Marriages and civil partnerships

How to give us notice of your marriage or civil partnership and what to do if you want to hold the ceremony abroad.

Notice of a Marriage or Civil Partnership

You must give notice of your intention to marry or form a civil partnership before your ceremony can take place.  You must have a ceremony booked before you can give your notice.

You need an appointment at your local Registration Office to complete your Notice of Marriage or Civil Partnership - this can be done up to 12 months before the date of your ceremony, but no later than 28 days prior to the ceremony.

It costs £35 per person for a standard notice of marriage, or £47 per person if you are subject to immigration control and give notice at a designated Register Office (see below).

From 02/03/2015 the notice rules are changing. Read our guide to these changes to see if they affect you.

Contact the Registration Office 

You can contact a register office in Suffolk to arrange giving notice for a marriage or civil partnership.

Documents required for a notice

You will be told which documents to bring when you book your appointment. All documents must be current and original.

The documents will include some of the following:

  • passport
  • full birth certificate
  • decree absolute
  • death certificate of former spouse/civil partner
  • proof of residence
  • any documents relating to a change of name

If you were born after 1 January 1983, and don't have a current passport, you must bring a parent's full birth certificate or passport.  If your parents weren't married at the time of birth you must bring your mother's birth certificate or passport.

People subject to immigration control

There is a special process for people who are subject to immigration control and wish to register a marriage or civil partnership.

You must arrange an appointment with the Ipswich or Bury St Edmunds Register Office to register. 

Marrying outside of England and Wales

You can marry outside England and Wales but you need to research marriage in your chosen country and find out if you need to go through any legal processes beforehand.

GOV.UK has advice on marriage requirements in each country - complete their form to find out what to do.

There are many tour operators and travel companies that specialise in arranging overseas marriages.