Getting married in England may be a simple thing you might think – it’s all the planning ideas that aren’t! But there could be some things you need to know about that you hadn’t realised. So, today, I’m going to talk to you about how to get legally married in England.

By the way, I’m talking about England (and Wales), not the UK – there are different laws for getting married in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

When can you get legally married?

You can get legally married in England if:

  • You are aged 16 or over (But if you’re under 18, you need your Parent’s permission)
  • You’re not already married or in a civil partnership
  • And also, that you’re not closely related to each other!

If you or your Partner are not from the UK, you must apply for a Visa to get married. That depends on where you or your Partner are from and where you want to live after you’re married. To find out more information, visit the Gov website.

Which Ceremony

The first thing to decide is whether you want a religious or civil ceremony.Legally married in england wedding ceremony

A religious ceremony

These can take place in a church or religious building

Same-sex couples can get married in a religious building if it’s registered for same-sex marriages.

The other option is a Civil Ceremony.

These can take place either at a registry office or an approved venue (Have a look at my recent blog on Venues for your DIY Wedding in Shropshire for some examples)

One thing to know, though, is if you’re getting married at approved premises, you still need to book the registrar separately. Venues are unlikely to do this for you, so check with them when you book.

What you can and can’t do

During Civil Ceremonies, you can have readings, songs, or music, but they can’t be religious

When to get married

Church weddings can take place any time between 8am and 6pm. Civil marriages are dependent on the Registrar and the Venue where you want to get married.

How to get legally married in England

You need to confirm your intent to get married before your Wedding day. There are two ways to do this depending on which Ceremony you’re having;

Legally married in england - Civil Ceremony


Giving Notice

If you’re having a civil wedding (either registry office or Approved Venue), you need to give notice at the local registry office. Before giving notice, you must have lived in the district for the past seven days.

You need to sign a legal document, which also shows details of the venue where you’re getting married.

Notice needs to be given at least 29 days before your Wedding day, and you need to hold your Ceremony within 12 months of giving notice.

Religious/Church CeremoniesLegally married in england church ceremony

You will need to have your Banns read before you can get married in Church – just like giving notice, it shows your intention to get married.

The banns need to be read in the Parish where each of you lives as well as the Parish of the Church where you’re getting married if it’s different.  

The Banns will be read during the Sunday service for three consecutive weeks before your Wedding within three months leading up to your Ceremony.

For more information on how to get legally married in England, visit the Gov Direct website or your local registry office.

There is another alternative…..

Don’t forget; there’s a third option to get married – although not legal, you could choose to have a celebrant-led Wedding. For more details on these, read a recent blog that I wrote Celebrant or Registry Ceremony

For more help with planning your Wedding, why don’t you get in touch with me to see how I can help you.  Drop me a What’s App message or email me.

(Images: Unsplash)