Office Pack

The “Office Pack” is a collection of 6 transcripts, each in their own PDF file. The pack is a ZIP file containing the 6 PDFs and is available from the AllThingsGerman Download Store.

The transcripts in this pack are:

To find out more, visit the AllThingsGerman Download Store.

New in 2009: how to get married in Germany

Almost every student of German will know that you cannot get married in a church in Germany without going to the registry office to get married there first.  This either results in the weddings being on the same day, consecutive days, or even months apart.

This is all down to a little known law called the “Reichsgesetz über die Beurkundung des Personenstands und die Eheschließung” which was passed in 1875 and is currently included in the “Personenstandsgesetz”.

That law took away the power of the churches to legally marry people, and instead passed this on to the state.  This law is about to change.

The “Personenstandsrechtsreformgesetz” makes a number of changes to the way in which the Standesämter – who register births, marriages and deaths in Germany – work.  The most significant change means that it will be possible to get married in a church, legally, without having to go to the registry office first.

The protestant Church in Germany has, however, announced that it is not planning any changes and will still only carry out weddings after the civil ceremony.

Das Standesamt

Das Standesamt is an office, usually located in the town hall, where births, marriages and deaths are registered.  The office also issues the relevant certificates for these occasions.

The civil part of the marriage ceremony takes place at the Standesamt itself, often in a room specially decorated and set aside for this purpose.

Some towns have rooms, dedicated as a Standesamt in other buildings, such as the Kaiser-Friedrich-Bad in Bad Homburg or the Brauhaus in Oberursel.

If either the wife or husband is not a German national, or if one of the parents are not German, then the application to marry or to register the name of a child can get very complicated.  The non-German half may be required to sign away their right to use their national laws, eg. in naming their child, in order to simplify the situation.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download a transcript

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast

Please click on ACCEPT to give us permission to set cookies [more information]

This website uses cookies to give you the best browsing experience possible. Cookies are small text files that are stored by the web browser on your computer. Most of the cookies that we use are so-called “Session cookies”. These are automatically deleted after your visit. The cookies do not damage your computer system or contain viruses. Please read our privacy information page for more details or to revoke permission.