The Legals

The Legals

Who Can Get Married?

  • According to the laws in the UK, a man and women can get married if they are 16 and over and free to marry.
  • If you are 16 or 17 you must have parental consent.
  • If previously married or in a civil partnership the wedding must have been dissolved.
  • If you are in a same-sex relationship, you can register a civil partnership which gives the partners many, if not all, the rights of married couples.
  • Transsexual people, the relevant gender is the one on their current birth certificate.
  • Relative may not get married

For more information visit the Citizens Advice Bureau

Where Can A Marriage Take Place?

  • Register Office
  • Church of the Church of England, Church in Wales, Church of Ireland, Presbyterian or Roman Catholic Church in N. Ireland
  • Synagogue or any other private place if both partners are Jewish
  • Meeting House if one or both partners are either members of the Society of Friends or are associated with the Society by attending meetings
  • Any other religious building provided that the person marrying the couple is registered by the Registrar General
  • Premises approved by the local authority
  • A place where one partner is seriously ill and not expected to recover
  • The home of one of the partners if the partner is housebound, for example, has serious disabilities or is agoraphobic
  • A hospital, if one of the partners is unable to leave or is detained there as a psychiatric inpatient
  • A prison, if one partner is a prisoner.

Notice of Marriage

  • Give notice of marriage in your local Register Office
  • If either you or your partner is from overseas, special rules may apply when giving notice to marry – Speak to Citizens Advice Bureau
  • A notice must state where the marriage is to take place
  • The marriage can then take place after 15 days have elapsed from the date on which notice of the marriage is entered in the marriage notice book.
  • Notice of Marriage is valid for twelve months and therefore cannot be given until within twelve months of the wedding date.

Proceeding for Marriage

You will need to provide the following details when giving notice of intent to marry:

  • Evidence of name and address
  • Certificate of birth for both parties
  • if one partner has been married before or in a civil partnership, documentary evidence that the marriage or civil partnership has ended, for example, a death certificate or decree absolute. Uncertified photocopies are not accepted. A certified copy of a decree absolute may be obtained from the court which decided the divorce. This can take about a week
  • Evidence of nationality.

Getting Married

For a Civil or religious wedding, the following legal requirements must be met:

  • The marriage must be conducted by a person or in the presence of a person authorised to register marriages in the district
  • The marriage must be entered in the marriage register and signed by both parties, two witnesses, the person who conducted the ceremony and if that person is not authorised to register marriages, the person who is registering the marriage.

For more information on legals of parties from overseas, religious weddings, etc visit Citizen Advice Bureau


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