Marriages and civil partnerships in the UK

2. What you need to do

There are usually 2 steps to getting married or forming a civil partnership in England and Wales.

  1. Give notice at your local register office.

  2. Have a religious ceremony or civil ceremony at least 28 days after giving notice.

There may be different steps for some religious ceremonies.

Getting married or forming a civil partnership abroad

Find out about who to contact and which documents you may need to get from the UK authorities if you want to get married or form a civil partnership abroad.

Your overseas marriage or civil partnership will be recognised in the UK if you follow the correct process according to local law - you won’t have to register it in the UK.

Marrying in England or Wales if you live abroad

You may be able to give notice in the country where you’re living if that country has signed up to the ‘British Subjects Facilities Acts’. Your partner must be a resident of England or Wales.

Contact the register office for the district in England and Wales where you intend to marry.

Countries signed up to the ‘British Subjects Facilities Acts’

Bahamas
Barbados
Belize
Bermuda
Botswana
Canada (Newfoundland only)
Cook Islands
Cyprus
Dominica
Fiji
The Gambia
Ghana (former Gold Coast colony only)
Gibraltar
Grenada
Guernsey (including Alderney)
Isle of Man
Jamaica
Jersey
Kiribati
Kenya
Leeward Islands
Lesotho
Malawi
Malaysia (former Straits Settlement of Labuan, Malacca and Penang only)
Mauritius
Nauru
New Zealand
Nigeria
Pitcairn Islands
St Lucia
St Vincent
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Solomon Islands
Sri Lanka
Swaziland
Tanzania (Zanzibar only)
Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago
Tuvalu
Uganda
Vanuatu
Zambia
Zimbabwe