You must sign a legal statement at your local register office to say you intend to get married or form a civil partnership. This is known as ‘giving notice’.
You must give notice at least 29 days before your ceremony.
For example, if you give notice on 1 May, the earliest date you can get married or form a civil partnership is 30 May.
You must hold your ceremony within 12 months of ‘giving notice’.
The process of giving notice might be different for Anglican weddings - check with the wedding venue.
Fees for giving notice
You need to pay a fee to give notice at the register office. It’s usually £35 per person.
The fee is £47 per person if either of you are from outside the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and both of the following apply:
- you need a visa to live in the UK
- you do not have a Marriage or Civil Partnership Visitor visa or a family visa
Where to give notice
You usually need to make an appointment to give notice at your local register office. You must have lived in that registration district for the past 7 days.
You and your partner will need to give notice separately if you live in different registration districts. You do not have to do this on the same day.
If you or your partner is from outside the EU, EEA or from Switzerland
You need to give notice together at a designated register office, even if you live in different districts. The immigration authorities at the Home Office will be told. If this happens you may need to wait up to 70 days before getting married or forming a civil partnership.
When you can give notice outside the UK
If you’re from or live in a country that has signed up to the ‘British Subjects Facilities Act’ you may be able to give notice in that country. Your partner must be a UK resident. Check with a register office to see if you can do this.
The countries signed up to the ‘British Subjects Facilities Act’ are:
- Canada (Newfoundland only)
- Cook Islands
- Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)
- The Gambia
- Ghana (former Gold Coast colony only)
- Guernsey (including Alderney)
- Isle of Man
- Leeward Islands
- Malaysia (former Straits Settlement of Labuan, Malacca and Penang only)
- New Zealand
- Pitcairn Islands
- St Lucia
- St Vincent
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- Sri Lanka
- Tanzania (Zanzibar only)
- Trinidad and Tobago