In UK, opposite sex couples can contract marriage in a religious or civil ceremony. From 29th March 2014, same sex couples are allowed to marry in England and Wales. All couples who want to marry should both of 16 years and above and single, divorced or widowed.
However, if you are a foreigner who wants to get married in UK, then there are certain rules and regulations. If one or both of the partners are a non EU/Swiss/EEA national, they may get married in UK, as long as their stay in the country should not exceed more than six months.
If one of the partners is facing immigration control, they will need additional documents in order to give notification of marriage. In most cases, resident or non-resident foreigners getting married in the country will need one of the given below documents:
A document proving settled status in the country, for instance, Indefinite Leave to Remain
Or a visa providing entry clearance, expressly for marrying purposes
Legal Requirements for Marrying
This part of the post will include certain regulations to follow if you want to legally married in UK. You have to give a notice in person to the local register office at least 15 days before the marriage date. Both of you should reside in the catchment area for the concerned register office at least seven day before of this notice of the marriage. However, if you intend to marry in a different area, contact the register office of that area as well before giving notice.
Click here to find a local register office
Click here to find an approved venue for civil ceremonies
This notice has to be displayed for 15 days before you get the authorization for marriage. After the displaying of the notice, you will get one year in which you have to marry in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and three months in Scotland. If you want to change the venue of your marriage, you have to give a new notice.
Note: If you are planning to marry at the Church of England or Church in Wales, you generally don’t need a notice. Rather, you have to contact the vicar of the church to organize the marriage. You have to give a notice for all other religious ceremonies at the register office unless one of the partners is subject to immigration control.
If one of the partners is subject to immigration control, you have to give a notice at a designated register office. For finding a designated office, you can contact the General Register Office.
Documents Required for Giving a Notice
Following is the information and documentation required from each partner when you give a notice at a register office:
• Full name and address
• Current status (single, divorced, widowed/widowered); proof of divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership is required if applicable
• Information on the intended venue for the marriage
• Those subject to immigration control may need to provide additional documents (Certificate of Approval or visa)
Proof of identity, such as a passport, should be taken, with if applicable, proof of divorce or dissolution of a previous partnership. There is a fee for giving notice.