Speaking from experience, (as a non-EU citizen) trying to get married to a German in Germany is as impossible as it is frustrating. The mountains of completely unnecessary paperwork; running from this office to that office; getting all of the certified documents within a specific time frame; trying to get a Ledigkeitsbescheinigung – a certified letter from a government office in your home country confirming your single status – something that the German authorities insist on having BUT does not actually exist outside of Germany, (the Canadian embassy now offers a “Certificate in lieu of non-impediment to marriage certificate for German registrar” for a fee) the list is as confusing as it is endless. This video made by the talented & clever Andrew Bossum (aka rewboss) illustrates all of the insanity perfectly (although rewboss is an EU citizen & had to jump through a few less hoops than those of us without EU passports)
As funny (& unbelievable) as that video is, it is totally, completely true. There is even more madness if you are from a country outside of the European Union. Several times during our research into getting married in Germany I was either screaming at the total idiocy of “required” documents that I couldn’t get unless I teleported to Canada to retrieve them in person or I was sprawled on the floor in a weepy mess at the sheer hopelessness of the situation. All I wanted to do was marry the man of my dreams & live happily ever after but the evil wicked witch of German Bureaucracy kept holding me back. Luckily my Fairy Godmother Internet saved the day (& my sanity) once again.
Did you know that Denmark is the Las Vegas of Europe?? It’s true my lovelies – minus the Elvis impersonators – for a fraction of the cost & with only 2 weeks notice you can be married on a beautiful island in Denmark! It’s even cheaper & quicker if you marry on the mainland but we decided that we deserved a bit of beauty , romance & relaxation for our wedding.
After loads of research our choice for wedding coordinator was Danish Island Weddings of Aero Island. Their website is very informative (in German & English), and the owner, Louise Moloney, extremely helpful. All of our inquiries were answered the same day & our wedding was completely planned (including travel & accommodation) in about 2 weeks.
*We chose the Express Offer which includes the Apostille service (The Apostille certification stamp/signature is necessary for the marriage certificate to be recognized in Germany & internationally)
* Unfortunately in addition to birth certificates & passports the Ledigkeitsbescheinigung is still required for the marriage to be valid in Germany. As I said above, this document does not exist in other countries & no matter how many times you ask for it your embassy will not give it to you because it DOES NOT EXIST OUTSIDE OF GERMANY!
*UPDATE 2013: The Canadian embassy now offers a “Certificate in lieu of non-impediment to marriage certificate for German registrar” for a fee.
I got mine by complete flukey luck (& it may work for you too!): I happened to go to the Bürgeramt with my fiance on the day he went to get his Ledigkeitsbescheinigung. We went to the appropriate desk when our number was called, my man showed his ID & as we live together & are BOTH on the Anmeldebescheinigung (address registration) the wonderful woman behind the desk asked if we BOTH needed a Ledigkeitsbescheinigung. We quickly nodded & for a mere €10 we had flown over the last German Bureaucratic hurdle!
Hooray, off to Denmark to tie the knot!
As we were married in November the weather wasn’t wonderful but rain on your wedding day is good luck, at least according to the inhabitants of Aero Island, Denmark!
I found The Harmoni Guesthouse on the ‘net. We booked their lovely wedding package which included the honeymoon suite, bridal bouquet, champagne breakfast(s) & the wedding feast for 6 – a great deal! (Breakfast was also included for our guests!)
Getting married in
Germany Denmark was really that easy! If you are a foreigner wishing to marry a German I highly recommend leaving behind all of the bureaucratic B*llsh*t of Germany and spending a day or 2 (or more) having a short but sweet ceremony in Denmark!
click here to check out all of my Life in Germany adventures: