Marriage in Toender.

The town of Toender in Denmark is well worth knowing about.

It operates a low paperwork, high speed marriage regime. Each year, 800-1000 couples tie the knot in Toender and, according to the staff who officiate, only a few of these couples are Danish.

As far as I can tell, a marriage conducted in Toender is recognised in the EU, the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. I guess it is worth checking with your own authorities just to be sure but the liklihood is that it will be accepted as valid.

Many people from the British and US military bases in Germany marry in Toender and the UK consulate in Dusseldorf will on occasion suggest it to British citizens who are trying to marry in Germany.

The main motivation for people living in Germany to marry in Toender is the reduction in documents that are required though no doubt the speeding up of the process must also be a plus sign.

You do not have to live in Germany for this to be an option though. It may well be of interest to people living in any European country. I could imagine that an Englishman living in England might consider this to be an alternative to marrying in the UK when the woman is present on a visitor's visa.

So, given all of that, how do you go about marrying in Toender?

The process is simple. You must arrive in the city on a Monday morning and register with the authorities as temporarily resisdent in Toender. You then submit the required documents for examination and go and spend a few days relaxing in the town. You return to the city offices on Friday and then, you can marry.

What documents do you need?

For each person who wishes to marry, you must provide a birth certificate and documents that show where you live, what is your nationality and what is your marital status.

A passport will be accepted in place of a birth certificate if the latter is not available.

For a British citizen, a certificate of no impediment to marry plus a divorce certificate will serve to prove your status. Note though, if you are single, you may be asked for another document to state that you are single. A Russian will also need a certificate of no impediment and they can obtain it from their local ZAGS or from a Russian consulate. These documents must be dated no more than four weeks before the date of registration in Toender.

For a person who has previously been married, you must submit either a death certificate for the previous spouse or a divorce certificate. In the case of a woman from Eastern Europe or the FSU, it will be necessary to submit this certificate to the Danish Embassey in their home country.

All of the documents must be submitted in original form and, if the originals are not in English, Danish or German, then a certified translation into one of those languages must also be attached to the originals. Legalisation will be required for divorce documents.

The final requirement is that you must be legally present in Denmark for the marriage. In the case of a woman from the FSU, this will of course involve a visa and a stamp in the passport at the Danish frontier. Of course, if you have all of the documents for the marriage, it is not that hard to obtain a visa for a one week trip to Denmark.

It is possible to submit the papers noted above before you travel to Toender so that you can be sure that everything is OK before you arrive. Personally, I would recommend that as a little bit of extra security.

You can get up to date info about phone numbers, days when the city offices are closed and the like from the Toender web site.

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