What Documents Do You Need to Get Married in the UK.
6th November 2018
The UK is full of idyllic and picturesque locations to get married in. From quaint villages to vibrant cities, historic stately homes to contemporary spaces, plenty of choices abound as you plan your nuptials in these parts.
You might likely wonder what documents you need to get married in the UK or whether your marriage will be legal. The short answer is yes (your marriage will be legal), however, there are legal requirements and paperwork to satisfy in order to make your wedding legal. It’s important to address these early on in your wedding planning so the rest of the planning process can go a whole lot smoother for you. Here are some key points to consider.
What documents do you need to get married in the UK?
There are two main types of marriage ceremonies held in the UK. Civil and religious wedding ceremonies. Religious ceremonies are held in places of worship and civil ceremonies are held either in local registries (run by local counties or local authorities) or wedding venues that are licensed for civil wedding ceremonies.
These requirements cover both types of ceremonies (although there are other specific requirements needed for religious ceremonies and they are primarily for foreign nationals).
To get married in the UK, you must be 16 or over. You’ll need to apply for a marriage visitor visa to get married here (even if you don’t ordinarily need a visa to come to the UK). You can apply for the marriage visitor visa at least 3 months before you travel. With the visa, you can get married within 6 months of your arrival in the UK at a licensed wedding venue.
You’ll need the following documents to apply for your marriage visitor visa in order to get married in the UK.
- Proof that you can support yourself whilst here e.g. bank statements or pay slips
- An indication of your future plans after getting married e.g. where you intend to live after getting married.
- Your passports, national ID cards or travel documents.
- Details of where you intend to stay whilst here.
- Some proof that you’re planning to get married in the UK (e.g. emails or correspondence between you and your wedding planner, wedding venue or other suppliers)
- Proof that you’re free to marry (if you’ve been divorced)
See a full list of required documents on the GOV.UK’s website.
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 (registrar’s requirements tends to vary from county to county).
As you’re coming from abroad to you’ll need to give notice at a local register office in order to make your wedding legal. First decide on where to get married and then let the local register of the county you are getting married in know about your plans / intentions (this is usually known as ‘giving notice’).
You’ll need to let them know at least 29 days before you get married and present evidence of your marriage visitor visa. The local register will give you a legal statement to sign that highlights your intention to get married in the UK.
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 (the equivalent of a county). So, do check it out.
Marriage visitor visa fees cost £95 per application.
The cost of your marriage certificate is £11
For a religious Church of England wedding ceremony –Get the SRC certificate.
If you are 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, ideal for morning, afternoon or early evening wedding ceremonies.
I hope you now have a clearer idea of what documents you need to get married in the UK and the process for ensuring that your marriage will be legal. There’s more information on the marriage page on the GOV.UK website so do check that out too.
If you’re getting married in UK and need help to plan your destination wedding on these shores, then do get in touch, let’s discuss where you’re at with your plans, I’d love to help!
Header Image – Claire Graham Photography