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Real Weddings: What Does, ‘Giving Notice Of Marriage,’ Involve?

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From One Engaged Couple To Another…

We are like you, in the throes of wedding planning ourselves! Our minds are full of never ending to do lists, coupled with apprehension and nerves due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Having run weddings for over 10 years, we had never actually discussed with any of our couples, ‘giving notice of marriage.’ So, when it came time for us to give notice, we had absolutely no idea what to expect.

Becca, who suffers from anxiety, was really worried she would ‘fail’ this meeting with the registrar. Not that that’s an option, but non the less she said it still felt extremely nerve wracking – almost like you are waiting to go in for an exam.

On The Day…

We had our meeting at Colchester Library, and when we went in, were asked to be seen one at a time.

I went first, with my passport and utility bill to confirm my identity, whilst Bec’s waited outside. Then I was asked a series of simple questions:

· Full name

· Partners full name

· Our date of births

· Our address

· Both our occupation

· Both our Dads (Step - Dad) occupation

· Have either of you been married before

Once these details had been given, the registrar went over them with a fine tooth-comb to make sure they were correct. She printed them out, I read them to double check they were accurate, and then both of us signed the relevant forms together.

Becca’s turn followed, she was asked the same series of questions and the same details were checked.

She said afterwards that it definitely wasn’t what she expected. She said she was surprised how simple and easy it was!

Double Check, Triple Check…

Luckily, Becca is extremely thorough when reading documents and she noticed an error on the papers I had signed. I think I was that caught up in the moment, I hadn’t even noticed that both our dates of birth were out by a few digits! Fortunately, it was a quick amend which could be done there and then!

Moral of the story, don’t be like me - make sure you double check the papers for any errors before signing!

What Happens After Signing The Documents?

Once a notice is complete and information is gathered, it goes on display for 4 weeks to give time for any objections.

An objection could be made, for example, if you were already married.

So, providing all details are correct, and you aren’t already married (which we hope you wouldn’t be!), after 4 weeks, you have officially, ‘given notice of marriage.’

A few things to note:

· Check with your registrar on length of time your notice is valid, rules and regulations. Ours is effective for 12 months at The Hares field venue in Essex.

· Venue - In terms of where you are having your wedding, if for some reason this change, you may have to give notice again.


Here’s a helpful round up of, ‘giving notice for marriage’:

· You must sign a legal statement at your local register office to say you intend to get married or form a civil partnership. This is known as ‘giving notice’.

· You must give notice at least 29 days before your ceremony - for example, if you give notice on 1 May, the earliest date you can get married or form a civil partnership is 30 May.

· You must hold your ceremony within 12 months of ‘giving notice’.

· You need to pay a fee to give notice at the register office. It’s usually £35 per person.

· You usually need to make an appointment to give notice at your local register office.

· You must have lived in that registration district for the past 7 days.

· You and your partner will need to give notice separately if you live in different registration districts. You do not have to do this on the same day.

For further detailed information on giving notice of marriage, please visit here:

Final Note…

Unfortunately, Covid-19 has meant we have had to postpone our ceremony a number of times and at the minute, we are like many other couples, stuck in limbo, awaiting a new date.

We are told that our notice is still valid, due to circumstances out of our control, but it could be different for others, and in the future, so double check, triple check, the rules and regulations, when you come to this part of your planning.

Hope this was helpful for those a little confused, or nervous about giving notice for marriage.

Good Luck and if you need any other help with your preparations, be it finding the perfect venue, supplier, wedding tips, inspiration and advise, please visit here: or feel free to ping across an email here:


Debbie and Becca x

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