The legal bits

Having made the decision of setting the date and venue for your ceremony, you will both need to carry out legal preliminaries called “giving notice” of your intention to marry or form a civil partnership. This will involve each of you attending the registration office which governs the area in which you live, by appointment, to prove (see below) basic personal details about yourselves and to declare that you are legally free to marry or form a civil partnership. Please be aware that, once you have given notice, there is a waiting period of 28 consecutive days before the ceremony can take place. Your ceremony must take place within 12 months from the date you give notice, at the venue you have specified in your notice. We advise you contact the registration service to discuss timescales.

Please note, giving notice of marriage is a legal requirement which carries a statutory fee. This is not a deposit for your ceremony.

What you need to do

Before either of you can give notice, you must both have lived at your address for a minimum of seven complete days before the date that either notice is given, for example if you move to a new registration district before you are due to give notice, the day on which you move does not count as part of the 7 days residence requirement.

If you live in two different registration districts, you must each give notice to your own local register office. Nottinghamshire is classed as one registration district, while Nottingham City is another.

If your chosen ceremony venue is outside your district(s) of residence, you should first contact the register office for that venue to check availability of dates.

Once you have given notice there is a waiting period of 28 consecutive days before the ceremony can take place (during which time your notices will be publicly displayed at The Nottinghamshire register office Worksop).  

After this time two marriage authorities will be issued.  These marriage authorities (one for each of you) are the legal authorisation for your marriage to proceed and must be delivered to the Superintendent Registrar of the district (or the officiating minister of the church) in which you are to be married, before the day of your ceremony. There is a different document (a schedule) and a slightly different process for civil partnerships.’

There is a statutory fee to give notice. This is not a deposit on your ceremony.

Documents you will need to produce

Evidence of your name, age, nationality and gender

For this, you could provide your current passport or full birth certificate.

For the purposes of nationality, if you are producing a birth certificate (instead of a current passport) and you were born in the United Kingdom on or after 1 January 1983, we will also need to see the birth certificate of your mother.

Evidence of your current address

In order of preference, we will need to see a recent (no more than 1 month old) utility bill, bank statement, telephone bill, current year Council Tax notice, driving licence or medical card.

If you have been married or formed a civil partnership before

If you have been married or registered a civil partnership previously, in any country, you will be required to show evidence of your divorce or the death of your late spouse/civil partner. If the divorce took place in England or Wales, you will need to produce a Decree Absolute bearing the official stamp of the court. If that divorce was granted abroad, we will need to see the original documents issued. If these documents are written in a foreign language, an English translation may be required.

Documents may include: Decree Absolute, Dissolution of Civil Partnership, Decree of Nullity, Death certificate of former partner and (depending on your circumstances) previous marriage certificate.

If you are under the age of 18

If either of you is under 18 years of age, you will be required to show proof that your parents or guardians have consented to your marriage. If your parents are now divorced we will need to see the Decree Absolute and the court order determining legal custody of you.

All documents must be originals. For further advice or clarification please contact your local registration office.

To make an appointment to give notice of marriage please ring 0300 500 80 80

Conversion of civil partnership to marriage

You can now convert your civil partnership into a marriage, should you wish to do so. Read more information on the website.

  • What to do on the day - book a ceremony rehearsal discussion now

  • What to do on the day - book a ceremony rehearsal discussion now