Check if you can get married or form a civil partnership

You can get married or form a civil partnership in England or Wales if you’re:

  • 16 or over
  • not already married or in a civil partnership
  • not closely related

Same sex couples can convert a civil partnership into a marriage in England or Wales. 

There are different rules if you want to get married or form a civil partnership:

If you’re under 18

You need permission from your parents or guardians to get married or form a civil partnership in England or Wales.

If you or your partner is a foreign national

There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens currently living in the UK until 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. You and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK.

You must apply for a visa to get married or form a civil partnership in the UK if you:

The visa or permit you need depends on where your partner is from and whether you want to live in the UK after your ceremony.

You can apply for:

  • a marriage visitor visa - if you’re not going to live in the UK and will stay less than 6 months
  • a family visa - if you want to live permanently in the UK and your partner is a British citizen, settled in the UK, has refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK
  • a family permit - if your partner is not a British citizen but from an EU, EEA country or Switzerland

If you do not have a marriage visitor visa or family visa

You can still give notice of your intention to get married or form a civil partnership but the immigration authorities at the Home Office will be told.

The Home Office might:

  • ask questions about you and your relationship - if this happens you may need to wait up to 70 days before getting married or forming a civil partnership
  • decide not to approve your notice - if this happens you cannot get married or form a civil partnership in the UK
  1. Step 1 Check if you can get married or form a civil partnership

  2. Step 2 Plan your ceremony

  3. Step 3 Give notice

    You must give at least 29 days notice before you get married or form a civil partnership.

    1. Book an appointment to give notice £35 to £47
    2. Documents you'll need to give notice
  4. Step 4 Get married or form a civil partnership

    You must get married or form a civil partnership within 12 months of giving notice.

    After you register, you can get a marriage or civil partnership certificate. It costs £11.

    If you need a copy in the future you can order one online.

    1. Get a copy of your marriage or civil partnership certificate
  5. Step 5 Update your details

    Tell government organisations you’re married or in a civil partnership. It can affect your benefits, pension or tax.

    1. Tell DWP about a change in circumstances
    2. Tell HMRC you got married or formed a civil partnership

    You might also need to tell banks, private pensions and other organisations.

  6. and If you want to change your name

    You can use your marriage or civil partnership certificate to change your name if both:

    • you're listed as female in official documentation
    • you want to take your partner's name

    In all other situations you can change your name by deed poll.

    1. Change your name by deed poll