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Giving your notice of marriage or civil partnership

Booking an appointment

Before you can get married or register your civil partnership, you must both give notice in person at your local register office, regardless of where you are holding your ceremony. If you live in Leeds you will need to make an appointment.

Please call 0113 222 4408 to book your appointment. All appointments are at: 

The Register Office 
2 Great George Street 
Leeds
LS2 8BA

Please arrive on time for your appointment as we may not be able to accommodate late arrivals. 

Please see the expandable Documents section on this page for details of opening times and addresses.

When to giv​e notice

You will need to have lived in Leeds for at least 8 days before you can give notice.

If you are a foreign national or are marrying a foreign national from outside the European Union, please see our FAQ section.

After you have both given your notice you must wait at least 16 days before your ceremony can take place. During busy periods there may be 4 to 6 weeks wait for an appointment, so please ensure that you allow plenty of time. Please be aware, it is expected in April 2015 that the law will change regarding the notice waiting period to 28 days.​

A notice is only valid for one year, so you can only give your notice up to twelve months before your ceremony. You must get married or form a civil partnership at the place named on your marriage notice. If you want to change the venue for your ceremony you will need to give a new notice.

Fee

You will need to pay the notice fee of £35 per person when you book your appointment. Please ensure that you have a debit or credit card available.

Documents you must provide

We will need to see evidence of your name, age, nationality, address and, if you have been married before your marital status. Please use our checklist (in the Documents section) for acceptable documents.

Where can I get married if I'm housebound?

A person who is housebound is able to marry in their own home or in a hospital. A doctor must be prepared to sign a statement that the person is not able to be moved for a period of 3 months to a place normally registered for marriage. The statement form can be obtained from your local Register Office and must be signed not more than 14 days before giving notice. Notice of marriage must be given in the district/s of residence of both parties. In the case of the housebound person the notice will have to be taken at home, which will incur an extra fee on top of the usual notice fee. The marriage must take place within 3 months of giving the first notice.

Where can I get married if I'm terminally ill?

A person who is terminally ill is able to marry in a house or hospital. In these circumstances a doctor must sign a letter confirming that he/she is in medical attendance on the person and that the person is terminally ill and not expected to recover. The letter must also state that the person cannot be moved to a place where marriages could normally take place and can fully understand the importance of the marriage ceremony. The marriage can take place once the Registrar General has issued the licence for the marriage. Where necessary this may be on the same day that the arrangements are made although the marriage must take place within one month of giving the notice. Only one notice is given under these circumstances.

Can I get married in prison?

​A marriage can take place in a prison as long as the prison authorities agree that the marriage can be performed there. This agreement must be in the form of a statement signed by the Prison Governor not more than 21 days before you give your notices of marriage. The person in prison must give their notice to the local Superintendent Registrar. As the registrar will normally have to visit the prison in order to take the notice, this will attract an additional statutory fee. The other party to the marriage will also have to give a notice to the registrar of the district in which they live. The marriage, which can be civil or religious, must take place within 3 months of giving the first notice.

Can I get married abroad?

You should first check with the authorities of the country in which you are getting married as to what legal preliminaries for your marriage are needed. Some countries require you to give notice of marriage in this country and to produce a certificate of no impediment in order for your marriage to go ahead. However, this facility exists only in certain circumstances.

Where two British subjects are getting married in a foreign country and both live in England and Wales, notice of marriage must be given by both parties in the district/s in which they have lived for the 7 clear days before giving notice. The informal Certificates of No Impediment can be issued 15 clear days after the date on which the notices were given.

There is no facility for giving notice of marriage where two British subjects are getting married in a British Commonwealth country. If a British subject is getting married to a foreign national in a foreign country notice can be given under the provisions of the Marriage with Foreigners Act. This facility requires the British subject to give notice of marriage in the district, in England and Wales, in which they have lived for three weeks before giving notice. Only one notice of marriage is given and a Certificate of No Impediment can be issued 21 clear days after the notice.

If you are not sure whether you are able to give notice of marriage, or your circumstances are different from those outlined above you should contact us on 0113 2224408.
If possible, you should register your marriage with the British authorities in the country in which you get married. This means that you can then obtain a copy of your marriage certificate in this country if you ever need one in the future.​ ​

How do I arrange a religious marriage?

Church of England or Wales

If you wish to marry in a Church of England or Wales you must normally either live in the parish or worship at the church. You should first speak to the Vicar as there is usually no need to involve the Superintendent Registrar. If the Register Office does need to be contacted the vicar will advise you.

Jewish marriage

Persons of the Jewish religion are able to marry in a private house, hotel or even outside in a garden as long as the marriage is to be conducted according to Jewish religious rites and both parties are of the Jewish faith. The marriage can take place at any time and does not have to be within the usual hours for marriage which are 8am and 6pm.

Other places of religious worship

If you choose to get married according to any other religious rites, the church or religious building must normally be located within the registration district where you or your partner lives. You can only be married in a building in a different district to where you both live ​if either of you go to worship in that building. You may also get married in another district if there is no building of your religion in the district where you or the person you are marrying, lives.

The ceremony will be conducted by a Minister or other religious leader although a registrar must also be present at the wedding unless an Authorised Person has been appointed by the church to register its marriages instead of the registrar. There will be a fee payable for the attendance of the registrar.

After having arranged your wedding at the church or religious building you must contact the Register Office if a registrar is to register your wedding to ensure that you can be married on the day and at the time you have chosen. You will also need to give a formal notice of marriage.

Can I make a provisional booking for a wedding?

Please call 0113 222 4408 to make a provisional booking.

​If you want to reserve a ceremony date and time, you can make a provisional booking up to 3 years in advance by payment of a booking administation fee of £25. If you change the date and/or time of your provisional booking you will need to pay a new administration fee.

This fee is non-refundable and does not form any part of the ceremony or notice fee.

For all provisional bookings, we will agree a date with you by when you should attend an appointment to give your notice. You cannot get married unless you give notice.

Ceremonies at licenced venues and religious buildings

If you are booking your ceremony at a licenced venue or you need a registrar to attend your ceremony at a religious building you must first ensure that the registrar is available before you confirm any other arrangements.​​

What happens at a marriage or civil partnership ceremony?

A civil marriage or a civil partnership cannot have any religious content.

We have a choice of ceremony wording which the registrar will discuss with you when you give notice. The ceremony wording options are available in the documents section. You can have music as part of your ceremony.

If your ceremony is taking place in a licenced venue or on Fridays and Saturdays at the Leeds Town Hall you can also add reading to enhance your ceremony.

On the day

Before ceremony the registrar's will interview the bride and groom to make sure all the details for the marriage are correct.

Guests and the groom will be conducted into the ceremony room.

The bridal party will enter the ceremony room (usually to music).


The registrar leading the ceremony will introduce the ceremony, ask the bride and groom to declare their marriage vows and exchange rings.

The bride, groom and witnesses will sign the marriage register or if it is a civil partnership, the partnership schedule. (Background music is usually played during the signing).

Photographs are usually taken at this point.

The registrar will give the couple a copy of their marriage certificate and invite guests to be upstanding.

The bride and groom will exit the ceremony room, followed by the bridal party and guest (usually to music).

What is the minimum age to get married or have a civil partnership?

The minimum age for marriage in this country is 16 years. If either of you is aged 16 or 17 you will need to provide proof of consent to your marriage from either your parent(s), guardian(s) or the court(s). Please contact us on 0113 222 4408.​

What is a notice of marriage/civil partnership?

​A notice of marriage or civil partnership is a legal declaration that you plan to get married or register a civil partnership. You must also declare that there is no reason why your marriage or civil partnership cannot take place.

The notice states the names, age, marital status, address, occupation and nationality of the person intending to marry or form a civil partnership. It also states the venue of the ceremony.

All notices are displayed on the public notice boards at the register office for 15 clear days. The 'marriage authority' or 'civil partnership schedule' may then be issued, allowing your ceremony to go ahead. Your ceremony cannot take place without this.

If you plan to get married in the Church of England, you should see your local vicar who will arrange for the Banns of Marriage to be published.

What if I am a foreign national?

If you are a foreign national from outside the European Union or are marrying a foreign national from outside the European Union you must give notice in a district which has been designated for that purpose. Leeds is a designated district.

Member states of the European Union

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Please consider if you need to apply for a visa. Please note that marriage in this country, and even to a British citizen, gives no automatic right to remain here.​​​

Further information can be found at GOV.UK, please click here.

What is the cheapest way to get married?

The £49 wedding is the basic ceremony option. Your ceremony will take place in the Brodrick Suite. However, only two guests are allowed that will act as your witnesses. No music or readings are available. This ceremony is only available on the last Monday of each month.

So the total cost for the cheapest marriage/civil partnership will cost £119. This includes giving notice of marriage £35 each and the £49 wedding.​

How do I arrange a same sex Marriage?

​From 29 March 2014 the Same Sex Marriages Act allows for a same sex couple to marry in a civil ceremony in England and Wales. It also allows for a religious marriage ceremony to take place where the religious organisation has “opted in” and the minister agrees to conduct the ceremony.

The same requirements for arranging a marriage will apply to all marriages ie for same sex and mixed sex couples. Please see “Giving your notice of marriage or civil partnership”.

Please note that if you have already given notice to register a civil partnership you will need to give a new notice if you choose instead to have a same sex marriage. You will need to pay a new notice fee.

At a later date (to be announced) it will be possible for existing civil partners to convert their civil partnership into a marriage. A fee will be charged.​​

GOV.UK site for further information regarding same sex marriage

How do I convert my civil partnership to marriage?

Couples will be able to convert their CP at any Register Office and won’t need to give “notice”. The conversion process is an administrative process that takes place within a register office.

In Leeds city centre, conversions are held at 2 Great George Street where it will be registered  and a certificate will be issued. You will need to book and attend for the administration conversion procedure which will take place in one of the interview booths and takes about 20 minutes.

If you want a Registrar to perform a ceremony you can have it at Leeds Town Hall or at any approved premises but the actual administrative conversion process can only be done separately beforehand  at 2 Great George Street as this venue does not allow for ceremonies. You will need to provide evidence of your identity and the original CP registration and will need to sign statements to confirm that you have not dissolved your CP and wish to convert it into a marriage.  

Fees
There will be no fee if you had your civil partnership ceremony before same sex marriage was an option (29 March 2014) as long as you convert by 9 December 2015 (this gives you a year). After this the fee will be £45 for all couples, including those who had a civil partnership before marriage was an option.

If you had a civil partnership after 29 March 2014 or have one in the future then you will have to pay the full fee, regardless of when you convert.

All couples will have to pay for any ceremonies involving Registrars.

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