Dutch rather spend money on honeymoon than wedding ceremony

An increasing number of couples in the Netherlands are opting for a free wedding ceremony and then spending more on the celebration or honeymoon. About 1 in 3 of the marriages consummated in the country last year involved a free ceremony, AD reports based on a survey among 30 municipalities. 

According to the newspaper, free wedding ceremonies are becoming so popular that municipalities are facing waiting lists in their free marriage hour. Especially in Groningen, where 70 percent of last year's wedding ceremonies were free.

A wedding ceremony in the town hall costs between 500 and 1,000 euros. Some municipalities also offer a budget option where a couple can get married in a 10 minute ceremony for 150 euros. It is also mandatory for municipalities to offer a free option. This free option often involves very little fuss, such as only the couple and witnesses being allowed at the ceremony, in an effort to save costs.

An official at the civil registry in Amsterdam-Oost told the newspaper that they hardly ever see anyone unable to afford a wedding ceremony. "We see people who get married for free, but the give a party for 400 people."