Dating belgium customs
Usually the couple and their guests go directly from city hall to the church, but sometimes the second wedding takes place on a different day.It's also very unusual for the religious ceremony to take place anywhere but in church.I got married in Belgium this summer (to a Belgian, of course.) In many ways it was just like getting married in the United States: the bride wears a fancy white dress, the groom wears a fancy suit, family and friends come together, there's a big party afterwards. Perhaps the main difference is that in Belgium, everyone who gets married has to get married at city hall (stadhuis or gemeentehuis) in the city where they reside.In the United States, you can get married at city hall, in a church, in your parents' back yard, on the beach, or almost anywhere you want.
One pictures a bland, administrative office with fluorescent lighting and linoleum on the floor, and couples waiting outside in the hallway until their number is called.Here in Belgium, there's a good chance that city hall is a 600-year-old late Gothic masterpiece, as is the case in Brussels (pictured above), Leuven and Bruges.As residents of Hasselt, we weren't that lucky, but our stadhuis is still quite beautiful, an eighteenth-century former mansion with an imposing brick-and-limestone facade.Many people choose to have a church wedding in addition to the legal wedding, but the church wedding has to take place after the one at city hall--otherwise it's considered illegal.That's right: it's illegal to get married in church unless you've already been married at city hall.