Although not the most romantic part of planning a wedding, getting your paperwork in order is definitely one of the most important. To help ensure you’ve crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s, we’ve put together a list of all the documents you need before you can say ‘I do’.
What kinds of weddings are possible in the UK?
As @TransferWise says, ‘UK law recognizes both civil and religious weddings. Civil ceremonies can take place at a register office or approved venue.’ As of 2014, same-sex couples are able to get married in England and from 2018, male/female couples have been permitted to enter into civil partnerships. The type of ceremony you choose comes down to your personal preference and depends on what you want from your future relationship.
Although you’re allowed to get married from the age of 16 in the UK, you’ll need parental consent if you’re under 18 and want to get hitched in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. Make sure you secure this all-important permission before you book a venue or plan your reception to ensure your efforts aren’t for nothing.
It’s best to give notice with your local registry as soon as you have booked your venue. You will need to provide the date of the wedding and desired ceremony time in order to reserve the registrars. However, the notice is only valid for 12 months, so if you have booked well in advance, you will need to wait before giving notice. Don’t worry, we will give you all the details at the point of booking, and our personal wedding managers will remind you about this at your planning meeting in case you forget!
Proving your identity
When giving notice of your marriage, you and your partner will need to prove that you are who you say you are. In order to prove your identity, take along your passport, a UK birth certificate or a national identity card from the EU, EEA or Switzerland. If you come from outside the EU, talk to your registry office about which documents you need.
Proving your address
You’ll also need to prove your address when giving notice of your marriage. In order to do this, you’ll need to have a valid UK, EU, EEA or Swiss driving licence, a gas, water or electricity bill from the last three months, a bank or building society statement from the last month, a council tax bill from the last twelve months or a mortgage statement from the last twelve months. If you don’t have any of these documents, you can take along a copy of your tenancy agreement or ask your landlord to write a letter confirming you live at your address.
Documents to show any previous marriages have ended
If you’ve previously been married, you’ll need to take along documentation to show that your previous marriage has ended and that you’re free to marry again. The documentation you need will depend on whether you’ve been widowed or your previous marriage ended in divorce.
You’ll also need to bring along details of the venue you’ve chosen for the wedding. It’s important you choose a venue that’s licenced for weddings or civil partnerships, otherwise, you may find your marriage isn’t legal.
Find out more about planning the perfect wedding, and browse our exclusive use venues, by exploring our site today.