Getting married

Changes to marriage registrations from 4 May 2021

From 4 May 2021, you'll no longer sign a marriage register or be given a marriage certificate during the ceremony, instead you'll sign a Marriage Schedule. This is a one-page document which contains the details of both people getting married which are needed to register a marriage.

After your ceremony has taken place the registration officer will keep the signed Marriage Schedule and return it to the register office to add the details onto the electronic register, as soon as possible. Your certificate will be posted out or you can arrange to collect it within 7 days. If your ceremony took place in a religious building, other than a Church of England building, you will need to apply for any copy certificates you need. You can learn more on our copy certificate webpage.

Each person is still required by law to give a notice of marriage and the marriage ceremony will remain the same, it's only the way in which a marriage is registered that will change.

2. Notice of intention

Appointment only

You must make an appointment with the Register Office to give your notice of intention to marry. At the appointment you'll need to provide the confirmed date and time of your ceremony. Once you have this call us on 0161 217 6007 to book your appointment.

Due to high demand the Register Office is prioritising appointments for giving notice of marriage. Only contact the office if your ceremony is taking place within the next 6 months.

Before you can marry in a register office, approved premises or non-Anglican church, you must both give notice of your intention to marry. A fee of £35 per person will be charged for giving each notice.

Legal notice may be given up to 12 months before the date of the wedding. The notice is a legal statement, which can only be given and signed by the persons getting married. You cannot ask a friend or relative to give notice for you. The notices must be given in person and not online.

The following conditions apply to giving notice of your intention to marry:

  • you must both have lived in a district in England and Wales for 7 completed days before the date you both give notice of your marriage
  • this is normally your home address. Notice must be given to your local register office where you've acquired this residency
  • if you both live in the same district it's recommended that you attend the register office together to give your notices
  • if you live in a different district to the person you're marrying, you must give notice in both districts

If you choose to marry in a register office or approved venue outside the district where you live, you must first contact the Superintendent Registrar of the district where the venue is located, to make a provisional booking with them.

After you've given notice, you must wait at least 28 days after both notices have been given before your marriage can take place.