How to Register a Marriage

Those not wishing to hold a religious wedding ceremony can register their marriage at a register office (or another venue approved by the local authority).

If you do decide to hold a civil ceremony rather than a religious one then your ceremony will be prohibited from including any religious content. By contacting your local register office you will be able to find out more about the options which are available to you.

Giving notice

You will need to give notice at a register office at least 28 days before the wedding takes place. There is a fee for this. Once notice is given, the wedding must occur within the next year; otherwise, you will need to give notice again.

If you are marrying at a register office then you must visit your local office to give notice. This should be your local register office, but if you are to be married somewhere else, you should also contact the office governing the place in which your ceremony will take place.

Both parties must give notice in person; nobody else can do it on your behalf.

Other costs

You will have to pay £40 for the privilege of having your ceremony take place in a register office.

The cost of obtaining a marriage certificate is £4 if you obtain it on the day of the registration. After this date, it will cost you £10.

Residency and immigration control

Anyone giving notice of their intention to marry should first ensure that they meet residency and immigration control requirements.

If giving notice, you must have lived in the area where the register office is situated for at least 7 full days.

Anyone coming to the UK to get married will require the necessary entry clearance, which must be obtained before travelling.

You are not subject to immigration control if you have the right of abode in the UK, or are one of the following:

  • a British citizen
  • an EEA national
  • a member of visiting forces from NATO and Commonwealth countries
  • a diplomat that is not subject to immigration control

Details you need to provide

To give notice you need to provide the following personal details:

  • full name
  • age – the minimum legal age in England and Wales is 16 years of age, but written consent may be required under 18 years
  • address
  • nationality
  • current status – for example single, divorced
  • occupation
  • intended venue for your marriage or civil partnership

Official documentation will be needed to prove your name, nationality, age and address.