“The main requirement is for the couple to give notice. Giving notice, or notice of intent, means making a legal declaration that you are both free to marry each other, and you will need to provide certain documents when doing so.
Although you may have a civil wedding in any district within England and Wales, you must give notice to the Registrar in the district where you live.
When you wish to give formal notice you will need to make an appointment at the appropriate office and it will take approximately half an hour to an hour to complete.
The Registrar will ask questions about you and your partner. These questions include things like your full names, addresses, dates of birth, whether you have been married before, your occupation and your nationalities.
When you attend your appointment you and your partner will need to provide information such as proof of age, identity, nationality and evidence you are free to marry. We will also need to see two documents that prove your identity - your birth certificate, together with your passport or driving licence, as well as a document proving your address such as a bank statement or utilities bill. If either of you have been married before you will need documents to show your last marriage has legally ended.
All documents must be originals. Photocopies cannot be accepted. Any foreign documents should be accompanied by a certified English translation.
If you were born in the UK on or after 1st January 1983, and you have no passport, we will need to see evidence of the British nationality of one of your parents if they were married at the time of your birth - either a birth certificate or passport is acceptable proof.
If your parents were married and your mother was not British then we also need to see their marriage certificate. If your parents were not married at the time of your birth you must provide documents from your mother from whom your nationality would be taken.
If either of you are under 18, the Registrar will give you forms that you must be completed by a parent or legal guardian.
Whilst you can book your wedding ceremony more than a year in advance, your notice of intent to marry can only be completed within one year of the wedding and no later than 17 days prior to the ceremony. Once the formal notice of intent has been completed, the document will be publicly displayed at the Register Office for 15 clear days. This does not include the day you gave notice or the earliest day on which you can be married.
However, for administrative purposes we recommend you allow a minimum of 6 weeks. The minimum period between giving notice and getting married must be 17 clear days.
The bride and groom must both give notice and this must be done in person at the appropriate Register Office. In general, notice must be given in the district where you live. If both bride and groom live in the same district a joint appointment should be made with your local office. If you live in separate districts, but still within England or Wales then you should make individual appointments with your local Register Office, if possible around the same date.
You must be resident in the district where you give notice for the preceding eight days prior to the appointment.
If you wish to get married in a district where you do not live, you will need to contact both the venue and the Registrar of that district to make arrangements, and agree the date and time of your ceremony. Once you have done this you can then give your notice to marry to the Registrar in the district where you live.
The Registrar will tell you when your marriage authority has been issued. If you are marrying in another district, you will need to take, or have delivered, the certificate to the appropriate district before your wedding day.
Please be aware that some special conditions may apply in the following cases:
if any of the above applies to you or your partner please contact one of our Register Offices for further advice.
- · · either party is not a British Citizen
- · · if the marriage is to take place outside of England or Wales
- · · or, if either party is resident outside of England or Wales.
Also, if you wish to get married and either the bride or groom is seriously ill or has a life limiting condition please contact the Register Officer in the district where you wish to get married as soon as you can.
Most importantly, please note that it is your responsibility to arrange the following:
· To book any approved venue and arrange the details of the day
· To ensure that the legal formalities are completed, and that you have obtained the necessary authorities (and delivered them to the Registrar) before your ceremony”
IF IN ANY DOUBT PLEASE PHONE THE REGISTRAR
Please note: (November 2011) There are due to be changes in the registration system in Cumbria from December 2011 -
However these changes have not yet been revealed so please keep an eye on the Cumbria Registration web site!