Planning a civil wedding ceremony? Here’s what you need to think of.


Miski Ibrahim
Par som har gift sig borgerligt och tittar ömsint på varandra
Are you prepared for the big day?

Having a civil wedding ceremony is a popular alternative to religious ceremonies. A civil ceremony is performed by a wedding officiant appointed by the county administrative board. The officiant is not religiously connected and the ceremony is usually held at the town hall or another public place. Only those appointed by the county administrative board are allowed to perform a civil wedding ceremony.

If you have decided to have a civil ceremony, there are some practical things you need to arrange in beforehand. These are the most important details you need to consider before your big day.

Reserve a spot for your wedding ceremony well in advance

Getting married in the City Hall is very popular. Therefore, it can be difficult to find a time slot on the day you want to have your wedding. In most cases, it is possible to make a reservation for your ceremony directly on the website of each city hall. So make sure to make a reservation immediately as soon as you have decided on when you want to get married. That way, you can make sure that you can get married when you want. If you want to get married outdoors instead, you need to check with the wedding officiant that they’re available that day and able to get to where your ceremony will be.

Apply for obstacle assessment

Before you get married, you need to apply for an obstacle examination at the Swedish Tax Agency. This prooves that you meet the requirements to be able to marry according to Swedish law. In the assesment you’ll have to state that you’re of legal age, that you’re not closely related to your partner and that you’re not currently married to someone else. After you have applied for the obstacle assessment, you’ll receive an assessment certificate and a marriage certificate. The certificates should be handed to your wedding officiant.

Who will you have as witnesses?

On the day of the wedding, you’ll need to have two witnesses present. Your witnesses can be family, relatives or friends and must be of legal age to act as a witnesses during the ceremony. If you don’t have witnesses, if you would marry without any close ones present, the marriage office in your municipality can in some cases arrange for witnesses. Whatever you choose to do, you have to have two witnesses present so it’s important you establish who will be witnessing before the ceremony.

Decide on a surname in advance

You don’t have to change your surname when you get married, but if you want to, it can be convenient to apply for a name change before the wedding. You can change to your partner’s surname, or you can choose a completely new name formed from your previous surnames. If you decide to change your surname, you have to apply for a name change with the Swedish Tax Agency. Once they approve your name change, they will send you confirmation of the change. They will also notify of the change with other authorities and with many companies. If you don’t want to change your name, nothing will happen once you get married. You’ll just keep the names you have even after the wedding ceremony.

Consider prenuptial agreements

This is a tough topic for many couples but it is an important topic to talk about. A marriage comes with some legal security for the married couple. At the same time, it also comes with responsibilities and obligations. Because of that, it can be worth sitting down with a lawyer to review your current situation and who can explain how a prenuptial agreement can protect your futures. In the end, a prenuptial agreement is drawn up to make sure the both of you are secured.

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