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
Please arrive on time for your appointment as we may not be able to accommodate late arrivals.
When to give 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.
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.
You will need to pay the notice fee 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 see the FAQ section for more information.
Frequently asked questions
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.
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.
Whats happening with the marriage (same sex couple) act 2013?
The act is still going through the parliamentary process and will likely become law in summer 2014.
It will allow same sex couples to marry in a civil or religious ceremony (where the religious organisation has "opted in" to conduct such ceremonies and the minister of religion agrees).
The act will also enable civil partners to convert their partnership to a marriage, if they wish and will enable married individuals to change their legal gender without having to end their marriage.
No further details have yet been released.
What documents will I need to bring?
You will need to bring documents to prove your name, age, nationality, address and, if you have been married before, your marital status.
Name, age and nationality
We will need to see a passport, Home Office travel document or a UK full birth certificate. If you were born after 1 January 1983 and cannot produce a passport, you must also provide one of your parents’ UK full birth certificates or passport as well as your own certificate.
If you only have a birth certificate you will need to provide further evidence of your identity, such as a driving licence, ID card or bank statement. If you were born abroad and are not a British citizen a national identity card or driving licence issued by the authorities of your country may be accepted if it states your nationality. It must show your photograph and if it is not in English you should provide a translation.
You will also need a deed poll or any statutory declaration documents if you have changed your name.
You will need a driving licence or utility bill/bank statement showing your current address and dated within the last 3 months.
If either of you has been married before or has been in a previous civil partnership, either in this country or abroad, and you are now divorced or the partnership has been dissolved. You will need to show proof of your divorce or that the partnership has ended. If you divorced in England or Wales this will be a court stamped copy of the decree absolute. If you were divorced anywhere else you will need to produce the original document issued by that country and an English translation, if appropriate. Please note, if your divorce documents were issued in another country, approval must be granted by the Registrar General before you can get married. Therefore, it is advisable that you give notice as soon as possible.
If the name on the divorce decree absolute or civil partnership dissolution does not match the name on the proof of identity we will also need to see the relevant previous marriage/civil partnership certificate(s).
If your former spouse/partner has died you will need to show us a certified copy of their death certificate, and an English translation if the certificate is in a foreign language.
If you have already been through a valid marriage to each other previously either in this country or abroad - and that marriage has not ended. You cannot mmarry each other again in this country.
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 note that marriage in this country, and even to a British citizen, gives no automatic right to remain here.