When to give notice
The legal minimum period of notice is 29 days, but it is never advisable to leave it as late as this.
A notice of marriage can be given up to 12 months in advance to the date of your ceremony. You must give at least 28 clear days' notice from the date of your ceremony.
Where a foreign national is involved, you may come under the Home Office Referral Scheme. If so, please note that the waiting period may be extended from 28 days' notice to 70 clear days.
If someone has been divorced in another country it may be necessary to refer the details to the General Register Office. Sometimes this causes delays beyond 28 days but we must still wait for the divorce to be cleared before the ceremony can take place.
Do I need to have a ceremony booked before I can give a notice of marriage?
What if my partner doesn't live in Havering?
If you and your partner live in different registration districts, each of you must give notice separately in your own district - ideally on the same day or within a few days of each other. It is helpful if the person living in the district where the ceremony is to take place gives their notice first.
Do I have to live somewhere for a certain amount of time before I'm classed as a resident?
Yes. The minimum period for living in a district before being able to give notice is 7 clear days. If you are making special arrangements to become resident in a district for the minimum period because you usually live or work abroad for example, you can't count the day you arrive in the district as a day of residence and you must give notice on the day immediately following a qualifying period of residence.
You must be able to produce documentary evidence that you have been resident for at least the minimum qualifying period.
What should I do if I want to get married outside the district I live in?
If you plan to marry or form a civil partnership outside the district where you are giving notice, you should check with the register office of the district where the ceremony is taking place that a Registrar is available to conduct the ceremony.
What if I have been married before?
You will need to provide proof that any former marriage or civil partnership has ended:
A court-stamped Decree Absolute or Dissolution
If your divorce document records your previous married surname but you have now reverted to maiden name and wish to re-marry using only your maiden or other surname, please also bring a linking document such as the previous marriage certificate. If your passport shows your married name, then this will be included on the marriage licence and normally also the marriage certificates for your upcoming ceremony as you are relying on this as proof of current usage of name at time of notice.
Death certificate of your former partner
Any widows, widowers, or surviving civil partners that are not mentioned on the death certificate as the partner of their previous spouse must also bring their former marriage or civil partnership certificate.
If any document was issued in a foreign language we will need a translated document as well as the original. The translation can be effected by anyone other than the couple, as long as they are able to provide a full translation (including of any stamps on the document), certify that it is a true and accurate translation of the original document, and provide their name and address.
What if I am under 18 years of age?
You will need to provide a full birth certificate and bring completed consent forms from parents and/or guardians.
Contact us for the appropriate forms beforehand.
Is there a cost?
Yes, when you make your appointment online you are charged a booking fee of £35 or £47 which is non-refundable. When you arrive at your appointment this booking fee is transferred to your notice fee on production of all the correct documentation and your notice being taken.
Notice Fees are £35 per person, or £47 per person for a notice in scope of Home Office referral scheme.
How long is notice valid for?
A notice of marriage or civil partnership is valid for 12 months but only for the venue you choose at the time of giving notice.
What do I need to do if I want to get married abroad?
Many foreign countries will allow you to marry there only if you can demonstrate that you would have been allowed to marry in the UK. To do this you may ask for a Certificate of No Impediment. These are not needed for all countries.
Contact your wedding planner/travel agent or embassy/consulate for the country you want to marry in for the requirements.