Everything you need to know about marriage in Hungary

4 Apr 2023·19 min to read
Everything you need to know about marriage in Hungary 01

Over 70,000 marriages are held every year in Hungary. The Central European country is home to some unique marriage customs and rites. Civil and religious marriages are the most popular types of marriages held in the country by both Hungarians and foreign spouses. 

Civil and religious marriages are the most popular types of marriages held in the country. Some other couples also perform secular or symbolic marriages. However, civil marriage is the only legally binding form of marriage in the country. Other types of marriages, including religious and traditional ones, hold no legal value and are not recognized or protected by the country’s laws.

A civil marriage performed in Hungary is recognized throughout the world, and Hungarian spouses in another country may also marry at the embassy or consulate of Hungary in that country. The processing time for marriage applications in the country is not too long. Most times, civil marriages are concluded in less than two weeks after all the required paperwork is submitted by the couples.
getting married. Before a marriage is held in the country, the spouses must receive a permit for it. As you read on, you will find out more about the types of marriages in Hungary, as well as the costs, traditions, and laws guiding the marriage act in the country. Let’s get started.

Civil Marriage 

A civil marriage is conducted by an authorized registrar or officiant and held in the Hungarian registry. This is the only type of marriage that is legally binding in the country, and couples must perform their civil marriage at the registry that is in the district or municipality where they plan on getting married. There are certain requirements that must be met by couples who are planning to get married in Hungary. 

For a couple to get married in Hungary, one of the partners must have stayed in the country for a minimum of 30 days prior to when the marriage application process will begin. This condition must be met before the couples are permitted to get married. The couple must obtain a permit from the local registry office in the district where they want to get married, and the rule is that this procedure should begin at least 60 days prior to the wedding date. 

This is so that all the procedures can be completed by the Hungarian authorities in due time. The documents required by China for Hungarians marrying in Hungary and those marrying in a foreign country are similar with just a few differences. These are stated below.

Registration of marriage in Hungary

  • A valid means of identification. This includes a national ID or passport to be submitted by both partners, including the address card of the Hungarian resident.
  • Government-issued birth certificates of both partners This must include all the necessary information, such as the names of both parents.
  • A certificate stating that there is no impediment to marriage This is also referred to as a "certificate of marital status." The purpose of this document is to show that both partners are single and not in any relationship or marriage with another person. It also shows both partners are mentally fit and healthy enough to get married without any complications.
  • Proof of residence This is a document that certifies the residency of a foreign spouse in Hungary, demonstrating that they have lived in the country for the required amount of time prior to marriage.
  • Divorce or death certificate. A copy of the divorce decree or death certificate must be submitted by spouses who were in a previous marriage that got dissolved as a result of separation or the death of a former spouse.

All the documents must be translated into Hungarian and apostilled with the authorization stamp when they are obtained from the government of another country (the foreign spouse’s home country). The translation of the document can only be performed by the Hungarian Office of Translation and Attestation. Translations done by other companies or individuals are not accepted.

Registration of marriages held abroad

If a Hungarian citizen marries in another country, the marriage must be registered. The marriage application must be submitted at the Hungarian registry office or at the consular section of the embassy. The documents required are listed below.

  • Original copy of the marriage certificate. Any marriage conducted abroad in a country other than Korea must be apostilled by the country where the marriage was performed. Generally, documents that are already in English or multiple languages like English, French, or German do not need to be translated again by the authorized organization in charge of this.
  • A duly completed and signed application form. The application form must be completed in Hungarian and in block letters.
  • The Hungarian spouse must provide a birth certificate.
  • The Hungarian spouse must provide proof of marital status, which is often either a divorce or death certificate. This paperwork must be translated into Hungarian.
  • Proof of Hungarian nationality
  • The foreign spouse must also provide a certificate of marital status. The document must be translated and apostilled accordingly to show the authorization stamp.
  • Payment of consular fees and charges
  • Request for personal data and address registration in the registry This is applied to Hungarian nationals who do not have a valid means of identification or residency in the country.

Religious Marriage 

The largest religion in Hungary is Christianity. Roman Catholics make up nearly 40% of the country's total population. Most marriages in Hungary are held in the church and according to the beliefs of the Christian faith. Couples must note that religious marriages are not legal in Hungary, and they must perform a civil marriage before performing any other type of marriage for it to be legally binding. The marriage ceremony is usually conducted by a registered priest in the church and held in the morning on the wedding day. The bride leaves her home for the church with an escort of family and friends.

By the time they get to the church, the groom will already be waiting for his wife-to-be. She is then walked down the aisle by her father and handed over to the groom. During the ceremony, the priest says prayers and kind things about the couple and marriage in general. He asks the crowd if there are any objections to the union between the two partners; if there is no response, he proceeds with the ceremony and pronounces them husband and wife. After the church service is concluded, a wedding reception is held in another venue. Depending on the couple, the wedding reception may be open to various guests or just the couple's family and friends to share their happy moment with them.

Everything you need to know about marriage in Hungary 02

Marriage traditions in Hungary


This is a pre-wedding tradition in which the groom is given a large box or wardrobe containing the bride's dowry. The majority of the dowry items in the box were clothing items, such as curtains and clothing. This is a tradition that was quite popular in ancient times but is no longer common in modern marriages. However, couples in rural areas still perform this rite.

Midnight Dress Change

It is customary for the Hungarian bride to change into multiple outfits during the dinner party on the wedding day. At midnight, she is expected to change into another dress called the new wife dress. In ancient times, the color of the cloth used to be red, but brides can now wear colors of their choice. The purpose of this tradition was to signify her transitioning into a new life and the new chapter she is starting with her husband.


In Hungary, this is the equivalent of the wedding cake. Here, the couple breaks braided bread instead of cake. The brown bread is shared between the guests. This is used to symbolize the sharing of happiness and good fortune.

Hungarian Feast

There are two important meals that are served in Hungarian wedding ceremonies. The first one is the Hungarian chicken soup, which is often the main course, followed by cabbage, which is served later on during the celebration. Other types of food may also be available, as well as drinks to keep the guests well fed throughout the course of the ceremony.

Everything you need to know about marriage in Hungary 03

Marriage Laws and Rights, Costs and Duties


Like many European countries, the Hungarian law only recognizes and protects legal marriages; religious marriages are not considered legally binding and may only be contracted after a civil marriage has been contracted. The legal age of marriage in Hungary is 18 years old. A minor who wishes to marry must receive parental permission; otherwise, the marriage would be declared invalid. The law does not allow marriage between people of the same sex. However, they can be joined in a civil union. In Hungary, marriages between closely related persons who share the same ancestor or are related through marriage or adoption are prohibited. Monogamy is the only recognized form of marriage in Hungary; polygamy is illegal. Intending couples must be capable of comprehending the idea of marriage and giving their willing agreement to become married. 

If it is found that the marriage was contracted through force or coercion, it may be declared invalid by the court. Both parties must be legally single or divorced from their past marriages; a valid certificate attesting to one's marital status or a divorce or death certificate must be presented to verify this claim. A foreigner who practices polygamy in his home country may not be allowed to do so in Hungary; he must be able to prove his marital status before getting married. For anyone who wishes to marry in Hungary, one of the couples must have lived in Hungary for at least 60 days. A permit from the local registry must be obtained before marriage can be conducted; at the ceremony, there must be at least 2 witnesses to testify to the authenticity of the relationship; and afterwards, couples are required to register their marriage. Every necessary requirement, document, and paperwork stated by the law must be submitted by the couple before a marriage can be declared valid. 

Couples are required to be physically present at the local registry when filing for a marriage permit. The marriage must be conducted by a Hungarian civil authority. Hungarian nationals abroad may get married, but the marriage has to be registered under Hungarian marriage law. All valid documents must be provided and verified as complete before any marriage can take place. Marriage laws in Hungary are according to the constitution and not the provisions of Christianity, which is the most practiced religion in the country.


The laws of marriage in the constitution guarantee marriages between men and women; as a result, couples have equal rights and are free to practice them without fear of interference. Under the law, married couples have the right to give birth and adopt children and bring them up according to their religious beliefs and moral standards. However, this right is not available to couples of the same sex; Hungarian law exempts same-sex couples from the right to adopt. Married couples have the right to request assistance from the government in the event of illness, unemployment, or pregnancy if they are not able to cater to their needs. Couples have the right to work, set up businesses, and earn a living according to their chosen career paths. They also possess the right to hold political office and participate in any social or economic activity. 

Many couples in Hungary have the right to sign a prenuptial agreement stating that whatever property was obtained by both parties before and during marriage is not jointly owned, thereby changing the property regime under which they contracted marriage. Couples have the right to a private family life and the protection of the family name from any form of disrespect. Married couples are seen as equals; therefore no one is seen as subordinate to the other, nor do they possess the right to encroach upon the rights of one another. Couples have the right to file for divorce and the right to file for custody of their children, if any.


Hungary is home to various beautiful and amazing locations to get married in, and for a country centered in the heart of Europe, the cost of getting married is relatively affordable compared to other European countries. According to statistics, about 13% of the population is willing to spend up to 500,000 forints on their wedding, while 18% are willing to spend from 500 thousand to 1 million forints; 50% of the target audience were willing to put as much as 1-3 million forints into their wedding, and an exclusive 1% were willing to put 3-6 million forints into their wedding budget. The couple and how much money they have to put into the wedding determine how grand it is; extravagant weddings are only held by those who can afford them. The catering, decorations, photography and videography, guest entertainment, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses are responsible for the expensive cost of getting married.


The legal duties and obligations of married couples in Hungary basically entail what is expected of a married couple toward one another. Despite the change in the role of the husband and wife in recent times, the Hungarian family structure is still patriarchal; the wife is regarded as an equal to her husband, but wives must fulfill the duty to obey and respect their husbands, and they are responsible for the welfare of the household. The husband's duty is to provide for all the family's needs. However, in more urban areas, the duties of couples are not based on gender roles; many families have a mutual agreement where the husband is also responsible for the welfare of the household. Couples are expected to jointly contribute to the welfare of the family as well as provide for the educational and moral development of their children. Children also have a duty to take care of their parents when they are in a state of need. Couples in Hungary both have an influence on decisions made concerning the household. Couples are obligated to maintain ties with their family members and be ready to support them during times of need.

Final Thoughts 

A marriage performed in Hungary is recognized in all other countries in the world, and the official marriage age to marry in Hungary is 18 years. This applies to both men and women, and in some special cases, parental or guardian consent may be provided to allow a person younger than 18 to get married in the country. The application for marriage registration in Hungary is submitted at the consulate for couples in foreign countries.

Before couples are allowed to get married in the country, at least one of them must have been a resident of Hungary for 30 days, and the family status of both partners must be valid. A divorce or death certificate is required from partners who were in a previous relationship that got dissolved. The documents required from foreigners and Hungarian nationals may be different, and couples will need to make preparations and get all the required documents ready before the application process starts. We hope this comprehensive article has provided you with everything you need to know about marriage in Hungary.


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