A notice of marriage is a signed legal statement that is displayed on the register office notice board for 28 days.
By law you need to register your intent to marry at your local register office in the district in which you live, unless you are getting married in a Church of England or Church in Wales – see religious ceremonies.
By giving notice you are making a legal declaration that you are both free to marry each other. The legal statement displayed includes the names, age, marital status, address, occupation, and nationality of the people intending to marry or form a civil partnership. It also states the venue for the ceremony.
After 28 days, the marriage authorities or civil partnership schedule can be issued. These are only valid for use in the venue stated. If you change your venue after giving notice, you will need to give a new notice and go through the process again.
Your marriage cannot go ahead unless a notice of marriage has been completed.
Where should we give notice?
You should give your notices at the register office where you live (or have lived for the previous 8 days).
If you live in Wigan or Leigh (meaning the property where you live pays Council Tax to Wigan Council), there are two register office’s that you can attend at the following locations:
Notices are by appointment only - Book an appointment to give notice
When should we give notice?
The minimum time between giving notice and getting married is 28 clear days. However, we advise you to do this in advance to allow enough time to ensure your documentation is produced.
Notices are valid for one year from the date given, so the earliest a notice can be given is exactly a year before.
A marriage cannot take place until 28 full days after you have given the notice, for example, if notice is given on 1st October the ceremony may take place on or after 30th October.
We recommend the following timescales once you have booked your ceremony:
- Ceremony booked within the next 3 months - give notice as soon as possible
- Ceremony booked within the next 4-6 months - give notice within one month of booking your ceremony
- Ceremony booked within the next 6-12 months - give notice around 6 months before
- Ceremony booked more than 12 months in advance - the earliest date is 12 months before, but we advise you to do this around 6 months before the ceremony.
We will send you an email reminder if you have not given notice within the advised timescales.
How much will it cost?
There is a non-refundable booking fee of £35 per person to give notice of marriage (£70 per wedding/civil partnership).
Booking an appointment
Before making an appointment with us, please be aware that:
- There is a £35 per person booking fee by credit/debit card which is non-refundable and is paid when booking your appointment online
- You do not need to attend the appointment together, but you must both give your own individual notice of marriage. You can book a single or double person appointment
- You must arrive 10 minutes before your appointment time and allow at least one full working days' notice if you wish to change or cancel your appointment
- You must ensure that you have already booked the registrar for your ceremony date and time if you're getting married in Wigan and Leigh
- If you're getting married in another district you must ensure that the registrar is available for the date and time you require before giving notice with us.
What will happen next?
Once you have given notice, the notice will be displayed publicly for 28 clear days in Wigan Register Office. This does not include the day on which you gave notice. On day 29, the documentation for your marriage will be produced.
If you are getting married in Wigan and Leigh (including registered buildings where a registrar needs to attend), the paperwork will be kept at Wigan Register office until the day of your wedding. If you are being married in another district, the paperwork will automatically be sent to that district electronically after the 28 day period.
If you are getting married abroad or in a church (that is not a Church of England or Church in Wales or a registered building where a registrar needs to attend), your certificate will be posted out to your home address on the day it is issued (unless you’ve requested to collect this).
What information do I need to bring when I give notice?
At your appointment you will need to provide evidence of your name, age, nationality, marital status and address. If the correct documents are not presented at your appointment we are unable to take your notice - you will need to make another appointment and pay the fee again.
Only original documents are accepted, we cannot accept photocopies. However, where proof of address is required, a printed copy of an electronic bill or bank statement is acceptable.
If either you, or your partner are subject to immigration control (any non-British or non-EEA including Swiss nationals), you must both go to a Designated Register Office to register your intent to marry.
You must ensure your ceremony date is at least 70 days after your appointment.
Designated register offices close to Wigan are:
Getting a passport in your new name
You can change your name on your passport before you get married by completing the form below and getting this signed by a registrar.
Complete your section of the form and hand it in at Wigan Register Office. We will complete the outstanding sections of the form and will post your form out to your home address within 24 hours.
There is a £20 fee for this, payable by card only when you hand your form in.