Despite mixed but changing attitudes in the West towards Russia, many foreign men still dream of marriage to a Russian women. A Google search for "marry a Russian bride" will return more than two million results. Each year thousands of Western men marry Christian Russian brides and go on to have successful long term relationships. Russia may have an uneasy reputation in the West, but Russian women have a reputation for being romantic and great wives. However, if a couple that set their hearts on tying the knot don’t make sure they understand all the ins and outs of the necessary paperwork involved for the process, bureaucratic fuss will overshadow all the romance until the final day.
Where are you going to get married?
When you marry your Christian Russian bride in Russia you will have to marry under the laws of Russia, which you will probably find are very similar to the process in your own country. Some times the process in Russia can take many trips back and forth for documents , sometimes so much so that some couples will decide to marry in the grooms home country.
"I got married in Turkey," says Russian bride Natasha, who was married to a Turk. "They did not want to register us for a few months and sent us from office to office it became a bureaucratic circus.
But if you do marry your Christian Russian bride in Russia, what documents will you need?
Collecting of the correct documents
First of all, everyone who is going to marry a Russian bride in Russia – needs, of course, a visa. It does not matter whether it is a tourist, business or labor one. The main thing is just to be able to enter the country it is absolutely impossible to marry a Russian bride in Russia without a valid visa in your passport.
Polygamy and polyandry are prohibited in Russia. And if a foreigner who was previously married wants to get married in Russia, they will have to prove their single status with one more documents– a divorce certificate or spouse’s death certificate without these the marriage process cannot go ahead.
All your documents for the marriage process will have to be translated and you will need to obtain an apostille (a certification for authenticating documents for use in foreign countries) for their documents. But if your state does not have such an agreement with Russia, the papers (except for the passport) will have to be legalized. Now it's time for you to go Russia.
When you arrive in Russia you will need to make registration. The easiest way to do this is to stay at a hotel – hotels take care of registration of foreigners. But if you decides to live with her fiancé from the start, then you will both need to stand in line at the Federal Migration Service's office and make your registration.
Once registered, you can go looking for a Russian notary. You need to translate and notarize all the documents (including a copy of the passport, which should also be made by a lawyer). This is usually inexpensive in Russia and your fiancee should be able to help you find the notary.
The papers are ready, so what's next?
If you get this far, the hardest part is behind you and you are already near the finishing line. Next you will need to go to the registry office. Different cities, have different branches that work with foreigners. In Moscow, it is Wedding Palace No. 4. There you will get a bank account number to pay a state duty, which is 350 rubles ($5.5) to register yourself for the wedding. Your nearly finished!
With all the documents and a duty payment receipt, it is time for you both to head back to the registry office to complete the marriage application and finally choose your wedding day which will usually be after one month Tip: If you are getting married in the summer, submit an application in advance. In the middle of the year, registry offices are packed to capacity, so there is a risk of having to wait much longer than you planned and having to marry in the cold Russian winter.
If all goes to plan then congratulations, you are now married. But before you forget the bureaucracy like a bad dream, it is worthwhile obtaining a Russian apostille on the marriage certificate – if you're going to return to your own country with your christian Russian bride.