Getting Married in Germany
Things You Need to Know
It can be difficult for non-German citizens to get married in Germany. It’s not like getting married in Vegas - you can’t get married quickly in Germany.
The best way to go about getting married in Germany is to have a professional wedding agency arrange it for you. Wedding agencies are aware of all the requirements and can take a load of added stress off of you. After all, you have enough to do, right?
To help you with this, we have listed some easy to follow guidelines below:
- There will be local requirements depending on where in Germany you are getting married. You will want to check with the American and German embassies for this information. They usually have packets you can get that detail the requirements.
- You will need official documents. Make sure you have your passports with you at the ceremony. You will also need a certified copy of your birth certificate (with the stamp) that shows your mother and father’s names. If you have been divorced before, make sure you also have those legal documents as well as any annulment decrees. If you are widowed, you will have to bring the original death certificate or a certified copy of your deceased spouse.
- You will need what is called a “Ledigkeitbescheinigung” (translated means single certificate). This is a certificate that states there are no impediments to the marriage as both bride and groom are single.
- The cost of getting married in Germany depends on your financial status. The more you earn, the more you pay so you may want to bring copies of bank statements.
- In Germany, you can’t just get married in a church and be legally married like you can in the United States. The way it is done is you have to get married by a registrar (Standesamt in German) at the Mayor’s house (Rathaus in German) first. Once the marriage is legal, then you may have the ceremony in a church. It is important here that you check with the registry office in the area you will be getting married at to see what their required documents are. They can vary from area to area and some have rules such as needed a six week notice before the ceremony is performed.
- If you will be having a church ceremony after the official wedding, you will need baptism certificates and a Certificate of Dismission which allows you to get married outside of your county if you are Catholic.
- For all the documents you will be bringing with you, you will need to have what is called an “Apostille”. This is basically a legal translation of all your documents into the German language. This will be needed because most documents are only recognized in the country they were issued in. An Apostille is provided by the Deputy Secretary of State and you will need to contact the Deputy for the state the document was issued from. It takes time to get this, so plan out well ahead of time.
- You may be required to show a medical certificate that shows blood test results, but this is usually only mandatory if the state you reside in also has this rule.
- If you are a minor (under 18) you should have a notarized copy of permission from your parents.
- For same sex marriages, this is allowed in Germany. In Germany, gay couples have pretty much the same rights as heterosexual couples do.
- Cousin marriages are also allowed in Germany.
There are a lot of requirements and things to think about if you want to get married in Germany. Please also keep in mind that laws and rules do change, so it is best advised that you check closely into all the current requirements first. Germany is a beautiful place to get married at and although it may take a lot of work, in the end it will be well worth it!