Marriage and Beyond >> Wedding Legalities

Civil Marriage

SPECIAL MARRIAGE ACT, 1954 Any two persons irrespective of their religion can marry under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. Conditions for Marriage.

Following conditions are required to be met for a marriage under this Act:-

(a) Neither party should have a husband or wife living.

(b) Neither party is an idiot or lunatic.

(c) The bridegroom must have completed 21 years and the bride the age of 18 years.

(d) The parties are not within the degree of prohibited relationship.

(e) Both parties should be citizens of and domiciled within the territories to which the Act applies.


(a) Notice to be given by the bride and bridegroom to the Marriage Officer of the district in which one of them had been residing immediately previous to the notice for atleast 30 days.

(b) Marriage Officer records the notice to a conspicuous part of his office and sends a copy to the Marriage Officer of the District in which the party giving the notice has permanent residence and it would also be affixed by the officer in his office.

(c) 30 days time is given for any person to raise any objections to the intended marriage.

(d) From the date of receipt of any objections within 30 days, the Marriage Officer should enquire into the objections.

(e) If the objection is upheld, either party to the intended marriage may appeal to the District Court whose decision shall be final.

(f) In case there is no objection or the objection is rejected, the parties with 3 witnesses sign in presence of the Marriage Officer declarations to the effect that they are unmarried and are not related within prohibited degrees and have completed 21 years (Husband) and 18 years (Wife).

(g) The marriage is therefore solemnized in any form which parties choose to adopt. The form must have the following declaration by each party to the effect; "I take thee to be my lawful wife (or husband)." The parties and 3 witnesses then sign the certificate of solemnization. This certificate is conclusive certificate of solemnization.

(h) The solemnization should be completed within 3 months from the date of notice and otherwise the notice lapses and a new notice will have to be issued. Civil Marriage by Registration: The marriage under the special Marriage Act is a civil marriage by registration.

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