Giving notice of a marriage or civil partnership / booking an appointment

If your marriage or civil partnership has been booked with the appropriate registration service, you can now book your notice, but you must leave at least 28 clear days between giving notice and your ceremony / formation and you can't do this more than one year in advance.

What is a notice of marriage / notice of civil partnership?

A notice of marriage / notice of civil partnership is a legal declaration which must be given individually by each of you in person.

A notice is venue specific and valid for 12 months from the date the notice is given, so before booking an appointment you need to have decided where and when you would like to get married or form your civil partnership and have made a provisional booking with the venue and / or local registration service.

If, after giving notice, you change the ceremony venue or the date is moved beyond 12 months from the date of your appointment, you must give a new notice and pay the fees again.

Your notice must be displayed publicly for 28 clear days before a marriage or civil partnership schedule can be issued. However, if one or both parties to the marriage / civil partnership is subject to immigration control, this legal wait period may be extended, by the Home Office, to 70 days.

Please do ensure that you plan ahead as your marriage or civil partnership cannot take place if the legal preliminaries are not carried out in sufficient time to allow for the marriage or civil partnership schedule to be issued ahead of the ceremony date.

When and where can you give notice?

The requirements are different depending on your nationality. Please read the following information carefully.

If you are British, Irish or an EEA citizen with EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) status granted or applied for before 30 June 2021:

  • you must each give your notice of marriage or civil partnership at the register office in the district where you have lived for the nine days prior to the appointment
  • if you both live in the Central Bedfordshire registration district you can book a double appointment and attend together or can book single notice appointments and attend separately

If one or both of you are a non-EEA national or an EEA citizen without EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) status:

  • one of you must have lived in the Central Bedfordshire registration district for the nine days immediately before giving notice
  • you must book a double notice appointment and attend together

Documents you need to take to your notice appointment

The documents required are prescribed by law and these requirements are slightly different depending on your nationality.

All documents must be originals, we are unable to accept electronic documents.

Please check the details below to ensure you bring the correct documentation as if anything is missing, expired, photocopied or on a mobile device, we won't be able to take your notice and you will need to book a new appointment and pay the appointment fee again.

Please select the relevant option below, depending on your nationality, for details of the documents required for a notice appointment:

Find out what documents you need if you're British, Irish or EEA citizens with EUSS status granted or applied for prior to 30 June 2021

Find out what documents you need if one or both of you are non-EEA or EEA citizens without EUSS status

The schedule will be printed in the district where your ceremony is taking place and will either be retained by the register office, if the ceremony is taking place there or within a licenced venue within that district, or posted to the couple to present to the place of worship in advance of the ceremony date.

How to book a notice appointment

Marriage notice online bookings

Book a notice of marriage appointment online

Civil partnership notice online bookings

Book a notice of civil partnership appointment online

Other ways to book

You can also book an appointment by phone: 0300 300 8089.

If you need more information, please email life.events@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.

What will happen during the appointment?

The registrar will need to see each of you individually and will ask prescribed questions in English. If one, or both, of you does not have, or only has limited, English language skills then they will need to bring a translator along with them. A translator can be a family member, friend or community leader but cannot be the partner in the marriage or civil partnership.

If you or the registrar are not able to understand one another then the appointment will have to be cancelled and rebooked incurring another booking fee.

Please note: We are unable to take bookings for clients where a divorce has not, as yet, been made final and absolute as we will need to see documentary evidence of the legal ending of any previous marriage or civil partnership.

What happens after you've given notice?

Once you have successfully given notice and:

  • the legal wait period has passed
  • any investigations by the Home Office have been carried out (if applicable)
  • any foreign divorce documentation has been cleared by the General Register Office (if applicable)

your marriage or civil partnership schedule will be issued which means that your legal ceremony can take place.