Wedding in Austria

In Austria, you have to be of full age to be allowed to tie the knot. So once you’re eighteen and you decide to marry, you have to go to the civil registry office at first. That’s where you actually get married, before you can have a church wedding. You also need to take a bunch of documents with you: passport, birth certificate, proof of citizenship.

Once you’re married, women can either adopt their partner’s name or have a compound name. Or you can just keep your own name – but you have to decide on which name your children will get.

Civil marriage

In Austria, you enter marriage once you and your fiancée affirm your will to marry in front of two witnesses at the civil register.

The witnesses must be of full age and have to carry a passport with them.

You only take your closest friends to your civil marriage.

Church marriage

After you got married in a register office, you can have your church wedding (given you are catholic or protestant). It’s usually a big celebration with all of your friends and family.

Catholics can only have a church marriage once unless the Catholic court agrees to the undoing of the marriage, whereas Protestants can have more than one church wedding.

Usually, the bride wears a white gown, the groom a black suit. Also, the bride’s father escorts her to the altar while Richard Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” plays.

The couple says their vows, exchange rings and the newly-weds exit the church to Felix Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March”.

Afterwards everyone has dinner together, the so called “Hochzeitstafel”. Then husband and wife leave for their honeymoon.

Customs (Polterabend)

Traditionally on the eve of the wedding (although often earlier in the week these days) friends and neighbours bring around old crockery and smash it. The word "polterabend" approximates to "noisy evening" in the same way that a "poltergeist" is a "noisy ghost".
It seems the noise of the breaking dishes drives off evil spirits, and then for added good luck the bride and groom get to clean up the mess afterwards.
Another custom is the „Kranzeltanzen“, where the guests pay to dance with the bride. The one who spends the most money on dancing with her gets the „kranzel“, a floral wreath, the veil or other hair decoration.

There’s also a tradition, that after the dinner the bride gets “kidnapped”. Usually the “kidnappers” and the bride go to a local bar to drink champagne or wine. The groom has to find the bride and pay the bill.

Paintings & Drawings

The youngest pupils of our group (2nd and 3rd form / 11 - 13 years old) painted several drawings dealing with wedding. The theme was "My dream wedding".


Last modified: Tuesday, 11 October 2011, 02:26 PM
Skip Navigation


Skip Picture Albums

Picture Albums

There exist several picture albums as a documentation of the partnership and the activities during the coretime of the partneship (September 2009 - July 2011).

Pictures from the Meeting in Malta 16th - 20th March