Giving notice is a formal declaration of your intention to marry.
Before you can get married or form a civil partnership, both you and your partner are legally required to attend a giving notice appointment in person at your local Registration Office. Giving notice is a formal declaration of your intention to marry.
At your giving notice appointment, the Registrar will see you separately and ask you a series of questions about yourself and each other to ensure that you are free and legal to marry. You will need to provide basic personal details such as your names, age, marital status, address, occupation, nationality and the intended venue for your ceremony. You will then sign the notice document which details the information you have provided.
You must both have lived in England or Wales for seven full days immediately before you give notice. It doesn't matter if either of you moves to a different address once you have given notice. If you live in Staffordshire, you will need to give notice at a Staffordshire Registration Office. If you live outside of Staffordshire, you must give notice at the Registration Office in the district where you have lived for seven full days immediately prior to you giving notice.
You will need to have confirmed your venue before you give notice as your marriage can only take place at the venue you name on your notice of marriage. If you were to change the venue after giving notice, it would be necessary to give notice (and pay the fee) again.
You can give notice from 12 months before the date of your marriage and this must be done no later than 28 days prior to your ceremony. Your authority for marriage is valid for 12 months from the date notice is given.
You must both have lived in England or Wales for seven full days immediately before you give notice. It doesn't matter if either of you moves to a different address once you have given notice.
Giving notice costs £35 each, and you must both give a separate notice of marriage.
If you have booked an appointment and cannot attend it, contact us to get a refund of your giving notice fee.
Please note: if you have attended your giving notice appointment and later decide to cancel your ceremony, the giving notice fee would not be refunded.
Proof of identity
- A valid passport or you can prove your identity with the following:
- Birth Certificate
Please note: If you're born after 1983 and do not hold a valid UK passport, you will need your full birth certificate and your mother's birth certificate.*
*Applicable to British Citizens / UK Nationals only
Proof of address
You will also need to supply proof of your address by providing one of the following documents, which must also show your full name:
- Valid driving licence.
- Utility bill: Dated no more than 3 months before the date on which notice is given.
- Bank or building society statement or passbook: Dated no more than 1 month before the date on which notice is given.
- Council tax bill: Dated no more than 1 year before the date on which notice is given.
- Mortgage statement: Dated no more than 1 year before the date on which notice is given.
- Current residential tenancy agreement.
- Letter from the owner of the address where you live. This letter must have the owner's full name, address and signature. It must also state that you've lived at the address for 9 days or more.
If either of you have been married before, you will also need:
- Proof of the termination of your previous marriage by death, divorce or nullity.
- If your divorce papers have not been issued in England or Wales we will need to see the original divorce document and a translation. There may also be a delay in issuing the authority for marriage.
If either of you have changed your name legally before such as through deed poll or a solicitor, you will also need:
- Proof of name change.
If either of you are under 18, you will also need:
- Proof that your parents (or legal guardians) agree to the marriage.
- If your parents are divorced we may need to see the court order that gives custody to one of your parents. The Registrar can help with this.
Your notices will be displayed on the public notice boards of the Registration Office in which they were given.
If your paperwork is complete and after waiting a clear 28 days, an authority for your marriage to take place will be issued and printed directly by the Registrar who will be conducting your ceremony.
This is a legal document which allows your marriage to take place and is valid for 12 months from the date you gave notice.
If you don't live in Staffordshire but want to marry here, you must give notice at the registration office in the district where you have lived for seven full days immediately before you give notice.
If you live in Staffordshire but are marrying elsewhere you must book the time and location with the office in the area you want to marry. You then need to give notice at one of our registration offices
If either partner is not an European citizen and wish to get married in the UK, then you will both need to give notice at a designated register office (22 KB).
Church of England
When you have set the date, make an appointment to see the incumbent of the church you intend to marry in.
Church of England clergy are authorised Registrars so there is no need to give notice at the Register Office. Banns are read in each parish on three Sundays before the wedding to announce your intention to marry.
If you wish to marry in a Catholic Church, you need to speak to the parish priest to make arrangements but a notice of marriage must be given at your local register office.
Other religious denominations
Marriages which are conducted according to the rite of other religious denominations also require a notice of marriage to be given at your local register office.
If the priest or minister is not authorised to solemnise marriages, a charge will be made for the Registrar to attend of £84.00.