The Ceremony

Understand what's involved in the marriage ceremony and the types of wedding which can take place in Hong Kong...

Weddings can usually take place any day of the week, but there are surcharges for issuing marriage certificates at weekends. Two witnesses are needed; consular staff in Hong Kong cannot witness marriages.

UK citizens may register their marriage with the Hong Kong Marriage Registration and Records Office. For a fee, the office then sends the marriage certificate to the General Register Office in the UK so that there is also a record of it there.

Ceremonies at marriage registries

In instances in which the ceremony is to take place at a Marriage Registry Office, the bride and groom and their two witnesses should arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled appointment, to complete various formalities.

Family and friends are welcome to attend the service. Rings may be exchanged if desired. Two copies of the marriage certificate are signed by the bride and groom and their two witnesses. The Registrar files one and gives the other to the newly weds. Further copies can be obtained in return for a fee.

Bookings for these ceremonies are made on a first-come first-served basis. It is recommended to book early as it is sometimes difficult to get the exact date desired – particularly around local holidays.

Civil ceremonies at other locations

Other venues can be used for civil ceremonies. In this case, the marriage ceremony is essentially the same as that at a marriage registry, although there is clearly an opportunity to personalise the service. The civil celebrant of marriages officiates and two witnesses are required. The marriage certificate is prepared in the same way.

Religious ceremonies

These are permitted at licenced places of worship by an authorised official. The content of the service will vary according to the religion, but the couple can discuss the contents with the official.

The marriage certificate is prepared as part of the ceremony.