Dutch Marriage Legal Paperwork Requirements for Expats

Dutch marriage legal paperwork couple smiling at the celebrant conducting the ceremony at Herengracht museum, Amsterdam

Dutch marriage legal paperwork is important if you are an expat who is engaged to be married to Dutch national or an international living in the Netherlands. And if you are a non-Dutch speaker it could be quite confusing, especially if you want to arrange a wedding blessing.

So, where do you start your search? Well, right from the offset there are special requirements needed to complete the marriage proceedings. Albeit, that your formal marriage union and wedding ceremony celebration don’t have to take place on the same day, what do you need to do first?

First give notice of marriage, arrange the wedding venue and at the same time sign the legal paperwork. When does this all need to be finalised? Preferably before you book the celebrant-led ceremony service.

Official marriage forms should be filled-in at the municipality where you habitually reside. But, does your partner have Dutch nationality? Or do you have a residence permit for Holland?

Well, if you want a legal marriage service before your celebrant-led wedding celebration, it is of vital importance that you express your wishes to the municipality in Holland. So, if you live in the Netherlands, pop along to the city [town] hall. Basically, you must arrange your registration and marriage license before your symbolic ceremony.

Dutch Marriage Legal Paperwork

Dutch marriage legal paperwork two women sitting at wooden table with flowers

Andriessenroom – Het Grachtenhuis Amsterdam, Holland

How do you take the headache out of planning your special marriage celebrations in Holland?  Separate the legal side of things from your true wedding blessing service.  Read more below about the bureaucracy [red tape].

But, before you get your big day plans on track you need to read this:

Whether you are a NL/UK/EU/US national, citizen or resident who desires to marry in Holland this also applies to you. Another thing, civil partnerships converted to marriage receive the same preference and you need to follow these key steps. So, below are the instructions to become a legally [non-Dutch speaking] married couple in any city, town or village in the Netherlands. Are you ready to take control?

Dutch Marriage Legal Paperwork 

What to do before the wedding blessing service

  1. Firstly, the ONLY LEGALLY recognised marriage in the Netherlands are Civil Ceremonies. And for a small fee it is mandatory to give notice of your intention to marry or form a civil partnership. Find out more at your local authority near you.
  2. Secondly, appoint an authorised person to marry you. Schedule a no-frills wedding in true Dutch style with a simple ceremony. Or you apply for a FREE REGISTRATION of your certified marriage license.
  3. Another option is a 10 minute abridged version of civil marriage or a basic registered partnership ceremony (minimum fee €166 – Amsterdam 2020).
  4. In addition, submit a request. Let them know you wish to (only applicable in Holland) appoint me as you’re civil union – wedding registrar for the day. An official from the authority will also attend the marriage proceedings. This ensures legality of your nuptials.
  5. Otherwise, undertake the marriage registration formalities (in Holland or abroad) and have your nuptials legally recognised.
  6. When you’ve obtained your official marriage license during a civil ceremony combine it with a secular Dutch wedding at a later date. Contact me, your independent celebrant to design an intimate, bespoke wedding celebration customised to your dreams. Call +31 (0) 6 148 17242

PLEASE NOTE: Clover Jean is an independent celebrant-officiant and not a registrar.  Furthermore, she has no affiliation with any religious denomination or Dutch | UK government in any capacity. Basically, you can arrange a secular Dutch wedding blessing ceremony with her after the civil marriage has taken place at the municipality.

Dutch marriage legal paperwork couple smiling at the celebrant conducting the ceremony at Herengracht museum, Amsterdam

Dear Clover, we’re back to “reality” and wanted to tell you what a wonderful ceremony you made. You were a HIT. We received compliments all night. The weather was nice. And the ceremony was perfect, filled with love and warmth. Thanks again and stay in touch. Valeria & Joeri



Over to you…

Is there anything else I can help you with? Please leave your thoughts in the comment box below. And like and share my Facebook page!

About Clover Jean: I'm a Londoner based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Being a specialist celebrant | marriage officiant | wedding ceremonies MC with a gospel & soul choir is rewarding work. So, my guilty pleasures are fine dining, travel hotspots and on-line retail therapy. What's yours? Get in touch, via Instagram #cloverjeanamsterdam or Facebook. LIKE, SHARE, SPREAD THE LOVE & see you soon!

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