Getting Married in Morocco

Being engaged has been easy for me. Much hasn’t changed except I wear the ring of the man I want to marry and everyone – my family, PCV’s and Moroccan’s alike keep asking me,” When is the wedding?”
My fiancé has been working hard at his job in Tangier to save money and bank enough hours to be able to ask for time off occasionally to travel to Taza to see me.
Our courtship has been very conservative and Islamic. What does that mean you might wonder?
First it mean’s we are never alone. There is always another person nearby or in the same room with us. Since my family is in America – his father has been playing the role of my wali (guardian) and my fiancé thus asks him for permission to take me on walks, to go to the local garden or go to a café. He usually asks me what I would like to do and then asks unless he is surprising me.
There isn’t much here in the way of public entertainment spaces – no movie theater, no ice skating rink or mall. It’s really limited to cafes, places to eat and gardens.
Sometimes we just watch a movie together in the family’s TV room – on different ponj’s (couches) or we surf the Internet and watch funny videos together.
All under the watchful eye of the family. This of course means mettling happens frequently. When Omar returns to Tangier I get asked every day – “Has he called you? Sent a message?” or something else along those lines. If he has been busy and forgotten – Omar can expect a call from his father telling him to call me.

While I was home for vacation in December/January – Omar applied for a transfer to the Taza region. He got the transfer – which makes both I and his family happy to have him closer to home – his commute is only 30 minutes by grand taxi although his every other 24 hour shift work schedule is insane!
When I returned from vacation the race to collect paperwork and get married got started. Thank god for the PCV’s I knew that recently got married! They were SO much help – SO shout out to Kelly and Christine – You both helped make this marriage possible along with your wonderful husbands!
The paper chase started with going to the local court and asking them – what paperwork we would need and they gave us a sheet of paper that listed in Arabic and French documents that I would need to collect to get married which started in September 2012.
The list from the court –

  • Evidence of Employment and Salary
  • Medical Certificate from a Moroccan Doctor
  • Certificate of Residence from the local Moroccan Police – 20 Dirhams
  • Copy of your carte sejour if you live in Morocco
  • Moroccan Background Check from the Ministry of Justice in Rabat
  • Birth Certificate – An original or a official certified copy from the department of records in the city you were born in.
  • A written statement of your intent to marry in Morocco
  • If a man – a notarized statement of religious denomination or a certified copy of a conversion document to Islam. (Conversion documents if you convert to Islam in Morocco are avalible and notorized by adouls, religious court notarials and at the Ministry of Justice in Rabat)

Here is a photo of the list from the Moroccan court in Taza – (sorry its so beat up 🙂  )

List of Documents from the Court to get married

The list from the US Consulate in Casablanca-

*Anything your going to need to get from the Consulate is best done with an appointment – so make an appointment online before you go!*

  • FBI Background Check from the US
  • State Background Check from the US
  • Affidavit of Nationality and Eligibility to Marry from the US Consulate in Casablanca – $50
  • Notarized copies of passport from the US Consulate in Casablanca -(each copy) $50
  • If your divorced – you will need to provide original or certified copies of dissolution of the marriage.
  • If you were widowed – you will have to provide the death certificate for your spouse or a certified copy of the certificate.

You will also have to go to-

Annexe du Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres

Zankat Tetouan

Hassan, Rabat

ALL documents from the Consulate and abroad will need to be certified – each document is 40 dirhams to get certified at this office – also make sure to get there early 8:30 – 9am is best to make sure you are able to get in and get your documents certified.

After all documents from the Consulate and abroad are certified now – you will have to translate them to Arabic.  Each page will cost you 150 Dirhams = $18.

The US Consulate says on the information sheet that they will give you that the fee for the adoul will be 150 dirhams – thats incorrect.  Moroccans are charged between 600- 700 dirhams not including the tax on the contract.

My husband and I were charged 1250 dirhams for a “mixed marriage contract,” even though I am a Muslim convert.  We were also charged 700 dirhams tax on the contract.

Once all your documents are certified and translated you can now begin the process of submitting them to the local court.  You may also have to go to the local police for them to question you and provide documentation that you aren’t a criminal to the court.

Which will then once done will get you sent to the adouls office to sign the marriage contract – at which point you are legally married.  Congrats, Mahbrook and Hooary!!

Other things you maybe asked to do-
Take a pregnancy test – (I wasn’t asked but I know of at least one person who was)
Get tested for AIDS/SIDA – which I would recommend both parties to do as AIDS is something that is very serious and you can’t tell by looking at someone if they have it or not.
In most cases how smoothly the process goes is very dependent on the individuals you encounter and how well connected your fiancé family is or is not.

*By no means is my list of paperwork above comprehensive as each court might ask for different things*

Omar and I were running around like chickens with our heads cut off.   I made two overnight round trip journeys with no sleep to Casablanca and Rabat at seperate times to get things taken care of.  I am glad to say the translator was local and I didn’t have to leave my city to get that done.

In the end Omar and I were married on March 8th, 2013 – International Women’s day and held our wedding on March 9th, 2013 at his families house with a few friends and family surrounding us.  I had my family and some friends view the festivities via Google Hangout which worked like a champ for the whole eight hours.  My family and friends back home felt very included in the whole event – which I am grateful technology was able to provide.

So I am now officially Mrs. Omar Alexander – Sahmoudi although I am not legally changing my name for now 🙂  That would mean a hassle with my passport and other stuff I don’t even want to contemplate right now!

Omar and I still haven’t gone on a honeymoon – although perhaps in the near future – we may save up and take a short trip to a European country that ISNT on the Euro.

My henna and my husbands hands

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