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The legal preliminaries for your wedding

In Cumbria, please book your wedding ceremony before arranging to give notice.

Before you can marry, there are certain formalities which are required under law.  You must both attend the Register Office in the district in which you live to inform them of your intention to marry.  This is called giving notice and you must attend in person.

To give notice of your marriage, which takes approximately half an hour for each party, you should make an appointment to see the Superintendent Registrar in the district where you live.

You will each be required to give an individual notice.  If you live in the same district, then both notices will be given in the same office.  If you live in separate districts, you will be required to each give notice in the district in which you live.

After giving notice you must allow at least 28 clear days before you can marry. For example, if you give notice on the 1st day of the month the earliest you would be able to marry would be the 30th of that same month. Your marriage must then take place within twelve months of the date you gave notice.

The Superintendent Registrar will tell you when your authority to marry is due to be issued.
If you are marrying in another district, you will need to take these certificates to that district before the day of the wedding.

Please note:
Unfortunately we are unable to take bookings for those who do not have the legal capacity to marry. For example, in cases where divorce proceedings are still underway, and have not been fully completed, or where the appropriate visa's may not yet be in place.
If you are in doubt about your own circumstances please speak to one of our offices and a member of the team will be able to advise you further.

Giving Notice

Giving notice means that you are declaring that you are both free to marry each other and will require you to provide certain documents. You may do this up to one year before the date of your wedding. When you give notice, the Superintendent Registrar will ask questions about you and your partner. You will both need to provide evidence of your full name, date of birth, nationality, current residence, a consent form (if either of you is under 18 years of age) and (if previously married or in a civil partnership) proof of the end of that relationship. In order to do this, you will each need to produce the following documents:-

 

Evidence of Full Name, Date of Birth, and Nationality

 

Current passport OR

 

1.     If you were born in the United Kingdom before1st January 1983 - your full birth certificate together with one of the following original documents - 

  •       A utility bill dated no more than 3 months before the date of your notice appointment.

  •       A Bank/Building Society statement or passbook dated no more than 1 month before the date of your notice appointment.
  • A Council Tax Bill dated no more than 1 year before the date of your notice appointment.
  •   A mortgage statement dated no more than 1 year before the date of your notice appointment.
  • A current residential tenancy agreement.
  • A valid driving licence.

   2.     If you were born in the United Kingdom after 1st January 1983 - your full birth certificate together with one of the following original documents -

 

  •         A utility bill dated no more than 3 months before the date of your notice appointment.

  •       A Bank/Building Society statement or passbook dated no more than 1 month before the date of your notice appointment.

  •      A Council Tax Bill dated no more than 1 year before the date of your notice appointment.

  •       A mortgage statement dated no more than 1 year before the date of your notice appointment.

  •       A current residential tenancy agreement.

  •       A valid driving licence.

  •  PLUS evidence of either one of your parents British citizenship or settled status in the UK at the time of your birth (their full birth certificate or passport).  NB - If your parents were married at that time and your mother was not British then we also need to see their marriage certificate. If your parents were not married to each other at the time of your birth, your nationality will be that of your mother.

  Evidence of Place of Residency 

  •       A utility bill dated no more than 3 months before the date of your notice appointment.
  • A Bank/Building Society statement or passbook dated no more than 1 month before the date of your notice appointment.
  • A Council Tax Bill dated no more than 1 year before the date of your notice appointment.
  • A mortgage statement dated no more than 1 year before the date of your notice appointment.
  • A current residential tenancy agreement.

  • A valid driving licence.
A letter from the owner/proprietor of the address which is your current residence which confirms this is your place of residence, that they are the owner/proprietor, their full name and address, and which is signed and dated by the owner/proprietor within one month of the date of the notice appointment.

 

Evidence of Ending of Previous Marriage/Civil Partnership (if applicable)

 

  • One of the following original documents:-
  • Court sealed certified copy of your Decree Absolute.  Please note that for documents in a foreign language a translation should also be provided which must be certified, signed, and dated by the translator.  Some foreign divorce certificates must be sent for clearance by the General Register Office before the marriage can go ahead.
  • The death certificate of your previous spouse or civil partner
  • The presumed death certificate of your previous spouse or civil partner.

 

Evidence of Consent

 If either of you is under the age of 18 years, you will need to produce a fully completed consent form (available from your local Register Office). 

 

Immigration Issues

 If you are subject to Immigration Control please contact your local designated Register Office for advice.

 

Abuse of immigration laws & 'sham marriages'

We actively work with the UK Border Agency to identify marriages which seek to abuse or by-pass UK immigration laws, and which are seen as 'sham marriages'. The Cumbria Registration Service will report any such activity which it feels may be, or lead to, abuse of immigration law, and anybody found to be arranging, facilitating or entering into a marriage solely to gain permission to stay in the UK risks arrest or prosecution. Foreign nationals may face deportation and be barred from re-entering the UK for up to 14 years.