Legal marriage formalities
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/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 provide basic personal details about yourselves (see below).
Please note: giving notice 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.
You each need to give notice in person in the registration district where you live. You can find your local office here.
Once you have both given notice there is a minimum waiting period of 28 consecutive days before the ceremony can take place. If either of you is subject to immigration control this waiting period could increase up to 70 days. Your ceremony must take place within 12 months from the date you give notice, at the venue you have specified in your notice.
Documents you will need to produce
Evidence of your name, age, nationality
Current passport or full birth certificate.
For the purposes of nationality, if you are producing a birth certificate (it must be a full version showing your parents) 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 your mother's birth certificate.
Evidence of your current address
In order of preference, we will need to see a recent utility bill (no more than 3 months old), bank statement (no more than 1 month old), telephone bill (3 months), current year Council Tax notice, driving licence.
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/dissolution or death of your late spouse/civil partner. If the divorce/dissolution took place in England or Wales, you will need to produce a Decree Absolute bearing the official stamp of the court. If that divorce/dissolution was granted abroad, we will need to see the original documents issued and a fee will be payable in this case. If these documents are written in a foreign language, an English translation will 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 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. Read more information on the GOV.uk website.