Thinking of tying the knot? Here is everything you need to know about marriage and civil partnership in the Grand Duchy.

If you're reading this, one would assume congratulations are (or will soon be) in order — so, congratulations! Getting married or entering into a civil partnership is fairly straightforward, but there is (this should come as little surprise) a little bit of paperwork to deal with before you tie the knot.

But, fear not, we've got you covered. We'll start with the basics of civil partnership, then move on to marriage - the conditions are fairly similar, but there are small differences which make it easier to present them separately.

Entering a civil partnership or marriage in Luxembourg

A civil partnership — get used to calling this PACS when talking to officials as this is the local term for it, it's essentially pronounced pax — is a common-law union between two people who have chosen to live together. It provides certain advantages, such as the ability to file a joint tax declaration, and granting the partners shared social protection.

Marriage is 'one step up' from civil partnerships, and a marriage is harder to dissolve. Unlike civil partnerships, only one of the parties has to be an official resident of Luxembourg.

Who can enter into a civil partnership?

The first thing to note is that gender[s] is not of importance, and the two people concerned can be of the same or different gender[s]. There are, however, a few conditions that must be met:

  • You must both have the legal capacity to enter into the relationship (that is, you can't have been declared legally incapable, or a 'protected adult');
  • You cannot be bound by another marriage or civil partnership;
  • You cannot be directly related by blood, nor be aunt/uncle niece/nephew;
  • You must be legally resident in Luxembourg;
  • You must be legal residents of the same address.

Who can enter into marriage?

As with PACS, marriage is open to couples of the same or different gender[s]. Further to the above conditions, marriage only requires that one of you is an official resident of Luxembourg.

Documents needed to enter into a civil partnership or marriage

We told you there'd be paperwork, didn't we? You'll need to get quite a few documents sorted. Specifically, these ones:

  • Valid passports/identity cards;
  • A full birth certificate for both partners, which cannot be more than 3 months (LU/FR) or 6 months (elsewhere) old;
  • You have to be registered to the same address - this will be checked through through the national register of natural persons;
  • A sworn statement signed by both parties stating that you're not related by blood (this is done when you register).

And if either or both of you were not born in Luxembourg, they/you will also need:

  • A certificate which attests that you're not already married or in a civil partnership.

In addition to which there are a few special circumstances:

  • If you've previously been married and divorced, you will need to provide a copy of the divorce settlement (unless it's noted on your birth certificate);
  • If you've been widowed, you will need to provide a death certificate or amended birth certificate for your deceased spouse;
  • If you entered into another PACS before 1 November 2010, you must provide a recent certificate from the civil register proving this partnership was dissolved.

Documents only needed if getting married (not PACS):

  • If one party does not reside in Luxembourg, they must provide a residency certificate from their country of residence;
  • Official documents showing the place of birth of your parents, where they live, and their professions - including date and place of death if applicable;
  • The 'matricule' (national identification number) of the two spouses, where applicable;
  • You must provide information on how many people will attend the civil ceremony;
  • Your address[es] following the marriage.

Note that documents have to be in French, German, or English.

Okay, we have all the paperwork sorted. What next?

PACS: Ya'll get PACSed! Just head to your local "commune" and let them know you want to get PACSed, and they will check your documentation and draw up the paperwork for you. It's a fairly quick process.

Once that's done, it will be sent to the civil registrar within 3 days. Nothing more for you to do a this point - just wait for the certificate to arrive by post, which can take a few weeks.

Marriage: Bring the paperwork to the 'commune' (municipal office) and they will let you know what the next available dates are for a civil marriage. Do note that you can only marry in your municipality of residence.

If you want a religious ceremony, this must take place after your civil marriage.

More information on Guichet, through the below link.