Giving notice of marriage

Coronavirus → Notice of marriage appointments

We now have a limited number of appointments for giving notice. Please only make an appointment if your ceremony date is within the next 3 months. If your ceremony date has changed due to COVID-19 and you need to give a new notice please contact us to arrange your appointment.

The following information relates to marriages or civil partnerships in England and Wales providing both parties :

  • Are over the age of 18
  • Are British or Irish nationals
  • Usually reside in England or Wales
  • Have European Union settled status, pre-settled status, or have a pending EUSS application submitted before 1st June 2021 and can provide a relevant Share Code from the Home Office (you will need to bring the Share Code to the Notice of Marriage appointment).

If either party is a national from a country outside of the EU you will need to refer to the section non EU nationals.

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. Please note we are only accepting bookings for Notice of Marriage appointments if your ceremony is within 3 months time.

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.

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.

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 you have a Decree Absolute in PDF form, this must be printed and brought to the appointment

If you have a foreign divorce, please contact the registrars team for further information. Your Notice of Marriage must be booked for the Wigan Register Office only.

Non EU Nationals

If either party to the marriage or civil partnership is a national of an EU country and does not have settled or pre-settled status (or a pending application), or national of a non EU country you may be subject to immigration control.

This means you must give your notices together at the Register Office covering the district in which you have both lived for the preceding eight days. If you both live in different registration districts you must give your notices together at either Register Office. 

Please note registrars cannot give immigration advice.

Non EU Nationals – What to do next

You will need to provide additional documentation as evidence of your immigration status, please complete the Notice of Marriage appointment form and a member of the Registrars Team will be in contact with you to discuss the documentation you will need.  A Notice of Marriage appointment will then be made for you.

Cost

The cost of giving notice if you are subject to immigration control is £47 for each party (£94 per couple).

If you have a divorce document that was granted outside of the British Isles a further fee of £50 will be payable. If the divorce requires authority of the Registrar General the fee will be £75. The additional fees are payable at the time of your appointment and we will be unable to proceed until the fee is paid and your marriage cannot take place. All documents must be accompanied by a written translation into English.

For further advice please visit the Gov UK website. (external link)

Photographs

Both parties will also need to provide a colour photograph at the time of giving notice unless proof of settled status is provided. Each photograph must be a UK passport style and size and meet the following criteria:

  • It should clearly show your face with a neutral expression.
  • You must not be wearing any head covering (other than for religious or medical reasons).
  • You must be photographed alone with no other person or object in shot.
  • It should be unmarked, unaltered and without tears or creases.
  • It must be a recent photo and show a current likeness.

Abuse of immigration laws

We are working with the UK Border Agency to identify marriages and civil partnerships which seek to abuse UK immigration laws.

Anybody found to be arranging, facilitating or entering into a marriage or civil partnership solely to gain permission to stay in the UK risks arrest or prosecution.

Foreign nationals may also face deportation and be barred from re-entering the UK for up to 14 years.

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.

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