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.
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.
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 effect on Friday 11 March. It allows certificates for new registrations to be produced with headings in Irish or bi-lingual English and Irish.
When filling in the notice form you can choose to get your certificates in English, Irish or bi-lingual English and Irish.
The schedule for the marriage will be produced in the language chosen on the notice form. Therefore, you should talk about this with your officiant when the form is being signed by them.
All certificates produced from the registration will be in the language format chosen 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
When you send your marriage notice application form you will need 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 give 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 give 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 given.
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.
If you are aged over 16 and under 18 years old you can marry in Northern Ireland but you should note that your marriage will not be legally recognised in the Republic of Ireland. The minimum age for marriage in the Republic of Ireland is 18 years of age and this remains the case even if you marry in Northern Ireland. This applies to all couples marrying in Northern Ireland, where one or both parties are under the age of 18, but is particularly relevant to couples who have a home address in the Republic of Ireland.
You can find out more on the following 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.