It used to be that you needed a 30 day residency requirement before you could be legally wed in Tahiti. Well, not anymore!
Don’t get me wrong, there is still a good amount of paperwork to sort through before legally marrying in Tahiti and you need to allow about 6 months to get that all prepared and approved. If that isn’t you cup of joe, then you can always opt for a symbolic ceremony and have that wonderful Tahiti wedding without all the legal paperwork.
New Legal Requirements:
Both spouses need to be at least 18 years of age
Both spouses cannot be already married
Spouses must be of opposite sex
Cannot be of French origin or have French residential status in France or its territories
Both spouses must be in Tahiti at least 3 days prior to the ceremony
Bride and groom must each choose a witness who is 18 years of age or older
A translator/interpreter must be present at the ceremony (the resort may provide this)
The <Marriage of Foreign Citizens in French Polynesia > form must be completed
A certified copy of each future spouse’s birth certificate (it is important that the certified copies of the birth certificates cannot be issued more than 6 months prior to the wedding)
An Apostlile authenticating the certified copy of the birth certificate
A letter to the Mayor of the commune in which the marriage is to take place]
The certificate of non-marital status
Proof of residency for each future spouse
A prenuptial agreement (optional)
The 4 documents from the above that need to be translated into French before arriving in Tahiti are the certified copies of your birth certificates, the Apostilles, the Certificate of non-martial status, the prenuptial agreement is choosing
How much does the legal wedding process cost?
From $700 to $1300 CAD approximately when factoring in a translator, lawyer fees, ordering and sending of documents.
How long does the process take?
The entire process should take from 3-5 months from the time the documents are ordered to the time you are assigned a wedding date. Please remember that certified copies of the birth certificates are valid in Tahiti for 6 months from the date of issue only. Therefore be sure not to have certified copies of your birth certificates ordered more than 6 months from your wedding date.
After all documents are filled out and translated, expedite all materials to the Mayer’s office in Tahiti at least 45 days prior to the ceremony of the commune in which you are getting married. After the Mayor receives them, the mayor’s office will send you an approval letter. You must have this approval letter with you on the day or your ceremony!
What is an Apostille?
An Apostille is an internationally recognized document that certifies the authentication of a document.
What if one of us is divorced?
If one of you has been previously married, that person must have their divorce papers finalized and the process completed before they can marry in Tahiti. The divorce papers can be given to the couple’s lawyer who can help to obtain the certificate of Non-martial status.
On the day of your cereomony, the bridal couple and witnesses will go to city hall (called Mairie in Tahiti).
The Mayor or appointed representative will perform the ceremony in presence of witnesses and translator
After the marriage, the mayor will give the spouses a Marriage Certificate that will prove that the marriage is legal when going back to Canada (or country of origin).
This ceremony at city hall is mantadory and takes about 15 minutes. Then you can proceed to have your traditional ceremony at the resort of your choice – perhaps in a wedding chapel, overwater bungalow, on the beach, Private Island or hill top. There are so many locations to pick from!
Links, documents and resources!
3 documents that you need to fill out:
French Consulates in Canada – contact for translation of documents, certifying documents, further advice:Vancouver office: 604-637-5300, www.consulfrance-vancouver.org . This office serves AB, BC, NT. Toronto office: 416-847-1900, http://www.consulfrance-toronto.org/. This office serves ON, MB, SK.