Dutch Marriage Legal Paperwork | Tips for Non-Dutch Speakers

first wedding anniversary

Dutch marriage legal paperwork for expats and non-Dutch speakers can be confusing, especially if you want an officiant or celebrant-led ceremony. In truth, figuring out all the official jargon, lingo and other stuff is essential. But, where do you start?

Well, right from the offset there are special requirements needed to complete important marriage procedures. Forms should be filled-in at the municipality where you habitually reside. Do you have Dutch nationality? You can sign the necessary documents at your civil registry office in your town of residence.

And there’s more…you must first express your intention to get married in the country of your residence. So, if you live in Holland, pop along to the city or town hall. Basically, you can arrange your registration and marriage license before your wedding. Or separate the legal side of things from your actual marriage celebrations. This can take the headache out of the planning. Read more below about the bureaucracy [red tape] and how to get your big day plans on track…

Dutch Marriage Legal Paperwork

Symbolic marriage certificateWhether 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 need to follow these key steps. So, read the instructions below to become a legally [non-Dutch speaking] married couple in any city, town or village in the Netherlands.

  1. Firstly, “Only civil ceremonies are legally recognised in the Netherlands”. And for a small fee you can give notice of your intention to marry or form a civil partnership. Find out more at your local authority.
  2. Secondly, appoint an authorised person to marry you. Schedule a no-frills wedding in true Dutch style with a basic ceremony. Or you can get your certified marriage license; registered, recorded and filed for FREE on Tuesday mornings.
  3. Another option is a simple civil ceremony or a registered partnership (minimum fee €160.40 – Amsterdam 2019).
  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. And has no affiliation with any religious denomination or Dutch | UK government in any capacity. Basically, she acts  ONLY as your marriage official and unites you during a secular Dutch wedding ceremony.


wedding 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…

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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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