Notice of marriage for a civil ceremony in a registration office or approved building licensed for marriages

What is a Notice of Marriage?

This involves the completion of official forms before the Superintendent Registrar.

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It is a legal requirement that notice of marriage is given separately by each person to be married. The Notice must be given personally to the Superintendent Registrar or Deputy of the District where the couple usually reside, preferably on the same day. Cornwall is one registration district with 12 Registration Offices and you can give notice at any one of these 12 offices if your normal residence is in Cornwall. For more information or to make an appointment to give notice, please telephone the Registration Information Service on 0300 1234 181 between the hours of 8:30am - 6:00pm Monday to Friday.

Residential Qualification

Each party must have been living in a Registration District in England or Wales for at least 7 full consecutive days and nights immediately preceding giving notice and each party must give notice at the Registration office for the district they have resided in.

Documents to be produced

You are required to produce evidence to the Superintendent Registrar of your current full name, current address, age, nationality and marital status. Please see the section on 'Documents to be produced'

Notice Period and Authorities

The waiting period for a Notice of Marriage is 28 clear days for all couples.  For persons subject to immigration control please refer to the Getting Married in the UK page.

Once the notices are given a minimum of 28 clear days must elapse before the marriage can take place. So if notice of marriage was given on 1st June the marriage could take place at the earliest on the 30th June. After the 28 clear days are completed Marriage Authorities are issued by the Superintendent Registrar and it is these authorities which enable the marriage to take place.

Please note: Due to our Registration Offices not being open over the weekend, and to allow your paperwork to be processed and ready for your ceremony we ask that wherever possible there be no less than 5 weeks between your Notice of Marriage appointment and the date of your ceremony.

Usually up to one year ahead of your wedding date. Notices of marriage are valid for one year and couples will be expected to give their notices as soon as it is legally possible in order to secure a booking.

Booking the Registrars

If you intend to marry in a Registration Office or Approved Building within England or Wales, outside your district(s) of residence, then you must book the officiating Superintendent of that District before notices of marriage are entered at your local Registration Office. This is to ensure the availability of Registrars.

Approved Venues

A marriage contracted in an Approved Building (eg. stately home, hotel, castle etc) is only lawful if the building has been granted a licence by the local authority. Licences are only valid for three years. You must ensure, therefore, that the Approved Building has a licence that is still valid on the day of your marriage.

In addition you should book the officiating Superintendent Registrar first before you book with the Approved Building.

  • Please note - Depending on your nationality and immigration status you may also be required to provide additional information, evidence and photographs.  Please check the requirements with the Registration Information Service on 0300 1234 181 between the hours of 8:30am - 6:00pm Monday to Friday before making an appointment to give notice.
  • All Persons are required to produce either a full birth certificate (showing parents' details) or a current, valid passport. If you are British and were born after January 1983 and do not have a current valid passport you will also need to produce additional documents to prove your nationality. Please contact the Registration Information Service for further advice. Telephone 0300 1234 181 as above.
  • To confirm your address a document such as a full driving licence, rent or council tax document, utility bill, bank statement or National Health Service card must be produced. If your usual place of residence is not in England or Wales and you are setting up a temporary residency in Cornwall in order to fulfill the legal residential requirements you need to be resident for at least seven full days and seven full nights immediately prior to the day you attend to give your notices of marriage. You will need to provide proof of your residency such as a receipted invoice for paid accommodation or a letter from the householder if your stay was with family or friends.  For further information on how the seven days are calculated please contact a member of the registration staff.
  • Persons from abroad are required to produce identity documents e.g. passport, identity card, Home Office travel document.
  • Persons under 18 years of age must submit written consent from the appropriate parent / guardian / authority. The Superintendent Registrar has forms for this purpose.
  • Widowers or widows are required to produce proof of death of their former spouse e.g. death certificate certified by a Registrar.
  • Divorced persons are required to produce a decree absolute bearing an original court seal. If the divorce took place in a foreign country, the original document should be produced. Where the document is not in English a translation of the divorce document, which can be made by a friend or relative of the parties providing they add their name and address and certify it as a true and accurate translation, should be provided. Some foreign divorces require clearance from the Registrar General and the Superintendent Registrar can arrange this.
  • If a name has been changed by deed poll or statutory declaration, then these should be produced.

Please Note: The Registration Officer cannot accept photocopies of any documents.

If you require any further information please telephone the Registration Information Service on 0300 1234 181 between the hours of 8:30am - 6:00pm Monday to Friday.