We are having a full Catholic ceremony in Spain, which I have been informed is the easiest way to get married in Spain as Civil ceremonies are yet to be recognised. If you are wanting to get married in Spain outwith the Catholic church, you are recommended to get a civil ceremony either in your home country or you can also do this in Gibraltar.
So to start the religious side of the process we need:
Full Birth certificates Copy of Baptism certificate (some parish's may also require your confirmation certificate)
A place on the marriage preparation course
To arrange a meeting with our local parish priest to start to go through our freedom to marry information (Basically a meeting where you provide all of the above certificates to the priest so he can provide you with a freedom to marry certificate for the catholic church)
There is also a lot of legal aspects of planning the wedding that also need to be done but I will cover them in another post.
We have already met with our local parish priest who has started to look to begin the paperwork process with us, the meeting really consisted of him asking us about where we have lived previously (they need this to check out that you have not previously been married) our thoughts on marriage, why we wanted to get married in the church, how we will prepare for marriage, and taking our information to enrol for the marriage preparation course.
In Scotland the course of choice for the Catholic church is run by Scottish Marriage Care and is called FOCCUS (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study) it is an questionnaire which focus on the basic key elements of a successful marriage. You meet with a facilitator and complete the questionnaire separately and then you return as a couple a few weeks later to discuss the responses that were given. The facilitator will then help you to look at patterns in your responses, identify positives, discuss issues and raise awareness of important relationship topics. In total the sessions over the two periods should last around two hours, if required there is opportunity to have further sessions. I feel that this type of course is better than previous ones which were ran by priests themselves, who to be honest in my opinion are not best placed to provide guidance for marriage. Part of me is a little nervous but I am also happy to be completing it so that we can look at all aspects of our relationship (I suppose it's a bit like pre-marriage counselling)