Giving Notice of Marriage
Giving Notice is a legal requirement and involves you and your partner attending the local Register Office where you live to prove you are who you say you are, and that you are legally free to marry. Go to Bride Buddy’s Legal Document Checklist to make sure you have everything you need in advance.
This is a legal requirement – without it, your marriage cannot go ahead.
You can give your notice no earlier than a year before the date of your marriage and you must do it at least 28 days before the date of your wedding. The best advice would be for couples to complete the paperwork sooner than that. If you are marrying at a venue, or a register office, you will need to give notice of marriage.
If you are planning on getting married in a Church of England church, you need to get in touch with the clergyman of the local parish church or the local diocesan office. If you are considering getting married in a religious building other than a Church of England church, you need to give notice of marriage at your local registration office in the district where you live.
You will need to ask at the religious venue if someone has been appointed to register your marriage. If this is not the case, you will need to contact the local registration office to arrange a registrar to attend.
The easiest way to work out which area you should give your notice in is to check your Council Tax bill! The authority you pay your Council Tax to is usually the area where you will have to give notice. Use this link if you are unsure https://www.gov.uk/register-offices. Remember, it is the office where you live and the office where your partner lives If you both live in the same district you should try to attend a joint appointment. If you live in different districts you should try to give notice within seven days of each other. If you fail to give notice, the marriage cannot take place. You should try to give notice six-nine months before your ceremony date. There is also a statutory fee to pay - £35 per person, payable at the register office on the day of your appointment.
You MUST have chosen your Venue before giving notice. If you change your Venue, you have to give notice again. The documents are only valid for the place you state you are getting married. Everyone who gives notice must produce certain evidence to the Registrar at their appointment. You have to prove your identity, your nationality, and your address but there may be other paperwork they need to see depending on your circumstances. Typically, they will ask to see a full valid UK passport, a UK driving licence, a UK birth certificate and a proof of address from the past month but you may also need to show change of name documents depending on your circumstances. If you have been married before they will need to see evidence of how your last marriage ended – an original version of your decree absolute or your last spouse’s death certificate.
Are you under 18 years of age?
Anyone aged 16 or 17 intending to give notice must provide written consent from their parent or legal guardian.
Are you subject to immigration control?
When one or both of you are subject to immigration control you must give notice together at a designated registration office. Ring your local register office to find out where your nearest one is.
You are likely to be subject to immigration control if:
You are not British
You are not from the EEA or a Swiss National
You do not have diplomatic status
You do not have a of right of abode
You are not a member of visiting armed forces
The notice period may be extended from 28 days to 70 days if one or both of you is a non-UK or non-EEA national.
If either of you is subject to immigration control then you both have to give your notice at a Designated Register Office – In some circumstances, these Notices of Marriage may have their waiting period extended up to 70 days. Call your local Register Office to find out more. The fee is £47