Getting married in Switzerland

Are you planning to get married in Switzerland? There are several things you need to consider. Please read the general information first. Under the header Marrying in this country of region you will find specific information about getting married in Switzerland.

Dutch requirements for marrying or entering into a registered partnership

If you are a Dutch national and you wish to marry or enter into a registered partnership you will need to comply with the following requirements:

  • You and your partner must be 18 years or older. If you are under 18 and you marry abroad your marriage will not be recognised in the Netherlands until you are both 18 years old.
  • You and your partner may not already be married to or have a registered partnership with someone else.
  • If you are under guardianship you will need the permission of your guardian or of the limited jurisdiction judge ('kantonrechter').
  • The following family members are forbidden to marry each other or enter into a registered partnership with each other: parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, and brothers and sisters.

Obtaining permission from the country in which you wish to marry or enter into a registered partnership

Are you planning to marry or enter into a registered partnership abroad? If so, check whether this is permitted under the law of the country in question. To find out, you should consult the foreign authority responsible for conducting marriages and registering partnerships. You cannot marry at a Dutch embassy or consulate abroad.

Documents required for marriage or registered partnership outside the Netherlands

The foreign authority that conducts your marriage or registers your partnership can tell you which documents you require. These may include a copy of your birth certificate and a declaration of marital status

Registering a foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership

You can register your foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership in the Dutch register. To do this, contact the municipality of The Hague’s Foreign Document Department.

Legalisation of a foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership

If you wish to register your foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership in the Netherlands you will probably first need to have your foreign certificate legalised. This can be done by the authorities in the country where you were married. The Dutch embassy or consulate in that country may then also need to legalise the marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership. You can find out more about what you need to do in the legalisation information for that country.

Marrying in this country or region

Getting married in Switzerland

Choosing your name after marriage/registered partnership

When a marriage takes place in Switzerland (= under Swiss law), both spouses can either keep their original surnames or choose a shared family name. In this case they must choose either the bride's or the groom’s surname. In registered partnerships, the couple can also choose one of the partners’ names as a shared family name.

Married name in your Dutch passport or ID card

The new surname after marriage can be entered in your Dutch passport or ID card to replace your original surname, or you can choose to keep your original surname and add the name of your spouse as "e/v <name spouse>".

Double names

  • Double names such as Meier Müller can no longer be created through marriage under Swiss law.
  • Surnames combined with a hyphen (such as Meier-Müller) are not official names and will not be entered in the Swiss civil register, but may be used in everyday situations. If you are also a Swiss citizen the hyphenated name can de recorded in your Swiss passport and identity card on request. However, this is not allowed in the Dutch passport or ID card.