What are the legalities of getting married in a temple? What are the requirements for civil registration of Buddhist religious marriage?

Two of the most renowned Buddhist temples for religious marriage ceremonies in Malaysia are Buddhist Maha Vihara (commonly known as the Brickfields Buddhist Temple) [1] and Thean Hou Temple [2] .

Meeting The Assistant Registrar of Marriages

If you wish to marry in a temple in Malaysia, you should first arrange to see the Assistant Registrar of Marriages [3] at the building to discuss your plans, give formal notice of your marriage and book a wedding ceremony at the venue.

Inter-faith marriage is acceptable in Malaysia. One of you must profess Buddhism. If either of you is a non-citizen, you will have to go through the civil marriage ceremony.

Making A Statutory Declaration For Application To Marry

If this civil element of the religious ceremony is omitted, the marriage is deemed invalid. You are required to obtain Form G or JPN.KC02 from the Assistant Registrar of Marriages of the temple. After filling in the application form, you shall make a Statutory Declaration in Section D.2 of the form with a Commissioner for Oaths or Magistrate declaring that all marriage requirements are being complied with and that there are no legal impediments to the marriage. You must then submit Form G or JPN.KC02 to the temple, along with the relevant supporting documents.

Registration and service fees have to be paid upon submission of the Marriage Application form. Fees vary from one temple to another.

Solemnisation Of Marriage

If your application is successful, the date of solemnisation will be fixed after twenty-one (21) days from the date of application. If the solemnisation of marriage does not take place within six (6) months after the date of submission, the marriage application shall be void and fresh application shall be submitted before you can lawfully marry.

You can arrange for blessing service to be conducted by a monk during the marriage ceremony. You may also be allowed to bring cameras, flowers, fruits, joss sticks and candles. You may also host a reception after the marriage registration. Speak to your Assistant Registrar of Marriages who will be pleased to discuss any requirements you may have to ensure your big day is a great success!

An Assistant Registrar of Marriages solemnising a marriage shall in some part of the ceremony remind you that either of you shall be incapable during the continuance of the marriage of contracting a valid marriage with any other person and if either of you shall marry during the continuance of the marriage you shall commit an offence [4] .

The solemnisation ceremony at temple are generally longer with religious rituals included. The elements of the ceremony include the exchange of vows and wedding rings.

Marriage Registration

Immediately after the solemnisation ceremony is performed, the Assistant Registrar of Marriages will enter the relevant particulars in the marriage register. Such entry will be attested by you and your two witnesses present at the solemnisation of your marriage. The entry will then be signed by the Assistant Registrar of Marriages solemnising the marriage.

Please note that it is VERY IMPORTANT to check the entry in the marriage register to ensure the details are correct and spelling mistakes are not made. It can be a complex process to make any correction in the marriage register after signing it.

Your Marriage Certificate will be issued as the official document that you have undertaken a legal marriage ceremony.

  1. ^ Buddhist Maha Vihara Website

  2. ^ Thean Hou Temple

  3. ^ If you have doubts about whether the Assistant Registrar of Marriages whom you have chosen is a registered solemniser, please contact the Registrar of Marriages in your district.

  4. ^ Section 24 (3) of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976

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Knowledge Base ID :   1027
Last Reviewed :   November 16, 2016
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