Marriage at home and abroad; execution

In principle, a marriage can be concluded in any German registry office. A marriage abroad is recognized if it was concluded before the competent body.


Civil marriage ceremony

The registrar asks the two spouses one after the other whether they wish to enter into marriage with each other. If both answer ''yes'', they are legally joined spouses by virtue of law. Up to two witnesses may be present at the marriage ceremony. The number of additional wedding guests is left to the discretion of the bride and groom.

The marriage is recorded in the marriage register. In addition, at the request of the couple, a family record book is issued. The family record book is a private collection of documents.

Marriage abroad

In principle, marriages are also recognized in the Federal Republic of Germany if they are concluded abroad. However, the marriage must then be concluded in the form that is customary in the respective foreign state.

Before marrying abroad, the German should obtain a certificate of marriageability from the competent German registry office. It is required by most foreign registry offices. It should also be noted that foreign marriage certificates may only be recognized in Germany after they have been certified by the foreign authorities or the respective German consulate in the foreign country. Since different requirements have to be observed, it is advisable in any case to seek advice from the German registry office at the place of residence before planning a marriage abroad. Leaflets on marrying abroad are also available from the Federal Office of Administration in Cologne (see "Further links"). Information can also be obtained from the respective German consulates or consular sections of the German embassies abroad.

Marriages of Germans abroad can be subsequently recorded at the registry office of the place of residence. Your local registry office will be happy to advise you.


In case of marriage in the country: prior registration of the marriage at the registry office.


  • The costs for the marriage depend on the respective administrative expenses. Your competent registry office will be happy to inform you about the fees and expenses incurred for the marriage (see also under "Related topics" - "Marriage; Registration").

    For marriages before a registry office other than the one responsible for the registration, a fee of 40.00 EUR is charged in any case.

    A fee of 55.00 EUR is generally charged for the subsequent certification of a marriage that took place abroad.

    A fee of 12.00 EUR is charged for a marriage certificate.

Legal bases

Links to more information


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