The Legalities of Getting Married in Budapest, Hungary

What is the procedure for getting married legally in Hungary? This is often one of the first questions couples have when they consider getting married in Hungary. Whether you are planning a micro wedding, a large gathering or even to elope to Budapest, the process of applying for a marriage license in Hungary will be the same. In some countries like Ireland, a church wedding is considered an official ceremony.  However in Hungary a church wedding is not legally binding, civil marriages are the only marriages that are legally recognised. A religious ceremony is optional but it has no legal value. 

The process can be intimidating, especially for foreigners who don’t speak the language. Finding the right person to call in the right district can be a process in itself. Then you may find that there isn’t anyone that speaks English. It’s advisable to hire a translator or at best a wedding coordinator or planner to help you through the process. 

couple kiss after their in wedding in Saint Stephen's Basilica with bride in a backless wedding dress
Sealed with a kiss in front of Saint Stephen’s Basilica, Budapest | photo credit

The Legalities Of Getting Married in Hungary

This procedure should generally be started at least 60 days before the wedding date so that all processes can be completed by the Hungarian authorities in time. However the recommended time is 4-6 months.

Before you start the process for getting married in Hungary you will need to decide your wedding date and which district in Budapest or place in Hungary you wish to get married in. 

Once you have decided your date and venue, you should call to schedule an appointment at the office of the The Municipal Council in the district where the marriage will take place. There you will declare your intention to marry in front of the registrar.

Both parties/applicants must appear in person for the appointment!

Each district has their own municipality. You can get married at the registry office or at a site/venue of your choice. If you wish to have your civil ceremony at Fisherman Bastion for example, then you should apply at the Municipal Council of the I. District ( 1st district ).

wedding in the castle district of Budapest with Danube view and Hungarian Parliament in the background, classic bridal hair and form fitting lace wedding dress
photo credit: Gyongyi Halmai, @halmai_gyongyi_photography

All of your official documents have to be translated into Hungarian by the Hungarian Office of Translation and Attestation. Translation from another company or person will not be accepted.  As part of my wedding planning services I assist couples with the translation process. They have the option to send their documents to me in advance of their trip to Hungary. Once I receive them, I bring the documents to the translation office, then collect them once the translation process is complete. When the couple come to Hungary for their appointment, everything is ready thus saving the couple valuable time. For more information about my Wedding Planning Service please get in touch here!

You will be required to pay the application fee. You will incur an additional fee if you wish to have the registrar perform the marriage at an off-site location! 

If you wish to change your names or give your future children a certain family name then you should decide this prior to your appointment. The registrar will declare it on your application. 

The registrar will establish if the marriage complies with the Hungarian rule of law since all marriages have to be valid by the laws of the home countries of both parties concerned.

Getting married legally in Hungary, wedding couple hand in hand, inter racial wedding, marry in Budpest
Say ‘I do’ in Budapest!

What Documents Do You Need To Get Married In Hungary?

The following documents are required to register a marriage in Hungary:

  • Valid passports that do not expire within 6 months before or after your wedding date!

  • If one of you has Hungarian Nationality then you need to provide proof. 

  • Full birth certificates of both applicants, indicating the names of your mothers and fathers.

  • Documents to prove your place of residency.

  • Freedom To Marry Certificates,  declaring that no legal impediment exists as to your marriage. These can be obtained from the consulate/embassy or Department of Foreign Affairs in your home country. Hungarian citizens can obtain a Certificate of Marital Status.

  • If either of you is divorced from a previous marriage then you should provide a decree of divorce or a decree absolute. 

  • If one of you is widowed then provide a death certificate of the deceased spouse. 

  • A completed application form. 

Please note: All documents should be dated within 6 months of your wedding date!

Additional documentation may be required depending on your nationality. It is recommended to inquire with your relevant consulate or embassy.

Destination wedding Budapest, with fairytale wedding portraits at Fisherman's Bastion Budapest, with Mathias Church in the background
Fairytale in Budapest at Fisherman’s Bastion photo credit: Gyongyi Halmai, @halmai_gyongyi_photography

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the legal age for getting married in Hungary?

The legal age for getting married in Hungary is 18. 

Is a civil marriage in Hungary recognised abroad?

A civil marriage in Hungary is generally recognised in all other countries.

Do I have to be a resident in Hungary or have Hungarian Nationality to get married in Hungary?

No, there are no requirements to be a resident here to get married in Hungary and you do not need to have Hungarian Nationality!

So now you are all set with the information you need to plan your legal ceremony for your destination wedding in Hungary. Whether you go ahead with an official ceremony or a have symbolic one, you and your guests are sure to have an experience of a lifetime.

If you need wedding planner to help you orchestrate your wedding or just need a little extra help with coordination, I would love to help. Just get in touch for more information here!

wedding invitations and save the date stationery flat lay with flowers and wedding ring
Save The Date for a Wedding in Budapest!

signature of Catherine Sakka-Gallagher, wedding blogger Budapest