Marriage and civil ceremonies
Herefordshire is a beautiful county and offers a wide range of venues.
A ceremony must be held in a permanent building and can take place at one of our register offices or other premises approved by Herefordshire Council (for example a hotel, castle or country house). If you don't live in Herefordshire you can still hold your ceremony in the county. You will need to give notice of marriage in the district in which you live. You should first contact our ceremony co-ordinator to check availability and when you have chosen your date and agreed this with the venue, you should book a Registrar to attend the ceremony.
You can find all the information and guidance you need to get married on the government's web pages on marriages and civil partnerships.
Before you make your appointment, you must have read and understood all the information on this page, particularly the section about what you need to bring with you to the notice appointment.
By law you must give a notice of marriage or notice of civil partnership, which is a formal declaration of your intention to marry or form a civil partnership in England or Wales.
The marriage/civil partnership can only take place at the venue you name on the notice(s). If you change the venue you will have to give, and pay for, the notice(s) again, so you need to have booked your venue before you can give notice. The notice(s) will only last for exactly 12 months from the date of the appointment.
Changes for those subject to immigration control
Immigration laws changed on 1 July 2021 to reflect changes brought about following the exit from the EU. Legislative updates regarding immigration will impact the process of taking notices of marriage and civil partnerships.
On 1 July, all register offices in England and Wales became specified offices, this means that where one or both parties is subject to immigration control, notice of marriage or civil partnership will need to be given together at a district where either one or both parties reside.
If you are entering the UK for the purpose of marrying or entering into civil partnership you must check with the UKVI that you have the correct visa to do so. This would usually be a marriage or civil partnership visa. The Registration Service are unable to offer any advice regarding immigration matters, please contact the Home Office.
Abuse of immigration laws
We are working with the Home Office to identify marriages and civil partnerships which seek to abuse UK immigration laws.
Anyone found to be arranging, facilitating, or entering into a marriage or civil partnership solely to gain permission to stay in the UK risks arrest or prosecution. Foreign nationals may also face deportation and be barred from re-entering the UK for up to 14 years.
What is the notice of marriage/civil partnership?
A notice is a signed legal statement that is displayed on the register office notice board for 28 clear calendar days. It includes the names, age, marital status, address, occupation, and nationality of the people intending to marry or form a civil partnership. It also states the intended venue for the ceremony.
After 28 clear calendar days, the schedule can be issued on the 29th day after your appointment. This is only valid for 12 calendar months and only for use in the venue stated. If you change your venue or move your ceremony outside of the 12 calendar month validity period, after giving notice, you will need to give fresh notices, including showing all documents, waiting the 28 clear calendar days and paying the fees again.
You will need to provide evidence of your name, age, nationality, marital status, address, and immigration status.
If the correct documents, as listed below, are not available at your appointment we will be unable to take your notice - you will need to make another appointment.
Only original documents are accepted, we cannot accept photocopies. However, where proof of address is required a printed copy of an electronic bill or bank statement is acceptable.
Each person giving notice must provide one document from each of the sections below. Some documents such as valid passports can be provided as evidence in multiple sections.
Name and date of birth
- Valid passport
- British Birth certificate - your full birth certificate must be provided, and you must also provide another document confirming your current name, for example a valid driving licence (provisional or full), bank statement (no older than one month), utility bills (no older than three months), Council Tax bill (only this financial year)
- If you have changed your name from birth - you may need to provide the evidence of the name change, for example, a change of name deed or marriage certificate
- Valid passport
- British naturalisation certificate
- British birth certificate
- If you were born before 1 January 1983 your full birth certificate must be provided
- If you were born on or after 1 January 1983, your full birth certificate must be provided, and you must also provide a birth certificate or passport for one of your parents, who were born in the UK. If your parents were married at the time of your birth, or your birth has been re-registered after their marriage, then either of your parent's birth certificates or passports can be provided; otherwise, only your mother's birth certificate or passport can be provided or evidence of your parent's British Citizenship (must have been issued before your birth)
- Valid UK photo card driving licence (full or provisional) showing your current address
- Utility bill - gas, electric, water, broadband or landline bill dated no more than three months before the date of your appointment. We will accept printed copies of your electronic bills
- Bank or building society statement dated no more than one month before the date of your appointment. We will accept printed copies of your electronic statement
- Council Tax or mortgage statement dated no more than one year before the date of the appointment. We will accept printed copies of your electronic statement
Proof of marital status (if you have been previously married or formed a civil partnership)
- Divorced in the UK - an original court stamped copy of your decree absolute/civil partnership dissolution. If you have reverted to your maiden name you must provide your marriage certificate
- Divorced anywhere else - If your divorce was not granted in a UK court, you will be required to pay a fee at the time of your appointment for consideration of the validity of the documentation. This fee does not guarantee that the document will be approved
Some divorces/dissolutions can be approved at your notice appointment for a fee of £50*.
However, in many cases the documentation will need to be sent off to be considered by the General Register Office for a fee of £75**.
We are unable to determine which fee will be payable, until you provide the documentation at your appointment. You must also provide a translation of the document (if applicable) at the time of giving notice.
- Former spouse/civil partner has died. You will need to provide a copy of their death certificate. If you are not named as spouse on the death certificate, you will also need to produce your marriage certificate
- You must provide a translation of any documents (if not already in English) at the time of giving notice
Proof of immigration status
Please note: If either party is a national of an EU country and does not have settled or pre-settled status (or a pending application) or is a national of a non-EU country you may be subject to immigration control.
This means you must give your notices together at the Register Office covering the district in which you have both lived for the preceding 7 clear days. If you both live in different registration districts you must give your notices together at either Register Office.
Registrars cannot give immigration advice.
In addition to the documents you need to provide when giving notice, you must provide evidence of your immigration status:
- Proof of settled, pre-settled or pending EUSS status, including the 9-digit alphanumeric share code from the GOV.UK website
- Valid Biometric residence permit
- Valid UK visa/entry clearance in passport
- Valid Home Office endorsement in passport
- Valid UK residence permit in passport
If you do not have the correct proof, your marriage will be referred to the Home Office, who may decide to extend your notice period for 70 days if they wish to investigate further. The marriage cannot take place until approval is granted by the Home Office. For more information see the Marriages and civil partnerships page on GOV.UK.
Both parties will also need to provide a colour photograph at the time of giving notice unless you are a British, Irish national or you can provide proof of settled status. Each photograph must be a UK passport style and size and meet the following criteria:
- It should clearly show your face with a neutral expression
- You must not be wearing any head covering (other than for religious or medical reasons)
- You must be photographed alone with no other person or object in shot
- It should be unmarked, unaltered and without tears or creases
- It must be a recent photo and show a current likeness
How much will the notice cost?
There are statutory fees for giving notice they will be either £35 per person or if referred to Home Office Immigration £47 per person.
* Consideration by a Superintendent Registrar of a divorce/civil partnership dissolution obtained outside of the British Isles - £50.
** Consideration by the Registrar General of a divorce/civil partnership dissolution obtained outside of the British Isles - £75.