Are you planning to get married in the Czech Republic? 

In general, there are two ways to get married: a civil ceremony or a church ceremony. The main difference between the forms of marriage is the wedding officiant. In a civil ceremony, the official person (mayor, vice-mayor, or person in charge) is the marriage celebrant, while in a religious ceremony, a representative of the church or religious society is the marriage celebrant. Whichever form the ceremony takes, the same rights and obligations follow.


What is a marriage?  

Marriage happens when a man and a woman agree to get married of their free will. They say this out loud in front of a person who officiates weddings and two other people who witness it. 

Tip: It is advisable to think about the place and date of the ceremony and to visit the local registry office in person to discuss the necessary formalities and documents for the marriage. Sufficient time is usually required to obtain the documents, so allow for this when setting the date of the marriage.

What documents are needed for a civil ceremony?

Before the ceremony can take place, the couple must present these documents to prove their eligibility to marry:

  • marriage questionnaire – obtained from any registry office and completed in cooperation with a registry officer, or download from the given link, at the bottom of the webpage, but be aware it is in the Czech language

If you are marrying a citizen of the Czech Republic, the Czech citizen shall present:

  • birth certificate,
  • proof of citizenship,
  • extract from the population register on the place of permanent residence,
  • extract from the population register on personal status (it is not necessary to provide proof if this is stated in the ID card, for example),
  • other documents if you were already married (a final judgment of divorce of a previous marriage, a death certificate of a deceased spouse, or a final court decision dissolving a partnership, or a death certificate of a deceased partner).

You, as a foreigner, are presenting:

  • identity document,
  • birth certificate,
  • proof of citizenship (e.g. passport),
  • proof of legal capacity to marry (the document must not be older than 6 months). This document is also called a certificate of legal capacity to marry and is issued by your home country (contact the embassy for details);
  • certificate of personal status and residence if it is issued by the foreign state and if it is not part of the certificate of legal capacity to marry;
  • other documents if you were already married (death certificate of the deceased spouse (if the fiancé is widowed); final judgment of divorce of the previous marriage (if the fiancé is divorced);
  • no later than on the date of the marriage, a certificate of legal residence in the Czech Republic issued by the Foreign Police of the Czech Republic, which must not be older than 7 working days on the date of the marriage. The certificate shall not be presented by citizens of the European Union, citizens of another contracting state of the Agreement on the European Economic Area, or by his/her family member.

If you are unable to obtain any documents from your home country, you can try to apply for a waiver from the registry office, which will usually consider the request within 30 days.

If the documents to be submitted were issued by the authorities of a foreign country, they must be certified and officially translated into Czech.

Important: Do not forget the interpreter

If one or both of the fiancés do not speak or understand Czech, and are deaf or mute, the presence of an interpreter is necessary when declaring the marriage. The attendance of the interpreter is at the expense of the fiancés. In these cases, the declaration of marriage cannot be made without the presence of an interpreter.


What is needed for a church ceremony

You need to have the wedding ceremony officiated by a person who is authorized by the government and belongs to a church or religious organization that is recognized by the state (in other words, you cannot just have anyone perform the ceremony).

You must visit the registry office of the place where you will be married (your church, chapel...). At the registry office, you will submit a written request for a Certificate of Compliance with the requirements of the Family Law for a church marriage (the certificate must not be older than 3 months on the day of the wedding) and submit the required documents.


Fees (for both civil and religious ceremonies)

  • Marriage between fiancés without permanent residence in the Czech Republic is subject to a fee of CZK 3,000.
  • If one of the fiancés has permanent residence in the Czech Republic, the fee is 2,000 CZK.
  • Issuance of a marriage license outside of a fixed time or outside of an officially designated room is subject to a fee of CZK 1,000.
  • The fiancé shall pay CZK 500 for the issuance of a certificate of legal capacity to marry. The fees shall be paid in cash before the act is performed.


I want to marry in a place of my choice

If you want to get married in a place other than the marriage room of the town hall or municipal office (e.g. in the countryside, in a hospital, etc.), you must apply for a permit at the registry office. You write the application yourself and submit it to the registry office. For the registry office to approve your application, the place must be considered dignified (a location that might be considered undignified for a wedding could be a noisy or crowded public area or a place that is associated with negative connotations or inappropriate activities). 


Choosing a surname

In the marriage questionnaire, you also fill in the surname you want to use after the wedding. At the same time, you indicate what surname your children born in the marriage will have. If you change your surname, you must also change your identity documents (passport, residence permit) and report the name change to all relevant places (insurance company, employer, bank, etc.). 


Need help or advice with your marriage plans? Contact the free counseling provided by the network of Integration Centers and NGOs across the Czech Republic.