Getting Married at the Standesamt in Berlin: What to Expect on the Day


Red Tape Translation was thrilled to interpret at a civil wedding ceremony for the very first time today. Getting married in Berlin can be nerve-wracking if one or both partners holds foreign nationality. Couples from all over the world get married at the Standesamt in Berlin, however, if one or both of the partners don’t understand German to a high enough level, you’re required to bring an interpreter with you. If the interpreter isn’t already sworn in at the Standesamt, you’ll need to pay an extra fee. 

Here’s a run down of how a Berlin civil marriage ceremony works:

You’ll have already met with the civil servant to hand in your documents and register your intent to marry. You may have handed in a declaration of name after marriage as well. When you arrive, (15 minutes early of course!), your civil servant will take everyone’s identification (this includes the interpreter) and tell you to wait until the ceremony begins. 

The civil servant will welcome you and hold a brief speech with a few personal words and advice about married life. They will then go over your name declaration with you, if you have submitted one, confirming which name you have chosen for your new family.

Next come the wedding vows, the “I do” or “das Jawort”. Both of you will be asked in turn (the man goes first) whether you choose freely to enter into marriage with the other. Assuming that the answer is in both cases affirmative, the civil servant then confirms that you are legally wed. At this point, if you’ve organized it in advance, you might choose to play music or have a reading.

A transcript will then be read out, which has all the important information such as the wedding date, the personal details of each partner, and the personal details of witnesses or the interpreter. You will all be required to sign the transcript, as well as additional paperwork regarding the name you may have chosen. The civil servant will wish you well, and you’ll have time for a few happy snaps.

That’s it, you’re done! Time for a champagne.

If you’re thinking about tying the knot in Berlin, talk to Red Tape Translation about taking an interpreter with you to your registration appointment and to your civil wedding ceremony.