Luxury and Love in Oslo
Want to get married overseas? Consider a wedding at a five-star Norweigian hotel.
By Hope S. Philbrick
Photo courtesy of Hotel Continental
The sixth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage (effective January 1, 2009), Norway makes getting married easy on its foreign visitors: There are no residency requirements, you only need to have held a passport for three months, and you must sign a form at the embassy stating that there are no obstacles to your marriage (for example, you’re not already married to someone else).
What’s more, the country offers hundreds of vistas that would make a gorgeous backdrop for a wedding photo. The capital city of Oslo may be the best spot for Americans to marry in Norway (one reason, an embassy is conveniently located there). Oslo offers breathtaking views, world-class cuisine, spectacular attractions, is thoroughly modern and accessible, and communicating in English is readily accepted.
|Photo Courtesy Hotel Continental|
Most restaurants, hotels and venues in Oslo welcome gay weddings and celebrations. Our pick for a truly fabulous venue: Hotel Continental. A family-run business for four generations, Hotel Continental is rich with history and tradition. It first opened December 12, 1900 and since 1975 has been the only Norwegian member of The Leading Hotels of the World, a membership organization for five-star hotels committed to luxury and elegance. Covering an entire city block in the heart of downtown Oslo, Hotel Continental boasts well-appointed guestrooms, elegant ballrooms, an impressive art collection—including displays of work by the famous painter Edvard Munch, an extensive collection of contemporary as well as historic Norwegian art—and world-class cuisine. Among the hotel’s restaurants is Theatercaféen, listed as one of the world’s ten most famous cafés in The New York Times.
Since it hosts an average of 30 weddings each year, Hotel Continental brides and grooms can expect skilled, personalized service. “We are experts at arranging events like weddings,” says Tommy Andreasen, sales manager at Hotel Continental. Couples who chose Hotel Continental as a wedding venue most often cite its ambience, service, quality and Oslo location among its key attributes.
|Photo Courtesy Hotel Continental|
At Hotel Continental, wedding packages are equally available to all couples. “We are not making anything special around same-sex marriages, we just celebrate them like everyone else,” says Andreasen. “This in my opinion is what is so great about the hotel and Oslo: The idea of just be included and welcomed.” One current wedding package promises to greet couples with chilled Champagne, fresh fruit and roses, provide an overnight stay in one of two beautiful honeymoon suites and deliver breakfast in bed the morning following the wedding—all for free with at least 80 guests at your reception dinner party.
Hotel Continental can help you with planning your wedding ahead of time or for jetting off for a spontaneous elopement. “We can actually see more and more last-minute planning,” says Andreasen. “Having said that, some dates are more popular than others; especially May, June and September are the busiest.” Whether snowflakes or a warm breeze drift in the air, Hotel Continental in Oslo, Norway is a special place to say “I do.”
Getting Married in Norway
When planning a wedding in Norway, here’s what you’ll need in order to comply with Norwegian marriage requirements and regulations:
•birth certificates and passports—your passport should be in effect for at least three months prior to the wedding date.
• if same-sex marriage is recognized in your state, marriage license from your home state to certify that there is no impediment to the marriage.
• Norwegian authorization of marriage from the minister or county court judge in the area where you want to get married—plan on a two-week waiting period after you’ve contacted the minister or county court judge license costs (if any) are typically very low.
If you are not residing in Norway at the time of your marriage application and do not have a Norwegian personal identification number, your application will be carried out by the national population registry/directorate of taxes (Skatteetaten). In Norway, civil marriage ceremonies are conducted by a notary public. As a first step, contact the city recorder’s office (byfogdembete) or district court (tingrett) where you intend to get married. Contact a Norwegian embassy for complete details.
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