Getting married

Wedding

A marriage between a citizen of the Czech Republic and a foreign national, or between two foreigners in the Czech Republic is possible through a civil or religious marriage. Only one spouse is legal at a time and the law does not allow to have more wives (at a time). The couple must enter the marriage based on their free decision and it is not acceptable to force anyone to get married just because the family wishes so. Also a divorce is a legal procedure, and although it does not seem to make sense to think about such an alternative during the wedding preparations it makes sense to think about the possibility of concluding a premarital contract.

For couples from LGBT community there is a possibility to apply for a registered partnership. For details please contact us.

How to arrange a wedding?

First, the place and date for marriage should be pre-selected. A wedding is a legal ceremony and apart from preparing all the fancy stuff for the ceremony itself all the rigorous administrative procedures must fulfilled and documents supplied. It is recommended to plan a time buffer ahead because each country has different agreements with Czech Republic and it may take some time to do all the paperwork. So allow yourself several months to get ready, in some cases retrieving all the necessary documents from distant countries may take as long as a year (this is also about the length of time that Czech couples plan their weddings).

You may be surprised that some dates are already fully booked more than a year ahead. These are especially dates in which numbers stand in special repeating structures (e.g. 02.02.2022). A typical wedding day is Saturday. May is the least popular month for weddings as there is an old Czech saying that  May  weddings do not bring happiness. This  bias is not based on anything valid any more, in fact it goes back to middle ages. Children born after a wedding in May would be born in the cold months of February or March and that was not advantageous for health in the old times. However, it seems much easier to plan the wedding for May. After pre-selecting the place and date, contact the Registry Office (i.e. the Office of Vital Records =Matriční úřad) in the administrative district where the selected place for the marriage ceremony falls. This applies in the case of a civil marriage. If the marriage is to be concluded in a church/religious format, it is necessary to contact a person appointed by the authorized church or religious society (obviously a local priest).

Very often both forms of marriage take place during the same day: first the couple has a civil marriage and then it is confirmed in church.

Documents to prepare

Fill the Questionnaire for Entering into Marriage. The form must be completed by both parties and submitted to the Office of Vital Records under the jurisdiction of which the place where the marriage is to be contracted falls, along with the documents required for contracting the marriage.

Documents to prepare:

  1. birth certificate;
  2. document proving your nationality (ID/passport);
  3. certificate of no impediment to marriage (doklad o právní způsobilosti k uzavření manželství) no older than six months. Please contact your Embassy about issuing this document;
  4. residency document (temporary/permanent) if you have one;
  5. others: the death certificate of any deceased spouse, if the foreign national is a widow(er), a final and conclusive judgment on divorce with regard to any previous marriage/registered partnership;
  6. you can be asked for additional documents (i.e. certificate of your citizenship, or marital status certificate). 

Documents to be submitted issued by foreign authorities must be officially authenticated (superlegalisation, Apostille) unless an international agreement stipulates otherwise, and must be officially translated into the Czech language by a translator with a rubber stamp.

Spouse’s Surname Adoption

In the Czech Republic it is common that the bride adopts the surname of the bridegroom to demonstrate the new family unit thus formed. In most cases the wife will be then called by the surname of the partner with the suffix -ová at the end of the surname (e.g. Novák – Nováková). However, there are more choices nowadays. One option is that the surname of the bridegroom is adopted without the -ová at the end, or the bridegroom adopts the bride’s surname (but without the -ová at the end, which is language specific only for females). Or there are options combining the two surnames (the maiden name and the surname of the bridegroom). The situation now is so free that both can keep their original surnames – and the only condition is that the couple to be married can agree on one of the above options.

Fees

Entering into marriage between two persons if both of them have permanent residence in the Czech Republic: free.

Entering into marriage between two persons none of whom has permanent residence in the Czech Republic:  CZK 3,000.

Entering into marriage between two persons one of whom has permanent residence in the Czech Republic: CZK 2,000.

Permission to enter into marriage outside business hours or not in an office officially designated for marriages (e.g. outdoors): CZK 1, 000.

In all other cases an administrative fee for entering into marriage is not set.

Each party will pay CZK 500 for a certificate confirming his/her legal competence to enter into marriage.

What to do after the marriage?

Pick up your marriage certificate at the Registry office (Matriční úřad) within 30 days. Report all changes (marital status, surname) to the Ministry of Interior within 3 days (non-EU), or up to 15 days (EU) if you have a residence card. You can apply for a new passport (if surname is changed) at your Embassy. Then a new residence card will be issued. Please pay attention to possible changes in your residential status. More information at the website of Ministry of Interior.

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