Marriages and Civil Partnerships in England and Wales can only be solemnised in a building duly authorised by law.
Religious marriages: Church of England
Church of England marriages are usually performed after banns and your Minister will guide you through the process. Occasionally, the Minister may ask for a Superintendent Registrar’s certificate and the procedure for this is the same as for other denominations.
Religious marriages: other Religious Buildings registered for marriage
This category covers all denominations other than the Church of England.
Applications should first be made to the place of worship to ensure it is registered for marriages and that the couple complies with the religious requirements of the congregation. Formal notice of marriage must then be given to the Superintendent Registrar in the district of residence of each person wishing to marry. However, if one or both of the parties are foreign nationals from a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA), the couple must attend a Designated Register Office together to attest the notice of marriage.
Civil marriages at a district Register Office or Approved Premises
You may marry or enter into a partnership by civil ceremony at any Register Office or other building which is licensed to do so. A civil marriage or partnership ceremony cannot contain any religious content.
Couples do not have to live in the district where the marriage or partnership is to take place but the legal preliminaries (formal notice of marriage or civil partnership) must be given to the Superintendent Registrar for each party in their district of residence. However, if one or both parties are foreign nationals from a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA), the couple must attend a Designated Register Office together to attest the notice of marriage before a Superintendent Registrar.
Enquiries should be made to the chosen venue for availability before the formal notices of marriage or civil partnership can be taken. Once formal notice has taken place you must wait at least 28 clear days before your ceremony can take place. Please note that a notice of marriage or civil partnership is only valid for 12 months from the date notice is given.
- If you want to arrange a civil ceremony in Blackpool, see the accompanying information.
- If you wish to book a registrar to attend a marriage in a Religious Building (because the building does not have its own Approved Person) please contact us on 01253 477177 for more information.