- Both you and your fiancé must be single and at least 16 years old and if either of you is under 18 years old a parent or guardian must give their consent to the marriage.
- You must be married on premises where a marriage can be legally solemnised. This includes register offices, premises licensed by a local authority, parish churches of the Church of England and those registered for marriage.
- A registrar, a superintendent registrar or an authorised person must be present at the ceremony.
- The marriage must take place between 8am and 6pm.
- At least two witnesses must be present at the wedding.
- Notice of your wedding must be given to the Superintendent Registrar of the area in which you live up to 12 months before your preferred date. After you have given notice, a period of 15 days must pass before you can legally get married.
- There is a list of certain people you cannot legally marry due to their relation to you.
If you are looking for government marriage information click here
- You will need to show documentary evidence of your name, age and nationality – ideally in the form of your passport.
- If you are under the age of 18, you will be required to bring a completed parental consent form.
- You will also be asked to provide evidence of your address.
- If you have recently changed your name, you may be required to bring your original Birth Certificate and the Statutory Declaration of Name Change Certificate.
- If you are getting married in church, you will be asked for all documents relating to your Banns.
- If you have been married or registered a civil partnership before, you will also need to produce documents that confirm that you are now free to marry. These could be a divorce decree absolute or final order of civil partnership dissolution bearing the court’s original stamp OR the death certificate of your former husband, wife or civil partner. If you have been married more than once before, only the paperwork relating to the most recent marriage is required.
- If you are subject to immigration control, you will also need to produce documentary evidence to confirm that you satisfy the eligibility requirements and show that you have written permission by the Secretary of State to marry within the UK.
More information on Pre-nuptial agreements Legally, Civil Wedding Ceremonies can take place between 8am – 6pm on any day excluding Christmas, Boxing and New Years Day. However, registrars in different county council boroughs will have different rules and regulations of their own, so do contact your local registry office to double check. Do bear in mind that, according to recent reports, 2 out of 3 weddings are civil as opposed to a religious, so your registrar may be busy! There are so many things to think about before your wedding and future married life and making a will is probably the last thing you want to think about, but it is something worth having a chat with your new partner about. More information on making a will There is no official requirement to, change your surname, but if you want to take your husband’s name, you are legally entitled to change this. Using the same surname as your husband is traditionally the easiest option for women, especially when children are involved. For this, you would need to inform the appropriate government departments, banks, and other such organisations after your marriage. You can change your passport before your marriage so that you may leave for your honeymoon under your new name. However your passport will not be valid until the date of the marriage. Alternatively, your husband could change his surname to yours, by Deed Poll, or a modern alternative is to join your names and double-barrel. Again for this, you would both need to arrange this to be done by deed poll. Established business women tend to prefer to keep their maiden names, replacing the title of Miss with Ms. You could keep your original surname for work, and use your husband’s surname for personal life. Really, you have the freedom to decide which is most appropriate for yourself and your husband! The Name Change Company is a leading provider of UK Deed Polls, so when it comes to changing your name or your child’s name quickly and easily, they are the experts. Their Deed Polls are recognised by all UK organisations and government departments, and can be used to have your UK passport, driving licence, credit cards, insurance documents, savings accounts etc all changed or reissued to show your new name. Click on Deed Poll below to read more and to apply. And whether you change your name by Deed Poll, marriage, divorce or civil partnership, they can also help you to inform UK organisations that your name has been changed.