Registry office weddings are a non-religious alternative to Church marriages for people of other faiths, or who are of no religion. Also many couples are just not comfortable with a traditional wedding so they choose this route.
Below are all the information you need to plan a registry office wedding in Belgium.
To get married in Belgium, either you or your future spouse must be a Belgian citizen or have been resident in Belgium for at least three months. According to the Belgian government, air tickets and rental agreements can be used as proof of residence.
Notice: You must notify the registrar of your intention to marry at least two weeks in before your wedding. Expect to provide detailed information about yourself and your future spouse.
The registrar will then issue an ‘act of intent to marry’ which is displayed publicly. As long as there are no objections, your marriage can then go ahead between 14 days and six months later.
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Requirements: Both of you must be over 18 and not already married. Those over 16 may get married with the permission of their parents and the courts. Foreigners must meet the criteria for marriage in their home country, including age limits.
Documentation for a Belgian wedding:
You need to provide:
- ID (e.g., passport)
- Birth certificate
- Prenuptial agreement (if required)
- Proof of address (e.g., rental agreement, recent bills)
- Proof of nationality
- Proofs of civil status (e.g., a divorce or death certificate, if you have been married previously)
- Proof of residence – Belgian authorities will expect this to be a certificate, as described below, however, if your place of residence is not Belgium, and does not issue these certificates, other proof will be required.
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Ceremony: The legally ceremony must take place at a registry office, which is in the local town hall. Space may be limited, but it is typically possible to bring 20 or so guests.
The couple may supply up to four witnesses, who should all be over 18 and bring ID. If you, your partner or your witnesses are not fluent in the local language, you should supply a translator. The translator does not need to be a certified professional but should be competent.
Costs: The civil ceremony typically costs €250–300, however the charge for a Saturday afternoon in a popular area may be double this.
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