At the Council of Trent (1545-1563) the Roman Catholic churches were obliged to record marriages in registers in addition to the data of the baptized. After the Alteration in 1578, the Protestants adopted the rules regarding registration of marriages.
The legal wedding ceremony had to be preceded by the notice of marriage, the moment the future groom and bride officially indicated that they wanted to get married. With this act, the relevant personal details were recorded by a number of aldermen in a marriage register. A period of three Sundays followed. In this small three-week period, it was possible for family or outsiders to object to the intended marriage. If no objection was made, or "the commandments had gone unimpeded," marriage could take place.
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The registers of notices of marriage as made available online by Amsterdam City Archives, Westfries Archief, Regional History Center Vecht and Venen can be searched here.