Switzerland recognises marriages through the civil registry office. Both bride and groom must be at least 18.
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. Two adult witnesses must be present. A heterosexual marriage or civil partnership that has been legally celebrated abroad will generally be recognised in Switzerland.
For a fact sheet on marriage and civil partnership in Switzerland – and a list of registry offices – visit this government websiteexternal link.
The fee for a civil ceremony is between CHF300 ($300) and CHF400 all over Switzerland. There may be additional costs in the case of special requests, for example a Saturday ceremony or ceremony outside the register office venue.
You may also get married in a church, but only after the civil ceremony. For information, contact the church office of your place of residence. Many Swiss have both a civil and a religious ceremony.
Answers to many other questions about marriage in Switzerland, such as changing your name and the financial and legal consequences of marriage, can be found hereexternal link.
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 2017external link, this concerned more than half (52%) of all marriages. If you are a non-Swiss planning on marrying a Swiss (or a non-Swiss in Switzerland), this is what you need to knowexternal link. If you are a non-Swiss planning a civil partnership, read thisexternal link.
There are numerous wedding planning services that can help foreigners arrange destination weddings in Switzerland.