Even though civil wedding is less expensive than a church wedding, the process leading to the big day is pretty much the same. In this blog, I will give you the timeline based on our experience so that you will know exactly how long the process is gonna take and what to expect.
1. OCTOBER 13, 2020 – Requesting of a Civil Registry Document CENOMAR and Birth Certificate of both party from Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). You can request these documents online.
Fee: Php 1,100 for the CENOMAR, Birth Certificate and shipping fee of documents for both parties
Note: Due to Covid, processing and shipping of documents takes 7-10 days.
OCTOBER 23, 2020 – We received the requested documents (CENOMAR and Birth Certificate) from PSA.
Note: Documents must be personally received. In our case, we prepared an authorization letter since we were always away, assuming we cannot receive the documents ourselves during office hours. Luckily, the documents arrived while we were at home.
2. OCTOBER 26, 2020 – This is the stressful part. We personally went to Local Civil Registrar’s office. Prior to going there, we called their office and asked for the complete set of requirements for marriage license. This happened during Covid time and so normally, every appointment as much as possible is to be informed through phone call. We were told that they cannot give the requirements over the phone and so we went in person. Still, upon arrival, it turned out that we lack another requirement – Barangay Certificate. The city civil registrar could have told everything over the phone or via email to save everyone’s energy. So we went home. Another day wasted not achieving anything for the wedding.
Looking back, I realized that all people from all walks of life (of legal age) were availing their services. Maybe the city civil registrar would just like to explain everything in person the process to eliminate further misunderstanding.
Local Civil Registrar’s contact #: (032) 345 5800
Local Civil Registrar’s address: Zamora St, Mandaue City, 6000 Cebu
3. OCTOBER 27, 2020 – We went to Barangay Hall to request a Barangay Certificate (purpose: as a requirement for marriage license).
Fee: Php 150 for the certificate
Note: In our case, releasing of Barangay Certificate is on the following business day. This may vary depending on which barangay you belong.
OCTOBER 28, 2020 – We went back to Barangay Hall to claim the Barangay Certificate.
4. OCTOBER 29, 2020 – Again, we went to Local Civil Registrar’s office to submit the Barangay Certificate and in return the city civil registrar gave as the set of requirements for marriage license.
Marriage license requirements:
- Birth Certificate
- Certificate of Attendance in Pre-Marital Counseling & Family Planning Seminar by CHD
- Barangay Certificate
After we got the complete set of requirements, we went to the cashier to pay for the Certificate of Attendance in Pre-Marital Counseling & Family Planning Seminar.
Fee: Php 30 for the certificate
City Health address: Zamora St, Mandaue City, 6000 Cebu (the building across City Civil Registrar)
Note: My fiance and I were 28 and 31 years of age already so there is no need for us to undergo an actual DSWD seminar. I actually have no idea if this was applicable even pre-Covid. However, for couple below 28 years old, please ask for the nearest available/vacant DSWD schedule. Since Mandaue City is a highly populated area, the next possible available/vacant schedule as of October 2020 is January 2021. This is a real game changer especially for couples who wished to be married real soon.
5. OCTOBER 30, 2020 – Went to City Health and attend the family planning seminar. There are a few couples ahead of us so we wait for a while but the seminar only took less than 10 minutes. After the seminar and some forms to fill-in, the midwife gave us a paper or some kind of a referral note to be forwarded to the DSWD, which maybe means we already completed the family planning seminar.
Note: Family planning seminar is available daily (Monday to Friday) but we were told that the midwife incharge of the seminar is only available every morning. Please double check the midwife’s schedule, as it may not be the same anymore, once you are decided to attend the seminar.
On that same day after the family planning seminar, we went to DSWD to submit the paper/referral note given by the midwife. We fill-in a few forms and were given a phone number to be contacted in case we want to follow-up the status of our Certificate of Attendance in Pre-Marital Counseling & Family Planning Seminar.
DSWD address: P.J. Burgos, Mandaue City, Cebu (it is actually just a few blocks from Local City Registrar’s Office)
6. NOVEMBER 3, 2020 – Called the DSWD contact number and they confirm that the Certificate of Attendance in Pre-Marital Counseling & Family Planning Seminar is already available. After work, we went to DSWD office to get the certificate.
Afterwards, we went back to Local Civil Registrar’s office to submit all the completed requirements. Pay for the marriage license form and fill-in everything according to city civil registrar’s instruction.
Fee: Php 90 for the marriage license
Note: Photocopy everything beforehand. Marriage license processing time is 11 days. Again, if you are planning for a soonest wedding date please consider this length of time. Also, releasing/claiming of marriage license is 9:00~11:00am only (I don’t know if this is the case for all). We asked our friend to claim our marriage license since we cannot leave our work just to get the documents. Just prepare authorization letter if you want others to claim in your behalf.
7. NOVEMBER 16, 2020 – Our friend claimed the marriage license in our behalf and delivered it to our workplace. After work, we went to Hall of Justice to submit the requirements. The cashier is only until 4:00pm so we went home and decided to pay the next day instead.
Note: We chose to be married in front of a judge that is why we went to Hall of Justice. Otherwise, if you prefer, a city mayor may also officiate the wedding. We tried calling several mayor’s office prior to going to the judge but some offices cannot be reached by phone and some others were already booked until January 2021.
NOVEMBER 17, 2020 – Since we are working 7:00am-4:00pm, our friend went to Hall of Justice and pay on our behalf (again) instead.
Fee: Php 300 for the judge.
Note: Photocopy all requirements beforehand. Bring all the requirements photocopy and original copy. They need the original copy for verification. The judge who will officiate the wedding is being determined though a raffle. Raffle is held every Monday. So after completing the payment, we must return the following week for the result.
8. NOVEMBER 23, 2020 – We decided to call the Hall of Justice around 4:00pm just to be sure that the raffle was already finished. We cannot reached their office so we decided to go their personally. We were told that our officiating judge is from RTC Branch 83. Luckily, RTC Branch 83 is just a few blocks from our home. So we pay their office a visit to confirm our slot. The Hall of Justice haven’t yet forwarded our names to RTC Branch 83 but the staff were kind enough to accommodate us. We learned that usually judges were very busy and were often on leave for the whole month of December. Also, only Thursdays and Fridays were allotted for weddings, the rest of the week is for hearings and other stuffs. Our planned wedding date was supposed to be December 8/18, 2020, so the only choice we have is to get married that week or next year (January). We went home and weighed our options.
9. NOVEMBER 24, 2020 – Prior to the wedding, there must be a physical appearance for interview and final instructions. We decided to get married that week so after work we meet with the staff of RTC Branch 83. Just basic instructions actually. Since it is still Covid, simple protocol such as wearing of face mask and face shield are required. No slippers, off-shoulder, mini skirts, etc. Parents cannot be the witnesses. Only two (2) witnesses are allowed and one (1) guest, a total of only 5 people in the court room for the wedding party. Also we must submit the names of two witnesses prior to the wedding day.
10. NOVEMBER 27, 2020 – We got married at RTC Branch 83.
Fee: Php 75 for the marriage contract
Note: Come on time and follow protocols.
Summary of fees:
CENOMAR & Birth Certificates – Php 1,100.00
Barangay Certificate – Php 150.00
Certificate of Attendance in Pre-Marital Counseling & Family Planning Seminar – Php 30.00
Marriage License – Php 90.00
Judge – Php 300.00
Marriage Contract – Php 75.00
Total = Php 1,745.00
• We noticed that even though the contact number (telephone number) is functional, the conversation/questions we raised can all be answered via phone call, the government agency prefers to really discuss in person. LOL.
• Processing of marriage license up to the wedding day is so stressful. Prepare extra grace and patience especially when dealing with the government staffs. Be nice, kind and polite as much as possible.
• Photocopy everything. Bring all receipts. Bring all photocopies and original copies.
• Gather phone numbers and addresses of the government offices you will be needing that day. Just to save time and maybe gas (some might be a one way street for all you know).
• If you are planning a wedding real soon, please note carefully especially the releasing/claiming period of each requirements.
• Prepare yourself to take several leave of absence from work as government offices can only cater from Mondays to Fridays, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Some services were closed even as early as 4:00 pm.
• Prepare some authorization letter too, if you can’t be bothered.
• Some requirements really needs your presence and signature.
• Double check each documents as it will be very inconvenient and costly (if found with fault) in the future.
• Be prepared to wait in long lines and huge crowds inside the government offices.
• Multiple requirements maybe fulfilled in a day. This timeline is ours and most of the time we only went after office hours (4:00 pm – 5:00 pm) that is why we only got to complete a few requirements in a single day.
• December is a really not a good timing for civil weddings. Judges were mostly on leave or busy, mayors too!
• Enjoy the process. Everything is worth it!
I will be also writing our actual civil wedding ceremony in a separate blog. Keep posted!
Let me know what your civil wedding experience is like!