Are you planning to get married in Hong Kong? Congratulations are in order then! Not all women are planning their nuptials anytime soon and it is great news that you have decided to walk down the aisle.

According to the data from the Censtatd.gov, the number of people getting married is going down. In 2014, 56,454 couple wed in Hong Kong. In 2015, it went down to 51,609. This data did not reveal the reason for the decline.

However, it can be assumed that young adults – especially women are not in a hurry to tie the knot. In fact, a study published in CUHK.edu revealed that women in Hong Kong are becoming more independent – prioritizing the pursuit of a great career over marriage. They join women from Shanghai and Tokyo who find it hard to mix money and marriage. The result? Lower marriage statistics.

This is probably why the Hong Kong government is providing couples with a straightforward process to get married in Hong Kong. You do not have to go through a lot to be legally married to the love of your life. In fact, the process can be summarized into 4 simple steps.

 Getting Married In Hong Kong

Your nuptials in Hong Kong in 4 easy steps

There are 4 steps to getting married in Hong Kong:

Step 1: Set an appointment for your Notice of Intended Marriage.

It all begins with your Notice of Intended Marriage. You have to set an appointment so you can submit this notice before your nuptial date. The submission should happen between 3 months to 15 days (except Sundays) before you get married.

Take note that you cannot submit this notice before the 3-month mark because it will expire after the 3rd month. There are two ways to book this with the Registrar. One is through the Hong Kong government website.

The other is through a phone call – +852 3102 3883. Try to get in touch with them early so your appointment can fall within the specified dates.

Step 2: Go to the appointment with the required personal documents.

Only one of you will be required to go to the appointment, but you can both come if you wish. There are certain documents that you need to prepare beforehand – both you and your fiancé. This will be needed for your appointment. This usually includes your Hong Kong ID (HKID).

When you get to the Registrar, you will be asked to fill out a Form MR21B, or the Information Required for Marriage Registration. This can be completed and submitted during the appointment, but you also have the option to submit it beforehand through the online portal. You need to pay HK$305 for the notice.

In case you and your soon-to-be husband plan to get married at a marriage registry, you can book your preferred date while you are on the appointment. You can also choose the marriage hall where the ceremony will take place. This will cost you an additional HK$715 if the ceremony happens during office hours. If not, it will cost you HK$1,935.

Step 3: Claim your Certificate of Registrar of Marriages.

It usually takes 15 days after you submit the Notice of Intended Marriage for the Certificate to be released. This is to give anyone enough time to object to your upcoming marriage. If there are no objections, you can expect this certificate after 15 days. Take note that in case only one of you went to the appointment, the other will be expected to claim the certificate.

Step 4: Get married.

With the certificate, you are now able to legally wed your fiancé. In case you plan to get married in a marriage registry, you need to be there 15 minutes before your slot. You also have to bring with you two adults (with valid IDs) to witness this joyful union. The ceremony is quite simple. The Registrar will tell you to read the oath of marriage and then all of you (even the witnesses) will sign the marriage certificate.

In case you plan to get married in a licensed place of worship, the ceremony will be more elaborate, and the guests can be as many as you want. Of course, you have to submit the certificate you got from the Registrar before the actual wedding. This is usually a requirement imposed by places of worship in Hong Kong.

There you have it! That is probably the most simple guide to get married in Hong Kong.

Other important details when you are getting married in Hong Kong

Apart from the steps to get married, there are other things that you need to know before you proceed with your nuptial celebrations. Here are some facts about getting married in Hong Kong.

  • You have to be at least 16 years to get married. In case you are between the ages 16 to 21 (which considers you a minor in Hong Kong), you need to get parental consent – or at least from your legal guardians.
  • Legal marriages are only those that take place at a licensed place of worship (officiated by a licensed minister) or at a marriage registry (officiated by a Registrar). You can get married in other places and still have it recognised as legal if it is officiated by a civil celebrant of marriage.
  • Hong Kong nationals and even those from other countries can get married in Hong Kong – as long as you go through the steps mentioned above and submit valid documents.
  • In case a natural phenomenon causes the marriage registry to be closed on your wedding date, you should rebook your date. You can go to the Registrar 2 hours after finding out about the cancellation – if it is still within office hours. If not, you should go on the first day that the office will resume.

Getting married is always a happy occasion – even if there are mishaps along the way. Make sure you prepare all the legalities so you can minimize these mishaps. You do not want to spend on your wedding only to find out that the government will not recognise it as legal.

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