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Is it possible to get married in a German castle hotel?

Getting married in Germany is no spur-of-the-moment decision. You must plan in advance, carefully plot the course of events, strategize like a chess master, and stand back as the wheels of bureaucracy turn.

Like most European countries, it’s important to remember that only civil marriages are legal; weddings in a castle chapel, vineyard terrace, or on a boat floating on the Bodensee is frosting on the cake.

If you’re not a German national, the first place you should contact for advice is your embassy in Germany, which should have a printout or a packet detailing procedures. If you’re using a wedding coordinator, he or she should have current information on German requirements, but always double check for peace of mind.

Ready, set, go to the Standesamt (local magistrate’s office) closest to where you wish to be married. They can advise you of the appropriate documentation. At the Standesamt you will file a notice of your impending marriage. If both you and your intended don’t speak German, you’ll need to bring a translator.

Required documents

  1. A valid passport
  2. An original or certified copy of your birth certificate. If your birth certificate does not give personal data about your parents, you’ll need to bring their marriage certificate.
  3. If you’re a member of the US military, permission from your commanding officer.
  4. A health certificate
  5. Certificate of Free Status “Ehefähigkeitszeugnis” If you’ve been married before, this item can get very tricky. A copy of your divorce decree is not good enough. Your consulate needs to authenticate it, so there is no question that your prior divorce can ever be contested. A death certificate of your former spouse usually does not cause difficulties.

All of the above documents must be translated by a certified translator.

You’ll now pay a filing fee of around 50 euros.

If either you or your bride or groom to be is not German or a resident of Germany, you must apply to one of the four alien registrars’ offices in Hamburg, Munich, Baden-Baden, or Berlin before the civil ceremony can be performed at the Standesamt.

It takes around two weeks for the Standesamt to receive the paperwork back from the court. You now must pay another fee of about 30 euros.

The Standesamt civil wedding costs between 30-75 euros. the ceremony will be conducted in German. Bring a translator. Wedding rooms are usually very nice with flowers, flattering lighting, and tasteful art on the walls. Check it out first if this is important to you. You’ll see nothing that suggests any religious connotations.

Now you’re ready for your traditional wedding, and there are many magical spots from which to choose. A carriage drawn by four white horses to a castle draw bridge makes all that red tape worth it.