Registering your marriage probably isn’t the highest thing on your wedding planning ‘to do’ list - but it is one of the most important. Unless you are getting married in the Church of England then it’s a legal requirement for you to give notice (register) your intent to marry.
Sometimes it can feel quite complicated - so I am going to share with you everything you need to know about registering your marriage in Bedfordshire.
DO I NEED TO GIVE NOTICE (REGISTER) MY MARRIAGE?
Unless you are getting married in the Church of England then you must register your intent to marry at your local registry office. If you don’t do this then your marriage won’t be legal.
Weddings that are taking place abroad have a different process to follow. If you are having a destination wedding you can get more details about what to do on the government website.
WHEN DO I NEED TO GIVE NOTICE?
Notice MUST be given at least 28 days prior to your wedding date. Don’t leave it until the last minute though - you can give notice up to a year before your wedding day, so make it a priority.
WHERE DO I GIVE NOTICE?
Both you and your partner need to give your notice at your local registry office. It doesn’t matter where in the UK you are getting married, you still need to give your notice locally. For example if you live in Bedford but are getting married in Bournemouth - you must give your notice in the Bedford registry office.
WHAT IF WE DON’T BOTH LIVE IN THE SAME PLACE?
If you live in a different part of the country to your partner you will both need to give notice separately at your own local registry office.
MY PARTNER IS NOT BRITISH, DOES THAT MATTER?
If one or both of you are not British / EEA nationals you will need to give your notice at a special designated registry office. You can click to see a full list of those here.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
You must have lived in the district where you are registering your intent to marry for at least 7 days (some places require more so double check)
You must know the location and date of your ceremony in order for the marriage to be registered (so make sure that is booked first)
You will need to provide ID documents at your appointment, this should be confirmed with you when you book, but if you are unsure what you need, please check your local registry office website.
You will be charged for your appointment, so include it in your wedding budget. Charges vary so again check with your local office.
Once you have given notice it will be displayed publicly in the registry office for 28 days.
I LIVE IN BEDFORDSHIRE, WHERE SHOULD I GIVE MY NOTICE?
There are a number of registry offices across Bedfordshire, you will need to contact the one in your district.
Dunstable Registry Office (Soon to be moving to Watling House)
If you do not live in Bedfordshire or are unsure which is the correct registry office for your district then click here.
Still unsure if you need to give notice of your marriage, answer our questions below:
Are you getting married in a wedding venue? If yes, you need to register your marriage.
Are you getting married in a registry office? If yes, you need to register your marriage.
Are you getting married in a church or religious building that is not Church of England? You will need to register your marriage.
Are you getting married in a church of England church? You do not need to do the above, you need to speak to the church about how they give notice for you
Are you getting married abroad? Your process may be different, you need to check the government guidelines here.
If you still have questions about how to register your marriage, just leave a comment below! Hopefully this guide has helped you understand the process - now go and book your appointment!