Tahiti’s marriage laws are quite simple, but the process does take longer than on other Polynesian islands.
Due to this, a lot of couples opt for a civil ceremony in their home country and a symbolic Tahitian wedding abroad.
The commune or island where the wedding will take place must be chosen by foreign tourists, along with the date of the event.
Couples are able to plan a symbolic, individualized event to honor their union after the civil ceremony.
Required Documents for legal marriage in Tahiti
1. Passport copies
Proof that both parties are who they say they are (copies of their passports).
The certified copy of the birth certificates for both partners that require an Apostille. Additionally, the birth certificates were to be issued no more than six months before the wedding.
2. Birth certificates copies
The birth certificate and the “Apostille” must be translated into French by an official translator or translation service that the French Consulate must stamp to make it official.
3. Certificate of Non-Marital Status
A “Certificate of Non-Marital Status” (Certificat de celibat) signed by an attorney, translated into French, and stamped by the French Consulate.
4. Proof of residency
Proof of residency for both people who are going to get married (a utility bill or any bill noting names and physical address will suffice). A copy of the utility bills for both partners is fine.
5. Letter to the Mayor
A letter, dated and signed by both future spouses, must be sent to the mayor of the municipality where the wedding will take place. The letter tells the mayor which language will be used for the ceremony.
6. All documents must be sent to Tahiti
Get everything to the Mayor’s office of the commune where the couple is getting married at least 45 days before the ceremony. After the application file is turned in, the mayor’s office will post a “publication desbans” that say they don’t object to the marriage.
The mayor’s office will then let the couple know when and where the wedding can take place.
Optional, if a prenuptial agreement has been made, it must be translated into French and signed by the French Consulate.
Find sample and Info documents to download
This documents are provided by Tahiti Tourisme:
- Legal Wedding Checklist
- Marriage of Foreign Citizens in French Polynesia
- Certificate of Non-Marital Status
- Letter to the Mayor
A civil marriage in Tahiti
The bride and groom, witnesses, and guests must be present at the mayor’s office when the ceremony is set to begin on the wedding day. The doors must stay open throughout the event according public legislation.
The actual legal marriage will last no longer than 30 minutes at municipal hall. French is used for the ceremony. You might want to bring an interpreter if you don’t speak French well to the ceremony.
The mayor will present the newlyweds with official documents at the conclusion of the ceremony verifying their legal union.
It should be noted that in French Polynesia, weddings are not permitted on Sundays or public holidays.
Frequently asked Questions
What is an apostille?
The apostille is a special form of legalization in the international authentication procedure. It was adopted in the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents during the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) in 1961.
Apostille certifies the authenticity of a public document, signature or stamp. The process of authentication is called apostille. Since the introduction of the apostille as a form of certification, the international exchange of documents has become much simpler and faster: Documents that are required, for example, for setting up a company abroad must be additionally legitimized by an apostille in order for them to attain cross-border validity.
Which papers require a French translation?
Before being transported to French Polynesia, four documents must be translated into French and approved by the French Consulate. As follows:
- Certified copies of the Birth Certificates
- Certificate of Non-Marital Status
- Prenuptial agreement (if applicable)
Who can be married in Tahiti?
The following prerequisites must be satisfied by both prospective spouses in order for a marriage to be legal in French Polynesia:
- Neither spouse must be younger than 18 years of age
- Neither partner may already be married
- Couples must be of different sexes
- There are no blood relatives of the pair
- The pair is ineligible to hold French citizenship or reside in France
- The mayor’s office may also act as a witness if necessary. The bride and groom must each select a witness who must be at least 18 years old.
What is the duration of the procedure?
From the time the necessary documents are ordered until the soon-to-be spouses have a confirmed wedding date, the entire process should take between three and five months.
The certified copies of birth certificates are, however, only valid in French Polynesia for six months after the date of issuance. In order to avoid ordering the certified copies of the birth certificates more than six months prior to the wedding, be careful. The actual legal marriage will last no longer than 30 minutes at municipal hall.
Will my Tahiti legal marriage be recognized in my home country?
Your wedding certificate issued by French officials in Tahiti may either be exempt from legalization of any kind and be recognized legal in your own country, or it may require an Apostille (a stamp authenticating your documents for use abroad), which is very easily obtained at the Court in Papeete, depending on the diplomatic relations between your country of origin and France.
A legalization process may occasionally be necessary for your marriage to be recognized as legal in your nation. Most of our guests to the Tahiti Islands qualify for exemption status or have their marriage certificate attested with an apostille so they can show it to their home country’s authorities.
Please take note that while correct at the time of publication, the material is only intended to serve as a general guide and is subject to change at any time. For the most recent information before to your wedding, kindly check with the wedding coordinator at your preferred resort or the relevant embassy of the nation where you intend to wed.