As a traveler getting married while traveling must be the ultimate experience. Can you actually legally get married while traveling?

  • 23
    Not sure whether to tag this "adventure" or "extreme"! Commented Dec 21, 2011 at 9:51
  • 1
    Many expatriates get married while abroad. I believe that paperwork is processed in consulates. I imagine that travellers are no different than expatriates on this subject.
    – mouviciel
    Commented Dec 21, 2011 at 9:57
  • Also has to be on land - or close to it: spluch.blogspot.com/2006/11/…
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Dec 21, 2011 at 10:28
  • This comment that it has to be on land gave me the idea for a related question: Can the ship's captain really perform your wedding when in international waters? Commented Dec 21, 2011 at 12:27
  • 2
    @mouviciel if you get married at a consulate of your home country, the procedures are quite different from getting married under a foreign jurisdiction and trying to get it certified at home. If the partners have different nationalities from the countries involved, things get more confusing still.
    – jwenting
    Commented Dec 22, 2011 at 13:07

8 Answers 8


Yes, but it depends on 2 things :

  1. Your destination country law, and
  2. your home country law.

Here is an example :

Indonesian couples wants to get married in Singapore. The following rules apply :

  • They have to apply their notice of Marriage at Registry Of Marriage Singapore
  • At least one of them has to be physically present within Singapore for a minimum of 15 days before the date of notice of marriage.
  • Both of them should not have married before and each of them have to bring one witness.
  • Full details can be found at ROM FAQ website

After they married in Singapore, the marriage itself is legal (almost) worldwide, however Indonesian government does not accept the marriage certificate as legal document. In the order to make it legal, the couple has to get a translation of their ROM certificate and reference letter in Singapore's Indonesian Embassy, and within 1 year they should report to Indonesian Civil Office back in Indonesia (You can't just report in Indonesian Embassy)

Trivia : A lot of Indonesian married in Singapore before 2009 because Indonesian law did not allow different-religion marriage, and then reported their marriage back in Indonesia.


My sister did it, so it's possible. The bureaucratic hoops she had to jump through to get the marriage recognised at home were however significant, not because of unwillingness by authorities but mostly because of the amount of paperwork that had to be signed, countersigned, and sent back and forth between the Hague city hall, Las Vegas city hall, and herself multiple times before all the right stamps and signatures were on all the right forms in all the right places.
She probably spent more money on stamps and phone calls to get her Dutch marriage certificate than she'd spent on the marriage ceremony itself.


That depends completely on the laws concerning marriage in your home country. I'd say that in most countries it is possible, but there may be varying documentation or other requirements (and restrictions) for the marriage to be legally accepted.

Ask whatever authority is beaurocratically responsible for marriages in your country; they should know best.

There may also be travel agencies that offer marriage abroad as a package deal (I know this is very common in Japan). That's probably the safest option (if safe is what you want).


Yes you can. However, if you want the marriage to have force in your country of residence there might be some requirements. Get into contact with a registry office in your home country, they will be able to inform you about requirements and procedures.


It has so far not been pointed out that at least in some countries you can not get married (or give notice of a marriage) if you do not have a certain special "marriage visa."

This depends on the regulations of the country where you would want to marry (and you and your significant other's citizenships) so a general answer is out of scope but a prime example is the UK:

you can’t:
- [...]
- marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership

instead you have to apply for a

Notice can also be given to the home office when you give notice of the marriage with an extended notice period, with possible adverse consequences for your immigration status if you try to get married on the wrong type of visa.

The complete set of UK Immigration Rules is presented here.


I did it, my wife and I live in Israel and got married in New York. All we had to do was get an apostele (stamp) from New York State and register with the ministry of the Interior back in Israel. The only complication was getting her divorce decree translated from Hebrew to English and notarized. Thankfully we found a notary in NY who read Hebrew and could help us with the paperwork.

Of course what country you are traveling too and what countries you are citizens off may make a huge difference. But in general most western countries recognize each other's marriage and divorce decrees.


The answer is: absolutely!

There are multiple destinations that can do this while you travel. The possibility of this depends on the laws of the country and province(state) that you will want do this in.

For example in most states in the United States is usually performed by an official like a judge and requires some sort of documentation, registration, and possible wait time. That, however, is not necessarily true for all states and in state like Nevada it is possible to get married in a drive thru and yes it's just as official as others.

Since Israel doesn't have a civil marriage so a quite a few people from Israel travel to Cyprus to get married.

  • When I was in Israel I even saw offers for all-inclusive package tours to Cyprus for weddings: paperwork, hall, officiant, and party all one aggregate price. Commented Jun 11, 2016 at 23:17

If you are a citizen of country A, and travel to country B, it would be up to country B whether they marry you or not, and up to country A (and any other country in the world) whether they recognise the marriage or not.

I would first enquire with your local registry office (even if it isn't the one that you are a citizen of) - in many places, they will be very knowledgable about anything having to do with marriages, and often they will be helpful. Even if it is just because it makes their job a bit more interesting :-) And they are nearby obviously.

Next step would be the registry office of the country that you are a citizen of, to make sure the marriage will be recognised. And then you need to ask in the country where you want to get married.

As an example, if you wanted to get married in Germany, one of the two spouses must be a resident in the district of the registry office, which would make it impossible for two travellers to get married. Two foreigners would be no problem, as long as one is resident in Germany, but getting married while travelling would be practically impossible.

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