Getting Married in Amsterdam

When couples who love to travel begin to think about getting married, one of the logical options is to have a destination wedding. It’s not even called eloping all that often anymore, because so many people plan weddings in far-off places and invite their friends and family anyway. Some places, however, make it more difficult than others to get married there if you’re not a resident.

Amsterdam has a unique pull for people wanting to get married, too, as the city is so tolerant of homosexuality – same-sex marriages are performed in Amsterdam on a regular basis. Unfortunately, while the city is open-minded about sexuality, it’s not exactly easy to get married in Amsterdam unless you’re a resident.

The law in the Netherlands that applies to who can get married there includes the stipulation that at least one partner in the proposed marriage must be “a Dutch citizen or a legal resident of the Netherlands with a long-stay permit or asylum status.” In other words, if both people in the couple are from outside the Netherlands, don’t live in the country, and don’t have any permit to stay in the country, the best you can do is honeymoon in Amsterdam – but you can’t get legally married there.

Just in case you’re marrying a Dutch citizen or someone with the necessary legal standing in the Netherlands to qualify, here are some resources to get a bit more information about what you’ll need in order to get married in Amsterdam.

  • The AngloInfo site for Amsterdam has a page called “Marriage in the Netherlands,” which includes a list of the documents each partner needs to have in order to get married in the country. There’s also a requirement that a notice of an intent to marry is posted in the district where the couple (or at least one of the couple) lives at least 2 weeks before the wedding date.
  • The iAmsterdam site also has a page called simply “Marriage,” with links to further information about things like gay rights in Amsterdam, the office of Foreign Affairs, and the city’s District Council offices.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Netherlands has more official information on its “Getting Married in the Netherlands” page, including the protocol if you are a Dutch national who wants to get married outside the Netherlands.

photo by james.