If you plan to get married in one of the local marriage registry halls in Hong Kong, this guide details the process you need to follow. However, couples may also course their marriage application through a Civil Celebrant of Marriages. This is especially convenient if you’re already planning to get married in a hotel, or outdoor venue and the like, with a civil celebrant as your officiant. This step-by-step guide explains how.
[Photo: Fermat Photography]
Step 1: Get in contact with the civil celebrant at least three (3) months before your intended date of marriage. First, ask for proof of validity of appointment to ensure he or she is licensed to officiate your wedding ceremony. You may also check in one of these site prior to your meeting:
Upon confirming this detail, let the civil celebrant know of your intended date and venue so he can check his or her availability and manage the timeline needed for him to handle your application of Notice of Intended Marriage.
Step 2: Agree on the fee to be charged by the civil celebrant for his service, inclusive of the handling the Notice of Intended Marriage. Under the Code of Practice of Civil Celebrants of Marriages, the civil celebrant must provide you with a written notice of his fees. The charge of civil celebrant ranges from HK$3,000 to $7,000 excluding the government fee.
Step 3: Complete the required documents for the Notice of Intended Marriage and give these to the civil celebrant for submission to the Registrar of Marriages. Fill out the MR21B Form, prepare your HKID, travel documents, and any other supporting documents needed for the Notice of Intended Marriage, and hand all of these over to the civil celebrant. You may also be asked to provide any other information that is needed to transmit your application for intended marriage to the Registrar and for the Registrar to exhibit the notice for at least fifteen (15) days.
Step 4: Make an affidavit stating of no known legal reason why you cannot marry before a civil celebrant. You or your future spouse can provide this document.
Step 5: Pay the Government fee of HK$305 for the filing and exhibition of the Notice of Intended Marriage. The fee will be collected by civil celebrant in behalf of the Government and an official receipt will be given after the payment is completed. You may collect the official receipt from the civil celebrant afterwards.
Step 6: Claim the Certificate of Registrar of Marriages from the civil celebrant. This indicates that you are now allowed to get married. Safeguard this document until the wedding day. Please note that this is valid for thee (3) months only and that your wedding day must fall within this stated period.
On the Wedding Day
Step 7: Bring the Certificate of Registrar of Marriages, your HKID, the other supporting documents, and two (2) witnesses who are at least 18 years old to your wedding day.
Step 8: Prepare and sign the declaration in front of the civil celebrant before the ceremony begins.
Step 9: After the ceremony begins, make the statement of willingness to marry. The civil celebrant will lead you in this process.
Step 10: Sign the Marriage Certificate. You, spouse and witnesses need to sign the certificate. And VOILA! Congratulations, you’re officially married!
For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the Immigration Department’s website.