Getting married abroad

As in Finland, local authorities will require proof that there is no impediment to the intended marriage. A certificate of no impediment, valid for four months, can be obtained in six languages from the registry office or parish office of your municipality or parish.

In many countries, marriage must be solemnised in a civil ceremony, and a religious ceremony may only be held after it. For advice, contact the embassy or consulate in Finland of the country where you plan to get married.

For a marriage solemnised abroad to be recognised, it must be registered, and this requires documentation from the country in question. Proof of the marriage should be furnished either to a registrar in Finland or to a Finnish consulate. In the latter case, the consulate will handle the registration in Finland, but this may take some time.

Under Finnish law

Some Finnish clergy (usually working with an expatriate Finnish congregation) are licensed by the Finnish Ministry of Education to officiate at marriages abroad. Such licences to officiate are country-specific, and only the marriage service of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland may be used. The precise rules in these cases vary from country to country.

In the other Nordic countries, local clergy may officiate at the marriages of Finnish citizens on the basis of Finnish documentation. As long as the marriage is officiated under Finnish law, the process and documentation required is the same as it is in Finland.

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