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Se marier à Tahiti, en Polynésie française
© Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort

Tahiti. The word evokes visions of an island paradise.

With 118 islands and atolls that comprise this ideal South Pacific destination, the islands of Bora Bora, Moorea, Taha’a and beyond continue to seduce travelers in search of a tranquil escape.

With islands boasting high, rugged mountain peaks, coral reefs, white sand, palm-fringed beaches, turquoise blue lagoons and emerald-green waters, this island paradise has something for everyone.

Weddings on the islands of Tahiti are now legally binding for UK nationals - as long as they take place in a city hall. However, wedding celebrations and traditional vows can take place in any number of evocative locations. Many of the hotel, resort and cruise line partners are eager to cater to this new opportunity. Couples who wish to be legally married in the islands of Tahiti can now have a memorable wedding in one of the most beautiful, romantic places on Earth!

We have outlined the necessary steps and documents required in order to have a legal ceremony in French Polynesia. However, we highly recommend working with a Tahiti Tiare Agent who specializes in destination weddings — or a destination wedding specialist — to more easily complete this process.

Please note that this process will take approximately three to five months to complete. So, be sure and plan ahead!

Eligibility to Get Married in Tahiti

  • Both spouses must be at least 18 years old.
  • Neither spouse can be currently married.
  • The couple cannot be related by direct lineage.
  • The couple cannot be French nationals or residents of France
  • The bride and the groom must each choose a witness who must be 18 years of age or older (if the chosen witness is not present, the mayor’s office can provide a witness).

Required Documents

  • The “Marriage of Foreign Citizens in French Polynesia” application must be completed.
  • A letter signed and dated by both future spouses, addressed to the mayor of the commune chosen for the marriage ceremony. These two forms can be requested from either your travel agent, the hotel you plan to stay at or the commune where you intend to marry.
  • A copy of both spouses' passports is required for proof of identity
  • A certified copy of both spouses’ birth certificates authenticated with an “Apostille” (note: the birth certificates must have been issued less than 6 months prior to the date of the marriage). Both of the birth certificates and the “Apostille” must be translated into French by an approved translator and legalized by the French Consulate. Translators can usually be found on the consulate’s website. Do look around online if you can't find the information there.
  • A “Certificate of Non-Marital Status” (“Certificat de Celibat”) signed by a lawyer, translated into French and legalized by the French Consulate. Lawyers can also usually be found on the consulate’s website. Do look around online if you can't find the information there.
  • Proof of residency for both of the future spouses (a utility bill or any bill noting names and physical address will suffice). A photocopy of bills for both spouses is acceptable.
  • Optional, if a prenuptial agreement has been created, it must be translated into French and authenticated by the French Consulate.

Documents available for download!

We have listed below the documents that are required in order to have a legal wedding in French Polynesia.

  • Legal Wedding Checklist
  • "Marriage of Foreign Citizens in French Polynesia" Application
  • "Certificate of Non-Marital Status" - please note that this document needs to be signed by a lawyer, translated into French by an approved translator and legalized by the French Consulate
  • Letter to the Mayor of the chosen commune

Download the required documents here:

Send All Materials to French Polynesia!

  • Expedite all materials to the mayor’s office of the commune in which the couple is getting married at least 45 days prior to the ceremony.
  • The mayor’s office will then contact the bride and groom to advise them of the approved date and time of the wedding.

About The Ceremony

  • On the day of the ceremony the couple, their guests and the witnesses go to the city hall (Mairie).
  • The mayor (or an appointed representative from the mayor’s office) will perform the ceremony, in the presence of at least two witnesses in the language chosen by the wedding couple.
  • After the ceremony, the mayor will give the couple a Marriage Certificate. This certificate will be dated and signed by the mayor’s office of the commune in which the marriage takes place.

 

Tout savoir sur le mariage traditionnel en Polynésie française
© Ty SAWYER

FAQs: Legal Weddings in French Polynesia

Q: What if a person was not born in the UK but now has British citizenship with a valid UK passport, can they still be legally married in Tahiti?
A: Yes, however they must obtain a certified copy of their Birth Certificate from the country in which they were born, along with an Apostille certifying the authenticity of the Birth Certificate. Both of these documents can be acquired by contacting the appropriate offices of the country in which the future spouse was originally born.

Q: Is there a minimum amount of time you must be in the islands before you can be legally married in Tahiti?
A: No, as of May 2009 a couple can be legally married in French Polynesia on the day on which they arrive in the islands.

Q:Who can be married in French Polynesia?
A: In order to be eligible to be married in French Polynesia both future spouses must meet the following requirements:

  • Both spouses must be at least 18 years old
  • Neither spouse can be currently married
  • Spouses must be of the opposite sex
  • The couple cannot be related by direct lineage
  • The couple cannot be French nationals or residents of France
  • The bride and the groom must each choose a witness who must be 18 years of age or older (the mayor's office can also provide a witness if necessary)

Q: How much does the legal wedding process cost?
A: For all fees incurred in the home country prior to arriving in French Polynesia, including the ordering of documents, translator and lawyer fees, the cost is estimated between $500 and $1,000 AUD.

Q: How long does the process take?
A: The entire process should take somewhere between 3-5 months from the time the required documents have been ordered to the time the future spouses have an approved wedding date. However, it is important to note that the certified copies of the Birth Certificates are valid in French Polynesia for 6 months from date of issuance. Therefore, be surenotto have the certified copies of the Birth Certificates orderedmore than six monthsfrom the wedding date. The actual legal wedding at city hall will take no more than 30 minutes.

Q: What documents are needed to be legally married in French Polynesia?
A: The following 8 documents must be completed and sent to French Polynesia at least 45 days prior to the legal wedding date (at city hall):

  • A certified copy of each future spouse's Birth Certificate (it is important to note that the certified copies of the Birth Certificates are only valid in French Polynesia for six months from the date of issue)
  • An Apostille authenticating the certified copy of the Birth Certificate
  • The Marriage of Foreign Citizens in French Polynesia Application
  • A letter to the Mayor of the commune in which the marriage is to take place
  • The Certificate of Non-Marital Status
  • A copy of each future spouse's passport
  • Proof of residency for each future spouse
  • A prenuptial agreement (optional)

Q: Which of the documents listed need to be translated into French?
A: There are 4 documents that need to be translated into French and approved by the French Consulate before being sent to French Polynesia. They are:

  • Certified copies of the Birth Certificates
  • The Apostilles
  • The Certificate of Non-Marital Status
  • The prenuptial agreement (optional)

Q: What is an Apostille?
A: An Apostille is an internationally recognized document that certifies the authentication of a document. Please visit the following site to learn more about the Apostille:http://apostille.us/Documents/Service_Apostille.shtml

Q: What if one or both of the future spouses has been previously divorced? Are there any additional requirements for divorcees?
A: If one has previously been married and iscurrentlydivorced they can still be legally married in French Polynesia. Please note that the future spouse must have their divorce papersfinalizedand the process completed before they can be married in French Polynesia. The divorce papers can be given to the couple's lawyer who can help to obtain the Certificate of Non-Marital Status.

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