How we Planned our Wedding in Chile in 2 Weeks

Today marks our one month anniversary as a married couple! Last month was hectic – my mom was able to visit for two weeks and since she was in Chile, we decided to take advantage that both parts of our family were present, although my father and three brothers were unfortunately not able to make it, but they watched it live via Skype.

We’ve been engaged since March, yet we planned our wedding two weeks prior. Originally, we thought of getting married in Lake Tahoe, then it was up in the air for months, but what better place to do it than in Valparaíso – the enchanting city where we met, fell in love, got engaged, and created countless, wonderful memories together.

You would think we would have started planning as soon as we got word that my mother would be visiting (5 weeks beforehand), but then we wouldn’t be the exceptional procrastinators that we are today.

Reality set in…we only have two weeks! Where are we going to book something in such short notice!! And more importantly, I don’t have my Chilean ID yet!

How we Planned Our Wedding in Chile

Months Before the Wedding

The most difficult and time-consuming part had to do with my Chilean ID and the Registro Civil in Santiago. I renewed my visa in August, received my visa in October and subsequently renewed my ID, but, to no surprise, the Registro Civil went on strike for a month in September and I was reaping the consequences. My only option was to wait until my ID was ready…

Registro Civil Bay Essence

Waited hours in line for them to tell me to come back next week!

Two Weeks to the Wedding

Still don’t have my ID, and I couldn’t get married with solely my passport, despite that being an option according to official websites (WTF?)! This translates into not being able to register our marriage or have the ceremony.

We explained our situation to the Registro Civil in Valparaiso, and they were THE most helpful people in the whole process. As one of the staff told us, ”When there is a will, there is a way.” They allowed us to reserve the time and date for our civil marriage trusting that I would get my ID in time.

We began to come up with random ideas that didn’t have high demands requiring booking months in advance. Our options were limited, but I still think it would have been cool to get married on one of the asensores…Francisco wasn’t so keen on that idea.


We had faith that everything would work out and booked a location anyway. We wanted something typical of Valparaiso so we would always associate our marriage with Valparaiso.

It popped in my head that we should try our luck at the Hotel Brighton, a hotel and restaurant located in Cerro Concepción at one end of el Paseo Atkinson with one of the best terraces to feast your eyes on the bay. It was perfectly what we wanted – intimate, simple, overlooking the bay, with the spirit of the city surrounding us like a vortex – and the hotel and event manager were completely accommodating despite our short notice.

One Week Before the Wedding

Invite guests. Thankfully all of our close friends were able to make it.

No news on my ID!

3 Days before the Wedding

I received my ID two days before my wedding, 4 months after the expected date.

Once I got my ID in Santiago, I scanned it to my sister-in-law who lives in Valparaiso and reserved our time to register our marriage for the following day, and we were set!

1 Day Before the Wedding

Registration and manifestacion de matrimonio with two witnesses.

Don’t get me started on trying to order a cake a day in advance after forgetting to place a more timely order…Oh, and order flowers.

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The Big Day!

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We had our ceremony right before sunset on the terrace, fortunately it was a sunny and clear day. We took photos at the Paseo Atkinson, had dinner at the Brighton, then celebrated at our favorite local bar on the foothills of Cerro Concepción.


One month later, we’re official and happy together as always. We keep getting the question, ”How’s married life?” We’ve been together for four and a half years, engaged for 9 mo… I can’t say it feels terribly different since we’re married, but I can say that I’m happy we made the commitment to be partners for the rest of our lives and glad both of our families were present.


Happy One Month Anniversary to us!




  • Congratulations!
    I’m interested in the marriage laws in Chile.
    I heard there are 3 options
    1 . What’s mine is yours and yours is mine
    2 mine is mine and yours is yours
    3 idk?
    Are you familiar with this?

  • Thank you! Yes, there are three types of marriage statuses that you must choose from.
    1. Sociedad conyugal – archaic, what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine in favor of the husband
    2. Separación total de bienes – what’s mine is mine and yours is yours
    3. Participación en los gananciales – what’s mine is mine and yours is yours prior to marriage and after marriage things are shared but it’s very similar to #2

    There’s more info here (in Spanish):
    Crystal recently posted…10 Panoramas en Valparaíso para este finde (30 Oct – 1 Nov)My Profile

  • Hi Crystal!
    I read your article and it was helpful. I was thinking if you also have idea if we want to have civil wedding in Chile. my boyfriend is from Santiago Chile (he is chilean citizen) and I am from Philippines (Filipino citizen) do you know the process/requirements? Next year i will prepare my document to have visa going to Chile and to have our wedding.

    Thank you in advance 🙂

  • Hi Rujan,

    Thank you for your kind words. You can have your civil wedding at someone’s home, event center, or anywhere else you choose to hold your ceremony, but it must be planned in advance and coordinated with the civil servant who will marry you. You will also need two witnesses who will have to register with you.

    If you will already have your visa by this time, you will need your Chilean ID as a valid form of identification. If you are still a tourist when you get married, you can use your passport and tourist card. If you do not speak Spanish well, you will have to hire an interpreter.

    It is also important that you understand the marriage status that you will have (Sociedad conyugal, Separación total de bienes, articipación en los gananciales), here is a link:

    Here is a great resource in Spanish:

    Hope this helps and good luck!
    Crystal recently posted…Street Art Tour in ValparaisoMy Profile

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