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Get married or form a civil partnership

Find out what you need to do to get married or form a civil partnership.

  1. Step 1

    Getting married or forming a civil partnership - Notice of Intention from 1st July 2021

    Most couples must give notice of intention before they can be married or form their civil partnership in England or Wales – this is a face-to -face interview with a registrar and cannot be given by proxy, in writing, or online.

    By the time you book an appointment with a Register Office to give notice of intention, you must have decided on the licenced venue where you want to marry or form a civil partnership.

    Warning There are different rules depending upon your nationality and immigration status. The different rules are outlined in the sections below.

    Convert a Civil Partnership to a marriage

    See our civil partnership web page to find out what a civil partnership is and how to convert one into a marriage.

  2. Step 2

    Choose your perfect wedding or ceremony venue from a variety of venues in Bath and North East Somerset (including heritage sites, hotels, converted barns, museums, art galleries and our own registration offices at the Guildhall in Bath: Alkmaar Room, Abbey View Room.

    If you want your wedding or ceremony to take place at a church or other religious building, contact the minister or other person in charge at the church or building to find out how to book your ceremony.

    Getting married abroad

    You may also need to give notice of intention if you plan to marry or form a civil partnership abroad. Please call the Bath and North East Somerset Register Office on 01225 477234 or Alternatively, visit GOV.UK for more information about getting married or forming a civil partnership abroad.

  3. Step 3

    To book an appointment to give notice of marriage please call the Register team on 01225 477234.

    You are advised to book your notice of intention appointment in good time prior to the ceremony date. There are large numbers of couples seeking to give notice this year, and waiting times are longer than usual.

    You are required to provide proof of any name changes, at the appointment.

    Please note, if you change the location of your marriage or ceremony, you will have to give notice of intention again.

    If you are British, Irish or a European Economic Area (EEA) national or family member of a European Economic Area (EEA) national with Settled status, pre-settled status or have applied for settled status before 30 June 2021

    Both you and your partner are legally required to give notice of your intention to marry or form a civil partnership, at least 29 days before your any ceremony takes place. A notice of intention is valid for 12 months from the date of issue.

    If you are Non-British, an EEA national without settled status, pre-settled status or an application for settled status pending which was submitted before 30 June 2021 or a non- EEA national without indefinite leave to remain or without a marriage or civil partnership visa

    You must give notice of your intention to marry of form a civil partnership at least 71 days  before any ceremony is due to take place.

    Documents required for the appointment

    Nationality What you need to bring with you 
    All nationalities

    The supporting documents required to be brought to the notice of intention appointment are:

    • Details of the final venue for your ceremony. If the venue changes after giving notice you will need to apply and pay for a new notice.
    • Various documentation. This is different depending on your circumstances and is listed below. You must each bring the following original documents to your notice appointment:
    • The name and address of your marriage or civil partnership venue
    • Your current valid passport

    You must also bring proof of your address which must be one of the following:

    • Water, gas or electricity bill (must be dated within the last three months)
    • Council Tax Bill (must be dated within the last year)
    • Mortgage Statement (must be dated within the last year)
    • Driving licence (must be valid and in date)
    • Bank Statement (Must be dated within the last month)

      The bank statements must be the original statements posted to your home, or online statements you have printed. If you are bringing online statements, the registrar will ask to see the debit or credit card for that account, or to see the online banking app on your phone to confirm the account details)

    If either you or your partner is:

    • Not British
    • Not Irish 
    • Don’t have settled status
    • Don't have pre-settled status
    • or don't have an application for settled status pending for European Settlement Scheme submitted before 30 June 2021

    In addition to the usual documentation you will need to bring:

    • one Passport sized photo for each of you
    • proof of the current immigration status for all non-EEA nationals
    • translated versions of any documents you are required to bring

    Find a list of supporting documents you need to give notice of marriage or civil partnership on the GOV.UK website.

    Previously divorced or dissolved civil partnership, including foreign divorce

    You will also need to bring your final divorce or dissolution document, with a translation by a named third person (e.g. not you or your partner) if not in English. This does not have to be an official translation from a translation service or Embassy.  

    If you have been married or had a civil partnership more than once, we only need to see the divorce or dissolution documents from your last marriage or civil partnership.

    Additional costs for consideration of divorce/civil partnership dissolution documents
    Fee Place of divorce Exceptions and notes
    £0
    • United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland)
    • Channel Islands
    • Isle of Man
    None
     £50 per divorce that
    needs consideration
    •  Australia
    • Barbados
    • Bermuda
    • Canada
    • Fiji
    • Irish Republic
    • Jamaica
    • Kenya
    • New Zealand
    • South Africa (excluding Bophuthatswana, Ciskei, Transkei and Venda)
    • Tanzania
    • Zimbabwe
       
    If your document does not match the official example divorce/dissolution we have on file from that country, the fee will be £75.
    £50 per divorce that
    needs consideration
    • All USA (excluding Nevada and Guam)
    • Austria
    • Bulgaria
    • Hungary
    • Germany
    • Poland
    • Romania
    • Russia
    • Sweden

    If either of the parties to the divorce/dissolution were not nationals of the country the divorce/dissolution took place in, the fee will be £75.

    If your document does not match the official example divorce/dissolution we have on file from that country, the fee will be £75.
     

    £75 per divorce that needs consideration All other countries,
    territories or circumstances

    In circumstances where your paperwork cannot legally be cleared locally, there is a requirement for certified copies of your divorce paperwork to be submitted to the General Register Office for clearance.

    The registration officer will submit this for you during your notice appointment.

    Please note that your marriage/ civil partnership will not be able to take place until the General Register Office has advised us that the paperwork you have supplied is sufficient to prove you are free to marry/form a civil partnership.

    Widow / Widower or a surviving civil partner

    You will need to bring:

    • You will need to bring your spouse or civil partner's death certificate, with a translation by a named third person (e.g. not you or your partner) if not in English. This does not have to be an official translation from a translation service or Embassy
    • Marriage or civil partnership certificate, with a translation by a named third person (e.g. not you or your partner) if not in English. This does not have to be an official translation from a translation service or Embassy

    If you or your partner have changed your name

    You will need to bring proof of name change.

    If you or your partner are under 18

    You will need to bring the completed parental consent form. You can collect one from us before your notice appointment.

    If you or your partner don’t speak English well

    If either or both of you cannot speak English, you will need to bring someone to the appointment who can interpret for the non-English speaking partner(s). Partners cannot interpret for each other.

    Warning If you do not bring an interpreter when one is required, we will be unable to take your notice and you will be required to book and pay for a new appointment.

    Where to give notice

    Find a register office on GOV.UK

    If you are both British, Irish or EEA nationals with settled or pre-settled status you must give notice of intention in the District where you live, even if this is not where you are holding the ceremony. If you and your partner live in different areas, you need to give notice separately, although this doesn't have to be done at the same time.

    If either you or your partners nationality is NOT British, Irish or an EEA national with pre-settled status, you can give notice of intention together, in any designated register office in England and Wales where one or both of you live.

    For the Bath and North East Somerset Register Office, call us to make an appointment at any of our offices listed below 01225 47 72 34

     
    Register office Hours

    Bath register office, Guildhall, High Street, Bath BA1 5AW

    View on a map

    Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm

    Keynsham One Stop Shop, Keynsham Civic Centre, Market Walk, Keynsham BS31 1FS

    View on a map

    Tuesday 10am to 4pm

    Midsomer Norton Library and Information Service, The Hollies, High Street, Midsomer Norton BA3 2DP

    View on a map

    Thursday 10am to 4pm

  4. Step 4

    Once you have booked (or provisionally booked) your venue, you then need to book a registrar to conduct your marriage or ceremony (there is a fee for this which is explained below). Civil ceremonies are conducted by registration officers (registrars) and are non-religious.

    If your marriage or ceremony is taking place in one of our registration ceremony rooms at the Guildhall, your registrar will be included in your ceremony booking and fee.

    Call our main register office on 01225 47 72 34 (our phone lines are open Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 3.45pm) to book a registrar. Alternatively, email register_office@bathnes.gov.uk
     

    Our main registration office is at the Guildhall, High Street, Bath BA1 5AW.

  5. Step 5

    When you book to give notice of intention, the fee is £35 per person.

    If the notice of intention is subject to immigration regulations, the fee is £47 per person. 

    Below is the list of Registration fees for marriage or civil partnerships within the Guildhall and other licensed venues across Bath and North East Somerset.

    1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022
    Venue Registrar
    Register office £46 (ceremony for the couple and two witnesses only)
    Abbey View Room at the Guildhall See the Abbey View Room web page
    Alkmaar Room at the Guildhall See the Alkmaar Room web page
    Other licensed venues in B&NES £450 (Mon-Thur) £480 (Fri-Sat) £495 (Sundays, Bank holidays and ceremonies after 5pm)
    Marriages at a registered place of worship where no authorised person is appointed £86
    1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023
    Venue Registrar
    Register office £46 (ceremony for the couple and two witnesses only)
    Abbey View Room at the Guildhall See the Abbey View Room web page
    Alkmaar Room at the Guildhall See the Alkmaar Room web page
    Other licensed venues in B&NES £460 (Mon-Thur) £490 (Fri-Sat) £505 (Sundays, Bank holidays and ceremonies after 5pm)
    Marriages at a registered place of worship where no authorised person is appointed £86

    Other fees

    Booking fee (non-refundable) Notice of marriage or civil partnership Marriage or civil partnership certificates
    £45 (taken at the time of booking) £46 (ceremony for the couple and two witnesses only) £11 each (legal certificate) or £10 each (commemorative/non-legal certificate)
  6. Step 6

    Before the ceremony at the Guildhall (Registration Office)

    The registrar will interview you both again to confirm the various personal details. This can be done separately or together. The Registrar will run through some pre-ceremony questions with you both and answer any questions you have.

    If arriving separately before your ceremony; one of you must arrive 15 minutes before the ceremony starts and the other, 10 minutes before.

    Any guests should arrive 15 minutes before the ceremony.

    Before the ceremony at other licensed venues

    The registrar will interview you both separately before your ceremony; one of you must arrive 30 minutes before the ceremony starts and the other, 15 minutes before. The registrar will then run through some pre-ceremony questions with you both and answer any questions you have.

    Your venue will let you know when your guests can arrive.

    Witnesses

    When we interview you, we will ask for the names of your witnesses. You must provide a minimum of two witnesses who may be relatives or friends, over the age of 16 and are able to understand the ceremony (if they are a non-native English speaker).

    Personalise your ceremony

    The registrar will follow your choices and create your ceremony for you. 

    You can choose personal vows or promises, and there are words to say if you choose to exchange rings - personal vows must not contain religious reference or come from the Book of Common Prayer.

    For marriage, once the ceremony begins, the registrar will say a few words of welcome and lead you through the ceremony and legal vows.

    As well as the legal declarations and contracting vows, you can choose personal vows or promises and there are words to say if you choose to exchange rings.

    For civil partnerships, the registrar will say a few words of welcome and then you have a choice of saying the civil partnership legal vow, or read this when you do the signing. 

    Readings

    The registrar will arrange your readings at the appropriate places throughout your ceremony. If you would like them in a certain order, please make this clear on your preference form.

    No religious readings are allowed by law - contact us if you're not sure whether your readings are allowed or not.

    Ceremony music

    We will be playing classical music at your ceremony (if at the Guildhall), but you can bring your own music if you prefer (on a smart phone or MP3 device).

    Choose music for the following parts of your ceremony:

    • Before your ceremony
    • When you enter the ceremony room
    • Two tracks or songs when you sign the Register
    • One track or song for when you leave the ceremony room

    Your music cannot have any religious references (this includes hymns and Christmas carols) as this is a civil ceremony - contact us if you're not sure whether your choice is allowed or not.

    Registering your marriage or civil partnership

    After your ceremony, you will both be asked to sign using your normal signatures and the names you used before, followed by your witnesses. Check your details very carefully, otherwise you might have to pay a correction fee if any errors are found afterwards.

    The law was amended on the 4 May 2021, to add mother or parents’ names to the marriage entry. The ceremony reflects this change. As such a signing of a schedule will take place at the end of the ceremony, rather than a signing of the Marriage book.

    For a marriage ceremony, the superintendent registrar and the registrar will sign the entry. The legal certificate of marriage is not issued on the day of the ceremony but instead, you will be able to collect it after two working days, or have it posted (if you have requested this). You can, however, buy a commemorative certificate which can be presented on the day, if you so wish. After final words of congratulations, you will be invited to lead your guests out.

    For civil partnership, the registrar will sign the entry, the ceremony will end, and after final words of congratulations, you will be invited to lead your guests out. You will be able to collect your legal certificate after two working days, or it can be posted (if you have requested this). You can, however, buy a commemorative certificate which can be presented on the day.

    Confetti

    You can throw real or dried petal confetti outside of the Guildhall, but unfortunately confetti cannons or glitter confetti are not allowed anywhere. For other licensed venues, check with your chosen venue about confetti.