How To Legally Register Your Marriage - Legal Marriage Registration

How to Legally Register Your Marriage

A celebrant ceremony is not a legally binding marriage ceremony, but it is the perfect option for a couple wishing to celebrate their union in a way which is completely personal and unique.

However, if you do wish to legalise your marriage, you will need to register your marriage at a time and place convenient to you.

Samantha’s guide ‘How to Legally Register Your Marriage’ will ensure that you do this correctly, with the lowest fuss, and at the lowest fee too.

How To Legally Register Your Marriage - Legal Marriage Registration

Giving Notice
Both parties will need to attend a register office within the district of their residence to give ‘Notice of Marriage.’

At this appointment, you will need to prove your identity and nationality, your freedom to marry and your residency.  Both parties must have resided at the address for 7 clear days or more.

Full details of this documentary evidence and residency qualifying period is available at

At this appointment you will need to state where you intend to carry out your civil marriage, as the notice is given for a specific venue and if that venue should change, you would need to give fresh notice (and pay again!).

Once you have attended this appointment, your details will be on public display in that registration district for 28 days. Providing there have been no formal objections, your marriage authorities will be issued. These authorities are valid for 12 months from date of issue.

Statutory Ceremony
For a minimum fee you can opt to legally marry in a ‘Statutory Ceremony’ to be held at any Register Office.

This is a low fuss / low fee ceremony where you can simply state the declaratory words and contractual vows legally required to marry in the UK, before signing the marriage register.

You will need to bring two guests as witnesses to this ceremony. However, you do not need to enter to music, say your personal vows, exchange your wedding bands, or wear a big white dress!

Note: Some registry offices only offer Statutory Ceremonies on certain days of the week. However, this ceremony does not necessarily need to take place in the district in which you live. Before giving your notice, check to find a Registry Office which offers a ceremony day to suit you.

Declaratory Words

“I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I, AB, may not be joined in matrimony to CD.”


“I declare that I know of no legal reason why I, AB, may not be joined in marriage to CD.”


By replying “I am” to the question “Are you AB free lawfully to marry CD?”

Contractual Vows

“I call upon these persons here present to witness that I, AB, do take thee, CD, to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband).”


“I AB take you CD to be my wedded wife (or husband)”


“I AB take thee CD to be my wedded wife (or husband)”

Standard UK Fees

Notice of Marriage | £35 per person
Payable to the registration service in which both parties live.

Statutory Ceremony | £46 (+£4 for your marriage certificate)
This is the current fee set across England and Wales.

Total | £120 to legally register your marriage*

What to do next?

  1. Book your celebrant and wedding venue for the celebrant ceremony and marriage celebration – your wedding day!
  1. Book a Statutory Ceremony in any Register Office convenient to you – on any day before or after your wedding day!
  1. Make an appointment with your LOCAL registration service to give your notice of marriage – from 12 months to 28 days before your Statutory Ceremony.


*Information correct at time of publication September 2016. Costs are an indication based on the lowest legal requirment. Some local districts may differ.
Publication written by
Samantha Kelsie | UK Celebrant

Need more information? Download Samantha’s personally written PDF Guide: How To Legally Register Your Marriage

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Best Man Boot Camp by Wedding Speech Guru

A nationwide survey* commissioned by Wedding Speech Guru, reveals that Britain could be heading towards a shortage of best men. Almost half of the UK male population – 43% – would consider turning down the opportunity to be best man because they are so nervous about the prospect of making a speech.

And their nerves would seem to be well-founded. Almost three quarters (74%) of the 2,000 people questioned said that speeches can make or break the wedding. And 79% say that they feel sorry for the best man because of the pressure the speech brings…
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Nearly six out of ten (56%) said that they have heard embarrassing and inappropriate wedding speeches, over a third (35%) have been to weddings ruined by drunken speeches and a third of 18-34 year olds are ashamed of their wedding speech.

With so many best men getting it wrong, Wedding Speech Guru is organising Best Men Boot Camp – a workshop to help men talk about a bridegroom with truth and humour, rather than embarrass him with cheap jokes.

“What many best men don’t realise is that rather than embarrassing the groom, the main purpose of their speech is to commend their friend to the guests,” said Robin Bayley, author and founder of Wedding Speech Guru. Once wedding guests see that a speech is coming from a place of love and respect, they are much more likely to respond with laughter.

At the boot camp, which is being held in central London on July 16th, the best men will learn how to gather their material, hone it into stories that illustrate the groom’s character, and practise delivery in front of the other best men.

But if best men aren’t willing to step up to the plate, it seems that women are. One in five – 20% – of UK weddings have best women rather than best men. Women are judged to make better, less cringe-worthy speeches, less likely to get drunk and also to steer clear of rude jokes about the bride.

62% of Londoners think that it should be normal for women to make wedding speeches, and 57% said that women are more natural because men try too hard to be funny. Nationally 53% of 24-34 year olds believe that women’s wedding speeches are better than men’s.

*Nationwide survey by Populus, March 2016. 2,000 respondents, aged 18+


Wedding Speech Guru was founded by author, life coach and serial best man, Robin Bayley.

Wedding Speech Guru’s mission is to ensure that speeches honour the bride and groom and come from a place of affection and emotional truth. Alongside group workshops, such as Best Man Boot Camp Wedding Speech Guru provides tailor made, one-to-one speech coaching for anyone making a wedding speech. Robin helped to set up Wedding TV in 2008 and is a registered minister, licensed to conduct weddings in California. He has just been asked to be best man for the sixth time.

For more information contact Robin
or visit

Post written by Robin Bayley and publised on