Ein Bräutigam steckt seiner Braut den Ehering an den Finger. © Goethe-Institut


In many countries people marry at the register office. That is a state-recognised marriage. That’s how things are in Germany too. You can also marry in church. The church wedding takes place after the register office one.

Would you like to get married in Germany? Then you need to register at the register office in your place of residence. You need some documents to register: your registration card, your ID or passport and your birth certificate. Do you and your partner have children together? Then you also need to bring the children’s documents. You need to have these documents translated into German. They need to be signed by a notary to show that the translations are correct. He has to authenticate the translations.  

Since 1 October 2017, same-sex couples in Germany have been able to marry, with all rights and obligations of marriage. For example, they may adopt children like heterosexual couples can, if they meet the necessary requirements.

Es sind zwei Bräute zu sehen, die die gleichgeschlechtliche Ehe eingehen. © Goethe-Institut If you have got married, you will be issued with a new document by the register office: the marriage certificate. If you like, they can also give you a family register, which contains information about your family.

Did you get married in your native country? Then you must have been given a document there. This document is your foreign marriage certificate. You can have it recognised at your register office in Germany. 

Wedding celebrations

Most people have a big party to celebrate their wedding. The bride – the wife – often wears a white wedding dress. Many couples also buy wedding rings. At the wedding, the bridegroom – the husband – receives a ring from his wife, and the wife receives a ring from her husband.

You can find more information on the topic of “International marriage” can be found on the Federal Foreign Office website.

Information about “Subsequent entry of spouses” – in other words when you come to Germany to be with your husband or wife, can be found on the BAMF website:

Ein weiß geschmückter Saal mit Hochzeitsdeko ist zu sehen. © Goethe-Institut

Separation and divorce

There are various reasons couples decide to separate or divorce. Consultation may be helpful, particularly if children are affected or maintenance is involved. To some extent, counselling centres may also help with legal issues.

Video International Sign

Frequently asked questions

Further questions? Write us via the contact form. We will forward your questions anonymously to the advisors of the youth migration services.

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