Civil marriages

Caution

These rules apply to all marriage ceremonies in Austria.

General information on civil marriages

If you desire to get legally married in Austria, the future spouses must be present at the same time and personally state their wish to get married in front of a registrar. In practice the registrar will ask each of the fiancés one after the other in the presence of either two, one or no witnesses if they want to get married. After the affirmation the registrar will pronounce them legally married.

With its decision of 4 December 2017, the Constitutional Court (VfGH) repealed the provisions which distinguished between opposite-sex and same-sex couples. This means that same-sex couples may also get married in Austria. This has in principle been possible since 1 January 2019.

Caution

Religious marriages are not considered legally valid by the authorities.

Further information on acquiring citizenship through descentGerman text can also be found at oesterreich.gv.at.

Witnesses to a wedding

The witnesses present at the marriage ceremony must:

  • be 18 years or over,
  • provide identification in the form of an official photo IDGerman text,
  • understand the language in which the marriage ceremony is held, unless an interpreter is used,
  • number of witnesses: there may be one or two witnesses; however, a marriage ceremony without witnesses is also possible.

Place of the marriage ceremony

The starting point for registering to get marriedGerman text can be any registry officeGerman text. The certification of marriageability (banns of marriage) is prepared there. The civil marriage itself can also be performed in a different registry officeGerman text.

In exceptional circumstances, marriage ceremonies may also be performed outside of registry offices. The place must reflect the significance of marriage and must be appropriate. The competent or chosen registry officeGerman text decides whether a marriage ceremony can take place at a different location.

Don’t forget to reserve a date in good time. The certification of marriageability (banns of marriage) is only valid for a maximum of six months.

Order of events of the ceremony

When registering to get marriedGerman text, the registrar will give you the opportunity to run through the schedule of the ceremony. If you wish to get married in a different registry office, your chosen registry office will advise you at a separate appointment.

On the day of the ceremony, you must also complete several formalities. Both the bridal couples and the witnessesGerman text must present an official photo IDGerman text at the ceremony. Therefore, please bear in mind that you may need to arrive at the registry office early.

Our checklistGerman text contains further points for you to remember.

Caution

If you wish to travel abroad shortly after getting married, a new passportGerman text must be issued when you change your name. Please consult the competent passport authority in good time before the wedding.

Further links

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 20 January 2021

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of the Interior