5 Tips for getting married in Germany
THESE ARE OUR 5 TIPS FOR GETTING MARRIED IN GERMANY – EVERYTHING YOU WILL NEED TO KNOW FOR YOUR DESTINATION WEDDING
Are you planning to get married in Germany? That’s great! Germany has it all. From the Black Forest to the beautiful sea. The heart of Europe is known for cozy mountain lodges, beautiful beaches, lush forests and the most elegant castles. The rich and long history of this country has created some stunning architecture. Being in the middle of Europe, the German architecture has many influences in terms of art, architecture and culture. And even though Germany might not be the warmest country with a lot of sunshine – the cute historic cities and the diverse nature make up for the lack of sun. We are now going to share our top 5 tips for a wedding in Germany! From translating your documents to booking your dream wedding venue, this helpful guide provides all you need to know about getting married in Germany.
Castle Wedding in Germany
A wedding in an elegant, old and charming castle in Germany is always a great idea. Besides, Germany offers a lot of stunning old buildings that have a rich history. Castles surrounded by stunning nature, beautiful vineyards, lush gardens or peaceful rivers create a romantic atmosphere that is just perfect for a wedding. The castles make the fairytale wedding dream come true. Make a journey through different eras with your castle wedding and feel the nobility.
WHEN IS THE BEST SEASON TO GET MARRIED IN GERMANY?
Like with all weddings, it’s a good idea to start planning early on, with destination weddings maybe even a bit earlier. One and a half years in advance is a good time to start planning if you want to get married in Germany. This way you will have enough time and can make sure to get a booking with your favourite vendors at your desired date. The same goes for family and friends since they also have tight agendas and are sometimes booked out years in advance 😉
The climate in Germany is mostly moderate. There is wintertime, summertime and also spring and autumn. If you wish for sunshine and warm temperatures on your wedding day, you should get married during summer. So the perfect time to get married in Germany depends mostly on the weather that you wish for. Do you want a cozy wedding with snow? Then a winter wedding in the mountains is the best fit for you. Most countries, like here in Germany, the wedding season starts with late spring and ends in fall.
HOW MANY GUESTS SHOULD I INVITE AND WHAT ABOUT THE BUDGET?
It’s always a good to first get an idea of how your potential guests feel about a destination wedding in Germany and not present them with a fait accompli. After you get a feel for who would make the trip to be part of your wedding, and would be willing to face the costs, you can start planning with this number of guests. In general we advise to limit the number of guests you invite to Germany and include only your closest family members and friends. With those people you can be sure that they will make anything possible to be part of your big day. Of course nobody wants to miss their best friend’s or child’s wedding. And if you plan far enough in advance, you will still be able to get a hold of those really affordable flights to Berlin or Frankfurt.
What you need now is the budget for your destination wedding in Germany. A lot of people immediately think that a wedding abroad is extremely expensive. If you plan skillfully, it won’t be too expensive. Nevertheless, good vendors and extraordinary venues do have their price.
WHAT ARE THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR A CIVIL WEDDING IN GERMANY?
After you and your partner decided that you want to get married in Germany, it’s time to focus on the legal requirements! There are so many things to think of – the documents, the fees, the ceremony…
Getting legally married in Germany is only possible through a civil ceremony which takes place at the registry offices (Standesamt). The Federal Foreign Office regards marriage as “a legally binding contract” rather than an act of love. Therefore, it can take some bureaucratic effort. To get married legally in Germany you need to follow specific legal requirements.
To apply for a legal marriage in Germany you need to provide the following documents:
- Valid passports of both partners
- Official Statement of Residency (Meldebescheinigung) of a minimum of 21 days of continuous residence in Germany
- Original long form birth certificate with parents’ names
- Birth certificates of any children the couple have had together (get this translated)
- Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) (Befreiung vom Ehefähigkeitszeugnis) (get this translated)
- Affidavit confirming both parties are single (Ledigkeitsbescheinigung)
- Marriage questionnaire (from the registry office)
- Certificate of finality of divorce (if applicable)
- Marriage certificates from any previous marriages (if applicable)
- Death certificate of previous spouse (if applicable)
- Confirmation of name change (if applicable)
- Financial statement
Please note that the registrar’s office might request that all foreign public documents be presented with an additional Apostille.
Civil ceremonies performed in Germany are internationally recognized and legally binding.
TIPP: If you marry a German citizen in Germany and plan to stay and live there, apply for the ‘long stay visitor’ visa. After the marriage, the local municipality will change your visa into a residency card for spouses of German citizens.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A MARRIAGE IN GERMANY
To begin the marriage process you need to submit an application at the local registry office (Standesamt) which is usually located in the town hall. There you give notice of the impending marriage (Antrag auf Eheschliessung).
The next step is to make an appointment at the town hall and attend a meeting. During the meeting they will explain the process and documentation you need to submit. You should aim to arrange this meeting several months before you intend to marry, to give you both ample time to gather and submit all the required documents.
Ideally, both partners should attend the meeting in person. However, if one partner is unable to attend, the other may go his/her their own as long as the absent partner has given power of attorney to act on their behalf. If you both are not able to attend, you can also give power of attorney to your wedding planner to cat on behalf of you.
Make sure to check the opening hours before you visit, as offices are often only open for a couple of hours during the week. Once your documents have been approved, you must get married within six months; otherwise, you will have to start the process all over again.
Couples can choose to hold the ceremony in a different municipality, but they will need to arrange this with the registry office in the municipality in which they are registered.
To summarize, the marriage process in Germany goes as follows:
- Visit the registry office to give intention to marry (foreigners must have been living in the locality for at least 21 days);
- Have your documents translated into German by a certified interpreter and if necessary provided with an additional Apostille;
- Submit documents to the registry office;
- Organize the wedding ceremony to take place within the following six months;
- Notify the registrar of the names of any witnesses you wish to attend at least eight days before the wedding.