Legal formalities for marriage

The formalities that you need to go through when you get married.

Giving notice of marriage

You will need to give notice of your marriage in your local registration district. If you and your partner live in different areas, you will both need to give notice in your own district, unless you are subject to immigration control.

A nationally-set, non-refundable fee is payable for each notice of marriage.

When you can give notice

In order to give notice of marriage in a registration office, you must have lived in that district for a minimum of seven days (immediately before you give your notice). If you are coming from abroad the day of arrival does not count and notice cannot be given until the ninth day. For example, if arrival day is Tuesday, notice cannot be given until the following Wednesday.

The earliest date the notice of marriage can be given is 12 months before the wedding ceremony. Normally, 28 clear days' notice is required. For example, if you give notice on 1 May the registration can take place on or after 30 May. In some cases the Notice period may be extended to 70 days.

Making an appointment

If you live in Oxfordshire you will need to make an appointment to give notice at a registration office.

Contact us to find out the latest about  booking ceremonies and giving notice.

If you live outside Oxfordshire, please contact your local register office for advice.


As with all legal events, you will be asked to produce evidence of your full name, nationality, age and proof of current address. Acceptable documents are listed below:

Please note: original or certified copies of documents are needed and photocopies are not acceptable.

Proof of identity

British citizens born before 1 January 1983

  • Current valid passport or
  • Birth certificate and photo ID with evidence of current name or
  • Naturalisation certificate and photo ID

British citizens born on or after 1 January 1983

  • Current valid passport, or
  • Naturalisation certificate and photo ID or
  • Full birth certificate and photo ID with evidence of current name, together with evidence of your parents' nationality (passport or birth certificate).

EEA nationals

  • Current valid passport, or
  • National ID card

Foreign nationals

If you are a foreign national, in addition to proof of full name, age, nationality and address you will also need to provide evidence of your settled status in England and Wales. If you are unable to provide this, you will be referred to the Home office and the waiting period for your marriage may be extended to 70 days. You will also be required to provide a photograph for you and your partner.

Acceptable documents are listed below:-

  • Current valid passport or
  • Valid Home Office Travel Document
  • Proof of Settled Status
    • Indefinite Leave to Remain/Enter or
    • Current EEA residence permit with Indefinite Leave to Remain/Enter
    • Marriage visa
    • Note: If you do not have or cannot provide evidence of settled status in England and Wales then contact us.
  • Proof of current address
    • Council tax bill (current year)
    • Household bill (dated within last three months)
    • Bank statement(dated within last month)
    • Valid UK driving licence
    • A letter signed by the owner/occupier of the house who is able to confirm your residence over the previous seven days
  • Evidence of marital status
    • a decree absolute
    • foreign divorce document with English translation. A fee will apply to clear the divorce.
    • Death certificate(if your husband/wife or former civil partner has died)
    • Dissolution certificate (from a previous civil partnership)

If you're under 18 or have changed your name

If one or both of you are under the age of 18 years, or have changed your names, you will need to provide us with one or both of the following documents:

  • evidence of change of name (by Deed Poll / Statutory Declaration)
  • parental consent, if under 18 years of age and not previously married or in a civil partnership.

Foreign nationals

If you are subject to immigration control, you will be required to give notice of marriage to a registrar at one of 75 designated register offices in England and Wales. You must attend the register office together (in Scotland and Northern Ireland, all register offices are designated, and notice of marriage is normally given by post).

For detailed information, visit the UK Visas and Immigration website.

Who will attend


Two registrars will attend a civil wedding: one to conduct the ceremony and the other to register your marriage.


All registrations and ceremonies are held in English so if either one of you cannot speak or understand English then you must provide an interpreter. Please discuss this with the registrar who takes your notice of marriage, to be sure the legal requirements are met.


You will need two witnesses. They can be friends or relatives, but should be over the age of 16 and able to speak and understand English.