Marriage performed by the babs

Reading Time 5 Minutes

Marriage performed by the babs

Reading Time 5 Minutes

A babs smiling

The Babs
(Extraordinary Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages)

Whereas in the past it was only possible to be married by an Official of the Civil Status (ABS), nowadays it is also possible to be married by an Extraordinary Official of the Civil Status, the BABS. The officiant takes the time to make the wedding ceremony personal and intimate on your wedding day. You can request a BABS through the municipality but can also ask a friend or family member to perform the wedding ceremony.

Want to know more about the BABS? Then be sure to read on!

female babs

What is a BABS?

A BABS is an extraordinary civil registrar who works for the municipality but is dedicated to performing marriages. The officiant therefore has more time to prepare for the wedding and can design the ceremony according to the couple's (love) life.

You can also hire an independent wedding officiant to officiate the marriage. An independent wedding officiant is sworn in as BABS by the municipality but does not work for the municipality. In principle, a he or she can only be sworn in as BABS by one municipality. Nevertheless, another municipality can give a one-off permission to perform a legally valid marriage within another municipality, so a this person can in principle work throughout the country!

It is also possible to ask a member of the family or friend to take on the role of BABS for your wedding, a special request must be submitted to the Civil Affairs Department of the Municipality for this purpose. If this request is approved, your family or friend will be sworn in by the court to be BABS for one day.

The wedding officiant in the church

What does a BABS do?

A BABS is responsible for legally performing the marriage during the
wedding ceremony. The he or she takes time before the wedding to get to know the bride and groom better in order to create a personalised speech to be able to give to the bride and groom.

babs is among family and friends

Who supports a BABS?

When a BABS is a member of the family or a friend and is sworn in as BABS for one day, an Official of the Civil Status (ABS) will also be present from the municipality. He will ensure that the marriage is performed in accordance with the law

babs reading text in nature

How do you become a BABS?

You do not need a diploma to become a BABS, but you do need a Certificate of Good Conduct (VOG). If you are hired by a municipality, you are automatically a BABS and therefore a wedding officiant. Do you want to become an independent BABS? Then you can have yourself sworn in at one municipality and start working within one municipality. Would you like to perform a ceremony in another municipality? Then the court can appoint you as BABS for one day. Friends or relatives who want to perform your wedding ceremony can also be sworn in as BABS for one day.

wedding officiant sitting on a chair

Who do you get to choose?

In fact, anyone! Family, friends and other close ones can all become BABS for one day. It is good to know that you need a certificate of good conduct to become a BABS. You can even hire a Dutch celebrity as BABS to make your ceremony even more special! Would you like to ask someone to be your BABS? It is useful if the person you have in mind has experience with speech and public speaking so that the ceremony runs smoothly.

Saying vows

The cost

The cost of a BABS varies. For example, municipalities may determine the costs for using and/or swearing in a BABS themselves. An independent BABS may also charge for preparing and conducting the wedding ceremony. Here you can think of an investment between 600-5000 euros.
A BABS within one's own circle doing a 'friendly service' will most likely be friendlier to the budget than a hired independent (well-known) BABS.

Emotional wedding photo

A famous Dutchman?

Would you like to be married by a Dutch celebrity? There are many Dutch celebrities who can be hired as BABS! Below is a list of BN options:

  • Angela Groothuizen
  • Anouk Smulders

  • Dennis Weening
  • Dennis van der Geest
  • Dirk Zeelenberg
  • Do
  • Dominique van Hulst
  • Ellie Lust
  • Ferry Somogyi
  • Frits Sissing
  • Froukje de Both
  • Jan Versteegh
  • Jörgen Raymann
  • Maik de Boer
  • Paul de Leeuw
  • Rene Moors
  • Rudolph van Veen
  • Viktor Brand
  • Xander de Buisonjé

Would you like to book one of these Dutch celebrities? Or wondering who else you can book? Take a look at the website of

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About the Author: Justin Manders

As wedding photographer Since 2013, I have had the privilege of constantly seeing the most beautiful sides of people. My role is to observe and direct people and moments so that they are remembered in the most enjoyable way. I am always open to a good conversation, so don't hesitate to contact me.

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