Weddings and ceremonies

Notice of marriage

There are certain actions that are required in law before you can marry (unless you are marrying in the Church of England or church in Wales by banns or common licence).

You both need to give your notice to marry.

This means making a legal declaration that you are both free to marry each other and will require you to provide certain documents, for example, we will need to see your passports or full birth certificates as well as a document proving your address such as driving licence or recent utility bill. ​

When do we have to give our notices of marriage?

Notice of marriage or civil partnership legally needs to be given no less than 29 days and may be longer for people subject to immigration control.

We would recommend that notices of marriage or civil partnership should be given a minimum of 8 weeks before the ceremony.

You must have lived in the local authority registration service district where you are giving your notice for 9 days or more.

How do we give our notices of marriage?

Both parties need to give their notices in the Registration Service where they live.

You need to book an appointment at a registration office to give notices of marriage.

How much does it cost?

There is a minimum fee of £35 each to give notices of marriage, depending on when you want to book your appointment. Appointments are available on a Saturday subject to an additional fee. Please see our fees page for further information.

Church marriages

If you are marring in a non-Anglican church, a marriage may take place in a registered building situated in a district in which neither party lives if it is the usual place of worship for one or both parties. Although there may be a registered building of the same denomination as the building proposed for the marriage, within the district(s) of residence, the parties have the right to be married in their usual place of worship.

The registrar does not need to see evidence that the building is:

  • the usual place of worship of either party but will question the parties giving notice and be
  • satisfied of the truth of the statement

If you are marrying in an Anglican church and it is not your usual place of worship, you will require a signed letter from the church to confirm they are happy to marry you.

If you are subject to immigration control and you are marrying in an Anglican church, you will need to have a signed letter from the church to confirm that if you were not subject to immigration control, you would be allowed to marry with banns.

Book an appointment

What you will need to bring to the appointment

​There are specific documents the registrar will need to see at your appointment. If these documents are not available, you will not be able to give your notice. The documents are listed below:

  • Proof of nationality: a valid passport. If no passport is available then you could bring any of the following:
    • Valid National ID card showing nationality, name and age
    • Home Office Naturalisation certificate
    • Home Office travel document
    • Biometric Residents permit
    • British birth certificates (only)
      • If you were born prior to 1 January 1983, your full or short birth certificate
      • If you were born after 1 January 1983, your full birth certificate which includes your parents' details plus either parent's birth certificate (short or long), if your parents were married at time of your birth.  If your parents were unmarried at the time of your birth, then only your mother's birth certificate needs to be seen. If your parents were born outside the UK then you must provide evidence of British nationality at the time of your birth.
  • Proof of address: this can be a bank statement (dated within 1 month), utility bill (dated within 3 months), your most recent Council Tax bill or driving licence showing your name and address

Previous marriages

If either party has been married before you should bring your decree absolute or a death certificate confirming that your previous marriage has ended. 

Any name changes

If either party has been known by any other name before, proof will be required (change of name deed)

Please note: you need to demonstrate a clear link between all of the names on the documents, for example a marriage certificate or change of name deed if you have returned to your maiden name.

Proof of age

If you are under 18 you will need to bring proof of parental permission.

​If you, your partner or both are a non UK or EEA citizen and wish to get married in England or Wales you will need to give your notice(s) at a designated office. In Northamptonshire, the designated offices are located in Northampton.

The appointment must be no less than 29 days before the marriage ceremony. This may be extended by the Home Office to up to 70 days if either party is subject to immigration control. 

There are specific documents the registrar will need to see at your appointment. If these documents are not available, you will not be able to give your notice. The documents are listed below:

  • Proof of nationality: a valid passport. If no passport is available then you could bring any of the following:
    • Valid National ID card showing nationality, name and age
    • Home Office Naturalisation certificate
    • Home Office travel document
    • Biometric Residents permit
    • British birth certificates (only)
      • If you were born prior to 1 January 1983, your full or short birth certificate
      • If you were born after 1 January 1983, your full birth certificate which includes your parents' details plus either parent's birth certificate (short or long), if your parents were married at time of your birth. If your parents were unmarried at the time of your birth, then only your mother's birth certificate needs to be seen. If your parents were born outside the UK then you must provide evidence of British nationality at the time of your birth.
  • Proof of address: this can be a bank statement (dated within 1 month), utility bill (dated within 3 months), your most recent Council Tax bill or driving licence showing your name and address

Previous marriages

If either party has been married before you should bring your decree absolute or a death certificate confirming that your previous marriage has ended. 

Any name changes

If either party has been known by any other name before, proof will be required (change of name deed)

Please note: you need to demonstrate a clear link between all of the names on the documents, for example a marriage certificate or change of name deed if you have returned to your maiden name.

Proof of age

If you are under 18 you will need to bring proof of parental permission.

Translation

You must provide a translator if either of you cannot speak or understand English. You cannot translate for each other.