Your wedding or civil partnership paperwork: a handy checklist

From the moment you get engaged, your mind will no doubt be filled with all of the decisions to be made about venues, catering, flowers and of course, your and your partners wedding outfits. But don’t forget to get the paperwork sorted too — you need to give notice at your local register office of your intention to get married.

What does giving notice mean?

Giving notice refers to making a legal statement of your intention to get married or enter into a civil partnership. And it comes with time restrictions. 

You have to give notice at least 29 days before your wedding or civil partnership ceremony.

Once you have given notice, you have to get married within 12 months. If you don’t get married within 12 months, you’ll need to give notice again. 


What paperwork do you need to give notice?

To give notice, you’ll need to make an appointment at your local register office. You’ll need to bring along lots of documents. So here’s a checklist to make sure you’ve got it all in hand.

Anyone planning to get married or enter into a civil partnership needs to bring along the following documents: 

  • A valid passport or, if you were born before 1 January 1983, a UK birth certificate 
  • Proof of your home address
  • Proof of any name changes e.g. a copy of a deed poll
  • Details of your confirmed wedding venue

For proof of address, you will need to bring along one of the following documents: 

  • A bank or building society statement from the last month
  • A gas, water or electricity bill from the last 3 months
  • A Council Tax bill from the last 12 months
  • A current tenancy agreement
  • A mortgage statement from the last 12 months
  • A valid UK or Irish driving licence
  • A letter from your landlord, signed and dated within the last 7 days, which confirms that you live at your address — this should include your landlord’s name and address 

If your normal residence is outside the UK, you will need to provide a UK contact address e.g. your partner’s address or that of a friend or family member.

If you have previously been married or been in a civil partnership, you will need to bring along a decree absolute or final order relating to your last marriage or civil partnership or your former partner’s death certificate.

If your marriage or civil partnership was legally ended outside of the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man, then you need to bring along proof of your divorce, annulment or dissolution. These documents will need to be checked by your local register office or in some cases, the General Register Office, which will cost you £50 or £75, respectively. 

If you or your partner is not a UK citizen, you will also need to bring along: 

  • A passport sized photo of you and a passport sized photo of your partner (even if one of you is a UK citizen)
  • Proof of your current immigration status e.g. your visa
  • Translations of any documents that are not written in English

If you or your partner is from the EU, EEA or have settled or pre-settled status as part of the EU Settlement Scheme, you will also need bring along confirmation of your settled or pre-settled status, or an application to the EU Settlement Scheme that you made on or before 30 June 2021.

Once you’ve ticked all of the boxes for your paperwork, you can then focus on looking forward to your big day. 

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