The Swiss authorities online

Jump to content

Getting married: civil wedding ceremony

Before you can get married, you must meet a number of legal requirements and submit an application to your local civil register office.

Requirements

To get married, you must meet the following legal requirements:

  • The person you want to marry must be of the opposite sex;
  • You must both be over the age of 18 and have the capacity to consent;
  • If either of you are not Swiss citizens, you must be lawfully resident in Switzerland at the time of marriage.

You are not allowed to get married

  • If either person is already married or in a registered partnership;
  • If you are closely related to the other person;
  • In order to circumvent laws on the admission and residence of foreign nationals.

Submit a marriage application

To apply to the civil register office to get married:

  • You must complete a ‘marriage preparation’ application form;
  • You will need to present various documents depending on your situation (see the information provided by your civil register office);
  • You must both personally declare before the registrar that you meet all of the requirements to get married;

The register office will then examine your application and inform you in writing if the wedding can take place.

The civil ceremony

Contact the civil register office

Before you can get married, you must submit an application to the civil register office of your or your partner’s place of residence.

  • The ceremony itself can take place ten days at the earliest and three months at the latest after the authorisation for the marriage has been granted.
  • The ceremony is public and takes place at a civil register office venue.
  • Two adult witnesses with the capacity to consent must be present.
  • The bride and groom and two witnesses sign a document to record the marriage in the civil status register.
  • You will be given your family record document.

Addresses of Swiss civil register offices

Average fees

The fee for a civil ceremony is between CHF 300 and CHF 400 all over Switzerland. There may be additional costs in the case of special requests, for example a Saturday ceremony or ceremony outside the register office venue.

Church weddings

You may also get married in a church, but only after the civil ceremony. For information, contact the church office of your place of residence.

Frequently asked questions about marriage

Who must I inform?

You must inform the authorities, your employer, the tax authorities, your bank and insurance of your change of civil status. You must give your new civil status on new applications.

Changes to official documents

If you change your name when you get married, the information in some of your documents will need to be updated. Some of the documents that need changing are:

  • Passport and identity card
  • Old-age, survivor’s and invalidity insurance certificate
  • Driving licence and vehicle registration document
  • Bank and credit cards
  • Your certificate of origin. Your commune of residence usually orders the new certificate from the register office and sends the bill to you by post. Otherwise you must order the certificate of origin yourself and send it to your commune of origin.

Contact your commune of residence

Order a marriage certificate

Changes to your driving licence