Persons authorized to solemnize marriages.

Who are the persons authorized to solemnize marriages? [1]


1. Any incumbent member of the judiciary within the court's jurisdiction;

2. Any priest, rabbi, imam, or minister of any church or religious sect, subject to the following requisites:

a. the priest, rabbi, imam, or minister must be duly authorized by his church or religious sect;

b. he must be registered with civil registrar general;

c. he must be acting within the limits of the written authority granted by his church or religious sect; and

d. at least one of the contracting parties belongs to his church or religious sect.

3. Any ship captain or airplane chief, subject to the following requisites: [2]

a. the marriage must be in articulo mortis (point of death);

b. it must be between the passenger or crew members; and

c. the ship is at sea or the plane is in flight, or during stopovers at ports of call.

4. Any military commander of a unit, subject to the following requisites: [3]

a. the military commander must be a commissioned officer;

b. the assigned chaplain to his unit must be absent;

c. the marriage must be in articulo mortis (point of death);

d. it must be between persons within the zone of military operations, whether members of the armed forces or civilians; and

e. it must be during a military operation.

5. Any consul-general, consul or vice-consul for marriages between Filipino citizens abroad; and

6. Mayors. [4]

Where should a marriage be solemnized? [5]

1. If to be solemnized by a member of the judiciary, it must be done publicly in the chamber of the judge, or in open court.

2. If to be solemnized by a priest, rabbi, imam, or minister of any church or religious sect; it must be in the church, chapel or temple of the church or religious sect.

3. If to be solemnized by a consul-general, consul, or vice-consul, it must be in his office.

What are the exceptions to the foregoing rules? [6]

1. In cases of marriage contracted at the point of death;


2. In cases of marriage contracted in remote places in accordance with article 29 of the Family Code; and


3. Where both of the parties request the solemnizing officer in writing and under oath to solemnize the marriage at a place designated by them.

What is the status of marriage if solemnized by a judge outside the court’s jurisdiction?

The marriage is valid as held by the Supreme Court in Navarro vs. Domagtoy [7]:


Judges who are appointed to specific jurisdictions, may officiate in weddings only within said areas and not beyond. Where a judge solemnizes a marriage outside his court's jurisdiction, there is a resultant irregularity in the formal requisite laid down in Article 3 [of the Family Code], which while it may not affect the validity of the marriage, may subject the officiating official to administrative liability.

What is the status of marriage if the solemnizing officer is not legally authorized to celebrate marriage?

The marriage is void unless such marriage was contracted with either or both parties believing in good faith that the solemnizing officer has the legal authority to do so.[8]

[1] Art. 7, The Family Code.

[2] Art. 31, Family Code

[3] Article 7 (4) in relation to Art. 32, Family Code

[4] Section 444 (a) (b) (1) (xviii), Local Government Code

[5] Art. 8, Family Code

[6] Id.

[7] Rodolfo G. Navarro vs. Judge Hernando C. Domagtoy, A.M. No. MTJ-96-1088 July 19, 1996

[8] Art. 35 (2), Family Code.

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