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How to Get Married in the UK

Marriage Rules in the UK

Planning marriage proceedings can seem a little overwhelming, the rules and small print have reduced many a bride and groom to be to a frizzy haired stressed out mess!  

Don't worry!  I'm here to help make sense of all the jargon and rules...

First Things First, Can You Marry Each Other?

Before you start planning your marriage, you'll need to make sure you meet these requirements:

* Aged 16 or over (please note: if you're under 18, you'll need parental/guardian written consent)

* You are not already married

* You are not closely related 

What Does Giving Notice Mean?

Once you have chosen where you want your marriage proceedings to be carried out (an Approved Premises or Register Office) you'll need to give notice.  This basically just means you have to tell your registrar you intend to marry and the date/time you have chosen.  They will draw up the legal paperwork which you sign and you'll need ID and proof of address.  You need to give at least 29 days notice before you get married and within 12 months of giving notice. This costs £35 per person.

What is an Approved Premises?

An Approved Premises has been pre-approved by a local authority to be suitable and licensed for legal marriage proceedings.  This means, if you choose to sign your legal documents here you will ask the registrar to attend on your chosen time and date.  This will cost upwards of £500, but your registrar will confirm their fee.  Wherever you hold your marriage, you will need at least 2 witnesses.

Can We Be Legally Married by a Celebrant?

Currently in England & Wales it is not possible for a celebrant to carry out the legal marriage proceedings.  Instead of compromising the ceremony they really want, many couples choose to sign the paperwork separately as they see this simply as a "formality" rather than their wedding.

Marriage Ceremony To Do List

* Choose where you would like to sign your marriage license, the Register Office or an Approved Premises

* Decide on a date and time (try to have a few options)

* Contact your local Registry Office to arrange an appointment to give notice of your marriage (remember your ID & proof of address)

* Choose 2 witnesses, they can be anyone with UK citizenship

* Decide if you would prefer a more personal and unrestricted ceremony by hiring a celebrant to write your one of a kind wedding.  Find out more about celebrant weddings here.


I hope this blog has given you a better understanding of how the legal proceedings work, and if you would like to check my availability, pop me a message I'd love to hear from you

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