FAQ - everything you need to know about marriage in Denmark
Marriage in Denmark is probably the quickest and easiest in the EU. But even so couples have many questions and doubts. We at Danish Island Weddings have now helped over 2400 couples get married so we have seen most of the issues by now! The answers to the most asked questions are below – we hope you find the information you are looking for. If you would like us to help you get married in Denmark, on our beautiful island of Aeroe, then contact us at email@example.com or go to our Home Page to find out more.
Is the marriage valid worldwide?
Absolutely. However, we strongly believe that international couples really ought to have their marriage certificate “apostilled”. An apostille is a validation by the Danish Foreign Ministry in accordance with the 1961 Hague Apostille Convention which gives an extra level of international acceptability. We are so convinced that our couples should have this done that we automatically include this service in all our packages – fees included. It takes up to 2 weeks. Some countries (e.g. UAE) also require full legalisation, which we can advise you on or do for you.
Will it be different from 2019? Are the rules changing?
We don’t think things will change much. The change is that your documents will be processed by a central unit, instead of by the registrars in each kommune. The main effect is that they may be slower, and will be more expensive. But we have been assured that nothing will change that will seriously affect our couples. We will work hard to give the best service we can however this turns out, and are optimistic we can make it work. To avoid raising prices we have taken the apostille out of the standard package – this makes sense since the 2016 EU directive which did away with the need for an apostille within between EU countries has now been implemented (finally – even by the Italians).
Why get married in Denmark?
Because the Danes are sensible people and see no reason why two consenting adults should have to fight a legal and bureaucratic battle to get married. In Denmark the documentation required is simple and straightforward, there is no requirement for the banns to be read, and the whole thing can happen quickly and easily with no hassle. We had one Polish/Spanish couple who gave up trying to get married elsewhere in Europe before trying us – we arranged their wedding in 3 days!
Can I change my name in Denmark on my wedding day?
No; unless you are resident in Denmark, you will have to change your name once you return to your country of residence. This is due to a change in the Danish marriage law in 2006.
Can anyone get married in Denmark?
We have had couples from all over the world, including some who have had lost documents or other problems. So almost anyone can get married here. The only country which has a problem (and that’s with any marriage overseas, not Denmark in particular) is Laos. Other than that the only real exceptions are asylum-seekers and refugees, who cannot get married here.
Are the requirements the same everywhere in Denmark?
Surprisingly, no, not in practice. There are an infinite number of variations in people’s documents and circumstances, and the local authorities have to rely on common sense to interpret the requirements and regulations. We are fortunate that we have such a close working relationship with the authorities here on Aeroe, and that we can often work with them to find practical, sensible and legal solutions to some tricky problems. But we do not cut corners and are only interested in helping genuine couples to get married.
What is the ceremony like, and how long does it take?
It is quick and simple, but at the same time dignified and unhurried, and can be in English or German. You will stand in front of the registrar or mayor in our beautiful Wedding Room (or other special location) while he conducts the ceremony. You are required to say yes, and you may exchange rings if you would like to. You can also add vows, music or other personal touches. Thereafter you both sign the register. After the witnesses and registrar have signed the final paperwork you are married!
Can we get married in the Registry office?
No, not usually, with Danish Island Weddings. The registry office is a pleasant enough modern office but it can be busy, and is not the most romantic location. We do not understand why needing to get married quickly or with unusual paperwork means the wedding itself has to be dull and unromantic. So we only offer romantic locations such as the Old Merchants Court. It is perfect for couples on their own eloping, or for small parties. Based on our experience with around 2400 couples it is worth paying a little more to make a day as special as your wedding something to remember!
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Can we have a church wedding?
Unfortunately not, unless you are Scandinavian.
When do we get the marriage certificate?
You will get one certificate straight away; it comes already translated into English, German, Spanish, and French. We then send the second certificate to the Danish Foreign Ministry to get an “apostille” as part of our service to you. You should receive it by post a week or two later.
How long do we have to stay if we book through Danish Island Weddings?
You are required to stay one night on the island (although once you have seen Aeroe you may want to stay longer); you must arrive by 1600 the day before your wedding (or 1200 Friday for a Saturday wedding) .
Can we pay with PayPal or credit cards?
Yes. We accept all credit cards online with PayPal (but that is an expensive solution). We also now accept Visa and Mastercard in the office for payment the day before the wedding if you wish. But the best (& cheapest) option is to transfer to one of our TransferWise accounts in Germany, USA, Australia or UK.
Can we pay in cash?
Yes, if you prefer, you can pay in cash, in euros or Danish kroner. Please be ready to pay when you meet Louise, Yuki or Anna the day before the wedding.
Can we use euros on Aeroe?
Yes; even though Denmark still has the Danish kroner, most places accept euro notes (although the exchange rate may not be very good). However any change is given in Danish kroner. Be aware that foreign credit cards are not that widely accepted in Denmark.
What is the exchange rate?
It is usually around 7.44 kroner to the euro. It does not usually vary much but please check online or in the newspaper for the latest rate. But please note we do all our pricing and invoicing in euros.
Do we need to bring witnesses?
No, it is not necessary as we provide witnesses as part of our service. But if you prefer to bring your own witnesses, that is of course fine.
Can I get married on a Schengen tourist visa?
Yes, but the visa issue can be complex and we will be happy to discuss your particular circumstances.
Does getting married to an EU citizen give me automatic residency in Europe?
In general terms, yes it does, but be careful – this is a complicated issue. The 2004 EU Directive on freedom of movement established this principle, but the individual EU countries did not implement the Directive fully. In particular, most countries want to be sure that any marriage is genuine, that the couple will be living together as man and wife, and that they can support themselves financially. None of our couples (as far as we know) has had any serious problems with this so far.
How do I register the marriage afterwards?
It depends on the country in which you live, but usually you need to take your new wedding certificate to the local authorities where you live. Some countries may want you to contact their embassy in Denmark before the marriage.
Can gay couples get married in Denmark?
Yes – the Danes make absolutely no distinction between straight and gay marriage. But there are some international issues regarding acceptability, and also civil partnerships. Our website at www.GayMarriageinDenmark.com is now online and aims to help us focus on any issues specific to LGBT marriages, and to help us find the LGBT couples who are trying to find us!
Will Brexit have any effect on my wedding on Ærø?
Highly unlikely! For UK passport holders it looks as though your UK “EU” passports will be phased out only as they come up for renewal and it is extremely unlikely that you will require a visa to enter Schengen. For EEA Family Reunification visas nothing will happen for ages, if at all.
Is it true that Ærø is Denmark’s leading centre of “hygge” ?
Probably. We on Ærø have been masters of hygge for years – and now suddenly the word has invaded the English-speaking world. DIW and the Merchants Court are the island’s leading exponents of hygge, and the ethos of putting people at ease through a combination of charm, aesthetics, comfort and friendliness is at the heart of all we do.
Danish Island Weddings has helped over 2400 couples get married, and we are the leading specialist in unusual or difficult documentation.
Click HERE to contact Louise, Anna or Yuki at Danish Island Weddings