So you want to get married? You are both set on a celebrant led wedding and why wouldn’t you, they’re awesome! But how can you make it legal before or after your wedding day in the UK?

How to legally get married in the UK?

To legally get married in the UK it must be authorised by a registered officiant. It could be, for example a pastor, a vicar a rabbi or a civil celebrant otherwise known as a registrar. In this blog, I will be focusing on a registrar and a registry office.

You must both be over the age of 16 (and will need parental consent if under the age of 18). Not already married to someone else, so divorced or widowed. Must not be closely related, otherwise the marriage will be void.

You can then make an appointment and give notice at a registry office with your intent to marry, up to 29 days before the marriage. The marriage then must take place within 12 months of giving notice.


Giving Notice

Giving notice must be made at your local registry office and if your partner lives in a different place, they will need to give notice in their local registry office. Once made you can then marry in any registry office or approved premises.

You will need documents to prove your name, address and date of birth. If you have been divorced your decree absolute, or widowed your partners death certificate and any name changes via deed poll. Documents could include your passport, driving licence and any energy bill. If you have a gender recognition certificate you can get a new birth certificate, which will then reflect your acquired gender. Also the details of the registry office you wish to be married at.

And it’s as easy at that!

So to round up all you need to do is, make an appointment to give notice at your local registry office, with the all important documents you need (they will confirm which ones). Then choose a date for after the 29 days of giving your notice and go get married!

You will need two witnesses, so take your besties, your parents, the photographers, or even grab two people off the street that day, it can be as simple and romantic as that.


Check out the Give Couples Choice Movement Website or on Instagram and Facebook who are taking action on legalising celebrant led weddings. Now how amazing would that be?

Thanks for reading

x Jodie x

Next read my blog on How to change your surname when married?

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