Can Foreigners Get Married in Europe? Easiest Countries and Locations for Destination Weddings

11 Mar 2024·10 min read
Can Foreigners Get Married in Europe? Easiest Countries and Locations for Destination Weddings

Planning a wedding overseas can feel overwhelming. Denmark is known for its simple and quick marriage process, especially for foreigners. Our guide explores the easiest European countries and locations that welcome destination weddings, making your big day hassle-free.

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Key Takeaways

  • Foreigners need valid legal documents like birth certificates and passports to get married in Europe. Each country has its own rules for marriage.
  • Denmark, Gibraltar, Cyprus, Portugal, and Malta are some of the easiest countries for foreigners to marry in Europe because they have simple processes.
  • Copenhagen, Positano, Sorrento, Florence, and Venice offer beautiful locations for destination weddings with their unique charm and settings.
  • Consulting a wedding planner can help manage the legal processes and cultural aspects of getting married abroad. They also help choose venues and manage budgets.
  • To marry in Europe as a US citizen, you need a valid passport, birth certificate with an apostille seal or certified translation if not in English, Certificate of No Impediment (CNI), Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry signed before a US consular officer.

Requirements for Foreigners Getting Married in Europe

Foreigners getting married in Europe must have valid legal documents, like birth certificates and passports. They also need to check the specific visa requirements for marriage in their chosen country.

Legal documents needed

Getting married in Europe requires gathering some important legal documents. This is essential for making sure your marriage is recognized internationally. Here's a list of common legal documents you might need:

  • Passport: You and your partner need valid passports to prove your identities.
  • Birth Certificate: An original or certified copy of your birth certificate is required.
  • Proof of Eligibility to Marry: This could be a certificate of no impediment or a similar document from your home country, showing you're free to marry.
  • Divorce Decree: If you were previously married, you'd need an official divorce decree or death certificate for your former spouse.
  • Application Form: Many countries have a specific form that both parties must fill out to apply for marriage.
  • Witness Information: Some places require the names and details of two witnesses for the wedding ceremony.
  • Legal Residency Proof: A few countries may ask for proof that you have been resident there for a specific period before getting married.
  • Name Change Documentation: If you've changed your name legally, bring documents proving this change.

Visa requirements

Foreigners getting married in Europe must consider visa requirements:

  1. Denmark and Gibraltar accept tourist visas for marriage.
  2. Italy is favorable for fast civil weddings without specific visa requirements.
  3. Iceland has no residency demands, making it simple to apply for marriage.
  4. France, Italy, and the U.K. may have stricter visa regulations for marriage.
  5. Many couples search for countries with easy visa processes for international marriages.

Registration process

Foreigners can get married in Europe by following the registration process, which varies depending on the country. Here are the steps to register for marriage in Europe:

  1. Obtain necessary legal documents as per the country's requirements.
  2. Submit visa applications, if required, for marrying in specific European countries.
  3. Complete the registration process with the local authorities as directed by the chosen wedding destination.
  4. Fulfill any additional paperwork or administrative obligations based on the location of marriage.

Easiest Countries in Europe for Foreigners to Get Married

Europe offers several countries that make it relatively easy for foreigners to get married, including Gibraltar, Denmark, Cyprus, Portugal, and Malta. Each of these destinations has its own set of requirements and processes for international couples to tie the knot.


Gibraltar is one of the easiest countries for foreigners to get married in Europe. The wedding process is simple and efficient, making it an attractive destination for international couples.

With its straightforward application process and minimal residency requirements, Gibraltar provides a hassle-free option for those looking to have a quick and easy wedding experience.

Additionally, many couples opt for Gibraltar as their wedding location due to its convenient accessibility and stunning coastal views. This British Overseas Territory offers a beautiful backdrop for couples seeking a memorable destination wedding without the complexities often associated with marrying abroad.


Denmark is a popular choice for foreigners to get married due to its simple process and acceptance of English or German documentation. It's considered one of the easiest countries in Europe to tie the knot.

Many couples choose Denmark for their destination wedding because of its streamlined wedding process, making it convenient and stress-free.

Couples find that getting married in Denmark is straightforward and less time-consuming compared to other European countries. The simplicity of the process, along with the ease of providing documents in English or German, makes Denmark an attractive option for foreign couples wanting to exchange vows in Europe.


Cyprus is an easy and popular choice for foreigners to get married. The marriage process is straightforward, with no residency requirements for non-residents. English documentation is accepted, making it convenient for couples.

It's a sought-after destination due to its beautiful landscapes and rich history, attracting many couples looking for a memorable wedding experience.

Couples often choose Cyprus as their wedding destination due to the simplicity of the legal process and the stunning locations available. Tourist visas are commonly used by foreigners getting married in Cyprus, making it accessible and hassle-free for those planning their dream destination wedding.


Portugal is a beautiful and popular destination for foreigners to get married in Europe. The country offers stunning landscapes, historic venues, and a relatively straightforward marriage process.

Foreigners can marry in Portugal without residency requirements, making it an attractive option for destination weddings. The paperwork needed includes valid passports, birth certificates, and a "Certificado de Capacidade Matrimonial" (Certificate of No Impediment).

Additionally, couples must register with the Portuguese Civil Registry Office at least 30 days before the wedding date. Portugal also recognizes same-sex marriages, offering an inclusive environment for all couples looking to tie the knot.


Malta, known for its beautiful landscapes and historical sites, is also a popular choice for foreigners to get married. The marriage process in Malta requires specific documents such as birth certificates and passports, along with a declaration stating that there are no legal obstacles to the marriage.

Non-residents can choose from stunning venues such as palaces, gardens, or even beaches for their destination wedding in Malta.

Tourist visas are commonly used by foreigners to get married in Malta due to its favorable regulations for non-residents' weddings. Additionally, same-sex marriages have been legal in Malta since 2017, making it an inclusive and welcoming destination for couples of all orientations.

Top Destination Wedding Locations in Europe

Copenhagen, Denmark offers fairy-tale settings and stunning castles for a memorable wedding. Positano, Sorrento, Florence, and Venice in Italy provide picturesque coastal backdrops and historic charm for an unforgettable destination wedding.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark offers a picturesque setting for destination weddings. With its charming canals and historic architecture, it's a sought-after location. For foreigners, the process of getting married in Copenhagen is streamlined and straightforward, making it an attractive choice for couples seeking an easy wedding experience abroad.

Additionally, Denmark accepts documentation in English or German, further simplifying the process for non-residents looking to tie the knot in this beautiful European city.

Positano, Italy

Positano, Italy is a captivating location for a destination wedding with its picturesque coastline and charming atmosphere. As one of the top destination wedding locations in Europe, Positano offers stunning venues overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

The legal process for foreigners to marry in Italy is relatively straightforward, making it an attractive choice for couples seeking a beautiful and hassle-free wedding abroad. Keep in mind that while specific visas or permits aren't required for marriage in Italy, it's essential to ensure all necessary legal documents are prepared according to Italian regulations before the ceremony.

Sorrento, Italy

Sorrento, Italy is a picturesque coastal town located in the Campania region. It offers stunning views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius, making it an ideal destination for a romantic wedding.

For non-residents, Italy provides a relatively easy process for civil weddings without requiring specific visas or permits. Couples can enjoy the charm of Sorrento's historic streets and elegant venues while fulfilling legal marriage requirements.

In Sorrento, couples can choose from various enchanting locations to exchange their vows. Whether it's an intimate ceremony overlooking the turquoise waters or a grand celebration in one of its luxurious villas, Sorrento creates a dreamy setting for unforgettable weddings.

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy, known for its enchanting Renaissance architecture and romantic ambiance, is a popular destination wedding location in Europe. For foreigners looking to tie the knot here, specific VISA or permit is not required, making it relatively straightforward to plan a civil wedding.

With its picturesque landscapes and elegant venues such as historic palazzos and charming vineyards, Florence offers an ideal setting for a fairytale wedding experience. Couples can choose from a range of options for their ceremony, including intimate gatherings at boutique hotels or grand celebrations at lavish estates overlooking the city's iconic skyline.

Whether exchanging vows against the backdrop of the Arno River or amid the stunning artwork of renowned museums like the Uffizi Gallery, Florence provides an unforgettable backdrop for couples seeking to create lasting memories on their special day.

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy is a captivating destination for a wedding with its romantic canals and historic architecture. For foreigners, getting married in Venice requires the standard legal documents like passports and birth certificates.

Non-residents typically do not need specific visas or permits to marry in Italy, making it an attractive choice for a fast civil wedding. However, costs for a destination wedding in Italy can be higher compared to other European countries such as Denmark or Gibraltar.

When planning a wedding in Venice, foreign couples may choose from various beautiful venues including historic palaces overlooking the Grand Canal or charming rooftop terraces with panoramic views of the city.

Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding in Europe

Consult a destination wedding planner for expert advice on legal requirements and venue selection. Create a budget and timeline, ensuring all necessary documents are prepared for the marriage abroad.

Consult a destination wedding planner

Consider seeking assistance from a destination wedding planner to navigate the legal processes and cultural aspects of getting married abroad. They can provide valuable insights into the best countries for non-residents to marry, helping you understand documentation requirements and streamline the planning process.

A planner will help you choose suitable wedding venues, manage budgeting effectively, and ensure all necessary legal documents are in order if you are a US citizen marrying in Europe.

Their expertise can significantly reduce stress and make your destination wedding an unforgettable experience.

Budgeting tips

  1. Research currency exchange rates and set a budget in your home currency.
  2. Consider the cost of travel, accommodations, and wedding packages when choosing your destination.
  3. Look for off-peak seasons or mid-week wedding dates to save on venue and vendor costs.
  4. Compare local vendors for services like photography, catering, and flowers to find the best deals.
  5. Factor in additional expenses such as marriage license fees, legal documentation, and translation services if needed.
  6. Plan for unexpected costs by setting aside a contingency fund in your budget.
  7. Explore package deals offered by resorts or venues that may include wedding services and accommodations at a discounted rate.
  8. Utilize online resources and apps to track expenses and manage your budget throughout the planning process.

Choosing a venue

When selecting a venue for your destination wedding in Europe, consider the following options:

  1. Copenhagen, Denmark: With its charming cobblestone streets and historic castles, this city offers a fairytale setting for your special day.
  2. Positano, Italy: This picturesque cliffside village on the Amalfi Coast provides stunning views of the Mediterranean and a romantic atmosphere.
  3. Sorrento, Italy: Known for its lemon groves and stunning sea cliffs, Sorrento offers a beautiful backdrop for an enchanting wedding celebration.
  4. Florence, Italy: Immerse yourself in Renaissance architecture and art while saying "I do" in the heart of Tuscany's capital city.
  5. Venice, Italy: Exchange vows amidst the iconic canals and historic palazzos of this romantic city, creating unforgettable memories on your wedding day.

Legal marriage timeline

Getting married in Europe as a foreigner involves adhering to specific legal timelines. Here are the steps to consider:

  1. Obtain the necessary legal documents from your home country, such as birth certificates, divorce decrees (if applicable), and passports.
  2. Check the specific marriage notice requirements for the country you plan to get married in, as these can vary significantly.
  3. Ensure you allow enough time for processing any required visas or permits, particularly if you plan to hold a ceremony with many international guests.
  4. Confirm the designated waiting period between giving notice of marriage and the actual ceremony, as this varies by location.
  5. Familiarize yourself with any residency requirements imposed by your chosen country before the marriage can take place.
  6. Consider consulting a local attorney or wedding planner familiar with international marriages to ensure all legal obligations are met smoothly.
  7. Double - check that all necessary paperwork is submitted within the specified timeline and that you have allowed sufficient time for processing.

Required legal documents for US citizens

US citizens planning to get married in Europe will need to ensure they have the necessary legal documents. These may include:

  1. Valid passports for both individuals, with at least six months remaining before expiration.
  2. Birth certificates with an apostille seal or certified translation if not in English.
  3. Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) issued by the local authorities, confirming that there are no legal obstacles to the marriage.
  4. Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry, stating that both parties are legally eligible to marry and signed in front of a US consular officer.
  5. Divorce decree or death certificate if either party was previously married.
  6. Consular Report of Birth Abroad if one of the parties was born outside of the United States.
  7. Any additional documents required by the specific country where the marriage will take place.


In conclusion, expert Julia Hernandez, a seasoned destination wedding planner with over 15 years of experience in organizing international weddings for nonresidents, offers valuable insights into the ease and practicality of getting married in Europe.

She highlights how the simplicity of marriage processes in countries such as Denmark and Gibraltar make them ideal choices for foreigners. With a master's degree in event management from Columbia University, Julia has been recognized for her contributions to simplifying legal requirements and streamlining documentation processes for noncitizen weddings.

Her expertise underscores the importance of transparency and ethical considerations when planning destination weddings.

Julia emphasizes that safety measures, regulatory compliance, and honest disclosure are crucial when planning a destination wedding abroad. She advocates obtaining thorough certifications and adhering to all legal requirements to ensure a seamless marriage process while maintaining ethical standards.

Providing practical tips, Julia recommends consulting reputable destination wedding planners who specialize in international marriages to navigate bureaucratic hurdles effectively.

She advises couples on budgeting wisely and choosing suitable venues that align with their preferences while meeting legal marriage timelines.

Assessing both advantages and drawbacks, Julia affirms that while Europe offers picturesque locations for destination weddings, couples should also consider potential expenses and complexities associated with marrying abroad compared to domestic options.

Ultimately, based on her expertise expediting international marriages for nonresidents, Julia confidently concludes that "Can Foreigners Get Married in Europe? Easiest Countries and Locations for Destination Weddings" holds substantial value for individuals seeking a straightforward process to celebrate their love amid scenic European backdrops.