When we filed our application, the person at the district administration office told us to come back after 15 days. So after two weeks, we did. But first, we went back to the district police office with the letter from the local police (that was signed by witnesses in the village, and authenticated by the village secretary). We left that letter with them, and they gave us a different one to give to the district administration office.
At the district administration office, they checked the letter from the district police office. And then we went up to the central area with the computer, where they entered our data on a word file template for THE marriage certificate.
*Everything related to the district administration office up until this point was handwritten. We were delivering hand-written letters between people and offices. No one typed up anything or sent an email. The individual offices did not have computers.
We went to the only person who had a computer in front of him. This was where they wrote and printed marriage certificates. It’s a one-page document, landscape layout with two columns: the left side is in Nepali, and the right side is the English translation. It read:
Scott, grandson of (name), son of (name), domiciled at (birthplace) and Ellie granddaughter of (name), daughter of (name) domiciled at (birthplace), having come to this office on (date) and having duly proposed and accepted each other as husband and wife and thereby marriage being solemnized between them in accordance with marriage registration Act 2028 (1971). This certificate of marriage is hereby granted in accordance with the act to Mr. Scott and Mrs. Ellie.
Below the text were our pictures, the signature of the Chief District Officer, and the official seal of the Ministry of Home Affairs, District Administration Office.
And then we had to go down to Office 1 to affix our thumbprints on the big book BUT BEFORE THAT, surprise surprise, we needed two witnesses! We didn’t know this. Thankfully, there was another newly-married couple who were there to register their marriage, and they were accompanied by the parents of the groom. So we asked if they can be our witnesses, and they were kind enough to agree. They also obliged us when we requested a picture with them afterwards. We needed to photocopy their citizenship cards, and they needed to sign some forms, but that was it.
After that, done! We were legally married! 😀
Final note: Apparently, this whole process that I documented here is not a very common one to go to go through, at least among Nepali couples who remain in the country. My parents in law have been married for 30+ years, but they only registered their marriage 2 years ago, when they needed to establish their relationship with each other for a visa application. When we had our certificate printed, the template had the names of the previous applicants and they were both Nepali, but the wife had a US address. And the husband in the newly-married couple we met when we claimed our certificate was also based in the US. Even so, I’d say it’s best to register anyway. You never know when you’re gonna need it.
Edited to add: If both parties are Nepali citizens, they only need to register with the village secretary. You apparently only need to register with the District Administration Office if you’re married to a foreigner. I guess that explains the US addresses on the template.