Congratulations, you’ve got engaged. Now what?
You’ve told all your friends and family, you’ve set a date and you’ve started looking for ideas on Pinterest. You have months of wedding planning ahead of you and you can’t wait, and why not? Planning a wedding, for the most part, is a lot of fun. However, as well as the fun, creative stuff, there are there are a few legal requirements too. It’s important that you know what these requirements are and fulfill them in plenty of time before your wedding. It is also worth noting that fulfilling these requirements will also incur a cost of at least £86, so if your budgets are tight this will need to be factored in also.
Registering the wedding:
Whether you’re having a civil partnership or a wedding you need to give notice at your local register office that you intend to get married. This has to be done at least 28 days before you intend to get married. The notice will then be publicly displayed in the register office for 28 days. You do not have to wait until a month before your wedding to do this. However, after you have completed this part of the process you have one year to get married or register your civil partnership.
To find your local register office, click here. (Please note that you can only give notice at a register office if you have lived in the registration district for at least the past 7 days.)
(Image by Phil Smithies)
When you go to the register office, you need to take proof of your name, age and nationality, as well as proof of your address. Accepted documents are:
Valid passport – for name, age and nationality
Birth certificate, a council tax bill from the last 12 months, a bank/building society statement from the last month or a gas/water/electricity bill from the last 3 months – for proof of address.
If either of you have been divorced you will need to bring your decree absolute. If you have been widowed you will need to bring the death certificate of your former partner.
You will each have to pay a £35 fee to register your wedding and give notice.
(Image by Michal Ufniak)
There are formal vows that have to be exchanged and these should be discussed with whoever will be performing your wedding. There is no legal requirement to exchange vows in civil partnerships.
Civil ceremonies can include readings, songs or music, but must not include anything that’s religious, eg hymns or readings from the Bible.
There must be at least 2 witnesses at the ceremony.
Signing the register
Both the couple and the 2 witnesses must sign the marriage register or civil partnership agreement.
(Image by Phil Smithies)
You have to pay a fee to register a UK marriage or civil partnership. This is £46 if you have the ceremony at a register office, but may be more at other venues. Ask your registrar or religious minister for details.
The marriage or civil partnership certificate costs £4 on the day of the event or £10 after.
There are exceptions to these rules. For example, if one or both of you are a foreign national, or you intend on getting married abroad. For further details on the legal requirements of getting married, go to www.gov.uk/marriages-civil-partnerships/overview
The Nuptial team x