With times being what they are, couples in the Czech Republic who had been thinking about getting married in 2020 may have decided to… delay things a bit.  But it’s important to remember that this virus won’t be around forever – you’ve probably heard that there are no less than three major pharmaceutical companies in the US that have developed a vaccine with 95% efficacy – and life will return to normal… or whatever the new normal is. 

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So in thinking about that, you might want to start reconsidering your wedding plans for 2021 and get to booking those venues.  Places like the Baroque Vrtba Garden (not far from the Charles Bridge and amazing for photos), Chateau Mcely or the St. Wenceslas Vineyard at the Prague Castle can book months in advance!

Czech wedding desserts

You may be wondering what is required if you’re an expat looking to get married in a beautiful Czech location.  Well, aside from choosing from a multitude of absolutely stunning castles, parks and other Heritage sites where you might host your event, you also have to think about the logistics involved… and there are a few hoops you’ll need to jump through in terms of government bureaucracy so, let’s examine some of the steps you’ll have to take:

Not unlike in the states, in the Czech Republic you can choose to have a simple, informal civil ceremony or have a more large-scale formal event conducted by a church or other religious organization. 

Essentially, the actual process of marrying your sweetheart is the same as anywhere else.  You and your partner stand in front of an officiant and declare that you are both seeking to enter into a marriage of your own free will.  Then you’re asked if you wish to be legally bound together and you say a version of “I do,” which, in the Czech Republic, is simply “Ano,” (“yes”). 

Whether you’ve chose to have a large or smaller ceremony, you’ll need to bring along two people pre-selected as your Witnesses and they will sign a document affirming that they did, in fact, witness the marriage once you’ve said your yes’s. 

In Czech, all marriages are registered with the local Registry Office (‘Matriční Úřad’) which require documents through which the couple prove legal competence to enter into the union.  Don’t worry.  They’re nothing complicated. Just a kind of document that says neither of you are being forced into the marriage in any way. 

So.  Once you’ve located and finalized a location for your nuptials you’ll find the local office in that district in order to register the marriage.  These Registry Offices are found at municipal and city authorities.  If one of you is Czech, all the better as the Czech partner can handle this part. 

It is also of noted that, for the purposes of marriage in the Czech Republic, anyone who is not a citizen is considered a foreigner… so even if you have permanent registry, you will still need to present a whole host of documents before you can be sure to get hitched without a hitch!  You can review exactly which documents you’ll need by looking at the FAQ page presented by our friends at Legans Law Office for the exact documents and what the requirements are.  Find it here: https://cz.cityspy.network/prague/legal-2/marriage-with-czech-nationals/  And if you feel like you need a bit of assistance with the process – and yes, even some Czech’s find the bureacratic processes in this country difficult to navigate, you can reach out to Legans Law Office who, for a modest fee, can hold your hand throughout the process. 

As with any civil process there are fees involved, so be sure to plan for that (if both of you have permanent residence, you will not pay a fee) and there are also a few things you’ll need to handle post-ceremony in order to seal the deal.  Again, all of this info can be found in the FAQ on our site. 

Finally, a word on Registered Partnerships. What is a “Registered Partnership”? Simply. a Registered Partnership is the Czech Republic’s version of “gay marriage,” or “the life-long union of a same sex couple.”  It is entered into by a declaration by both of the partners that they want to live in a partnership.  This declaration is made in the presence of a Registrar. Only Partenerships in which one member of the relationship is a Czech Citizen are allowed.

Unfortunately, Czech Law does not recognise the Registered Partnership as equal to a marriage between a man and a woman and, because of that, there are different rules here for domestic partners. For example, in a Registered Partnership, the couple are not allowed to register the same surname and registered partners cannot rely on the institution of joint property.  Additionally there are some discrepancies in the event of the demise of one of the partners. 

Essentially, in terms of the Law, the Czech Republic is still struggling in terms of the realities of the time. Again, you can find more information regarding this in the FAQ here: https://cz.cityspy.network/prague/legal-2/marriage-with-czech-nationals/

So. If you’re considering getting married soon, we wish you the best and we hope that the information in this article and the FAQ inspire you to worry a bit less and to take the plunge! Spring is coming fast! Na zdraví!

New Section: Czech Law For Expats

Shaun O'Banion

Shaun O'Banion

Shaun O'Banion is a Gotham Award-winning independent film producer, writer, and teacher who has been living and working in Prague since 2015.
Shaun O'Banion

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