With a choice of luxury hotels and idyllic white-sand beaches fringed by gently swaying palm trees, Samoa offers the perfect spot to say 'I do' – and the ideal destination for that long dreamt of beach wedding in the South Pacific!
Could anywhere be more romantic than a beach wedding in Samoa?
In Samoa, you can hold your wedding ceremony on a pristine white-sand beach, in a tropical rainforest or experience a traditional-style wedding in a century-old church as a Samoan choir sings sweet melodies in the background.
The legal requirements for getting married in Samoa are quite straightforward. The application for a marriage licence needs to be filed with the Justice Department in Apia, along with copies of the relevant documentation, no less than 14 days prior to the intended date of marriage.
If you are planning a religious service, then the minister will look after all this for you when he registers your Intent to Marry. Alternatively, you can do this yourself or hire a wedding planner.
Most resorts offer experienced wedding co-ordinators who can insure that the entire process of getting married in Samoa, including fulfilling all legal requirements, is stress free.
You may choose to have a religious Minister or an approved non-religious Marriage Celebrant perform your wedding ceremony.
Marriages in Samoa are legally recognised internationally.
Minimum of three days residency before intended wedding date.
Ensure that all documents are in your legal name, and provide affidavits in cases where you are known by another name.
All documents must be in English; if not, they must be translated and notarized.
Faxed or scanned copies of the required documents should be lodged with the Justice Department in Apia at least 14 days prior to your arrival but remember to bring the originals with you.Documents required for getting married in Samoa, include…
Once the Marriage Licence is obtained (valid for three months only), couples are free to marry in church, in a garden or on the beach. Please note, weddings may not be performed on Sundays or public holidays.
Most Christian denominations are well represented in Samoa. Some faiths may require additional documents for a religious service, whether held inside a church or elsewhere. You may want to check this with your wedding co-ordinator or local minister.
Catholic weddings are possible but special permission is needed from the Cardinal’s office in Apia, and there will need to be correspondence from your local priest.
Couples of the Roman Catholic faith should allow at least six months before the planned wedding date in order to process all the necessary paperwork (certificates of baptism, dispensations, statements of freedom to marry, etc.).
You should make contact with the priest whom you want to have officiate at your wedding as soon as possible. He will help you complete the necessary paperwork and provide part of your marriage preparation instruction.
Your Marriage Certificate will be issued at the Office of Birth, Death and Marriages in Apia. You simply present the marriage documents you and your witnesses and minister (or marriage celebrant) signed following your wedding ceremony; and pay a small fee.
Citizens of some foreign nationalities may require an Apostille stamp on their marriage certificates, this can be arranged upon request at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Apia.
European Union citizens (except the United Kingdom and Ireland) may need to have their Marriage Certificate apostilled (or authenticated).
This does not apply to citizens of United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. Citizens of Asian countries, South and Central America should check with their Civil Registrar as to whether an Apostille is required for your country.
Marriage Licence – WST$60
Marriage Certificate – WST$15
Apostille Stamp (if required) – WST$75
Many hotels and resorts offer experienced wedding co-ordinators who can insure that the entire process of getting married in Samoa, including fulfilling all legal requirements, is stress free.
For more information: Contact the Ministry of Justice in Apia (Tel: +685 22671, Fax: +685 21050, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please note: while accurate at time of publication this information is for guidance purposes only and liable to change without notice. Please check with your wedding planner at your resort of choice or the relevant embassy of the country in which you intend to marry for up-to-date details before your wedding.
Latest update: How to get married in Samoa: 11 May, 2022