Government Information on Weddings
Organising your big day can be a stressful experience! However, you can access a huge range of official and up-to-date information about the practical and legal requirements of getting married, living together, and civil partnerships in one central place; GOV.UK, the Nation’s official website.
While your ceremony and reception are the most memorable parts of your wedding, you also need to make sure your marriage is legally binding! You may wish to incorporate your legal marriage to your main wedding by choosing a licensed venue and registrar. Or, you could choose to have a separate, legal service to accompany your dream wedding. Either way, there are certain legal requirements for marriage ceremonies. These requirements may also vary depending on your location in the UK and the type of wedding you are planning.
Unprecedented circumstances, such as coronavirus, may add legal restrictions to your wedding which must also be considered. Here, we have links to the relevant government sites where you can find all the information you need to plan a legally-binding wedding ceremony.
Find your Nations general and COVID-specific information about getting married:
Information on getting married in England, can be found on the government website. You can find everything you need to know about your wedding, for example how to check if you can be legally married. It also has details on the different legal wedding ceremonies, such as religious and civil ceremonies or civil partnerships.
Due to coronavirus, wedding ceremonies in England are currently only allowed with certain limitations. Again, you can find the latest information on how to have a legal and safe wedding during the pandemic on this section of the website. You also need to take into consideration any local lockdown restrictions that may affect where you live or where your venue is located.
For couples planning on getting married in Wales, all the relevant information is provided by the Welsh government. Here, you find the requirements to be legally married, details on religious weddings and civil ceremonies or civil partnerships, and any other information you might need.
Wedding ceremonies in Wales are also currently subject to certain anti-Covid measures. The Welsh government’s guidance on weddings during coronavirus tells couples all they need to know about have a safe wedding which complies with the restrictions.
All the general requirements for getting married in Scotland are published on the Scottish government website. Again, this tells you how to make sure that you can be legally married and has details on the different legal wedding ceremonies. There is also specific information on forming a civil partnership in Scotland.
As with England and Wales, wedding ceremonies in Scotland are currently only permitted within certain guidelines. The latest rules can be found on the same website, informing couples in Scotland how to have a Covid-secure wedding.
If you are getting married in Northern Ireland, it would be helpful for you to look at this section of the Northern Irish government website. It tells you how to check that your wedding will be legally-binding. It also has details on the wedding ceremonies which are legally accepted in Northern Ireland, such as religious and civil ceremonies or civil partnerships.
Like the rest of the UK, Northern Ireland has allowed wedding ceremonies only with certain conditions applying, due to coronavirus. The Northern Irish government website details the latest on how to have wedding which is both a legal and safe during this time.
There is guidance on getting married abroad on the government website. This tells you what documentation and procedures the local authorities require for you to get married in that country. It also tells you whether your overseas wedding ceremony will be legally recognised in the UK.
Due to coronavirus, travel to many countries is restricted. Visit this section of the government website for the latest information on the countries you can currently travel to and their individual coronavirus restrictions. We have also put together a handy guide to some of the popular overseas wedding destinations, the requirements for getting married in each country, and any current restrictions on travel to or from each.
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