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by Zsolt Szemerszky

Zsolt Szemerszky

Marrying in Monaco

Marrying in Monaco

Obviously, no wedding can be celebrated in the Throne Room of the Princely Palace, where Miss Wittstock was married to His Serene Highness Prince Albert II in a civil ceremony on July 1st, 2011, however the Principality offers many beautiful places to celebrate a wedding.

If you are aiming to get married in the Principality of Monaco, spring and summer could be ideal seasons to celebrate such a wonderful occasion. But do not forget that Monaco is a luxurious haven and is blessed with 300 days of sunshine, so there is a big variety for the perfect timing you desire.

No matter whether you plan your wedding at the Principality of Monaco or you just aim to spend an unforgettable honeymoon there, the picturesque views, romantic abundance and the tremendous beauty of Monaco’s gardens make any wedding special and it will enchant every heart.

The Princess Grace Rose Garden is an area of calm and serenity where the scent of some 4,000 roses hang in the air. It is a truly romantic place.

I would also recommend the Japanese Garden with its zen feeling for a small wedding reception. This is one of my favourite spots in Monaco; it always re-energises me when I spend some time there.

Obviously, Monaco is full of other possibilities since it has many historically filled churches and special atmospheres for important occasions. Just to give you an idea, you can also consider the panoramic views like the Oceanographic museum and aquarium, the Jardin Exotique, Avenue Saint-Martin, and the Prince’s Palace.

As we know a marriage, a wedding is (usually) a once-in-a-lifetime experience and everyone tries to make it their best and most memorable moment in their life. And for this, Monaco offers a perfect ground with its gastronomy delights through many of its Michelin star restaurants, historical attractions, best-in-the-world spa treatments, fashion and lifestyle.

You can also harmonise your wedding and romantic journey with some exceptional music experience to enjoy the classic ballet and opera concerts, since music and romance are synonymous to each other.

Once you have made your decision of a lifetime, the primary requirement for foreign citizens to get married in Monaco is to reside in the Principality for at least 30 days prior to the wedding.

Furthermore, every wedding must be preceded by a publication through an announcement. This announcement is posted on the door of the Town Hall for a period of 10 days, which must include two Sundays.

The following documents are to be submitted:

  • Certificates of birth of the couple to be married or an attested affidavit issued by a Justice of the Peace or another magistrate at the birthplace or place of domicile
  • Certificate of death of the mother and father, if necessary, where one of the couple to be married is a minor
  • Certificate of death of the husband or wife in the case of a widow or widower remarrying
  • Certificate of consent signed in the presence of a notary by the father or mother who will not be present in person at the wedding where one of the couple to be married is a minor
  • Certificate of granting of a divorce in the case of a husband or wife whose first marriage has been dissolved
  • Translation of foreign documents submitted, being countersigned by the consuls of the country or countries of which the couple to be married are subjects
  • The customary certificate issued by these same consuls
  • Certificate of publication of the marriage banns and of no caveat being entered if one of the couple to be married does not live in the Principality or has not resided for one month without a break on the date of publication laid down by the law, which is obligatory
  • If a marriage contract has been made, the couple to be married must produce the certificate of the notary who received it (the marriage settlement used in Monaco is that under which husband and wife administer their separate properties)

Talking about a marriage contract is almost like a preference (requirement) in Monaco.

I remember when I aimed to change banks, I went to meet with the client representative, and they immediately mentioned that a marriage contract is essential for opening a bank account. When I started to wonder why, I was kindly informed that most banks like to maintain a very closed and confidential relationship with their clients. By having a divorce, the bank can be faced with the situation whereby it has to disclose financial information regarding its client. To avoid this, they prefer a marriage contract. And the process and the benefits of a divorce are extremely different in the Principality from the other countries.


Prenuptial agreements could be useful to protect your wealth and heritage. It is also a good way to avoid any misunderstanding.

For those who are interested in an unbiased opinion I would highly recommend Mr. Donald Trump’s legendary book called “Think Big: Make It Happen in Business and Life”. I am not a US citizen and I have no interest in the US politics. I read his book many years before he was elected. So, no politics here just a suggestion of an old book.

In this exceptional book, the real estate icon, Trump dedicated a full chapter for marriage contracts. I always loved its title: “I love you, sign this”.

Nobody plans to divorce, but Trump creates a very clean argument about prenuptial agreements since he saw people and businesses being destroyed because of not having marriage contracts.


Obviously, the marriage changes many things, because the number of people in a household is key in the calculation of the yearly living fund, and it can happen that you need to raise your original bank account opening amount to maintain your residency under the new circumstances.

Many banks calculate the basic living fund for the statement they provide to the Government based on the number of people in the household. (And also based on the yearly living costs which is often influenced by your family status.)

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