Skip to main content

Legal Preliminaries to Marriages and civil partnerships

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

Notice of a marriage or civil partnership

A notice of marriage/civil partnership:

  • has to be prepared to enable your ceremony to take place
  • is valid for 12 months from the date it is prepared
  • is only valid for the venue specified on the Notice

The fee for completing a Notice of marriage or partnership is £35 per person (or £47 per person if you are subject to immigration control).

It is a requirement that you must live or stay within one registration district in England and Wales for a period of 7 full days immediately prior to the day of giving your Notice of Marriage or Civil Partnership, which is a span of 9 days. This does not include the day you arrive in the district and the residency must not be broken during this period.

There needs to be a 29 day waiting period from when you prepare your Notice before your ceremony or formation can take place. This can be extended by the Home Office to 71 days if you are subject to immigration control.

How to arrange giving notice

You can attend any office in Suffolk to give your Notice of Marriage or Civil Partnership if you:

  • are a British or Irish Citizen
  • have EU Settlement Scheme settled status or pre-settled status
  • are resident in Suffolk

You'll need to make an appointment to attend together at the Ipswich or Bury St Edmunds office, if you or your partner are:

  • not British or Irish
  • and do not have settled status under EU Settlement Scheme or pre settled status
  • one or both of you is resident in Suffolk

When you contact us to make the appointment we'll advise which documents you need to bring. 

Documents required for a notice

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

Depending on your circumstances, the documents you'll need to bring will include some or all of the following:

  • passport
  • full birth certificate (note 1)
  • decree absolute
  • death certificate of former spouse/civil partner
  • proof of residence
  • EU settled Status check code (note 2)
  • any documents relating to a change of name

Note 1

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 were not married at the time of birth, you must bring your mother's birth certificate or passport.

EU Settled and Pre-Settled Status

If you have settled or pre-settled status under the EUSS you will be required to provide a share code to enable your immigration status to be checked. The code is valid for 30 days, it can be obtained by checking your immigration status on GOV.UK

Check British, Irish and EU Settlement Scheme documentation (PDF 27KB) explaining what documents are required.

Couples subject to Immigration Control

Please see immigration control documentation (PDF 28KB) for the required documents. 

Guidance for getting married abroad

Read where do you want to get married? - Getting married abroad on GOV.UK.