Arranging a marriage or civil partnership

Important information, please read - Registration Fee Changes from 1st November 2017

Congratulations on your forthcoming ceremony. We will be delighted to help you through the planning of your special day.

What do we do first? 

Choosing your venue

The first thing you need to do is is to choose the venue for your ceremony and this could be in Brighton Town Hall, a church or one of our approved venues.

Please note: Brighton Bandstand & Brighton Bandstand Café notice needs to be booked over the phone and not online. Please call us on 01273 292016, option 2.

Giving notice

A marriage or civil partnership is a legal contract between you and your partner. 

If you wish to marry in a civil ceremony or if you are registering a civil partnership, it is a legal requirement that you enter 'notice' of your intention to do so.

Before giving notice, you must have lived in the district where you are giving notice for a minimum of 9 days. 

Please call our bookings team to book your notice on 01273 292016, option 2. Essential maintenance is currently being carried out on our online booking system.

 If you live outside Brighton & Hove, and are not subject to immigration control, you must enter your notice in the registration district where you live.

Notice period

Entering your notice should be carried at least 28 clear days before the ceremony or registration can take place. You can enter your notice up to 12 months in advance.

Notice periods if you are subject to immigration control  

If you are subject to immigration control and

  • you do not have the required marriage or civil partnership visa 
  • you do not hold a valid right of abode, indefinite leave to remain stamp in your current valid passport or biometric card

It is likely that your notice waiting period could be extended to 70 days.

We will be unable to book your ceremony date until clearance has been received from the Home Office.

What happens at the giving notice appointment?

To make sure that you are both legally free to marry/register a civil partnership, we will see you separately and ask you both simple questions about yourself and each other and ask you to provide evidence of your identity - name, age and nationality. 

If applicable we will also ask you to provide original documentary evidence showing how any previous marriages/civil partnerships have ended and/or original documentary evidence showing how you may have changed your names.

The appointment should last approximately half an hour. 

What documents do we need to produce?

We need to see evidence of your name, age, nationality and address and so you should bring the following to your appointment:

​Proof of identity, age and nationality: 

  • Valid passports

  • OR Valid EEA ID card

  • OR Valid Home Office travel document​

Proof of residency, showing your address:

  • Either your most recent council tax bill, OR a utilities bill (not older than 3 months), OR a bank/building society statement (not older than 1 month), OR a valid UK Driving Licence

  • If you are travelling from another country for the purposes of marriage or civil partnership and cannot produce one of the proofs of residence from the prescribed list above you can provide a written statement confirming your residency at an address since your date of arrival. We will need to see proof of your date of arrival as a stamp in your passport, boarding card or similar. You will be required to produce one of the items on the prescribed list above as evidence that you are both resident at the address.

Original documentary evidence showing how any previous marriage(s) or civil partnership(s) have ended:

  • If you divorced in England or Wales we will need to see a court stamped decree absolute/dissolution certificate.

  • If you divorced in a foreign country we will need to see the original documents issued by that country. If the documents are in a foreign language we will also need to see an English translation. Please note it is likely that these documents will need to be cleared by the General Register Office before the marriage can take place. Please see the fees for clearing a foreign divorce which will be taken at the time of your appointment - Registration Fees PDF (9 KB)

  • If either of you is widowed or a surviving civil partner we will need to see a certified copy of your late partner's death certificate and your marriage/civil partnership certificate if your name does not appear on the death certificate.

Other documents:

  • If applicable original documentary evidence showing how any previous names were changed

  • A recent passport sized photograph - ONLY if you are subject to immigration control or marrying someone who is subject to immigration control you will both need to supply recently taken passport sized photographs

  • If either of you are under 18 years of age we will need to see proof that your parents or legal guardians give consent to the marriage or civil partnership. Consent forms are obtainable from the Register Office

  • If you are subject to immigration control you will need to visit a designated Register Office to complete the legal preliminaries. Brighton and Hove Register Office is designated. For further information please visit the UK Border Agency's website.

How much will it cost?

To enter notice of marriage or civil partnership 28 days notice required the fees are £35 per person.

If you are subject to immigration control and to the Home Office referral scheme (without a marriage/civil partnership visa or valid right of abode, indefinite leave to remain in your current valid passport or biometric card) this is likely to be extended to 70 days and the fees are £47 each.

At the time of booking your appointment with us, we will ask for a booking fee of £35 or £47 each. When you attend your appointment, the booking fee will be transferred from your account with us and credited to your notice fee. This means less for you to worry about apart from ensuring you bring the relevant documents with you.

Fees for ceremonies vary depending on the venue you have chosen - Ceremony fees

 What happens at the ceremony?

This link will take you to details of what happens during the ceremony

Converting a civil partnership to marriage

Find out more about converting your civil partnership to marriage

Useful links