Okay, I know this is a very broad topic/idea that many people have questions about. My questions are,
- Do wizards and witches wear wedding bands? If so, would the proposal be the same generic Muggle proposal?
Any opinions on this are much welcomed!
- Is it possible to get married the Ministry like Muggles do in a courtroom?
Hmm, I don't see why not. Marriage isn't much of a huge subject in the HP series, and they don't really go into all that stuff. So, I believe that witches and wizards could get married in a courtroom/ministry, and their proposals could be the same, but Wizarding proposals could be a bit more... magical. I checked the HP Lexicon, and found Nada. So, free range over here folks!
My two knuts. Hope I helped!
Witches/wizards do wear wedding bands. DH spoiler:
highlight: Tonks shows her wedding ring to Harry in chapter 2 of DH. So yes, I think wizards would propose and offer an engagement ring too. Possibly the practice would be frowned on in snobbish pureblood families if it is viewed as a custom with muggle origins. That is up to you.
I feel fairly sure that they can have a muggle marriage if they like. We can infer this from the fact that Seamus' mum married his dad before he knew she was a witch. They must have had a muggle wedding. I think it is very likely that 'magical' weddings only occur between couples that were raised in all-magical families. Most people like to invite their friends to their wedding, and if you had muggle friends it would be a bit difficult to pull it off, if you know what I mean. Again, DH has some help here: Bill and Fleur's wedding could not have been attended by muggles. Statute of Secrecy, etc.
I'm sure the Ministry recognizes muggle marriages. Vows are vows, whether they are made before a magistrate or a priest or a ministry of magic official.
There's my two cents...
I think that not only do the wizards have to register their marriage with the ministry of magic, but with the muggle ministry too. The reason I think is that the wizards and witches are citizens in the muggle world too. They might not have much to do with the muggle government, but there must be some record of them. For example, Harry and Hermione went to muggle school before joining Hogwarts, so muggles do know them and they have a muggle identity. This applies to all muggle-borns and half-bloods (half-bloods because one of their parents is a muggle-born) As for pure bloods, well, the pure-blood maniacs like Malfoys would surely never do anything like that but people like the Weasleys might, especially if they were married to muggle-borns and half-bloods. So, basically my point is that whoever they might be, I think they do have some identity in the muggle world.
I always assumed that when you started going to Hogwarts the ministry of magic would wipe you from the muggle records, otherwise you'd end up paying taxes and things
I think all witches and wizards are probably on record with the Muggle Ministry, but their real records are with the Ministry of Magic. That only makes sense. For example, if it was an American Muggle-born witch or wizard, they'd have a Social Security Number on file with the bureau. That's not going to cease to exist just because they belong to a different world.
My guess is that any 'pertinent' record is going to be kept on file with the Ministry of Magic. (i.e. marriage records, criminal records, etc.)
The only way I think that a witch or wizard would have marriage/criminal records on file with the Muggle Ministry is if they have a Muggle marriage, or appear in Muggle court.