In Austria a civil ceremony is the only legally recognised type marriage ceremony.
It is still possible to have a religious wedding ceremony in Austria however, this must take place after your civil ceremony. The options and facts you need to know for an Austria wedding ceremony to be legally binding are outlined below.
Civil wedding ceremonies are performed by officials of the Vital Statistics Office (Standesamt) and will usually take up to 30 minutes.
You have the option to personalise the ceremony with your own vows and readings. The ceremony will be conducted in German and translated into English by an official interpreter.
The ceremony will take place at the Standesamt, that being said there are some very beautiful official locations in which your ceremony can take place. It is possible for a ceremony to take place outside of the official offices for a higher fee.
Note: even if the registrar speaks and understands English perfectly it is a legal requirement that an Austria wedding ceremony is conducted in German. Only if you and your witnesses – Austrian law asks for two witnesses – speak and understand German perfectly is the interpreter not necessary.
In Austria a religious wedding ceremony is not legally binding. If you would like to have a religious Austria wedding ceremony you must first have a civil ceremony.
The religious official performing your ceremony must be given your marriage certificate as proof that your civil ceremony has taken place before they can conduct your ceremony.
Many couples choose to have their civil ceremony the day before their religious ceremony or have their civil ceremony in their country of residence prior to arriving in Austria.
If you choose to have a religious ceremony contact your local religious official and the religious official who will perform your ceremony in Austria at least six months prior to your wedding to ensure you can fulfill all the necessary requirements.
My husband and I “secretly” got married in the United Kingdom prior to our wedding abroad and had a Humanist wedding ceremony on our wedding day. Our civil ceremony in the United Kingdom was purely to take care of the legalities and our wedding day is when we considered ourselves married. Our guests were not aware that our civil ceremony had taken place and our very personalised wedding ceremony is when we and our guests felt that we became husband and wife.
For information on the legal requirements for getting married in Austria click here.
Note: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the above information is current and accurate, please check with the local authorities to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information.