How to Plan Your UK Destination Wedding – the legalities

The UK is full of idyllic and picturesque locations to get married in. From quaint villages to vibrant cities, historical and contemporary spaces, plenty of choices abound as you plan your nuptials in these parts. 

However, before we get too carried away with dreams of grandeur, there are legal requirements to satisfy as you plan your UK destination wedding (that will make your wedding legal). It’s important to address these early on in your wedding planning so the rest of it can go a whole lot smoother for you.  I have listed the key points below: 

How to plan your UK destination wedding – the legalities

Get your marriage visa

Apply for your marriage visitor visa at least 3 months before you travel. Visa fees are from £87 each.

Notify the local registry office

You’ll have to give 28 days notice of your wedding at the local registry office of the county where you’re planning to marry and present evidence of your marriage visa.

You can get married in any UK wedding venue licensed for marriage ceremonies with your marriage visa and you must be at least 18 years of age to get a marriage visa.

If you are planning to get married in London and have a civil ceremony, weddings.co.uk provide contact details for registrar’s offices in each London borough. Do check it out. 

Get a marriage license

UK marriage license fees cost £35 per person (use a currency converter tool to calculate how much it is in your local currency, google converter is great!) You need to have been in the UK for at least 24 hours before getting married. You can have an outdoor wedding ceremony as long as your chosen venue is licensed for it.

UK Wedding

Confirm your identity

Contact the registrar office where you intend to get married for specific advice on what they will accept as proof of evidence of who you are. Your passport, birth certificate or travel documents will usually suffice but do check!

Get the SRC certificate – (for a Church of England wedding)

For those planning a religious wedding ceremony and coming from outside the UK to get married in the Church of England, you’ll need to get a Superintendent Registrar’s Certificate (SRC) before going ahead.

To apply for the SRC, you and your fiancé must have been resident in the UK for seven days within the area before applying. Check the Church of England’s website for details on how to apply for this. Church of England weddings usually take place between 8 am – 6 pm daily, so perfect for morning, afternoon or early evening wedding ceremonies.

Understanding the legalities of how to plan your UK destination wedding can be a maze so I hope these pointers have helped to clear things up for you. For more information on detailed requirements, visit the marriage page on the GOV.UK website.

If you’re planning your UK destination wedding and need expert guidance and help, then get in touch, let’s discuss where you’re at with your plans, I’d love to help!

Cynthia x

How to plan your destination wedding in the UK - the legalities

Header Image – Hannah Larkin Photography

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