How to Get Married as Fast as Possible in China

February 2, 2023
8 min

Getting married in China can be a challenge due to the legal requirements and procedures involved in the marriage registration process. While it is important to ensure a legal and valid marriage, there are certain steps you can take to expedite the process. 

Take note that while getting married quickly may be possible in China, it’s important to ensure that all legal requirements are met to ensure that the marriage is valid and recognized. Rushing into a marriage without proper documentation or preparation could lead to legal and personal complications in the future.

A pavillion in Beihai Park, Beijing, China.

Fastest Way to Get Married in China: Online Marriage

If you are looking for the fastest way to get married in China, online marriage is a convenient option. Through platforms like Courtly, you can apply for a marriage certificate online and pay the necessary fees electronically. You will be required to provide your passport, driver's license, and proof of both parties being of legal age (over 18 years old).

Courtly provides couples with a streamlined and efficient process to facilitate a quick and hassle-free marriage. The service is available globally, allowing couples from any location to access and utilize its features. The entire process, from start to finish, can be completed within a timeframe of less than 48 hours. Additionally, Courtly offers the flexibility for couples to select their desired date and time for the marriage ceremony, accommodating their personal preferences and schedules.

Legal Status of Online Marriages in China

It's important to note that online marriages are currently not officially recognized by the Chinese government. According to the Chinese Marriage Law, both partners must physically appear at the marriage registration office to register their marriage if they wish to obtain a Chinese marriage certificate. This requirement aims to ensure that both partners willingly consent to the marriage and to prevent any potential coercion or fraud.

If you need to get married online, you can instead apply online for a US marriage certificate. The US legalized online marriages in 2020 through Utah County, making it possible for anyone around the world to get married online. There are also no citizenship requirements to get married online in the US. If you get married online through the US process, you could still physically join the ceremony from China, but in the end, you would receive a US marriage certificate. 

Applying for an Online Marriage in China through Courtly

The step-by-step process of applying for an online marriage in China through Courtly can be outlined as follows:

  • License acquisition assistance: Courtly's concierge will provide guidance and support throughout the process of obtaining the required marriage license. They will assist with ID verification, ensure all necessary documents are in order, and coordinate with relevant authorities to facilitate a smooth process.
  • Concierge support: Your designated concierge will serve as your main point of contact, addressing any questions or concerns you may have. They will review your application, verify the completeness of all documents, and coordinate the virtual ceremony. The concierge will also handle the necessary paperwork and registration with Chinese authorities.
  • Virtual ceremony scheduling: Once the marriage license is obtained, you can select a convenient time and date for your virtual ceremony. Courtly will connect you with a certified US official from their network who will officiate the ceremony.
  • Virtual ceremony: The virtual ceremony can take place at any location with a reliable internet connection. It can be conducted in the comfort of your own home or any other suitable location. The ceremony itself is expected to be brief, typically lasting only a few minutes.
  • Marriage certificate receipt: Shortly after the online ceremony, you will receive a digital copy of your US marriage certificate. Courtly will ensure prompt delivery of the digital copy. Additionally, a printed copy of the certificate will be shipped to you within approximately one to two weeks.

As for the process of obtaining a US marriage certificate based on your online marriage in China, it is important to note that the specific details can vary depending on your individual circumstances and the regulations of the jurisdiction where you reside. To ensure accurate information and guidance tailored to your situation, it is advisable to consult with Courtly or seek legal advice. 

Cost of Online Marriage in China

The cost of an online wedding in China can vary depending on the package you choose. However, it is generally much cheaper than a traditional wedding. A basic online wedding package from Courtly costs ¥3,399. On the other hand, the average cost of a traditional wedding in China is around ¥100,000.

Courtly provides a range of online wedding packages to suit different preferences and needs. The basic package includes essential components such as a valid marriage license, an online ceremony, and a legally recognized US marriage certificate.

In addition to the basic package, Courtly offers various add-on options and customization choices. These may include services like apostille stamps for international recognition. The cost of an apostille stamp is ¥300, and the cost of two witnesses is ¥100.

What is an apostille and do I need it?

No, if you want to register your wedding in China, you don't need an apostille copy of your marriage certificate because China is not a signatory of the Hague Convention.

However, a US marriage certificate cannot be used in China unless it has been legalized by the Chinese Embassy or the Chinese Consulate. This is referred to as authentication. Once your marriage certificate has been authenticated, you can use it to register your marriage in China.

Traditional Marriage Process in China

In China, getting married traditionally entails both parties giving their consent, fulfilling the standards for age, mental capacity, and physical capacity, and registering the marriage with the local civil affairs department.

  1. Eligibility: To be eligible for marriage in China, both parties must meet certain requirements. The legal age to marry is 22 years old for males and 20 years old for females. They should not have a close blood or adoption relation, and neither party should already be married.
  2. Consent: It is crucial that both individuals provide their voluntary consent to enter into marriage. Forced marriages are strictly prohibited in China, and the agreement and free will of both parties is fundamental.
  3. Identification documents: The couple is required to present valid identification documents, such as national identification cards or passports. These documents serve as proof of their identity and legal status.
  4. Residence permits: If one or both parties involved in the marriage are foreigners residing in China, they are required to present valid residence permits or other relevant documentation to demonstrate their legal status.
  5. Registration procedures: For traditional marriages in China, it is necessary to register with the local marriage registration office. The couple must personally visit the designated office, submit the required documents, and complete the registration process.
  6. Divorce or death certificates: If either party has been previously married, they must provide the divorce certificate or the death certificate of the former spouse.
  7. Health check: In certain cases, a pre-marital health check may be necessary. The specific requirements for health checks can vary based on local regulations. Generally, the health check includes tests for common contagious diseases and genetic disorders.

It's important to note that marriage laws and requirements can vary in different regions of China, so it is advisable to consult with the local marriage registration office or seek legal advice to ensure compliance with the specific requirements applicable to your situation.

While getting married in China can be difficult and time-consuming, Courtly allows couples to get married quickly and easily while also receiving a legal US marriage certificate. With Courtly, you can simplify the wedding planning process by having access to a team of professionals that will assist you at every stage.

Benefits of Using Courtly for a Fast and Hassle-Free Wedding

Courtly's streamlined marriage registration process makes it easy for couples to get married quickly and without hassle. Here at Courtly, we provide all the necessary paperwork and instructions, and couples can complete the process in as little as 15 minutes.

We also provide access to expert guidance and support. Couples can connect with a team of experienced wedding planners who can help them plan their wedding, choose their vendors, and navigate the legalities of getting married.

We ensure that couples receive a valid US marriage certificate that is recognized internationally. Courtly works with a network of licensed officiants who can perform legally-binding weddings, and couples can choose to have their wedding ceremony online or in person.


Getting married is a big decision. It is a lifelong commitment that should not be taken lightly. If you are considering getting married, I encourage you to consider online marriage as a viable option. Courtly offers a hassle-free way to get married, and the platform provides access to expert guidance and support. With Courtly, you can get married quickly and easily, and you can be sure that your marriage will be legally recognized.


Can foreigners get married in China?

Yes, foreigners can get married in China through the Chinese government but there are certain requirements. One of the spouses must be a Chinese citizen or a permanent resident of China. Additionally, both parties must be at least 20 years old.

Is it possible to get married on the same day in China?

No, it is not possible to get married on the same day through the Chinese government. There will be a waiting period of 30 days between the submission of the marriage application and the official registration of the marriage.

If you need to get married within 24 hours, you may consider online marriage services offered by Courtly.

What is the waiting period for getting married in China?

The waiting period for marriage with the Chinese government is 30 days. This allows both parties to have enough time to consider their decision and ensure that there are no legal or financial obstacles to the marriage.

Can a marriage registration be canceled in China?

Yes, marriage registration can be canceled through the Chinese government. However, certain conditions apply. The request must be made within 30 days of the marriage registration, and both spouses must agree to the said cancellation.

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

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