Giving notice of a marriage or civil partnership

How to give notice of marriage or civil partnership

Once you’ve made the decisions of setting the date and venue for your ceremony, you both need to carry out legal preliminaries called 'giving notice' of your intention to marry or form a civil partnership. This must be done in the register office of the district where each of you live, and you must have lived there for at least seven consecutive days. The notice is a legal statement signed by you. A friend or relative can’t do this on your behalf.

You must give notice at least 29 days before the date of your ceremony. The notice is valid for 12 months, so you can’t give notice more than 12 months before the date of your ceremony.

Please remember that if you haven't given notice of marriage then your ceremony can't go ahead.

You can take a look at the information below to find out what you'll need before booking an appointment. 

Notice of marriage expiry

Notice of marriage expires 12 months after the date it was given. If you've rearranged your ceremony, because of COVID-19 restrictions, you'll need to check that your notice of marriage is still valid. Please complete our notice of marriage enquiry if it's due to expire before your ceremony, and we'll get in touch with you to arrange another appointment. 
We're receiving a lot of phone calls and enquiries following the government announcement on 22 February. This means that it may take us up to three days to get back to you. We're sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, and thank you for your patience.

Booking your appointment

You'll have 30 minutes to fill in and submit the online form to book your appointment. If you don't complete your booking within this time you'll lose your chosen appointment slot.

At your appointment you'll need to bring documents with you as proof of identity. Each person giving notice needs to bring these.  It’s your responsibility to make sure that you bring all the documents needed for giving notice to your appointment.  If you don’t, then you won’t be able to give notice of your marriage or civil partnership. 

Attending your appointment

Due to COVID-19 restrictions and to allow for social distancing, you'll need to wait outside the Town Hall reception until you're called in for your appointment. The entrance is at the side of the building, next to the fountains. Please don't arrive too early, as we won't be able to let you inside the building. There's a strict one way system in place for your safety and to minimise any contact with other customers and staff.

Read more about the changes we've made to our registration services due to COVID-19.

More information

If you're marrying in the Church of England or Church in Wales

Once the vicar has agreed to marry you he/she will deal with all the legal formalities involved and arrange for banns to be called or for a common licence to be issued. You won't need to give notice of marriage at the register office.

If your ceremony is in any other religious building, or a register office or approved premises

Both partners must give notice of their ceremony at the register office in the district where you live. You must have lived in the district for at least seven days before giving notice. You'll each have to pay a standard fee for this. Find out about registration charges.

If you both live in Barnsley each of you will be required to give notice of your ceremony at Barnsley Register Office. You should both attend together and you’ll need to make an appointment to do this.  If one of you lives in another district, they’ll have to give notice at their own local register office.

If your ceremony is being held in a religious building other than the Church of England, you must still book an appointment to give notice of marriage at the register office for the district where you live. You can do this in Barnsley by contacting us.

The religious building must normally be situated in the district where you or your partner live, unless either of you normally worship there. In this case it is advisable to provide a letter of evidence from the minister of the church that it is your usual place of worship at your notice of marriage appointment.

Some religious buildings require a registrar to be present at the wedding and others have their own authorised person. If needed, you need to book a registrar for your wedding or book a registrar for your civil partnership and pay a non-refundable booking fee, plus the cost of the registrar. Find out about registration charges. You can book a registrar up to three years in advance of your ceremony.

What will happen at the appointment

At the appointment you’ll be asked to give information about yourself and your partner, as well as details of the venue where your ceremony is taking place. You’ll need to bring some documents needed for giving notice with you to your appointment. It’s your responsibility to check what documents you need and if you don’t bring them, then you can’t give notice of your ceremony.

Please make sure you arrive for your appointment on time - if you're more than five minutes late we won't be able to see you and you'll need to book a new appointment slot.

Please note that your ceremony can only take place at the venue you name on the notice of ceremony. If you change the venue you’ll have to give and pay for fresh notices, so you need to have chosen your venue before you give notice.

You must give notice at least 29 days before the date of your ceremony. The notice is valid for 12 months, so you can’t give notice more than 12 months before the date of your ceremony.

What happens after giving notice

Once you’ve given your notice of ceremony it will be displayed on a public notice board in the Register Office for 29 clear days. This is to allow any member of the public who knows of a legal reason why the ceremony shouldn’t take place to notify the Superintendent Registrar.

If everything is in order, at the end of the 29 day waiting period the Superintendent Registrar will be able to issue the ceremony authority. The ceremony authority is the legal document that confirms that the ceremony can go ahead. Your ceremony can't go ahead unless all the legal formalities have been completed.

If your ceremony is at your local register office or at approved premises within the district where you normally live, the ceremony authority will be issued automatically on the day of the ceremony.

If your ceremony is at a religious building or outside the district where you normally live, you’ll need to collect the ceremony authority from the register office where you gave notice and deliver it to the appropriate person conducting your ceremony. The registrar will advise you about this at the time you give notice.   

Civil partnerships without a ceremony

After 29 days you'll be free to register your partnership, as long as there are no objections and no legal reasons why you can't go ahead. The signing of the schedule takes place when the couple legally form their civil partnership, at which stage you will be able to purchase a record of the event.

Cancelling your appointment

If you have to cancel your appointment to give notice of marriage your payment will be refunded.

Non-European Nationals

If either of you are not UK or European nationals, you must both give your notice of marriage at one of the Designated Register Offices. The nearest ones to Barnsley are Sheffield or Leeds, so you may need to allow more time to arrange your appointment.

You can only give notice if you’ve both lived in England or Wales for at least seven consecutive days.

After you've both given your notice of marriage you must wait at least 29 days before your ceremony can take place.

We recommend that you read the information about marriages and civil partnerships on GOV.UK or contact one of the Designated Register Offices.