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Getting Married in Germany - Things You Should Know

Aug 17, 2007
Normally the requirements for non-German citizens to be married in Germany are numerous and can be difficult to meet. The concept of the quick legal marriage as found in Las Vegas is not available in Germany. The best solution to avoiding problems is to have a professional wedding agency arrange the wedding, as they should be aware of all the German requirements. Here are some guidelines for you to follow:

Local Requirements:
Check with the American and German embassies for local requirements.

Official Documents Needed in Germany:
Have your passports with you at the ceremony. You will need a long form of your birth certificate - the one with your parent's names. Have in your possession divorce decrees, annulment decrees, or death certificates if any are pertinent.

Ledigkeitbescheinigung:
This is a certificate that states there are no impediments to the marriage as both the bride and groom are single. (Ledigkeit = Single) (Bescheinigung = Certificate).

Earnings and Bank Statements:
The fee for the marriage is commensurate to your financial status. Also, while not required, both the bride and groom may want to see each others documents before the ceremony!

Only Civil Weddings Are Legal:
The couple must apply to one of four alien registry offices before a Standesamte can perform the ceremony. Religious ceremonies can only be performed after a civil ceremony. Unlike in the United States, you cannot simply get married in a church and be legally married. You must first get married at the registrar's office and then you can have your church wedding later. Don't be alarmed though - many of these offices are decorated nicely with flowers and warm atmospheres. Don't expect to find stained glass and religious themes as they try to keep things as neutral as possible.

Citizenship:
I you are an American marrying a German citizen, you do not need to change your citizenship nor does a German need to change his or her citizenship when getting married in America. After getting married in Germany and you should decide to live in the United States, you will need to apply for an Immigrant Visa for the non-American spouse.

Other Recommendations:
Remember that the ceremony will be in German so it may be handy to have a translator with you. Don't forget about all the wonderful castles there are in Germany. Many of them offer wedding ceremonies.

An Alternative:
If the requirements for a wedding in Germany seem to be too much trouble, you can always choose to take a nice vacation in Germany instead.
About the Author
Evelyn Whitaker writes articles for German Toasting Glasses http://www.german-toasting-glasses.com which specializes in custom engraved wedding gifts from Germany.
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