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Many Dutch couples don’t go through the formalities of getting married, but if they do, the average age is not before 30. It is very common for couples to live together instead of getting married, or before they get married. They can have a registered partnership (samenslevingcontract.) Same-sex marriage is allowed, with the same rights as a traditional marriage.

The wedding is announced by a wedding invitation. The civil ceremony will normally be held in the city hall or a specific wedding-appointed location (trouwlocatie), usually with only family and a few close friends invited. The wedding ceremony may happen additionally in a church, if the couple is more religious, but it is the civil ceremony that is recognized as legal. After the formalities, a dinner may follow to which usually the same people who were at the civil ceremony will be invited. Everyone else is usually invited to a party or reception after the dinner takes place. In addition, getting married is often free on a particular day of the week while getting married on a Saturday is the most expensive.