Court Marriage Process in India

Court Marriage in India: Fees, Docs & 6 Steps

Court Marriage in India: A Comprehensive Guide

Planning a wedding? While lavish ceremonies and elaborate rituals hold their charm, consider the straightforward elegance of a court marriage in India. This legally binding union offers a multitude of benefits, from streamlined procedures to cost-effectiveness, making it a viable option for couples seeking a simpler yet meaningful start to their journey together.

Eligibility for Court Marriage:

The beauty of court marriage lies in its inclusivity. Regardless of your caste, religion, or even nationality, you can opt for this path as long as you meet these essential criteria:

  • Marital Status: Neither of you should be currently married.
  • Mental Competence: Both individuals must possess sound minds and the ability to provide informed consent.
  • Age Requirement: The marrying age minimums are 21 years for the groom and 18 years for the bride.
  • Relationship Status: Your connection should not fall within the legally prohibited degrees of kinship.

Documents Required for Court Marriage:

Before embarking on this path, ensure you have the following readily available:

  • Individual Affidavits: These sworn statements should comprehensively detail your date of birth, marital status (widowed/unmarried/divorced), and confirmation of no prohibited relation between you.
  • Passport-Sized Photos: Present individual passport-sized pictures of both bride and groom.
  • Residence and Birth Proof: Document your respective residential addresses and dates of birth using reliable means.
  • Notice of Intended Marriage: This crucial document, signed by both parties, formally announces your intention to wed through a court marriage. Submit it at least 30 days prior to your chosen date.
  • Divorce Decree/Death Certificate (if applicable): Provide documented proof of the dissolution of a previous marriage (divorce decree) or the passing of a spouse (death certificate), if relevant.
  • Witness Verification: Ensure your three chosen witnesses furnish their passport-sized photographs, PAN cards, and valid identity proofs.

Process of Court Marriage:

Step 1 – Notice of Marriage

To initiate the court marriage process, the parties (bride and groom) must submit the court marriage application form, known as the notice of the intended marriage, to the designated marriage officer. The notice, as outlined in the second schedule of the Act, should be given a minimum of 30 days prior to the intended marriage date. This notice must be presented to the marriage officer in the jurisdiction where either party has continuously resided for 30 days or more.

Step 2 – Publication of the Notice

The marriage officer, upon receiving the notice, will display it prominently in their office. A 30-day window is provided for any objections to be raised. If no objections surface during this period, the marriage officer can proceed with officiating the marriage.

Step 3 – Objection to Marriage, if Any

Any individual has the right to raise objections to the court marriage within 30 days of the notice’s publication. These objections should be grounded in legal reasons rather than personal ones. The marriage officer is obligated to investigate the objections within 30 days and can proceed with the marriage if no violations of the required conditions are identified.

Step 4 – Declaration by Parties and Witnesses

In the absence of objections or if objections are dismissed by the marriage officer, the parties, along with three witnesses, are required to appear before the marriage officer. They must submit a declaration in the format specified in the third schedule of the Act. The marriage officer then countersigns this declaration.

Step 5 – Place of Marriage

The marriage can be solemnized either at the marriage officer’s office or at another location chosen by the parties, provided it is within a reasonable distance. If an alternative venue is selected, additional fees may apply. The parties have the flexibility to adopt any form of solemnization for the marriage.

Step 6 – Certificate of Marriage

Following the solemnization of the marriage, the marriage officer issues a marriage certificate. Both parties, as well as the three witnesses, are required to sign the certificate. This document stands as conclusive evidence of the marriage, and the marriage officer records the details in the marriage certificate book.

Court Marriage Fee

Parties are obligated to pay the court marriage fee at the marriage officer’s office. The fee varies from state to state, typically falling within the range of Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,000.

Court Marriage Process in India
Court Marriage Process in India

Advantages Abound:

Choosing a court marriage offers a plethora of advantages:

  • Budget-Friendly: Compared to traditional weddings, court marriages require significantly less financial investment, making them ideal for couples seeking a more economic option.
  • Streamlined Process: The straightforward procedure minimizes complexities and hassle, allowing you to focus on the essence of your union.
  • Flexibility: Unlike the rigidity of some traditions, court marriages offer flexibility in choosing your ceremony format and venue, reflecting your unique preferences.
  • Consent-Centered: This approach emphasizes the individual and mutual agreement of both parties, ensuring a union based on free will and shared desire.
  • Legally Recognized: Court marriages hold the same legal weight as traditional weddings, offering security and recognition from a legal standpoint.


While this guide provides a general overview, it’s essential to consult a qualified lawyer for tailored legal advice specific to your circumstances. Ensure you receive professional guidance to navigate the process seamlessly and address any unique aspects of your situation.

Process of court marriage in India

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