of no impediment to marriage may be obtained from the concerned authorities in the spouse's home country or at the embassy of their country in Andorra. In cases where this document cannot be provided, spouses may provide a court-sworn affidavit attesting that they are currently single and have never been married. Spouses who were previously married will be required to show evidence that they ended such a previous marriage legally. 

The minimum legal age for marriage in Andorra is 18 years for both male and female spouses. Under certain conditions, spouses younger than this age—up to 16 or even 14 years old—may be allowed to perform a marriage in the country; however, they must provide parental consent as well as judicial authority. All documents obtained from foreign countries must be translated to Catalan, the official language in Andorra, by a certified translator. Spouses who do not speak this language may provide an interpreter during the wedding ceremony. All foreign documents must also be formally legalized with an apostille stamp. The documents that must be submitted by both spouses are stated below.

Documents Required 

  • A valid means of identification, such as a national ID card from Andorra and valid passports from foreigners
  • Government-issued birth certificates must be submitted by both spouses.
  • Proof of residence. At least one of the spouses must provide their legal address in the country as proof of residency.
  • Certificate of marital status. If either of the spouses is separated or widowed, they are required to submit either a divorce or death certificate as evidence of the legal termination of such marriage.
  • A residence permit from the immigration service in Andorra may be requested by foreign spouses.
  • Certificate of No Impediment to Marrying in Andorra

Religious marriages 

In Andorra, there is no official state religion. Couples have the freedom to practice any religion of their choice and get married in their place of worship. Andorra is dominated by Christians. The population of Muslims in the country is quite small in comparison. The Roman Catholic Church is the largest denomination, and most marriages are performed in the Catholic Church. To get married in the church, both spouses are required to begin the process by making an official declaration of their intention to marry. 

This public announcement is usually banns published in the church bulletin. Both spouses are required to see the priest to make all necessary marriage arrangements and also know the criteria to get married in such a church. Spouses will be required to provide their valid baptismal certificate, amongst other documents. The priest also confirmed that neither spouse had previously contracted a marriage in the church.

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Marriage traditions in Andorra

Bachelor Party

Before the actual wedding day, the groom’s best man and his closest friends will organize a party for him. In some cases, there are different locations where the party takes place. The groom is expected to have one last wild night of adventure before he officially becomes a married man. Most times, bachelor parties are held in a bar.

Bridal Dress 

In Andorra, it is customary for the bride to be dressed in a white wedding gown. The design of the gown is totally up to her choice; however, most brides use wedding veils. The veil may be attached to her dress or hair and is removed during the church service by the groom.

Exchange of vows

During the church service, the priest asks the congregation if there is anyone who would not like the spouses to be joined together. If nobody objects, the bride and groom go ahead and share their marriage vows, in which they promise to love each other forever. The vows may be personalized by the respective spouses.

Same-sex marriages 

In Andorra, homosexuality and same-sex sexual activities are legal. They became legal in 1971. In 2014, the country started recognizing and accepting civil unions between spouses of the same sex. This year, discrimination against same-sex couples was constitutionally banned. As of 2023, same-sex couples are not able to legally marry each other in Andorra. Same-sex couples in the country have access to all marriage rights and benefits, including adoption.

Polygamous marriages 

Polygamy is illegal in Andorra. Multiple spouses are not allowed to get married to each other in any type of marriage, including those performed according to respective customs and traditions. All marriages in Andorra have a monogamous nature, and a man can only be married to one woman at a time. The same applies to women in the country.

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Marriage Laws and Rights, Costs and Duties

Laws

Marriage in Andorra is only permitted between two eligible people with the intention of starting a family. In Andorra, the legal age for marriage is set at 18 years for both men and women; however, exceptions are made for those who have not yet attained this legal age. Minors who are aged 14–16 years may be allowed to get married. The groom and bride must have a sound and stable mind to be able to get married; they must have an understanding of marriage and the rights, duties, and responsibilities it entails. The state of mind is also important when giving consent to marriage. The law requires that the groom and bride give free and willing consent to marriage; therefore, for anyone to give clear consent, he or she must be in a stable state of mind to give consent to marriage. 

The use of force, violence, or threats to obtain consent from the bride or groom is against the law. Marriage must not be allowed between two people who are related. The bride and groom cannot marry anyone they are directly related to by blood, indirectly related to by marriage, or adopted from, as it is against the law of marriage in Andorra. The groom and bride must be single at the time of marriage; they must not be in any legally subsisting marriage with another person. They must either be unmarried, widowed, or divorced to get married. In Andorra, civil unions are recognized under the law for both heterosexual and homosexual couples. Same-sex couples are not allowed to contract marriage, but they can be in a legally binding civil partnership. 

This applies to heterosexual couples who do not want to be in an official marriage but wish to be recognized as partners. If any of the couple has been married in the past but the marriage has been dissolved due to divorce or the death of one of the spouses, the concerned party is required by law to submit a decree absolute of divorce or a death certificate to the appropriate authorities. Mixed marriages between foreigners and Andorrans are legal if the couple provides and verifies all necessary documentation. Polygamous marriages are against the law in Andorra; both the groom and bride are not allowed to marry more than one partner at the same time.

Rights

In Andorra, couples enjoy equality of rights in marriage. The groom and bride have the right to work and earn payment for that work. Both the husband and wife have the right to participate in social and economic activities outside the confines of the home. The couple has the right to raise their children according to their religious or moral inclinations. Legal guardianship and parental authority are two of the rights of couples over their children in marriage. Spouses have the right to vote and be voted for; they have the right to exercise their political rights by participating in politics or running for political offices in government. 

The right to own property and financial assets is available for couples in Andorra. The marital regime of property that determines how properties in marriage are to be controlled must be decided at the time of registering marriage. Couples can decide to adopt a joint marital regime of property where all the properties of the couple that were obtained before and during marriage, excluding personal belongings, become the property of the husband and wife. The husband and wife have the joint right to use and dispose of any property under the joint marital regime. 

In the same light, couples also have the right to choose a separate marital regime of property, where all properties obtained before and during marriage are owned separately by the couple. They both have the authority to initiate and finalize divorce proceedings. The wife has the same right as the husband to file for divorce once it is perceived that the marriage is no longer working. They both have the right to receive custody of the children, and they both enjoy visitation rights as well. They enjoy parental rights even after divorce because these rights cannot be renounced.

Costs

In Andorra, the cost of marriage in Andorra depends on which type of marriage is being contracted. To contract a civil marriage, couples should expect to spend around €30–50 to obtain a marriage license. An average of €300 is spent on an average religious ceremony in Andorra. Couples tend to spend more on wedding receptions than the official wedding. In Andorra, the average cost of a wedding ceremony is estimated to be around €2,000–€4,000. 

It can easily increase depending on the day chosen for the ceremony, the size of the wedding, and the financial ability of the couple. The average cost for hotel accommodations starts at €79, and the highest price for hotel accommodations is €233 per night. The cost of the ceremony is shared by both couples.

Duties

Marriage comes with duties and responsibilities that couples have to fulfill in order to ensure that the family functions properly. The husband and wife have a duty to ensure that all the needs of the family are met. The material and non-material needs of the family should be their responsibility. The wife is responsible for the domestic housework and the welfare and wellbeing of the family, while the husband is concerned with the economic and financial well-being of the family. 

These roles, however, are not set in stone; they can be taken on interchangeably or jointly. The wife and husband have a duty to jointly contribute to the health and comfort of the family according to their means. The couple must make it a duty to provide for the needs of the children in the home. Provide them with a proper educational upbringing and ensure that they have a good moral background. The husband and wife have a responsibility to be committed to marriage, protect one another, respect each other, be faithful, and respect each other's beliefs and opinions.

Final Thoughts 

The process of getting married in Andorra is quite straightforward for both Andorran nationals and foreigners. Couples can begin their marriage application process online and obtain a marriage license. The processing time often takes a period of 15 working days before couples are able to obtain a marriage license. At least one of the spouses is required to currently reside in Andorra at the time of marriage.

The majority of the people living in Andorra are Christians, and most marriages are performed under this religious belief. Marriage is a big deal to the Andorrans, and most weddings are performed in a lavish ceremony. After couples get married civilly, their marriage becomes recognized in Andorra and other foreign countries. This article includes everything you need to know about marriage in Andorra.

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