Getting married abroad

Overview

If you wish to get married or form a civil partnership abroad, you must contact authorities in your chosen country to find out about legal requirements.

A useful starting point is the tool on GOV.UK.

Ensuring your overseas marriage or civil partnership is recognised

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.

Records of overseas marriage or civil partnership

You will not be able to register your overseas marriage or civil partnership with the Registration Service of England and Wales.

We do not keep a record of people who have married outside of England and Wales. Therefore, 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.

Certificate of No Impediment (CONI)

If you are a British national, you may be asked to obtain documentation from the United Kingdom authorities. This is known as a Certificate of No Impediment (CONI).

Countries impose different expiry dates for this certificate, so check this before contacting us.

To obtain a CONI, you will need to book an appointment to give notice. See our Giving notice page.

 

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, it must be completed by the Legalisation Office. It is your responsibility to contact the Legalisation Office. You must allow plenty of time for them to process your request.

For more information, see our Request a certificate is legalised or apostilled page.