How to Get Married in the Baha'i Faith

Baha'i is recognized as the institution of marriage, however, there are some exceptional aspects to Baha'i marriage that are not well known.


  1. Image titled Get Married in the Baha'i Faith Step 1
    Get your parents approval. To have a Baha'i marriage you need the approval of all living parents of the prospective spouses. Even if you're sixty years old and your parent is eighty they still need to approve of the marriage. This practise eliminates the grounds for complaints from the proverbial "mother-in-law" and actually makes sense I think because new families today often need the support of their in-laws anyway. So there is no eloping among Baha'is.
  2. Image titled Get Married in the Baha'i Faith Step 2
    Find your local Spiritual Assembly. Once everyone approves of the marriage the couple goes to their nearest Local Spiritual Assembly and applies to have the Baha'i marriage.
    • Two witnesses approved by the Assembly need to be present to witness the vows of the couple. The vow consists of the words "We will all verily abide by the Will of God" in front of the approved witnesses.
    • Once that's done and all the civil laws requirements for marriage have been met the marriage is recognized.
  3. Image titled Get Married in the Baha'i Faith Step 3
    Make sure you have the basics. A Baha'i marriage can occur just about anywhere and all you need are the people being married and the designated witnesses. We also allow for interfaith marriages where say one of the people marrying is non-Baha'i.
    • If say a Baha'i were to marry a Christian and the Christian wants a church ceremony the Baha'i "ceremony" is held on the same day in another location but not mixed in with the Christian ceremony say in the church.
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    Save where you can. The Baha'i marriage can be simple and free.. there are no charges for it and if the couple wishes they could rent an expensive hall but it's up to them. So this way an expensive marriage ceremony can be avoided which helps the new family.
  5. Image titled Get Married in the Baha'i Faith Step 5
    Understand more about the vow of marriage. Here are some important selections from the Baha'i Writings that apply to marriage.
    • Marriage, among the mass of the people, is a physical bond, and this union can only be temporary, since it is foredoomed to a physical separation at the close.Among the people of Baha, however, marriage must be a union of the body and of the spirit as well, for here both husband and wife are aglow with the same wine, both are enamored of the same matchless face, both live and move through the same spirit, both are illumined by the same glory.
    • This connection between them is a spiritual one, hence it is a bond that will abide forever. Likewise do they enjoy strong and lasting ties in the physical world as well, for if the marriage is based both on the spirit and the body, that union is a true one, hence it will endure. If, however, the bond is physical and nothing more, it is sure to be only temporary, and must inexorably end in separation.
    • When, therefore, the people of Baha undertake to marry, the union must be a true relationship, a spiritual coming together as well as a physical one, so that throughout every phase of life, and in all the worlds of God, their union will endure; for this real oneness is a gleaming out of the love of God.(Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 441)
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    Integrate your ceremonies. With regards to interfaith marriages, I believe I read in the Aqdas that the ceremonies needn't be separate, provided the simple obligations of the Baha'i marriage are observed? Also, within the same text, I believe I read that the couple must pay a fee to the House of Justice pertaining to the marriage?Below is what has to say about this:"j. The Dowry:i. Marriage is conditioned on payment of a dowry.ii.
    • The dowry is fixed at 19 mithqáls of pure gold for city-dwellers, and 19 mithqáls of silver for village-dwellers, depending on the permanent residence of the husband, and not of the wife.iii. It is forbidden to pay more than 95 mithqáls.iv.
    • It is preferable that a man content himself with the payment of 19 mithqáls of silver.v. If the full payment of dowry is not possible the issue of a promissory note is permissible." However, At present the Kitab-i-Aqdas dowry law is not binding on Baha'is outside of the Middle East.


  • If a Baha'i marries a non-Bahia (orthodox religion) can their children be baptized if the Bahia partner remains Bahia and does not get baptized? If so, are there any restrictions?The Baha'i partner in a marriage with a non-Baha'i does not give up the right of the children to be raised in the Faith.. We would allow them to be exposed to different religions of course and at the age of accountability they would choose for themselves..I found this in Compilations:The future christening of the ... child should present no problem, for the Bahá'í parent should have no objection to the baptism of his child if the Catholic mother wishes it. Similarly, the use of champagne upon that *254* occasion is a matter which she is free to undertake, but of course the Bahá'ís would not partake of alcoholic beverages.(7 December 1977 to a National Spiritual Assembly)(Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 253)
  • There are some exceptions to the Baha'i parental consent law:1244. Circumstances Under Which Parental Consent for Bahá'í Marriage Not Required" "The only circumstances under which parental consent for Bahá'í marriage is not required are the following:1. If the parent is dead.2. If the parent has absented himself to the degree that he can be adjudged legally dead.3. If the parent is certified insane and therefore legally incompetent to give consent4. If the parent is a Covenant-breaker.5. It is possible under Bahá'í Law, in certain very rare cases, to recognize that a state of disownment exists. All such cases should be referred to the Universal House of Justice."The problem therefore is reduced to the simple question of whether your National Assembly accepts that Miss...'s father-in-law elect cannot be traced and therefore may, to your satisfaction, be presumed to be legally dead. You should of course ascertain that Miss ... has made every effort possible to trace her fiance's father."(Letter from the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Alaska, May 30, 1971)(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 371)"Whenever the law of the land or the agreement of adoption prohibits future contact between an adopted child and its natural parents, the Bahá'í law does not require the child to seek the consent of those parents to its marriage.(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 141)Other exceptions that I know of:Your father is a man who raped your mother.A parent sexually abused you or failed to prevent you from being sexually abused.
  • 280.21 The carrying out of the Bahá'í marriage laws, as given to the friends throughout the world, is a vital obligation of every believer who wishes to marry, and it is an important duty of every Local Spiritual Assembly to ensure that these laws are known to, and obeyed by, the believers within their jurisdiction, whether or not the Bahá'í marriage ceremony is recognized by civil law. Each Assembly, therefore, must conscientiously carry out its responsibilities 489 in connection with the holding of Bahá'í marriage ceremonies, the recording of Bahá'í marriages in a register kept for this purpose, and the issuing of Bahá'í marriage certificates.(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 488)

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Categories: Baha'i | Weddings