How to Get Married in Switzerland: Part I

Way back when Mr. Funnel Cake mentioned Plan Z, I secretly started researching how to execute the plan. I knew a foreign marriage application in Switzerland was fairly time and labour intensive process, and I wanted to be prepared if and when Mr. Funnel Cake would agree we should do it. I figured if it came to this, we would need to execute our plan very quickly, and I was right!


(Image via my computer where I was constantly stalking EF)

So, what do you need to get married in Switzerland? Well, if you are Swiss all you need is your Passport or Identity Card. If you live outside the city you wish to marry in, you also need a copy of your residence certificate and civil status certificate from your local registry office, but Mr. Funnel Cake is a “Zürcher” so he just needed to bring his ID card with him.

The documents required from Americans are a little more complicated”¦

I would need to acquire the following:

Long-form Birth Certificate: Certified copy issued within the last 6 months. (Originals won’t do.) Must show your full name, date and place of birth, the full name of your parents, including your mother’s maiden name. I ordered mine from Cost:$65.95

US Passport– Luckily I already had one of these or I wouldn’t be in Switzerland! Cost: $0

Affidavit– Because we do not have a central office which keeps track of our civil statuses in the US, Americans are required to go to the American Embassy in Bern and swear under oath to a consular that we are legally free to marry. To do this you need to bring your Passport and if possible, proof of termination of previous marriages. Cost: $50

Once I completed this scavenger hunt we would be able to fill out our application for marriage at the registry office in Zürich. After you apply to get married, there is a waiting period for up to five weeks for the publication of bans where the public can object your marriage. (For reals, but nobody ever objects so don’t worry!)

For more information about Americans marrying in Switzerland, visit The Embassy of the United States in Bern Switzerland. For more information about marrying in the city of Zürich, please visit the city of Zürich website. (Information only available in German at the moment.)

Are you marrying someone from a different country than your own? How complicated is the process for you?


Mrs. Funnel Cake

Zürich, Switzerland/Columbus, Ohio
Wedding Date:
October 2011
Twisted Together: A Rigged Bouquet Toss
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  1. mspony Bee
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 6:57 pm

    What happens if someone does object? I’m thinking crazy exes and/or MILs could be disastrous to the future of some Swiss marriages. Just sayin’

  2. Member
    Elvis 1757 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:54 am

    This makes me so glad I got my citizenship so that I can just do it the easy way if we don’t do it back in the US.

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    yankbrideinOZ, Guest @ 5:13 am

    I’m marrying an Aussie in Australia and all I have to do is show my US passport and sign something saying I’m free to marry, he just has to show his birth certificate. But everyone (from what I understand) getting married here must fill out some paperwork and go through a 1 month waiting period before they can tie the knot. No spur of the moment weddings here!

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    indian weddings, Guest @ 6:37 am

    hey i am wedding consultant and i have question for you guys…..I support indian wedding planninf and south asian wedding planning but my customer want to marry with swish girl in indian style there. is it possible there ?

  5. Member
    OC Sunshine 1 posts, Wannabee @ 6:57 am

    Hey Miss Funnel Cake!!!
    I just moved from the US to Zurich to be with my Fiance last week. It’s crazy how there’s always people in almost the same situation, isn’t it?
    Do you have any advice for me (since I’m so new to the area)?
    And I agree…marrying someone from a different country is turning out to be more complicated than I imagined it would be!
    Looking forward to your reply!

  6. funnelcake Bee
    funnelcake 1171 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:18 am

    @OC Sunshine: Hey, just message me if you need any tips about life/working/marrying in Switzerland and I’ll try to help out! 🙂 And congratulations!

    @Miss Pony: hahaha I’m not sure. I don’t know if it’s so they can find out if you’re secretly married in another country or something. Maybe it’s just protocol now.

  7. bacon Bee
    bacon 695 posts, Busy bee @ 4:42 pm

    This seems so daunting, what if someone objects? AHHHH.

  8. Member
    rainstorm 901 posts, Busy bee @ 7:46 am

    For UK church weddings the Banns are read three times in services before your wedding, and during the ceremony the vicar asks if anyone present knows of any lawful reason why the couple should not marry. Usually causes a few nervous giggles.

  9. tartlet Bee
    tartlet 3227 posts, Sugar bee @ 6:48 pm

    Whoa, that waiting period seems like it could be intense! I also wonder what would happen if someone objected…

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    Computer Zuerich, Guest @ 7:13 pm

    Excellent post. I used to be checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Very helpful info specifically the last section 🙂 I care for such info much. I used to be looking for this certain information for a very long time. Thanks and good luck.

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