The main source of information about how to get married in Brazil is always the local civil registry office (Cartório do registro civil) that is responsible for the place of residence of the Brazilian bride/bridegroom. Only there you will get the correct information about which documents are needed and the execution of the wedding. Because each Cartório is handling a wedding between a Brazilian citizen and a foreigner different and information’s from other couples who married already in Brazil may cause some confusion and headache if it’s not working the same way like it did before. But don’t forget that the Cartório where you are going to marry might ask for additional or different documents for you to present!
About religious ceremonies can be made ONLY after a civil wedding. By law the priest or minister has to check the existence of a civil marriage before doing the religious ceremony. But this is like very often in Brazil a question of negotiation – “jeitinho brasileiro”.
After the wedding it’s very important to remember to notarize the Brazilian wedding certificate at the local Consulate or Embassy of your home country. Otherwise the certificate may not be recognized by the authorities in your home country.