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08-06-2022 Written by Loïs

A notice of intent to marry: how does that work?

What not many people know is that before your wedding day arrives, and you can say ‘yes’ to your fiancé on the big day, you have to give notice of your intention to marry at least 14 days before your ceremony in the Netherlands. But why are you giving a notice of marriage (ondertrouw, in Dutch), and is it mandatory?

What not many people know is that before your wedding day arrives, and you can say ‘yes’ to your fiancé on the big day, you have to give notice of your intention to marry at least 14 days before your ceremony in the Netherlands. But why are you giving a notice of marriage (ondertrouw, in Dutch), and is it mandatory?

Court house

What is a notice of marriage?

Notice of marriage – or intended marriage – is a municipal registration in which the city checks whether you and your partner meet all the requirements to be able to get married, which is mandatory. During the time of notice your age is checked, whether you are already married or not, and whether you are related to each other. This is also the period during which objections to the marriage can be made. Since 2015 you can arrange this yourself online at many municipalities in the Netherlands.

Every city has its own rules for a notice of intent to marry. In most cities this period is at least two weeks, but sometimes it can be up to six weeks before the wedding. The declaration itself is valid for one year. There is no cost to get a notice of marriage, but there may be costs for the marriage certificate or reservation, wedding location or wedding official. Therefore, check carefully with your city what the rules are.

What do you need to bring?

During the registration of your notice of marriage, you both bring; proof of identity/passport, a birth certificate, statement of name use and a witness form (including a copy of their ID cards). In the witness form you state at least two, to a maximum of four witnesses, they must be at least eighteen years old. These are also the witnesses during the wedding, so after signing the notice of marriage you can no longer make changes. In addition, you indicate whether you are going to get married under a prenuptial agreement or in a community of property, the date and time of the official wedding and under which name you want to be registered. 

Then the statement of name use: do you both keep your own name, or does one of you take the other’s name? You can also put your fiancé’s name before or after your own last name, as Brooklyn Beckham and Nicola Peltz did in April 2022: they are now both called Peltz-Beckham. For an official name change, you must submit a Personal Records Database (BRP) to the municipality after the marriage, so the government institutions in the Netherlands will be informed. You must inform other organizations yourself.

 

 

 

Is a notice of marriage the same as registered partnership?

No, in the Netherlands registered partnership is not the same as a notice of marriage, however it is very similar to a marriage. For a registered partnership you must report your relationship to the municipality, for this you also need witnesses. In order to enter into a registered partnership, you must first report an intended registered partnership, a sort of notice of intended marriage. This also needs to be reporter at least two weeks in advance, and will remain valid for one year. 

What do you wear for a notice of marriage? 

You are free to choose what to wear during the notice of marriage – this is of course also the case for many other special occasions. Because you notice of marriage can be registered online in the Netherlands, there is not much of a festive gathering left regarding this first step to getting married. If you want to make it special, you can get ready and wear formal clothes with jewelry. Finally, you can have a romantic dinner for two or invite your witnesses to celebrate your first marriage milestone. 

In short: notice of marriage indicates that you are going to get married, on which day, at which location and with whom.

 

Bride and groom on stairs Bride and groom outside

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