If you wish to get married abroad, you must contact the authorities of the country you have chosen about the legal requirements to be completed before your marriage or civil partnership takes place.
Processes vary greatly according to which country you have chosen. It is your responsibility to make sure that you fulfil the necessary requirements to ensure you have a legal marriage or civil partnership.
You may be asked to obtain documentation from the United Kingdom authorities if you are a British national, but this is not always the case. If you are requested to obtain a Certificate of No Impediment (CONI), the Registration Service is usually able to provide this. Countries impose different expiry dates for this certificate so check this before contacting us.
Please note that you will not be able to register your overseas marriage or civil partnership with the Registration Service of England and Wales.
This means that as we keep no record of people who have married outside of England and Wales, if you ever require copies of your marriage certificate, or other information relating to the marriage, you will need to contact the authorities in the country where you married.
2 Apostille or legalisation stamp
Check with the authorities in the country you want to get married in whether your documents need to be stamped with an apostille (a stamped official certificate) or legalisation stamp to confirm that they are genuine.
If this is a requirement, you will need to allow extra time for this to be completed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
It is your responsibility to contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, who will do this for you.
Check if your documents need to be translated before leaving the UK.
You can apply to the General Register Office (GRO) for a Multilingual Standard Form (MSF). This form will translate specific fields from a Certificate of No Impediment (CONI) into the official EU language required.
You will need to send the original CONI issued by the Registration Service to the GRO.
If the MSF service is not suitable for you the Association of Translation Companies may be able to assist you.
Your overseas marriage or civil partnership should be recognised in the UK as long as you have followed the correct process and contracted a legal ceremony in the country you have chosen.