Rules of the French Civil Code
Both parties must be at least 18 years of age to be married in The Islands of Tahiti. The law requires that neither party can currently be married nor can they be directly related. Each spouse should be physically present for the marriage and must exchange vows in front of a witness who is 18 years or older.
It’s important to note that all ceremonies are performed in French. If the couple isn’t fluent in French, they can choose an interpreter to be present to translate all questions in the ceremony. Ceremonies for French nationals or residents of a French territory are not permitted. Once all the rules have been followed, the couple can choose which commune they wish to be married in and submit two sets of dates. Note that in French Polynesia you can’t get married on a Sunday or a national holiday.
Legal Documents Required for a Tahiti Wedding
A form of ID and their birth certificates dated no more than six months prior to the date of the wedding accompanied by an “apostille” (or internationally accepted legal document) with a certified French translation for both documents. If the birth certificates do not specify, a certificate of custom, non-married status or capacity to be married must be supplied attesting that the parties are not already married. If necessary, death certificates or divorce documents translated into French must be presented as well as proof of residence and a certificate of a legal announcement with non-opposition (concerns only countries where announcement publications are required by law).
Either the couple or their wedding planner will also need to write a letter to the mayor of the commune in which they wish to be married, then fill out and mail the “Foreign Weddings in French Polynesia” document. Each of these documents must be sent to the mayor’s office of your chosen commune at least 45 days before the wedding date and the mayor’s office will confirm the time and date of the ceremony.
Once all the administrative details are taken care of, the mayor’s office will declare the wedding by putting an announcement on their bulletin board.
On the day of the wedding, the couple, witnesses and guests must be at the mayor’s office at the scheduled time for the ceremony. According to public law, the doors must remain open during the ceremony. At the end of the ceremony, the mayor will give the new married couple official documents that certify the union.
After this, it’s up to the future married couple to bring the French documents to their own country of residence and legalize the wedding under those laws.
Download the required documents here.
Opting for a Traditional Polynesian Ceremony
This unique cultural experience will turn your wedding into the romantic, authentic and magical day you’ve always dreamed of.
You’ll find details of the steps necessary for foreigners to get married in French Polynesia at
www.TahitiTourisme.org as well as a list of people and agencies that can help you with the event. These agencies can also help organize a civil ceremony and a traditional Polynesian ceremony.