Getting married in Bahrain

Updated 2020-02-24 07:41

Bahrain allows anyone who resides in the country to get married, irrespective of nationality or religion. The process is simple, but a few formalities must be observed before the special day can go ahead.  Whether you want a simple wedding or an extravagant affair, a religious ceremony or civil partnership, Bahrain can accommodate your needs.

Formalities relating to marriage in Bahrain

The legal requirements relating to marriage in Bahrain are set out by the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Awqaf, and you will need to allow time for the procedures to be completed.

Your first point of contact should be your respective embassies. They will advise on the necessary documents and procedures. The embassy will make enquiries to determine if you are both eligible to be married; i.e. not already married, or the divorce finalised if previously married. They will then post the marriage banns or notices, as applicable, to allow any legal or canonical objections to the marriage to be lodged. Once satisfied, there is no reason for the marriage not to go ahead, a No Objection Certificate will be issued, for which there is a fee.

Both parties should contact their embassy, even if they are of the same nationality.

You will be required to undertake a medical checkup. A copy of the result of this medical checkup, along with copies of your passports, identity cards and some other documents relating to employment and residency are then lodged with the Ministry of Justice.

The bride's father should be in attendance to give his permission for her to marry, or an official power of attorney authenticated by the authorities of the country of her nationality should be presented, stating that the father has no objection to the marriage. Other arrangements can be made in the event of the father being unavailable or deceased.

The marriage itself can be performed by the Bahrain Ministry of Justice. The ministry publishes a list of officials who can deliver this service, or a religious ceremony can take place.

The final arrangement is to have two male witnesses over the age of 21.

Once the ceremony has taken place, the marriage must be registered at the Ministry of Justice and The Ministry of Foreign Affairs to have the marriage certificate authenticated. Don't forget to have your certificate translated into your native language; the ministry will charge an additional fee for this. Your translated certificate should be presented to your respective embassies.

The total cost of a marriage will vary depending on embassy charges and venue.

Marriage venues in Bahrain

There are a number of places of worship where marriages can be performed, including Christian, Hindu, Sikh, and Jewish, although the Jewish community no longer maintains an active synagogue.

Of course, you may wish to say your vows in front of friends and family in a less formal location, and Bahrain has no shortage of venues.

Most of the major hotels cater for weddings, whatever the size of your party. Whilst some can offer a function room, others can go a step further with private marquees on your own island for the night, or a barbecue on the beach. Not only can your reception be held here, but the wedding itself. For something completely different, why not get married at Bahrain's own F1 circuit, for that ultimate experience.

For many, ensuring all the wedding arrangements come together for the big day, is a stressful experience. To give you peace of mind and allow you to relax on the big day, there are a number of wedding planners, both hotel based and independent.

 Useful links:

Ministry of Justice
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs


St Christopher's Cathedral
National Evangelical Church
Sacred Heart Church
The Ritz Carlton
Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa
Crowne Plaza
Four Seasons Hotel
Sheraton Hotel
The Grove Hotel & Conference Centre
InterContinental Regency Hotel
Gulf Hotel
Royal Golf Club
Bahrain International Circuit

Jewish Synagogue - Tel: 973 3339 6434

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.