Giving notice of marriage or civil partnership

What is 'giving notice'?

Giving a notice of marriage or civil partnership is a legal requirement and involves attending an appointment at a register office where you will declare:

  • who you intend to marry or form a civil partnership with
  • where the ceremony will take place
  • that you are legally free to get married or form a civil partnership.

Check notice requirements if you are holding a ceremony at a religious venue.

If you are getting married abroad and require a Certificate of No Impediment (CONI), you will need to book an appointment to give notice. More information can be found on our Getting married abroad page.

Appointment information

  • If you live in the county of West Sussex you will need to arrange an appointment to give notice at a West Sussex register office.

    If either or both of you live outside of West Sussex you will need to give notice at a register office in the district(s) where you live.

  • We recommend giving notice at least 6-8 months prior to your ceremony date.

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

  • Original or certified copies of documents are required - photocopies are not acceptable.

    You will need to produce evidence of your full name, nationality, immigration status, age and current address. See full details of acceptable documents on GOV.UK.

    Below is a checklist of documents you need to take which may assist you:

    1. Details of the venue for your ceremony.
    2. Proof of identity (A person born in the UK before 1st January 1983 is a British by birth, otherwise nationality is taken from the mother (or father if they were/have since married/formed a civil partnership)).
    3. A valid British passport or
      • if you were born before 1st January 1983 your short/full birth certificate
      • if you were born after 1st January 1983 your full birth certificate (which includes your parent’s details) and
        • a copy of your mother’s birth certificate/passport or
        • if your father was/has since married or formed a civil partnership with your mother, and he is British, you can show a copy of his birth certificate or passport and a copy of your parent’s marriage or civil partnership certificate
        • if your parents were born on or after 1st January 1983, you will need to show proof of your grandparent’s nationality. If this applies to you please contact us ahead of your appointment and we will be happy to advise you of exactly what you need to bring.
    4. Proof of your home address (see details on GOV.UK).
    5. Proof of any name changes.
    6. If you are divorced - your decree absolute or final order (if your name is different on your decree absolute you will need a linking document, for example, marriage certificate).
    7. If you are a widower or widowed - your late partner's death certificate.

    If you or your partner are from outside the UK:

    1. A passport sized photo for each of you (even if only one of you is from outside the UK) (if you have ILR or right of abode or you fall under the EU/EEA settled or pre-settled status scheme - you do not need to provide photos).
    2. Proof of your current immigration status (for example, your visa).
    3. A translation of any documents that are not in English.

    If you’re from the EU, EEA or have settled or pre-settled status:

    You’ll need to bring confirmation of either:

    1. your settled or pre-settled status. You’ll need to bring a ‘share code’ which you can get from the view and prove your immigration status (the code is valid for 30 days), or
    2. an application to the EU Settlement Scheme you made on or before 30 June 2021, which you’re waiting for a decision on - you’ll need to bring your certificate of application.
  • Notice fee for marriage or civil partnership:

    • £42.00 to £57.00 per person.

    You will be advised of the fee applicable to you when we confirm your appointment.

    The fee is non-refundable and must be paid when you book.

    Consideration of foreign divorce documents:

    • £55.00 or £83.00.

    The fee charge depends upon whether the divorce can be considered locally or needs to be referred to the General Register Office.

    This fee is collected at the time of booking your notice appointment.

Before you book an appointment

Ensure you have:

  • booked your venue and ceremony
  • checked you have the correct documents (see above).

If you do not have the correct documentation with you at your appointment you will not be able to give notice. You will still be charged.

If you cannot obtain the correct documentation and reschedule your appointment in the legally required time, you will not be able to hold your ceremony.

Ready to book your giving notice appointment?

If you've got all the correct documentation and have booked your ceremony, you're ready. Complete the form and we'll contact you to confirm your appointment.