It will soon be possible to get married outside the town hall

A civil marriage will no longer necessarily have to be celebrated in a town hall. This provision is included in the second “pot pourri” bill on justice brought by Minister Vincent Van Quickeborne (Open Vld). This text was adopted Wednesday in committee of the Chamber unanimously, minus the abstention of Vlaams Belang. It can now be placed on the plenary agenda.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many cities and towns celebrated outdoor weddings. This was in principle not legally possible because it must take place in a place of which the municipality has “exclusive use”.

Not in a private place


This condition is now lifted. However, the marriage must always take place on the territory of the municipality of one of the two future spouses and in a neutral public place. It is therefore not possible to designate a private place of celebration, such as, for example, a restaurant, a concert hall or a private garden.

The bill also contains some changes in the penal code. It thus provides for aggravating factors for all offenses when the perpetrator acts with a discriminatory motive.

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