Marriage and Civil Partnership ceremonies

Giving notice of Intention to Marry or enter into a Civil Partnership

Both parties must attend, in person, to give notice of their intention to marry or enter into a civil partnership to the Superintendent Registrar of the Registration District in which they each reside.

Immigration Laws have changed on the 1 July 2021 to reflect the changes brought about following EU exit. Therefore legislative updates regarding immigration will affect the process of taking notices of marriage and civil partnership.

From the 1 July 2021, all Register Offices in England and Wales have become a Designated Register Office. This means that when one or both parties are subject to immigration control, notice of marriage or civil partnership will need to be given together at a District where either one or both parties reside.

Those persons who may be subject to immigration control are non-relevant nationals.

A relevant national is: A British Citizen, an Irish Citizen, a person with EU Settled Status, Pre EU Settled Status or EU Pending Settled Status where a person has applied for EU Settled Status before 30 June 2021 and has a Certificate of Application to prove this.

Residential qualification

Each party to the marriage must reside in the relevant registration district for 7 clear days before notice can be given.

Timescale for notices

By law, notice cannot be given more than 12 months in advance of the date of the marriage or civil partnership.

Once notice has been given there is a statutory 28 clear day waiting period before the marriage or civil partnership authority can be issued. However where one or both of the parties are subject to immigration control this statutory period may be extended to 70 days by the Home Office.

Documents you will need to produce when giving notice

When giving notice of marriage or civil partnership you are required to provide evidence of nationality, identity, age, address and marital status. You will also be required to show documentary evidence to show change of name (such as Deed Poll or Statutory Declaration).

Proof of Nationality

For a British National

  • Valid British Passport
  • Birth Certificate if born before 1 January 1983 in the UK
  • If you were born after the 1 January 1983 in the UK you will need to provide your full birth certificate as well as your mother's birth certificate providing they were born in the UK
  • where you are showing a UK birth certificate as proof of nationality you will also need to provide two forms of the proof of address listed below

For EU and Foreign Nationals

  • Valid passport

If you’re from the EU, EEA or have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme

You will also need to bring confirmation of either:

  • your settled or pre-settled status - you’ll need to bring a ‘share code’ which you can get from the ‘view and prove your immigration status’ service (the code will be valid for 30 days)
  • an application to the EU Settlement Scheme you made on or before 30 June 2021, which you’re waiting for a decision on - you’ll need to bring your certificate of application

If you or your partner are from outside the UK

You must apply for a visa to get married or form a civil partnership in the UK, visit GOV.UK for further information

Proof of address

The proof of address must take the form of one of the following:

  • Utility bill dated no more than 3 months before the date notice is being given
  • Bank/Building society statement dated no more than 1 month before the date notice is being given
  • Council tax bill dated no more than 1 year before the date notice is being given
  • Mortgage statement dated no more than 1 year before the date notice is being given
  • Current residential tenancy agreement
  • Valid UK driving licence (full/provisional) showing current address (UK licence must have been issued in UK, Isle of Man or Channel Islands)
  • If you are taking up a residency in this area and do not have any of the above contact us prior to making an appointment

Proof of marital or civil partnership status

  • Evidence of the end of previous marriage or civil partnership in the form of:

    • Divorce - Decree Absolute along with marriage certificate.

    • Death - Death certificate of spouse, along with marriage certificate.

    • Where the divorce or civil partnership dissolution or death took place outside the British Isles you will also need to provide the original documentation as well as a certified translation of the documentation as relevant. There is a statutory charge for processing all foreign divorces. For further details and charges visit our fees page.

If you do not have any of the required documents contact us and we will advise you whether alternative documentation can be accepted.

Making an appointment

You will require an appointment to give notice of your intention to marry or enter into a civil partnership.

How to book an appointment

Getting married in a church or other religious building

If you are planning a Church of England wedding, you should contact the vicar of the church for advice about the necessary legal requirements.

If you are getting married in any other religious building, apart from a church belonging to the Church of England, you must both give notice of marriage at the Register Office for the district where you live.

You may only marry in a church, mosque or temple etc. in a different district from where you both live if it is your usual place of worship or there is no church of your religion in your district. You can contact us and we can advise.

A registrar from the district which covers the building must be present at the wedding, or the governing body of the religious building can choose to apply to the Registrar General to appoint an Authorised Person to register marriages there.