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    Civil Wedding: All Your Requirements For Registry Ceremony In Nigeria

    A civil wedding is one of the most important steps when tieing the knot with your partner as it signifies your commitment and marriage to each other in front of the law and the government. It serves as evidence of a marriage contract between a couple.

    Civil Wedding: All Your Requirements For Registry Ceremony In NigeriaBefore having a civil wedding, there are some vital things you need to know that will prepare you for the process and guide you.  This legal marriage is protected under the Marriage Act, Chapter 218 of Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990. There are two main marriage registries in Nigeria.
    Read also: 10 Steps To Pick Your Reception Wedding Dress

    1. Federal Marriage Registries
    2. The state marriage registry is present in every local government in a state.
    No matter the registry you choose to use for your civil ceremony they all use the same requirements and your marriage is bound under the same law.  In accordance with the marriage rite of 2004, there are 2 types of marriages recognized under the law in Nigeria
    1. Ordinary Marriage: This is a marriage between a Nigerian and another Nigerian. This marriage cost N15,000.
    2. Special Marriage: This is a marriage between a Non-Nigerian and a Nigerian or two Non-Nigerians in Nigeria. This marriage cost N25,000.

    • Marriage is registered at a local public registry, which requires a Letter of Marriage Intention and payment of a fee of Naira 2,000 and 2 passports
    • A person under 18 years of age, who wishes to register a marriage, is required to present a letter of consent from his or her parents.
    • The registry will display the Letter of Marriage Intention for 21 days on a public notice board.
    • Provided that no objection to the intended marriage is made during the 21 day period, a couple may then register their marriage.

    • You are to submit the filled form to the registry within a 21 day period of obtaining the form. Upon returning the filled form, you would be given another set of forms called “AFFIDAVIT ON APPLICATION OF CERTIFICATE”. This form is to be submitted with the birth certificates of both spouses. In the absence of a birth certificate, a declaration of age can be used.

    • After completing the first two steps, you would be given a form to fill. CERTIFICATE OF SPINSTERHOOD for the woman and CERTIFICATE OF BACHELORHOOD for the man. If either one of the couples has been married before, AFFIDAVIT OF MARRIAGE would be provided. (Kindly note that submission of this form is at a stipulated fee)

    •  When all the forms are filled, the couple is to come for an interview on a given date.  It is also necessary to provide an affidavit that states the number of children if either one of the couples has children. This is to allow transparency.

    • Requirements For the Intending Couple

      Birth Certificate or Declaration of Age

      Passport photograph

      Sworn affidavit of Bachelorhood/Spinsterhood from a law court/ Bachelorhood Certificate (If bachelor or spinster)

      Affidavit of Marriage (If already married)

      Evidence of Divorce – Decree 90 and Decree Absolute (If Divorced)

      Death certificate of Previous Wife/ Husband (If a Widow or Widower)

      Evidence of Annulment from Court (If previous marriage annulled)

      Sworn Affidavit of Single with Child/Children (if single with child/children)

      STEP 2

      Return to the registry on your selected date of Oath.

      You are required to provide one witness each on the wedding day from both parties. (Please note it’s not gendered specific)

      You are expected to present 2 rings (male and female) or a bible/Quran as the case may be.

      Couples are expected to appear in the ceremony wearing a Wedding Dresses and Suits, Native Attire, Corporate Ensemble If one of the couples is not a Nigerian or both are non-Nigerians, these are the requirements for Special Marriage. The dress code remains the same

      For the intending couple

      Birth Certificate or Declaration of Age
      Passport photograph
      Indigene Letter/Letter of Identification from State of Origin (Nigerians only)
      Sworn affidavit of Bachelorhood/Spinsterhood from a law court/ Bachelorhood Certificate (If bachelor/spinster)
      Affidavit of Marriage (If already married)
      Evidence of Divorce – Decree 90 and Decree Absolute (If Divorced)
      Death certificate of Previous Wife/Husband (If a Widow or Widower)


    • Evidence of Annulment from Court (If the previous marriage was annulled)
      Sworn Affidavit of Single with Child/Children (if single with child/children)
      Data Page of International Passport (if living abroad)
      Arrival Passport Stamp Page (if living abroad)
      Residence Permit (if living abroad)

      Check out this link and chat with an official from the Ministry of Interior for any further questions.  https://ecitibiz.interior.gov.ng/marriage/requirements

      Photo Credit: Getty

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