Marriage Ceremony

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

The wedding ceremony takes place in the registry office in the presence of two adult witnesses. The ceremony cannot take place on a Sunday or a public holiday.

After the ceremony the couple may request a marriage deed, which states when and where the marriage took place and the names of the spouses before and after the wedding, and a marriage certificate (which must be paid for). A religious ceremony or blessing can be held following the civil ceremony. Proof of legal marriage must be shown using the marriage certificate.


Since the introduction of the computerised registry system in Switzerland, the family record book (Familienbuechlein/livret de famille) previously issued to couples domiciled in Switzerland, is no longer an official document and is not recognised by the authorities as a proof of civil status, marriage or family relationships. Instead, the corresponding Registry Office (Handelsregisteramt/Etat Civil) issues official documents on request.

Documents available from the Registry Office include:

  • birth certificate (Geburtsurkunde/acte de naissance)
  • marriage certificate (Heiratsurkunde/acte de mariage)
  • civil status certificate (Zivilstandswesen/certificat d'état civil)
  • family record document (Familienbuechlein/acte or certificat de famille)
  • death certificate (Sterbeurkunde/acte de décès)
  • proof of time of birth (Heimatschein/acte d'origine): applies to Swiss nationals only

Documents may be ordered from the civil register office. Depending on what kind of document, the office in charge changes.