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Marriage: undertaking a preparatory procedure

This procedure presents the steps to be followed when preparing a marriage. During the preparatory procedure, the fiancés submit a marriage application to the civil registry office, accompanied by several official documents.

Opening hours: 8h30 to 11h45 and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

When should you start the procedure?

The preparatory procedure can take several weeks or several months (in particular if foreign documents need to be legalised). Consequently, fiancés are advised not to set a date for the wedding celebration before the preparatory procedure is complete. The registry office declines all liability for costs resulting from the cancellation or postponement of the celebration.

What is the fee?

CHF 150 for the preparatory procedure. Additional costs may be incurred, in particular if foreign documents need to be legalised. The costs of the wedding celebration depend on the venue chosen by the fiancés to celebrate their marriage.

Where should the procedure be carried out?

The preparatory procedure must be carried out according to the place of residence of the fiancés:

  • if one of the two fiancés (Swiss or foreign) is resident in Switzerland: at the civil registry office of his/her municipality of residence;
  • if both fiancés are resident in Switzerland: at the civil registry office of their municipality of residence or of the municipality of one of the two residences;
  • if neither of the two fiancés (Swiss or foreign) is resident in Switzerland: at the civil registry office of the municipality in which the marriage will be celebrated or through the relevant Swiss diplomatic representation.

The marriage can, with the agreement of the office concerned, be celebrated in the district of the civil registry office chosen by the fiancés.

Which documents are required?

For single, widowed or divorced

Swiss citizens

  • marriage application form (available below);
  • residence certificate (if resident outside the canton);
  • passport or identity card. 

Other cases and other nationalities

The fiancés must contact the civil registry office concerned in order to obtain any necessary information and the detailed list of documents to be provided.

Notes for foreign fiancés

The list of documents required for foreign fiancés varies according to their country of origin. The civil registry office will inform you of any document authentication procedure necessary. This procedure may take several months and requires advance payment of fees, which can range from CHF 300 to CHF 2,000 per person, depending on the country.

Since 1 January 2011, article 98 paragraph 4 of the civil code has stipulated that “people engaged to be married who are not Swiss citizens must prove the legality of their stay in Switzerland during the preparatory procedure for a marriage or partnership”. In the absence of a valid residence permit, the civil registry office will be obliged to refuse to celebrate the marriage.

What to do?

The fiancés must complete the marriage request form (available on this page, by e-mail or at the counter), sign it and return it by post or by e-mail ( together with a copy of the identity documents of both fiancés and a copy of any residence permit.

The Civil Registry Office examines whether the request has been duly submitted and whether the identity of the fiancés is established and sends them the list of documents to be presented.

The documents are sent by post or dropped off at the counter on the second floor of the Registry Office.

 If the documents presented are valid and the conditions for being married have been met, the Office contacts the fiancés to schedule an appointment to sign the declarations relating to the conditions of marriage. Once all formalities have been completed, the Civil Registry Office sends the fiancés the conclusion of the preparatory procedure together with the statutory deadlines for celebrating the marriage.


Service de l'état civil

37 Rue de la Mairie




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Fax. +41224186651


Service de l'état civil

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Article modifié le 26.07.2023 à 09:44