The Ceremony

Understand what to expect from the marriage ceremony in Bulgaria...

On the day of the wedding, the wedding couple should present themselves at the civil wedding hall (ритуална зала) accompanied by their two witnesses ten minutes before the appointed time. In general, weddings can take place any day of the week.

The following documents are needed at the ceremony:

  • Proof of identity of the future spouses and the two witnesses
  • A receipt for paid fees (for the ceremony, as well as for other optional services such as video recording and photographer or accompanying music)
  • Wedding rings
  • Two ritual glasses (ритуални чаши) and a bottle of champagne are required as these are part of the ritual

If there are no impediments to the marriage, the civil status official, performing the ceremony (длъжностно лице по гражданското състояние) asks the two parties whether they agree to marry and if the answers are affirmative, forms the so-called акт за сключване на брак (a document, certifying that the marriage has officially taken place) which is signed by the official, the two parties and the two witnesses. Each of the newly-weds also states whether they will keep their family name, take the family name of their spouse or add it to their own family name.

The spouses receive an official copy of this document, the marriage certificate (брачно свидетелство); the original document is kept in the registries of the Town Hall.

The whole procedure at the wedding hall lasts about 10 to 15 minutes. The guests congratulate the newly-weds outside the wedding hall.