Marriage in Luxembourg
Marriages are performed by the registrar at the city hall and open to the public. A church marriage may be performed after the civil ceremony; it is not required by law. A church marriage may not be performed before the civil marriage.
- The groom must be at least 18 years old and the bride 16 years old; minor brides must obtain parental consent.
- Any previous marriage must be dissolved.
- At least one of the contracting parties must be a resident of Luxembourg.
- If a child was born before the marriage, the father has to recognize it before the civil marriage, otherwise the child will not be considered as legitimate.
At least one of the parties must be a legal resident of Luxembourg. The civil marriage can only be performed in the city hall of the district (as defined by the administration communale) where one or both of the parties are resident.
Publication of the marriage banns
According to Luxembourg law, marriage banns must be published for a consecutive period of ten days at the city hall where the couple is resident, or if contracting parties are residing in two different districts, in the corresponding city halls. This requirement may be waived upon request for an American citizen, who does not reside in Luxembourg. In this case, the banns need to be published only in the city hall of the Luxembourg resident.
The registrar will only proceed with the publication of the banns if one of the contracting parties applies in person at the registrar’s office and submits required documentation. The registrar will review it and, if complete, set a date for the civil marriage ceremony, at the earliest on the 11th day after publication of the marriage banns. The marriage has to take place within one year after the publication of the banns, or a new publication has to be made.
Required documentation for the civil ceremony
- ‘Certificat prénuptial’: health certificate issued by a recognized Luxembourg physician, after having reviewed results from the blood test and the tuberculin test.
For the blood test contact the Luxembourg Red Cross:
42 boulevard Joseph II
Phone: 450202 1
The tuberculin test is done at the Centre Médico-Social
2 rue George C. Marshall
Phone: 48 83 33 1
- a certified copy of the birth certificate (issued within the last three months if issued in Luxembourg and within the last six months if issued abroad). The Consular Section cannot issue a certified copy of a US birth certificate or report of birth abroad, but can provide information on how to obtain it from the U.S.
- a certificate of residence established at the ‘administration communale’ of place of residence (usually waived for an American citizen not residing in Luxembourg)
- a certificate of celibacy (American citizens sign an affidavit of eligibility to marry in front of a consular officer at the U.S. Embassy, the fee is $30)
Other documents may be required depending on the person’s personal circumstances, (e.g. divorce decrees, death certificate of former spouse). The registrar at the city hall can provide necessary information.
The married couple will receive a ‘livret de famille’ (family book), which is an official marriage certificate and in which common children will be recorded. In Luxembourg, the bride will keep her maiden name even after marriage. A U.S. citizen may amend his/her name to reflect the married name by presenting their U.S. passport and the marriage certificate at the Embassy.
Validity of the Luxembourg marriage certificate in the U.S.
Consular officers are not permitted to perform marriages, and Embassies or Consulates do not register marriages performed abroad.
In general, marriages which are legally performed and valid in Luxembourg are also legally valid in the United States. It is possible to request an ‘apostille’ (authentication) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Luxembourg (bureau des légalisations), if the Luxembourg marriage certificate will be used in the U.S.