Many people move to Luxembourg for work, and stay for love. If this is you and you’ve just got engaged then City Savvy’s Katrin Iannizzi is here to help get you started on the exciting journey of getting married in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
As of the 1st January 2015 same sex marriage is legal in Luxembourg, so to simplify matters the terms partner/partners and not wife/husband will be used. All the information is of course valid for same sex couples and opposite sex couples equally.
Your first point of contact should always be your Commune, and one of the persons getting married will need to go to the Commune in person with the relevant documents. The basic rules on what to do, where to go and what documents to get when getting married in Luxembourg are the same in every Commune. Some Communes offer the possibility of a wedding on a Saturday, some Communes can offer more beautiful ceremony locations than the registry office at city hall. Your Commune will also be able to give you exact information on what documents are needed and what deadlines have to be kept. Do not delay this trip!
- You and your partner must be 18 years of age, or older. Special rules apply for minors wanting to get married.
- Luxembourg law only recognises the civil marriage and this must be performed by a Luxembourgish civil registrar (officier de l’état civil).
- Therefore, if you and your partner are planning on having a religious wedding, it has to take place after the civil wedding – keep this in mind when making other location reservations (church, restaurant etc.).
- One partner has to be a legal resident of Luxembourg.
- The civil wedding has to take place in the Commune where one of the partners has his/her legal residence (i.e. two people having their legal residence in Remich and Wiltz respectively, wouldn’t be able to get married at City Hall in Luxembourg-City, they would have to get married either in Remich or Wiltz).
- Please note that the administrative process might take a while, so please contact your Commune’s registry office as soon as possible. It will usually take 3 months to get all the paperwork in order.
- In case you and your partner have a child together (not a stepchild), please make sure to ask the civil registry officer what documents you will need for your child to be considered an enfant légitime.
- Please note that all documents must be in English, French or German. Otherwise a translation by a sworn translator (traducteur assermenté) must be provided .
- valid passport / carte d’identité (depending on your country of origin – for more detailed information please have a look at the links at the bottom of this article)
- extrait de l’acte de naissance, i.e. an official document in relation to your birth certificate (usually less than 6 months old)
- residence attestation for those living in Luxembourg (usually less than 3 months old), valid visa for the non-resident partner
- in case either of you has been married before, you’ll need a divorce certificate
- in case either of you has been widowed, you’ll need your former spouses death certificate
- depending on your country of origin you’ll need a Ehefähigkeitszeugnis (Germany, Austria), certificate of marital status (USA), certificate of no impediment (GB, IRL), certificat de capacité matrimoniale (Spain, Greece, Italy, Moldavia, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey), or similar document. In case such a document doesn’t exist in your country of origin you’ll need a civil status certificate / certificat de célibat / Ledigkeitsbescheinigung. Please contact your country of origin’s Embassy / Consulate for further details (see here)
Most documents must be no older than six months and must be presented at least a month before the wedding is scheduled. If you come from a country that does not recognise same sex marriage the certificate de coutume (certificate of custom law) also serves to remind you of the restrictions in the law there. Applying for a certificat de coutume can be problematic if you come from a country that does not recognise same sex marriage. However consulates based in Luxembourg can be very helpful in guiding you through these forms, for a cost and our source recommends that you allow about three months to complete this type of document.
Your wedding banns must be published for at least 10 days in the Commune you and your partner are resident in. So if you live in different communes then the banns should be published in both communes. Your marriage must take place within 12 months following the publication.
The Civil Ceremony
Once you’ve provided the Commune with all the required documents then you can start planning the Civil Ceremony and fix a date with the civil registrar. The civil ceremony will usually take place on a weekday. Some communes may have particular days only available for a wedding ceremony, and some may allow you to have a ceremony on a Saturday by special request. It’s always worth checking with your commune. You don’t need any witnesses for the civil ceremony, but typically couples do have their parents, siblings and maybe some close friends there. If there is no religious ceremony at a later date then this civil ceremony may of course have more people attending! After the civil ceremony you can obtain an extrait d’acte de mariage (wedding certificate) – which is needed for any religious ceremony you may have at a later date – by writing to the Commune where your marriage took place. You will also be given a livret de famille (family record book) after the civil ceremony. This is an official document recording your marriage and will include later events such as births, deaths, divorce or name changes.
The Religious Ceremony
Many couples also like to have a religious ceremony. This usually takes place in a church after the civil ceremony and is typically the date the reception party is also held. See here for a list of English speaking churches. A list of other places of worship is coming soon.
- Marriage between a citizen of the European Union or equivalent and a national of a third party country: http://www.bienvenue.lu/documents/fck/file/pdf/mariage1/mariage1_EN.pdf
- Marriage between two nationals of a third party country: http://www.bienvenue.lu/documents/fck/file/pdf/mariage2/mariage2_EN.pdf
- Detailed information concerning administrative steps to take when getting married / registering your partnership / separating / getting divorced (in French):
- For information about what to do / where to go for people having their legal residence visit your Communes website. Here are some of the most popular communes:
Bertrange, Differdange, Esch-sur-Alzette (don’t let the name of the link fool you, just click on « mariage » at the bottom of the page), Luxembourg city, Mamer, Strassen , Walferdange.
Featured photo: Gianni Scognamiglio/unsplash
The words and content provided in this article, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice. If the reader or any other person has a concern about the marriage procedure, he or she should consult their commune first.