02/09/2012 12:25 pm ET

Getting Married in Poland

Some couples are content to tie the knot at the courthouse down the road. But for those who are more adventurous, a destination wedding -- and an international marriage -- are a must. The Huffington Post's guide to international marriages will tell you everything you need to know to get legally married in Poland. Read on to ensure all of your paperwork is in order before booking your ticket. --Joan Bahr

Residency Requirement And Waiting Period

U.S. citizens wishing to marry in Poland do not have to be residents, but they do have to wait 30 days after filing the necessary paperwork and proving they are legally entitled to marry.

Intent To Marry

There is no specific Polish law that requires couples to announce their intent to marry.

The Ceremony

U.S. citizens who marry in Poland can have a religious/church ceremony or a civil ceremony. Any authorized religious officiant or government official can perform the ceremony.

The Marriage Certificate

Marriage certificates are issued by the vital statistics office in Poland.

Legal Documentation

Poland requires U.S. citizens to present proof that they are legally allowed to marry. The U.S. Embassy in Warsaw will issue a “release” letter in English and Polish indicating that the couple is entitled to marry. This can take several weeks. The couple must also present birth certificates, written assurance (Zapewnienie) that they know of no reason why the marriage cannot take place, and proof of a divorce or death of a previous spouse.

Same-Sex Marriage

Poland does not allow same-sex marriage. Article 18 of the Polish Constitution defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman and places marriage “under the protection and care of the Republic of Poland.” A March 4, 2011, report in the Pink News said Poland’s minister for equality, Elzbieta Radziszewska, would ask authorities to allow same-sex Polish couples to marry abroad. The Warsaw Voice reported on Jan. 16, 2012, that Poland’s Palikot Movement and its Democratic Left Alliance would file a bill to approve civil unions and that the two groups were counting on support from the Civic Platform, the governing liberal party in Poland.

View the full set of laws and regulations regarding marriage in Poland.

Learn more about getting married abroad here.


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