How to get married in Germany

This guide explains how to get married in Berlin and the rest of Germany. It explains how to register your marriage and make it official (the Eheschließung), not how to plan a wedding ceremony.

How hard is it?

It’s surprisingly complicated. You must prepare a lot of documents. If you are an immigrant, you need many original documents from your home country. They must be certified by both countries, then translated by a certified translator.

Usually, it takes 2 to 10 months.3 It costs a few hundred euros.

People often get married in Denmark because it’s cheaper, faster and easier.

How much does it cost?

A few hundred euros. It costs more if you were born in another country or if you don’t speak German, because you need expensive certified translations for everything.7 If you don’t speak German, you also need a sworn interpreter for your Standesamt appointment.

How to get married

This is how you register your marriage and become officially married. It’s called the Eheschließung. Your names are added to the Eheregister.

1. Prepare the required documents

You need these documents to get married.2 Your city might require more documents.

For each person, you need…

  • Passport
  • Official copy of your birth certificate
    It must be less than 6 months old.4 If it’s not a EU birth certificate, it needs an Apostille and certified translation.
  • Registration certificate (Anmeldebestätigung)
    You might need a recent copy of it (Meldebescheinigung) that is less than 3 weeks old.
  • Income certificate (Einkommensbescheinigung)
    If you have a work contract, your employer’s HR department should provide you with a copy. If you’re a freelancer, download this form (here’s a copy) and ask an accountant to review/sign it for you.
  • Certificate of no impediment to marriage (Ehefähigkeitszeugnis)
    You can usually get it from your embassy. To get this document, you might need to send more documents. It can take a few weeks. Some countries don’t to give a valid Ehefähigkeitszeugnis. Your certificate might need to be approved by a Kammergericht for around 75€.
  • Divorce certificate
    If you were married before, you need it to prove your divorce. If it’s not a EU birth certificate, it needs an Apostille and certified translation.

If your name, gender or nationality changed, you might need certificates to prove it:

  • Naturalisation certificate (Einbürgerungsurkunde)
    If you became a German citizen, bring this document.
  • Name change certificate (Namensänderungsurkunde)
    If you changed your name, bring this document.

All your documents must be in German.9 If your original documents are in a different alphabet, make sure that your names are always translated the same way.

They might ask for documents that don’t exist or that are impossible to get. You must convince them that you can’t get those documents. Your only option might be to get married in another EU country.

Sometimes, your documents might expire while you wait. Your application might be rejected, and you might need to get a newer version of the documents.5

2. Get a Standesamt appointment

Get an appointment at the Bürgeramt or Standesamt, depending on your city. In some cities, appointments can be hard to find. They can be months later.

In Berlin, some Standesamt locations have no appointments. You must contact them and ask for instructions.

Book an appointment in Berlin:

3. Find an interpreter

If you don’t speak German, you must bring an interpreter to your Standesamt appointment.6 You can’t just bring a friend who speaks German.

They might require a sworn interpreter (beeidigte Dolmetscher), not just a regular interpreter. A regular interpreter costs around 140€. A sworn interpreter costs around 240€.8

In Berlin, I recommend Red Tape Translation. They have both regular and sworn interpreters.

Find a sworn interpreter

4. Go to your appointment

Both spouses must go to the appointment. Bring all the required documents. If you don’t speak German, bring a sworn interpreter.

5. Get approved

2 to 4 weeks after your Standesamt appointment, you get a certificate that confirms that you can get married. In Berlin, you have 6 months to get married after you get that certificate.

Get married in Denmark

People often get married in Denmark. It’s cheaper, faster and much easier than getting married in Germany.1 You can book everything online, and go to Denmark to get married a few weeks later. You need fewer documents, Apostille and certified translations, so it’s cheaper.

Get married in Denmark – Danish Agency of Family Law

After your get married in another country, you must register your marriage in Germany (Nachbeurkundung). If you got married in the EU, it’s easy.

Register a foreign marriage in Berlin

Sources and footnotes
  1. Reddit (2024), Reddit (2021), Settle in Berlin 

  2. Reddit (2024) 

  3. Reddit (2024), Reddit (2018) 

  4. Reddit (2024), Reddit (2024), Reddit (2024) 

  5. Reddit (2024) 

  6. (2024), Reddit (2024) 

  7. Reddit (2024) 

  8. Kathleen Parker at Red Tape Translation (May 2024)