Some nationalities require a little more paperwork than others. Fundamentally it's simple.
As a US citizen
- Proof of who you are: Your passport, and Birth certificate issued within the past 6 months prior to the date of your marriage (copies, certified copies, and originals from the date of birth are not accepted).
- Proof of where you are from: Passport (is sufficient for US citizens)
- Proof of where you are resident
- Proof that you are not a criminal: For US citizens: visit your local county jail and make a request for a document proving you are not a criminal
- Proof that you're not already married or Proof that you're fully divorced: For currently single persons: Personally written statement that is notarized saying you are indeed you and that you are in fact not married.
- You will have to have documents translated and the Swiss Embassy or the Gemeinde/Zivilstandzamt (local civil office) will be able to tell you specifically. I was in the US and submitted my documents to the Swiss Embassy while my now husband sent his documents to the Gemeinde. Both sets of documents end up going to the Canton at the very end. You can also request that the marriage take place somewhere in Switzerland that is not necessarily the city you will reside in. For instance, I was married in Lucerne but I live in Davos.
- Call up the Gemeinde where you want to be married and pick a date. More than likely you will have gone to visit the Gemeinde once already and they are aware of your intention to marry.
Once you have submitted your forms to the local Zivilstandsamt, they will need to send them to the office in the canton. Following this you need to wait for 10 days before you can marry.
As a UK national
- Get yourself a new certified copy of your Birth Certificate. This is just over a tenner and does not take long. You must have a certified copy which is less than six months old when you marry.
- You will also need copies for any of your children.
- Get your bum down to the Consulate and you'll have to get some forms completed, signed, and notarised for about 75 francs.
- The Civil Office (Zivilstandzamt) will want your documents
- Once they have them and they're happy with them, you're good to go.