So, you have finally tied the knot and had your dream wedding. Congratulations! Now it is time for the less exciting part – the paperwork. Getting your official marriage certificate is an important next step, even if it is not the most fun one. But do not worry, we have got you covered. This step-by-step guide will walk you through exactly what you need to do to get your marriage certificate in the UK.
Apply for a Marriage License in the UK
To get hitched in the UK, you will first need to obtain a marriage license. This establishes your legal right to marry and typically needs to be obtained in the area you plan to wed.
You will both need to provide proof of name, age, identity, and UK citizenship or immigration status. Acceptable forms of ID include passports, birth certificates, or naturalization papers. If either of you has been married before, you will also need to provide evidence that previous marriages have legally ended.
Once you have gathered the necessary documents, you can apply for your marriage license. Most register offices require appointments for license applications, so call ahead and schedule one. At your appointment, you will submit your documents, go over the details of your marriage, and pay the license fee, which is typically around £35 to £95 depending on where in the UK you are marrying.
Your marriage license is only valid for a limited time, usually 3 to 6 months, so you will need to have your wedding ceremony within that window. On your actual wedding day, you will need to provide the officiant who is performing the ceremony with your marriage license before saying your “I do’s”.
After the ceremony, your officiant will sign and date the license to legally register your marriage. They will then typically mail the signed license to the local register office on your behalf within 7 days of the wedding. Once received, your marriage will officially be registered and you can order certified copies of your marriage certificate for legal and personal use.
Congrats! With some paperwork and patience, you will have your marriage license and be on your way to wedded bliss. Best of luck to you both!
Schedule and Attend Your Wedding Ceremony
To officially get hitched in the UK, you will need to schedule and attend your wedding ceremony.
First, decide on the type of ceremony you want. The two most common options are civil ceremonies and religious ceremonies. For a civil ceremony, contact your local register office to check availability and book a date. Religious ceremonies will need to be scheduled with your place of worship.
Once you have a date set, it is time to arrange the legal preliminaries. You will need to provide notice of your intent to marry by submitting official forms, known as marriage notice forms, along with proof of identity and copies of birth certificates for both parties. This must be done at least 16 days before a religious ceremony and 28 days before a civil ceremony.
On your wedding day, do not forget to bring the marriage schedule or marriage certificate given to you by the registrar when you posted notice of your intent to marry. The ceremony cannot proceed without it! After exchanging your vows and rings in the presence of the registrar and your witnesses, you will sign the marriage register to legally finalize your union.
Congratulations, you are married! Your marriage certificate will be issued to you on the spot. This legal document proves your change in marital status and will be needed for many post-wedding administrative tasks, like changing your name and updating records. Cherish this piece of paper – it signifies the start of your new lives together as partners.
Register Your Marriage in the UK
To officially register your marriage in the UK, you will need to schedule an appointment at your local register office. This is where you will provide some important documents and information to legally record your marriage.
Find your local register office
The first step is locating your local register office. You can search on the gov. uk website by entering your postcode. Give them a call to schedule an appointment to register your marriage. They will need at least 15 days’ notice for your appointment.
Gather the necessary documents
To register your marriage, you will need to provide certain documents as proof. Make sure you have your marriage certificate or ceremonial papers from your wedding. You will also need proof of identity for both you and your spouse, such as passports, birth certificates, or driving licenses. If either of you has been married before, bring the final divorce or dissolution certificates.
Provide additional details
At your appointment, you will need to provide some key details about your marriage:
- The date and location of your wedding ceremony
- Your full names and occupations
- The names and occupations of your parents
- If you plan to change your name, provide your new surname
The registrar will record these details and make sure all the information is accurate before finalizing the registration of your marriage.
Receive your marriage certificate
Once everything has been verified and recorded, you will receive your official marriage certificate. This is an important legal document that serves as proof of your marriage. You will need it for many post-wedding tasks like applying for a passport in your married name, updating records with HMRC and DVLA, or adding your spouse as a beneficiary to insurance policies.
Congratulations, you are now officially registered as a married couple in the UK! Be sure to keep your marriage certificate in a safe place.
Receive Your Provisional Marriage Certificate
Once you have completed your marriage ceremony, you’ll receive a provisional marriage certificate from the officiant. This temporary document serves as proof your marriage took place, but it is not the official legal record. To obtain your official marriage certificate in the UK, you’ll need to register your marriage with the local register office.
Registering Your Marriage
Within 7 days of your wedding, schedule an appointment at the register office in the district where the marriage occurred. Both newlyweds must be present to provide some basic information like their names, ages, occupations, addresses, marital statuses, and parents’ names. You’ll also need to bring your provisional marriage certificate, proof of identity for both spouses such as passports or birth certificates, and proof of address for both spouses like utility bills or bank statements.
At your appointment, the registrar will review all the details about your marriage including the date and location of the ceremony as well as information about witnesses. They will check that there are no legal impediments to your marriage. As long as everything is in order, you and your spouse will sign the marriage register to formally register your marriage.
Receiving Your Certificate
Once registered, your official marriage certificate will be available in about a week. You can obtain copies of your marriage certificate for a small fee, typically around £11 per copy. Your local register office will mail your certificate or notify you when it’s ready to be picked up. Extra copies are useful to have for changing your name on official documents like passports or for providing proof of marriage status.
Your official marriage certificate is an important legal document recognizing your marriage in the UK. By registering your marriage and obtaining certified copies of your marriage certificate, you can prove your marital status and legally change your name if desired. Keep your original certificate in a safe place, as you’ll need it for many official purposes going forward.
How to Order a Marriage Certificate Copy
To get a copy of your marriage certificate in the UK, you’ll need to apply through the General Register Office (GRO). The GRO holds records of all marriages, births, and deaths registered in England and Wales.
The easiest way to order a copy of your marriage certificate is to apply online through the GRO website. You’ll have to create an account, provide some details about your marriage like the spouses’ full names, the date and location of the marriage, and pay the required fee, which is currently £11. After your application is processed, the certificate will be mailed to you within 5 to 10 working days.
Apply by Phone
You can also apply for a marriage certificate copy over the phone by calling the GRO Certificate Ordering Service at +44 (0)300 123 1837. Have the same details about your marriage ready to provide to the agent. The certificate will be delivered within 7 to 14 days.
Apply by Post
If you prefer, you can apply for a marriage certificate copy by post using an application form from the GRO website. Fill out the form with your marriage details, and mail it along with the required fee and proof of your identity to the address specified. Your certificate should arrive within 2 to 3 weeks.
For all application methods, be prepared to provide a valid government-issued photo ID as proof of identity for one of the spouses named on the marriage certificate. Acceptable forms of ID include passports, driver’s licenses, and national ID cards.
Ordering a copy of your marriage certificate through the GRO is a straightforward process. With a few details about your marriage and the proper identification and fees, you can have a certified copy of your marriage certificate delivered right to you, whether you apply online, over the phone, or through the post.
And just like that, you’ve walked through getting your official marriage certificate in the UK. While the process involves some paperwork and waiting, following the outlined steps will ensure you receive your certified document to commemorate your special day. Now you can frame your certificate, add it to your wedding album, or file it away for safekeeping. However you choose to showcase or store your marriage certificate, you’ll always have the legal document and memories of the milestone it represents. Congratulations again to you and your spouse – now get out there and celebrate! The honeymoon awaits.