Marriage and Civil Partnership arrangement and ceremony
If you wish to marry in England or Wales, you may do so either by civil or religious ceremony.
Civl Partnerships are by civil ceremony only.
A civil ceremony can take place in a Register Office or other building licensed for marriages and civil partnership ceremonies. The ceremony is conducted by a Registration Officer; it must be of a strictly non religious nature. A religious ceremony can take place in a church, chapel or other building of religious worship which has been formally registered for marriage ceremonies. The service is conducted by the minister in accordance with the religious rites and ceremonies of the premises.
- Approved Premises Since 1st April 1995, the Marriage Act 1994 has allowed suitable privately owned premises to be licensed for marriage ceremonies and since 2005 for civil partnership ceremonies, offering a vast choice of type, location and cost. You may marry or have a civil partnership ceremony at any approved premises in England or Wales. To book a marriage or a civil partnership at an Approved Premises, contact the proprietor of the building. You will also need to book Registration Officers to conduct the ceremony A list of venues licensed for marriages and civil partnerships in Rutland can be found on Marriages - Licensed Venues in Rutland
- Church of England or Church in Wales If you wish to be married in either of the above you or your partner would generally have to live within the parish of the church, or be a regular worshipper. If the minister is able to marry you, he/she will arrange for the Banns to be called or for a Common Licence to be issued. The marriage will also be registered by the minister, and there is generally no need to involve the local Superintendent Registrar. If the Register Office needs to be contacted, the vicar will advise you.
- Other Places of Religious Worship The church or religious building in question must normally be located within the registration district where you or your partner live, or, if outside the district, be a place of regular worship for either or both of you. The service will be conducted by the Minister of the venue, but occasionally a Registrar is required to register the marriage To book a marriage at any of the above venues, contact the Minister of the Church, and the local Superintendent Registrar, where necessary. The above information is a general guide only. For marriages outside England or Wales, or marriages of people with special needs or requirements, contact the Superintendent Registrar (see below) for advice.
The Legal Formalities
Unless you are marrying in the Church of England of Church in Wales by Banns or Common License, notice of marriage or civil partnership has to be given by each of you personally to your local Superintendent Registrar(s). Both of you must have lived in a registration district in England or Wales for at least seven days immediately before giving notice at the register office. If you both live in the same district, you will each give notice at the same office. If you live in different registration districts, you will each give notice separately in your own area. A notice of marriage or civil partnership is valid for twelve months. You may therefore not give notice of marriage or civil partnership to the Superintendent Registrar more than twelve months before the date of your ceremony. A notice of marriage or civil partnership is valid only for the venue named on the notice. Whereas it may be possible to alter the date of your marriage or civil partnership (provided it is before the expiry date), a change of location would require a fresh notice and fee. After giving notice you must wait a further fifteen clear days before the marriage or civil partnership can take place (for example, if notice is given on 1st July, the marriage or civil partnership may take place on or after 17th July). BOTH authorities or the schedule for the civil partnership, must have been issued on or before the day of the marriage or civil partnership.
- To book a Register Office Wedding, attendance of Registrars at a Licensed Venue or give notices of marriage please phone 01572 758370 to make an appointment.
Documents Required by Law to give notice of Marriage or Civil Partnership
When you attend before a Superintendent Registrar to make formal arrangements, you will need to produce certain documents to confirm your name, age, marital status and nationality. Preferred documents are:
- A current valid full passport (or, where appropriate, a Home Office Travel Document, a Standard Acknowledgement letter, or a national identity card) OR, if unavailable,
- A birth certificate and a second document such as a bank book/statement, Council Tax or utility bill etc.
- If you have been widowed, the death certificate of your former spouse.
- If you are divorced, a decree absolute bearing the court's original stamp.
- Deed Poll documents if you have changed your name.
- A completed parental consent form if you are under 18 years of age.
Parties subject to Immigration Control
Where one or both of the parties is subject to immigration control, notices of marriage or civil partnership must usually be given to the Superintendent Registrar of a "Designated Registration District". Rutland is not such a District. Please contact the Superintendent Registrar about this.
You will each be charged a fee of £35.00 per person when you give notice. Plus
- A marriage or civil partnership at the Register Office will be £49 payable on the day.
- A marriage or civil partnership at approved premises will incur a fee to the proprietors of the premises, and a fee for the attendance of the Registration Officers, which is variable depending on the day on which the ceremony takes place.
- A marriage at a Place of Religious Worship will incur a fee to the Minister of the Building (variable); in addition, if a Registrar is required to register the marriage, a fee of £80 is payable on the day.
- A marriage at a Church of England or Church in Wales does not generally involve the Register Office; enquiries regarding fees must be directed to the Minister of the church.
All fees are subject to annual review.
Searching the Marriage Indexes
You can search through the marriage Index - see Marriage - historical searches. If you find the appropriate record you can purchase a copy marriage certificate from the Registrars Office. Although the indexes are not yet complete for all years, the database will eventually cover all marriages for the years 1837 to 1950.
Purchasing Copy Marriage Certificates
See General - Copy Certificates
You may also wish to search the marriage indexes (see above) to ensure you have all of the information required