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Marriage in Austria

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If you wish to get married in Austria, it is important to know that only civil ceremonies are legally binding in the country. However, you may also wish to have a religious ceremony afterwards. Marriages in Austria are legally binding and are recognised by international governments. There are no residency requirements for Austrian weddings, so a marriage can occur as soon as all paperwork is completed and approved. Civil wedding ceremonies are conducted in German, so a translator may be required. They are conducted by the Vital Statistics Office, know as the Standesamt.

 Important:

Same-sex partnerships are recognised and offers many of the same rights married couples enjoy, but same-sex marriage is not legalised in Austria.

Legal requirements

To marry in Austria, both parties must be over the age of 18, or be accompanied by a parent or guardian if they are between 16-18 years. Both sides must also provide:

  • Passport and their birth certificate (original or certified copy).
  • Completed residence registration form and proof of residence. (Residence proof may not be required if you are staying in a hotel.)
  • A completed certificate of Freedom to Marry.
  • If you have been previously married, proof of dissolution of precious marriage and your previous Marriage Certificate.
  • Documents must be translated into German by an official translator.

Procedures

The first step is to file an application for marriage, which is done through the main registrar’s office in Vienna (if neither party is Austrian or an Austrian resident). If one or both parties are Austrian, the application can be filed outside of Vienna. It is often helpful to hire a wedding planner to assist with the paperwork and bureaucratic processes, which can be confusing, especially if you don’t speak German.

The application can be filed up to six months before the wedding, and may then have a two to a six-week waiting period before the application is processed and a date for the wedding can be secured. The application must also be filed jointly, with both parties present. The registrar will require legal proof of eligibility to marry and will need to know of any potential impediments to marriage. There are also fees attached with filing the application. After the wedding has taken place, a certificate of marriage will be issued.

For more detailed information about the process, you should consult your local Austrian embassy or consulate.

Wedding traditions

Austria has many wedding traditions, designed to bring good luck to the new couple. For example, Wednesdays are considered the best date for a wedding, and it is deemed to be unlucky for the bride to make her own wedding dress.

In traditional weddings, after exchanging vows, the couple enjoys a meal, traditional frivolities and games, dancing and socialising with their friends and family. If you are attending a wedding, they are often formal affairs, and gifts are to be given to the couple, which could include money (unless otherwise specified), or something for their home and their new life together.

 Useful links:

Marriage, Austrian government
Austrian wedding traditions

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