Getting married abroad

If you are having your ceremony abroad, you must firstly contact the government of the country you wish to marry in to establish exactly what their requirements are.

If you have been asked for a ‘certificate of no impediment’ then you will need to make an appointment to give a notice of marriage at your local registration office.

Please note a ‘certificate of no impediment’ can only be taken from a British subject.

  • If two British people are marrying abroad then both would need to attend the appointment.
  • If one British person is marrying a foreign national abroad, then only the British person would need to attend to give notice.
  • If you do not hold British nationality please contact your local consulate office for further advice.

You will need to bring with you the exact wording we need to add to the certificate for your place of marriage, this usually comes via email from your wedding co-ordinator. We cannot advise on these details.

How much notice must we give?

Once notice is taken it is then displayed for a legal waiting period of 29 days before the ‘certificate of no impediment’ can be issued.

You will also need to establish how long your certificate will be valid for - some countries insist the ‘certificate of no impediment’ is dated within 3 or 6 months from the date of marriage.

You must allow enough time for the certificate to be produced and posted out to you. If you wish to collect your certificate please advise the registrar at the time of notice.

Will our marriage be recognised in the UK?

As long as you follow the law for the country you marry in, and it is legally recognised by that government, then there is no reason why your marriage would not be recognised in this country. If the documents produced are in a foreign language, it is a good idea to have them translated into English and certified.

A marriage can only be registered in one place and there is no provision in English law to register your marriage in this country if the marriage has taken place abroad.

You may wish to consider a celebration ceremony in this country to celebrate the marriage once you return home.

Making an appointment

Before making an appointment, please ensure that the country you are getting married in requires/accepts a certificate of no impediment.

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