Dutch Wedding: Guide For Couples Planning A Marriage in NL

Dutch wedding couple holding hands and smiling at lady registrar

Planning a quintessentially Dutch wedding in the Netherlands as expats, foreigners or Dutch citizens? Make your marriage celebrations easier with these tips. Imagine your nuptials with all the special bridal trimmings and more. How do you arrange it without stress?

Maybe you are British expat wanting to marry a Dutch citizen. Perhaps you are Dutch and have a foreign partner. It could be you are both American expats and dream of getting married in the Netherlands. Another scenario is, you might just love the country and desire to tie the knot in Holland.

Well, whether religious, non-religious or an atheist you maybe worried about booking a full wedding package deal (at home or abroad). Perhaps you want to avoid the brink of travel planning despair. In fact, major concerns about family feuds weigh heavy on your mind.

Look, seeing eye to eye about who gets an invitation to your overseas or homegrown Dutch wedding is what every couple face. But can you get married in Holland as expats? Can you marry your foreign partner? Well, don’t feel overwhelmed, I’ve done the hard grunt for you. Dive in now!

Dutch Wedding Abroad

young black man in grey tuxedo and woman in laced cream bridal gown

Do you have your own set of rules, moral beliefs and strong values? Enjoy what other engaged couples dream about without a long drawn-out ordeal.

Photo credit dionnekrausphotography.com

1• Dutch wedding destination

Firstly, select which part of the Netherlands you want to get wed. The Jordaan – Amsterdam, De Maas, Rotterdam, Maastricht or in Utrecht. Perhaps a beach location suits you better. Plant it your way.

2• Visiting, moving or relocating

Have you relocated permanently to Holland? Is your fiancé (e) a Dutch national (citizen)? Well, an official Dutch marriage service, requires that you apply for citizenship. It must be issued and granted with a residence permit.

Dutch Central Government (Rijksoverheid)

The Rijksoverheid requires that Dutch citizens wishing to marry a foreigner give notice of their intended marriage. This must be done directly with the city or townhall where you reside. Here at Rijksoverheid you can obtain all the relevant documentation required.

Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)

As an expat you must be registered at the IND in order to get married. Dutch citizens marrying a foreigner are required to also register partners arrival, a permanent address and the tax partner. This is imperative, if you wish to legally marry in Holland.

Marriage of convenience

“Sometimes couples make a great deal of money through sham marriages. Couples gain unlawful access to the Netherlands through a sham relationship”. That’s not you, right? Anyway, the IND do stricter checks of potential marriages of convinence. You may have to sign a declaration of good behaviour. Find out more at IND. nl

3• Give notice of your wedding

You must give notice of your wedding,. and this is done 6 weeks beforehand. So, get off to the town hall. Thereafter a registrar shall complete all the necessary forms and can conduct a civil marriage ceremony. Just sign the paperwork and pick up the legal document.

4• Sort out legal/residency paperwork

Fulfill certain requirements and sort out the legal side of things. This must be done in the country where you reside. And it’s mandatory to acquire a civil union certificate if you want a Dutch church marriage service.

5. Passport & authenticated documents

Make sure your foreign documents are legalised and the translation is authenticated, find out more at amsterdam.nl. Birth certificates, unmarried status declarations and marriage certificates are required. Bring diplomas, passports and divorced papers too.

6. Save Dutch wedding date

Save your Dutch wedding date. The Calvinist nature of the Dutch makes it a great place to work, love and get wed. So, what’s the best date to get married? Have you thought about a long weekend or a midweek wedding? It’s up to you.

Dutch Wedding – II

Dutch wedding couple holding hands and smiling at lady registrar

A Dutch wedding in the heart of Amsterdam with all the trimmings of an international ceremony for American, British and European couples. Trouwzaal – Herengracht Amsterdam

7• Compile wedding guest list

Have you thought about the primary language at your wedding ceremony? Do your guests speak Dutch, Italian, English, Spanish, French or German? Plan a bilingual marriage service, with A-list, B-list, C-list or D-list guests now.

8. Dutch wedding celebrant

And there’s more, Holland is one of the most liberal and prosperous irreligious countries in the world. Go Dutch hire a wedding celebrant | marriage officiant to facilitate and guide you through the marriage proceedings in Holland.

9• Define Dutch wedding budget

Another thing, define your wedding budget. Whether you’ve postponed or pushed it forward to 2022/2021, we don’t know what the Coronavirus is going to do. So, get to grips with a budget to make your Dutch euros stretch further.

Dutch Wedding – III

Dutch wedding men and women dressed smartly

Dutch wedding: Ranked as one of the best places to wed a smaller wedding [20 – 50 guests] can cost between 15.000 and 80.000 euros. Carly & Rik met Berend van Cadsand, Carly Woldring, Rik Woldring, Niels van Nimwegen en Jan van den Boogaard bij Tolhuistuin.

Photo credit: Merlijn Hoek

10• Wedding suppliers & vendors

To get your Dutch wedding started, you need the best wedding planners, suppliers, vendors and entertainment. So, decide on a basic, extended or complete wedding package service that’s authentically you and perfect.

11• Dutch wedding boat venue

Additionally, how do you tackle a boat wedding boat venue or a waterside event? An international Dutch wedding sounds absolutely wonderful but make sure you know about the hidden costs. Get more information at getting-married-aboard-boat.

Dutch Wedding – IV

Dutch wedding amsterdam two porcelien figures man and woman kissing

Smabs Sputzer (1956-2017)

12• Wedding attire for him & her

Another thing, do you have a reasonable budget for your wedding outfits?  An inexpensive bridal dress and suit can be arranged. The clothes can resembles your cultural backgrounds and personalities.

13• Multicultural Dutch wedding

Do you have close ties, relatives or wonderful memories of a special time spent here? Create a wedding in the culture that’s meaningful to both of you. And include your acquaintances to the multicultural Dutch wedding.

Dual nationality marriage 

In addition to your own nationality (British, American, French) you might have one or more other nationalities. Perhaps you are Dutch with a dual nationality. How does this effect your marriage? Well, as you know each country of origin has their own set of rules. Find out at your country of birth.

Dutch Wedding – V

 tattooed man and woman looking into each others eyes

A foreign marriage celebration reflects common values and beliefs. However, to marry your Dutchy, foreign or exotic sweetheart in the Netherlands you need to visit your local authority in your home country. Photo credit: www.aleksandrastriapunina.com


14• Dutch wedding venues

Let’s face it, you want to blend two families together and need an impressive location to do that. Decide if you want a museum, castle,  exclusive hotel, or stately home wedding. Thereafter invite everyone – within reason.

15• Dutch wedding photographers

In truth, wedding photographers are at the top of their game. Helping you to capture the most beautiful day of your life in pictures. But you can also hire a fearless wedding  videographers to transform your moment into a movie. 

16• Blooming wedding

And when in Holland to tie the knot you must have flowers. From your bridal bouquet, flower arrangements, corsages to car decorations. Dutch florists make it happen.  www.katyahutter – floral design.com

Dutch Wedding – VI

Dutch wedding ceremonies

Dutch wedding is tailor-made service to fit the requirements of your ceremonial nuptials. British wedding celebrant – Clover Jean & Dutch civil registrar – Betty Sta van Uiter

17• Wedding hair & makeup

Make life easier and sort out a combined wedding hair stylist and makeup artist. Saving you cash money, you’ll get two things done in one go. And the best news is, use the same professional for your engagement love shoot day. How does that sound?

18• Dutch wedding abroad

Lastly, to plan a Dutch wedding abroad in the Netherlands with a Dutch citizen. Remember to bring all the relevant information such as birth certificates, passport and divorce papers (if this is your second/third marriage) Holland Expat Center.

19• Dutch weddings 2022

To conclude: How useful has this been for you? What sort of vibe do you want at your wedding? Do you want to survive the new Covid-19 secure wedding venue options in Holland. Read the below….

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 [celebrant led ceremony] at a later date.



Dutch wedding amsterdam man holding suitcases and woman in bridal gown looking away from a windmill

Perhaps you’ve bought the rings and hired the party venue. So, don’t forget the bilingual celebrant to officiate your wedding ceremony.Fotografie:Tom van den Dool

image: tomvandendool 

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About Clover Jean: I'm a Londoner based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Being a ceremonial wedding - symbolic marriage officiant with a gospel & soul choir is rewarding work. So, my guilty pleasures are fine dining, travel hot spots 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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