Arranging a marriage or civil partnership

What to do first

Choose 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.

Give 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. If you are travelling from another country for the purposes of marriage or civil partnership we will need to see proof of your date of arrival as a stamp in your passport, boarding card or similar.

Please call our bookings team to book your notice on 01273 292 016, option 2 or email

 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 out 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.

What happens at the 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. If you are unable to understand English without your partner being present please bring an interpretor to the appointment (your partner is not permitted to translate for you).

Documents you will need

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​

If you do not have any of the above please call us for advice 01273 292 016 (option 2)

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 one month), OR

  • a valid UK Driving Licence

If you cannot produce one of the proofs of residence from the prescribed list above please call us for advice on 01273 292 016 (option 2).

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. Before the marriage or civil partnership can take place all foreign divorces must be checked and cleared by the Superintendent Registrar or the General Register Office. There will be a statutory fee charged of either £50 or £75 for the clearance administration of each foreign divorce. This will be taken at the time of your appointment

  • 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. Further information available here

How much it will 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. Failure to attend will result in a penalty charge. Please see the terms and conditions in our Cancellation Policy

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

Privacy notice
This explains how the information we collect about you is used and your rights in relation to that information

Useful links