Before your ceremony can take place you will need to give legal notice of your marriage in your local registration district. The fee for this is £35 each.
If you and your partner live in different areas, you will both need to give legal notice in your own district unless you are subject to immigration control. You must have lived in your district at least seven days before giving legal notice.
If you are coming from abroad, the day of arrival does not count and legal notice cannot be given until the ninth day. For example, if the arrival day is Tuesday, legal notice cannot be given until the following Wednesday.
The earliest date the legal notice of marriage can be given is 12 months before the wedding ceremony and no less than 29 days before the ceremony. However, ceremony bookings can be made two years in advance.
(Please check with your local register office what you will need to provide).
At your notice appointment you will need to produce the following documents:
- valid passports as evidence of identity and nationality
- if you do not have a valid passport, full birth certificates, and if you are born after 1 January 1983 you will need your mother’s birth certificate. If your mother was also born after 1 January 1983 you will need to bring your maternal grandmother’s birth certificate
- proof of residence in the form of a utility bill dated within the last three months, current year’s council tax bill, bank statement dated within one month or valid driving licence
- evidence showing how any previous marriages or civil partnerships have ended
- evidence of any name changes
The notices will be placed on public display for a period of 28 clear days.
Who will attend your appointments and ceremony?
The registration officers will normally be your first point of contact within the registration service; they will deal with any queries that you may have. If you are planning to have your ceremony at one of our registration offices, they will be able to discuss availability and book the venue for you. If you have chosen to use an approved premises then the registration officers will be able to book you a registrar.
The registration officers will be on hand throughout the process to advise you on fees, the legal requirements and answer any queries.
Please refer to our terms and conditions.
Your ceremony will be performed by a team of two ceremony officers (registrars). They will meet with you on the day of your ceremony and carry out your pre-ceremony interviews. One of the team will perform your ceremony, while the other records the details in the marriage register.
All registrations and ceremonies are held in English so if either one of you cannot speak or understand English then you must provide an interpreter. Please discuss this with the registration officer who takes your notice of marriage, to be sure the legal requirements are met.
You will need two adults to be your witnesses. They can be friends or relatives, over the age of 16 and able to speak and understand English.
Changes to your passport
To ensure ease of travel to other countries, please check that the name on your passport reflects the name that appears on your marriage certificate. Check with your travel agent, airline or the country’s consulate if you’re in doubt. If you are going abroad, remember to book any travel tickets in the name you will have in your passport at the time of travelling.
When you can change it?
You can apply for a passport in your new name up to three months before your marriage or civil partnership ceremony. Your old passport will be cancelled. Your new passport is ‘post-dated’ - you cannot use it before the ceremony.
How to change it
Application forms are available at post offices. You will need to complete a PD2 form, which can be done once you have given your legal notice of marriage. You must send a passports for newlyweds and civil partners form with your application. It must be signed by the religious minister or registrar who will conduct the ceremony. This should then be sent to the passport office, together with the application for a passport or amendment to your passport.
You need a visa to come to the UK to give legal notice of marriage, get married, or enter a civil partnership if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, and subject to immigration control. This includes people who don’t normally require visas for general visits.
Further information – Marriages and civil partnerships in the UK.