Marriage, contraction of marriage ( Matrimonial Law) between bride and bridegroom. Marriage contracts are unconditional and do not impose any time limits. Validity of a marriage contract is contingent upon compliance with the following requirements of matrimonial law and the law on civil status: accurate agreement between the contracting partners, marriageability of the parties, involvement of a marriage registrar, compliance with formal requirements and absence of any bars to marriage (prohibitive impediment). Marriageability of the parties means the legal capacity to contract marriage and having reached the age of consent to marriage. The legal capacity to contract marriage complies with the general rules of legal capacity; those with full legal incapacity are not allowed to marry, those with limited capacity may marry with the consent of their legal guardian. Marriageability depends on the age of the parties, men have to have completed their nineteenth and women their sixteenth year. For the marriage ceremony the spouses have to be present in person and at the same time; the ceremony takes place before a marriage registrar of the district where the wedding takes place and in the presence of two witnesses (civil marriage is compulsory in Austria). Public Notice is no longer required. Prohibitive impediments in the narrow sense are blood relationship (lineal consanguinity, between siblings of first grade and half-siblings), Adoption and bigamy, prohibitive impediments in the wider sense are derived from Matrimonial Law).
During the last decades the number of marriages in Austria has steadily declined (1960: 58,508; 1970: 52,773; 1980: 46,435; 1990: 45,212).
Literature#H. Koziol and R. Welser, Grundriss des buergerlichen Rechts, vol. 2, 91991.