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February 18, 2009 12:45 AM   Subscribe

I want to get married. Is there a European Las Vegas?

I have US and German citizenship, my girlfriend is Spanish, and we live in Berlin. To get married here we'll have to run back and forth between the Spanish embassy and the district whateverthefuck office and get a ton of documents professionally translated in order to apply for Marriagability Certification. It will be expensive and time-consuming. Is there a city in Europe where we can just show up and get married? Amsterdam? Copenhagen?
posted by creasy boy to Law & Government (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Historically, this would be Gretna Green, a small town in Scotland against the border with England. But sadly, no more.

I did find this online:

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Europe's Marriage Mill

Couples from around the European Union—and even American servicemen and women stationed abroad—are flocking to Denmark to get hitched.

"It's not as easy as in Vegas," said a spokesperson for the Danish Ministry of Interior and Health. "But it is easier than other places in Europe."

While nations like France and Germany put up hurdles designed to weed out fake marriages, Denmark requires little more than proof of European residency, a birth certificate and a passport copy, plus 70 euros ($95) for a marriage license.

Good luck!

It should be said, that in most Eastern European countries - at least the ones more southern than Poland - marriages are performed in a courtroom or clerk's office. A "church" wedding is really for show and for the religious. In Bosnia or Romania or small small town in Hungary, no doubt you could simply bribe someone and get it done pretty easily.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 12:51 AM on February 18, 2009

Best answer: Gibraltar

Its where I got married. If they have room in their schedule, you just need to give them 24 hours notice.
posted by vacapinta at 1:10 AM on February 18, 2009

Response by poster: OK Denmark sounds great. Gibraltar sounds awesome but that's a bit further away. I'll look into how much they need translated up in Copenhagen. We have proof of European residency in German and birth certificates in English and Spanish.
posted by creasy boy at 1:34 AM on February 18, 2009

Have a look at this thread: "Marriage in Denmark to avoid German red tape, Information and advice on doing this" which seems to have current info at the end.
posted by patricio at 1:48 AM on February 18, 2009

I heard denmark is the place to go too. Google shows this ad, claiming "faster than in Las Vegas". And it has a list of the required documents.

Congratulations! I just hope it won't be too much of a hassle to get it recognised in Berlin afterwards....
Drop by in the bar again this weekend, will you? I'll treat you for a glass of champaign (or beer)...
posted by kolophon at 6:38 AM on February 18, 2009

Response by poster: Oh hey kolophon. Yeah, we haven't really announced this to anyone. I'm kind of averse to ceremony and whatnot. I dread having to tell my family and listen to their excitement, actually. So...but I'll happily have a beer with you.

Thanks for that list of documents. The Familienstandbescheinigung seems simpler than the Ehefähigkeitsschein I would need here...I just hope that the Familienstandbescheinigung is based just on our claiming to be single and that we don't need the Ehefähigkeitsschein in order to get the Familienstandbescheinigung. Because for my girlfriend to get the Ehefähigkeitsschein from Spain she needs to send them a Meldebescheinigung, but I think to get the Meldebescheinigung in the first place she actually needs to first have the Ehefähigkeitsschein...that's the kind of rage-inducing circle I'm trying to avoid.

Also apparently Denmark can print the marriage thing in German, so that should make it easier.
posted by creasy boy at 7:50 AM on February 18, 2009

Response by poster: OK, I'm supposed to follow up, but there's not much to say. It looks like it's easy to get married in Denmark and that's what we're planning on doing, but we've been too busy dealing with taxes and other stuff to really make any concrete plans yet.
posted by creasy boy at 5:22 AM on March 21, 2009

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