Switzerland recognises marriages through the civil registry office. Both people must be at least 18 and each has the right to divorce. Many Swiss have both a civil and a religious ceremony.
Same-sex couples cannot get married in Switzerland. However, they may enter into a civil partnership. This grants them the same pension, inheritance and tax rights and obligations as married couples, but not the right to adopt (although they can adopt stepchildren). Same-sex marriages concluded abroad are recognised in Switzerland as a civil partnership.
Couples without Swiss citizenship living in Switzerland must prove they are in the country legally to get permission to marry. The local registrar will review the necessary documents and application and confirm in writing whether the marriage can proceed.
The ceremony can take place as early as ten days after the permission is received and no later than three months from that date. A heterosexual marriage or registered partnership that has been legally celebrated abroad will generally be recognised in Switzerland.
For a fact sheet on marriage in Switzerland, visit this government siteexternal link.
There are numerous wedding planning services that can specialise in helping foreigners arrange destination weddings in Switzerland.
The average age at first marriage is steadily increasing. In 1970, it was 26.5 for men and 24.1 for women; in 2017 it was 32 for men and 30 for women.
Since the mid-1980s there has been a rise in the number of marriages in which at least one of the spouses is foreign. In 2017,external link this concerned more than half (52%) of all marriages.