How and when to give notice for marriage
Both parties to the marriage must send their completed marriage notice forms, relevant documents, declarations and fees to the Registrar of Marriages for the council district where the marriage is to take place. Your marriage notice will be placed on public display at the registrar’s office.
On this page
- Timing of marriage notice
- How to give notice
- Documents you need to provide
- Marriage and immigration control
- If you're visiting the UK to marry
- Sending your notice application
- What happens next
Marriage and registration
- Convert civil partnership to marriage and marriage to civil partnership
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): consumer advice for cancelled weddings and events
- Getting married in a civil ceremony
- Getting married in a religious/belief ceremony
- Guidance on marriage procedures in Northern Ireland
- How and when to give notice for marriage
- Marriage outside the UK
- Marriage/civil partnership and immigration control
- Officiant registration
Timing of marriage notice
Notice for all marriages must be given in the 12-month period before the date of the marriage. You must send your notice early enough to allow the registrar to make sure both parties are free to marry one another.
Normally, notices should be with the registrar about eight weeks before the marriage. But if either of you have been married or in a civil partnership before, the notices should be with the registrar 10 weeks before.
The minimum period is 28 days before the date of the proposed marriage, but if you leave things as late as this you could be faced with the need to postpone your marriage.
Only in exceptional circumstances will the Registrar General allow a marriage to take place if 28 days' notice has not been given.
Introduction of Life Event Certificates in Irish and Bi-lingual English and Irish
The Marriage, Civil Partnership and Civil Registration (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2022 came into operation on Friday 11 March and enables certificates for new registrations to be produced with headings in Irish or bi-lingual English and Irish. When completing the notice form you will be given the option to select your certificates in English, Irish or bi-lingual English and Irish. The schedule for the marriage will be produced in the language selected on the notice form therefore you should discuss this with your officiant when the form is being signed by them.
All certificates produced from the registration will be in the language format selected and cannot be changed. The legislation applies to registrations going forward and will not apply retrospectively to life events already registered which will continue to be available in English only.
How to give notice
You can download and print out a marriage notice application form at this link:
You will need to send a separate form for each person.
Documents you need to provide
When you send your marriage notice application form you will need to provide the originals of the following documents to support your application:
- long birth or adoption certificate (full version)
If you were married or in a civil partnership previously, you will also need to provide the following:
- certificate of decree absolution (if your previous marriage was dissolved)
- certificate of decree of divorce (if you have previously been granted a divorce)
- certificate of dissolution of civil partnership (if your previous civil partnership was dissolved)
- marriage or civil partnership certificate from previous marriage or civil partnership (if you have kept your previous married/ civil partnership surname)
- death certificate (if your previous spouse or civil partner is deceased)
If you were born outside the UK, you need to provide the certified copy of your birth certificate issued by the right authority of that country and your passport or national identity card.
If any of the documents are in a language other than English, a certified translation in English must also be provided.
Photocopies of documents are not acceptable unless certified to be a true copy by the issuing authority.
Don’t delay giving notice to the registrar if you're waiting for originals of any of the documents above. Authorised or notarised copies may be acceptable for giving notice; however, the registrar will need to see the originals before a marriage can take place.
Marriage and immigration control
If you're not a British or Irish citizen, or a person with leave granted under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) or a decision pending on an application for EUSS leave submitted before 1 July 2021 you will be required to complete an immigration status statement. You will need to send the status statement along with your notice application.
You can find out more about immigration control and the immigration status statement at this link:
If you're visiting the UK to marry
If you're visiting the UK to marry, you will need to provide the documents listed above, the right visa and an immigration status statement (if applicable) along with your marriage notice application.
You can find out more on the visiting Northern Ireland from outside the UK to marry or form a civil partnership page.
The cost is £22.00 per notice form. Separate notice forms are needed for each person.
If you are having a civil ceremony conducted by a registrar there is a fee of £36.00 for the solemnisation of the marriage.
The district council will charge additional fees for room hire in their premises or for marriages at approved venues. Details of these charges are available from each of the councils.
If you send your notices by post, a cheque for the right amount should be included with your application form. You should make the cheque payable to the district council.
Sending your notice application
You can present your notice forms, papers and fees in person or by send post to the registrar in the area you are planning to marry. You can find contact information for the district registrars at this link:
What happens next
Ahead of your marriage date, you may be asked to visit the registrar’s office to make any final arrangements, and/ or to collect the marriage schedule.