If you like to get legally married in Switzerland, you have to fulfill all requirements by the Swiss law.
This means that quite a bit of paperwork has to be done.
Really important, the whole process needs time!
In order to be on the safe side, you have to start the procedure at least six months before your desired date.
First, you have to contact the Swiss Federal representation. This may either be:

  • The Swiss embassy responsible for your domicile-country
  • A Swiss consulate in your area

They will help you with the application.

You will find the address of the next representation on the WEB:

According to the Swiss regulations, you have to visit the delegation personally, if you can reach it with public transportation (bus, train, etc. - this does not incl. travelling with an aircraft) or your own car within one day (incl. the trip home). If you are further away from the legation*, they will explain you how you have to proceed with notarial certification of your papers. In most cases, you will need an apostille by the local government agency (This usually needs additional time).

Keep in mind, all your papers have to be sent from the embassy / the consulate to the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (States Department) in Berne (Switzerland). From there it will be distributed to the municipal administration of the town in Switzerland, where your marriage ceremony will be carried out.
After being registered, the whole paper will be sent back - again via Berne - the Swiss Empassy, to you.

MOST Important:

  1. Don't forget to bring along all this paperwork with you when you are travelling to Switzerland.
  2. Consider the fact, that you will need - if required for citizens of your country - for every person (yourself and your guests) a "Schengen Visa" (again, check with the Swiss representation, if they will issue a visa for all members of your party).
  3. When performing the legal act at registry office, you need 2 witnesses to a marriage - they have to be of legal age.
    If you are not coming with some friends and would like Travelwell to arrange the 2 witnesses, we are certainly able and happy to help you. Just tell us early enough in advance.

* As a sample:
In the United States of America, Switzerland has only 4 representations:

  • Embassy in Washington DC
  • Consulate General in Atlanta
  • Consulate General in San Francisco
  • Consulate General in New York

If you live in for example in Colorado or Texas, you will not reach a Swiss representation within a day.