What Do You Need to Do to Get Married in Fiji?
Eloping in a tropical paradise is the dream of many couples, but if you’re brave enough to take the leap together, then you’ll find that it’s incredibly easy to do in Fiji. Sure, there is some paperwork to do in order to make your marriage legal and internationally recognisable, but with the help of the abundance of wedding coordinators and resorts, as well as this guide, you’ll see how the process is straightforward. We’ll go through the documents, conditions and legal requirements for a wedding in Fiji with this guide to the legal requirements for getting married in Fiji!
Who Can Get Married in Fiji?
To legally get married in Fiji, there are certain conditions that the bride and groom-to-be must meet. To get married in Fiji, you need to:
- Be 18 years old or older on your wedding day (those under 21 years old require written consent from both parents)
- Be single, divorced or widowed
- Not be related
- Be physically present for the wedding ceremony to give consent.
If you can meet those conditions, then you can start the process of getting married in Fiji!
Documents for a Fiji Marriage Licence
Before getting married in Fiji, couples must first obtain a Marriage Licence from a registry office or district office. While this can be done just a couple of days before you intend to get married, it’s best to organise the required documents for this process well in advance with your wedding coordinator or chosen resort in order to make sure all the documents are correct and, in turn, things run smoothly for your big day.
Both parties wishing to marry will either need the original documents or certified copies of the following:
- Birth certificates
- Passports with valid visas
- A single status certificate
- Divorce certificates, if applicable
- Death certificates of a spouse, if applicable
What is a Single Status Certificate?
Couples from overseas must provide a Single Status certificate to get married in Fiji. A Single Status certificate is needed if you are a couple of non-residents getting married in Fiji or a non-resident getting married to a local. This certificate is to show that you have not been married before during a specified time period, usually from 18 years old. The Single Status certificate can be applied for in your home country or state, usually your country’s equivalent of the Registry of Births, Marriages & Deaths, or something similar.
Getting Your Marriage License in Fiji
Got the paperwork? Now couples need to obtain the Marriage License which allows them to get married in Fiji legally within 28 days. You must book an appointment at a Births, Deaths & Marriages (BDM) office, i.e. a registry office, submitting scanned copies of the documents listed above, in advance before visiting a registry in person. This appointment and paperwork are usually handled by your wedding coordinator or chosen resort.
Once you arrive in Fiji, it’s best to leave yourself at least three days prior to your wedding ceremony to give you time to visit a registry office and obtain your Marriage Licence in person.
Where are the Registry Offices in Fiji?
Registry offices are typically open from 8am to 3pm/4pm, Monday to Fridays. Offices are usually closed on weekends and public holidays.
Signing the Marriage Certificate
The marriage finally becomes legal when the marriage certificate is signed by the correct parties and becomes internationally recognised when sent to the Department of Foreign Affairs to obtain the “Apostille Seal”.
Witnesses and Marriage Celebrant
During your wedding ceremony, you will both sign all copies of your marriage certificate. You also need two witnesses and your certificate to be endorsed by a celebrant or minister.
Witnesses must be 21 years old and over. If you don’t have your own witnesses, most resorts will provide witnesses, so be sure to enquire whether witnesses are included in the wedding package.
Under Fijian law, a marriage celebrant must be a Fijian to officiate the marriage. Overseas celebrants are permitted to participate in the vows, but a Fijian celebrant must solemnise the marriage and sign the marriage certificate.
What Happens Next?
Once the marriage certificate is signed by all required parties, the couple will keep one certificate, while the other is forwarded to a registry office to be registered. Your wedding coordinator or resort will obtain the certificate for you and post it out to your address.
Any more questions? Take a look at Everything You Need to Know About Getting Married in Fiji.