Preparing for a civil marriage

To have a civil marriage in Luxembourg, it is necessary to accomplish certain formalities in advance (which may vary depending on the nationalities of the future spouses) and to assemble all of the documents required to constitute the marriage file.

Religious marriage may only be celebrated after the civil marriage has taken place. Therefore, religious marriages alone, that is to say not preceded by a civil marriage, are strictly prohibited.

Who is concerned

Two persons of different or the same genders may marry.

The formalities to be accomplished in preparing for a civil marriage apply to all persons who wish to get married in Luxembourg, regardless of their nationality.

To be permitted to marry in Luxembourg, the future spouses must be at least 18 years old, and one of them must be an official resident of Luxembourg.

It is possible for a minor to marry. However, authorisation from the guardianship judge is required in such a case.

Deadlines

It is recommended that preparations for a civil marriage begin no later than:

  • 2 months before the date of the marriage, for residents of Luxembourgish nationality;
  • 3 months before the date of the marriage, for residents who are not Luxembourgish nationals.
The marriage ceremony itself may only take place in the commune in which either one of the future spouses legally resides.

How to proceed

Preliminary steps to be taken in preparing the marriage file

The preliminary steps to be taken are the following:

  • one of the future spouses must go before the civil registrar of the commune in which either of them legally resides (either commune may be chosen) to accomplish the formalities required for preparing the marriage file. That person must bring their identity card or passport, as well as that of their future spouse;
  • the civil registrar will give the future spouse the necessary forms relating to the steps to be taken, and will indicate the supporting documents to be provided. The documents required (listed in point 4) to prepare the marriage file must be in French, German, or English. If this is not the case, the future spouses must:
    • either obtain a national document, bearing a signature that has been certified or a Hague Convention apostille, that has been translated by a 'sworn' translator into one of those 3 language (a list of sworn translators may be requested from the Ministry of Justice);
    • or request an international document (in accordance with the annex to ICCS Convention No. 16).

The required documents must be submitted to the civil registrar's office no later than 1 month before the date of the marriage.

Required documents and information

If the civil marriage is to be celebrated under Luxembourg law, the official documents to be provided vary depending on the customs of the country of origin of the future spouses.

Documents required for preparing the marriage file

  • proof of identity (photocopy of a valid passport or ID card);
  • a full copy of the birth certificates of the future spouses (mentioning the names of their parents), issued by the commune in which they were born. In order to be valid, this full copy must be dated less than 6 months prior to submission. If this document cannot be produced, the interested party may replace it with a notarised document issued by the justice of the peace in their place of birth or legal domicile, which document must be approved by the district court for the district in which the marriage is to be celebrated. If the birth certificate was prepared abroad, the parties must produce:
    • either an international document (in accordance with the annex to ICCS Convention No. 16);
    • or a national document bearing a signature that has been certified or a Hague Convention apostille.
  • a residency certificate, only for persons who are not legally domiciled in Luxembourg, or any document attesting to residency if such a certificate is not available in their country of residence;
  • where applicable, proof of single status (mentioning civil status) establishing the single status of the future spouses. For Luxembourg nationals, a recent copy of their birth certificates prepared in Luxembourg will suffice. For foreign nationals, proof of single status is attested to by a certificate of legal capacity to marry. If this certificate cannot be issued by the authorities of the interested party's country of origin, it may be replaced by a certificate of national custom and a certificate of single status. To find out which authority can issue these documents abroad, it is recommended that interested parties contact the commune where they last resided abroad, or the competent embassy.
The civil registrar will check the domicile of resident persons when compiling the dossier.

Where applicable:

  • the death certificate of the previous spouse;
  • the birth certificate of children to be legitimised. If one or more children were born before the marriage and were not recognised by the father (and/or the mother), these children must be recognised before the marriage takes place. The child or children cannot obtain the status of legitimate children if they are not recognised before the marriage. Therefore, a duly recognised child is automatically legitimised by the marriage;
  • the death certificate of the father or mother, for minors;
  • a marriage certificate with mention of a divorce or transcription of a divorce judgement.

Documents relating to a divorce include:

  • a marriage certificate with mention of a divorce or a judgement of divorce for all previous marriages;
  • a divorce judgement pronounced abroad:
    • in the case of a judgement pronounced in a European Union Member State before 1 March 2001: the divorce must be confirmed by an enforceable judgement of the Luxembourg Court;
    • in the case of a judgement pronounced in a European Union Member State after 1 March 2001: the divorce must be confirmed by a certificate concerning judgements in matrimonial matters (provided for in Art. 39 of Regulation (EC) 2201/2003) duly completed by the competent foreign jurisdiction or authority of the European Union Member State in which the judgement was rendered. The certificate must be drafted, dated, and signed.
    • in the case of a judgement pronounced in a State that is not a European Union Member State (and regardless of the date of the divorce judgement): the judgement must be confirmed by an enforceable judgement of the Luxembourg Court.

Information to provide in order to finalise preparations for the marriage

  • date and place of birth of the parents, their domiciles, and their professions. If one of the fathers or mothers is deceased, the date and place of death must be indicated;
  • the national identification numbers (13-digit social security number - matricule) of the future spouses;
  • the number of people attending the civil marriage;
  • the address of the future spouses following the marriage.

Asylum seekers who are not yet recognised as residents themselves must prove their current marital status by producing a certificate attesting to that status (issued by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (Ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes - MAEE) - Immigration Directorate) in order to marry in Luxembourg.

Special provisions concerning German nationals

The German certificate of legal capacity to marry (Ehefähigkeitszeugnis) is issued upon request to the civil registrar of the commune in Luxembourg in which the marriage is to take place. It is issued by:

  • the last commune of residence in Germany;
  • the commune of birth;
  • the Standesamt I Berlin, when the interested party has never lived in Germany.
Special provisions concerning Italian nationals
  • Individuals born and domiciled in Luxembourg since birth: the announcement of marriage is published in the Italian Consulate, which will be informed by the civil registrar of the commune of residence;
  • Individuals born in Italy: the announcement of marriage is published in Italy. The civil registrar will inform the relevant commune through the Italian Consulate.

The interested party must pay a tax to the commune in Italy.

Special provisions concerning Portuguese nationals

Interested parties must go together to the Portuguese General Consul in Luxembourg, bringing the necessary documentation, which generally consists of the following:

  • a recently issued birth certificate (dated less than 6 months before submission);
  • a national identity card;
  • passport;
  • foreigner's identification card or certificate of residency;
  • parental authorisation for minors of less than 18 years of age;
  • Portuguese birth certificate mentioning current marital status.

The Consulate's office will publicise the marriage on the premises of the consular chancery and, where applicable, in the competent Portuguese civil registrar's office, depending on the place of residence of the interested parties over the 12 months preceding the establishment of the file.

After completion of the file, these offices will forward the certificate of legal capacity to marry, accompanied by the documents produced, directly to the relevant communal administration.

The marriage ceremony

Given that certain formalities must be accomplished in advance, the future spouses are strongly advised to go to the civil registrar's office at least 2 to 3 months prior to the date chosen for the marriage.

In Luxembourg, every marriage must be preceded by the publication of a marriage announcement over a 10-day period in the commune where the 2 spouses live. The announcement is published as soon as the commune in which the marriage ceremony is to be held receives the required documents.

For persons who have lived in their commune of residence for less than 6 months, the marriage announcement must also be published in the previous commune of residence.

The marriage ceremony must be held no later than 12 months after the end of the publication period. If it is not, the announcement will have to be published again.

The date and time of the marriage ceremony will be set when all of the documents required for the publication of the marriage announcement have been submitted.

In principle, marriages may take place on any working day of the week. They must take place at the commune's town hall.

However, if a serious reason prevents the spouses from having the marriage ceremony performed at the town hall, the public prosecutor for the district in which the marriage is to take place may require the civil registrar to travel to the domicile or residence of one of the parties to perform the marriage.

Who to contact

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