Giving notice of a marriage or civil partnership

When you’ve decided on the date and venue for your ceremony, you both need to give notice of your intention to marry or form a civil partnership. You need to give notice in the register office of the district where you live. 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.

The earliest you can give notice is 12 months before the date of your ceremony. Notices are valid for one year. The legal requirement for giving notice is a minimum of 29 days before your ceremony, however we need at least 30 days between giving notice and your ceremony date. We recommend giving notice six months before your ceremony.

If you haven't given notice of marriage or civil partnership 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.

Booking your appointment to give notice

We have limited numbers of appointments so we suggest booking as soon as possible. You'll have 30 minutes to fill in and submit the online form to book your appointment. If you don't complete your booking in 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. If you don’t, you won’t be able to give notice.

Attending your appointment

When attending your appointment please use the entrance on the Lancaster Gate side of the building. This is next to the fountains.

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.

More information

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

Once the vicar has agreed to marry you they'll deal with all the legal formalities involved. They'll 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 the 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 our registration charges.

If you both live in Barnsley each of you will need to give notice at Barnsley Register Office. You should 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 in the district where you or your partner live, unless either of you normally worship there. In this case it's advisable to provide a letter of evidence from the minister of the church that it's your usual place of worship at your notice of marriage appointment.

Some religious buildings need 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. You'll need to 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 happens at your appointment

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

You must give notice at least 30 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 30 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 30 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. You'll then need to deliver it to the person conducting your ceremony. The registrar will advise you about this at the time you give notice.

Civil partnerships without a ceremony

After 30 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'll be able to buy 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-British or Irish nationals

If either of you are not a British or Irish national, you must both give your notice of marriage/civil partnership at Barnsley Register Office. You'll need to contact us on (01226) 773555 to book an appointment to give notice.

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 30 days before your ceremony can take place.

We recommend that you read the information about marriages and civil partnerships on GOV.UK. You can also contact Barnsley Register Office for more information.