Giving notice of marriage or civil partnership

Please note: On 1 July 2021, legislation changes for couples giving notice of marriage or civil partnership.

Flower Heart Westgate Hall

What does giving notice mean?

Before you can get married or form a civil partnership you must complete legal preliminaries.

For Church of England weddings this usually means banns being read at the church, unless one or both of you are foreign nationals. Foreign nationals are persons who are NOT British, Irish or have EUSS (settled status, pre-settled status or has a pending application for settled status submitted before 30 June 2021).

For all other ceremonies, and foreign nationals you will need to attend your local register office to give a notice of marriage or civil partnership. Once the notice has been given there will be a waiting period of 28 clear days, before the paperwork (Marriage or Civil Partnership Schedule) can be issued. The Marriage or Civil Partnership Schedule is valid for 12 months from the date of giving notice, but is only valid for the venue stated on your notice. This might cover the entire building for some venues, but for others it may be room specific.

Find more information on ceremonies held at one of the religious buildings in Southampton.

Where do I need to give notice?

From 1 July 2021, you will attend the Register Office in the district where you live, regardless of your nationality or immigration status. The easiest way to work out the right Register Office is to look at who your council area is or who you pay your council tax to.

If you and your partner are relevant nationals (British, Irish or a person granted EUSS (settled status, pre-settled status or has a pending application for settled status submitted before 30 June 2021) you will attend different register offices if you live in different areas.

If you and/or your partner are foreign nationals (persons who are NOT British, Irish or have EUSS) you will attend the register office in the district where at least one of you lives. You must both attend the appointment together if you are foreign nationals.

You must have been resident in the district where you live for at least seven clear days. This really means eight nights residency before you can attend your appointment. All appointments must be booked in advance as we do not offer a walk-in service.

What is different if I am a foreign national?

If you and/or your partner are foreign nationals you will be referred to the Home Office if you do not have a visa for marriage, civil partnership or indefinite leave to remain.

If you are referred, the usual 28-day waiting notice period may be extended to 70 days if the Home Office decide that they need more time for their investigations. You will also pay an additional fee £12.00 per person if you are referred to the Home Office. If you are a foreign national it is likely that you will need to provide a passport style photograph each. The photographs will be kept until the day of the ceremony and referred to at the pre-ceremony interview.

We would strongly recommend that you think about these timings as you are making your arrangements.

What documents do I need to give notice?

To give a notice of marriage or civil partnership you will need to provide evidence of your age, name, nationality, address and condition (marital or civil partnership status) (this is not an exhaustive list, as every person is unique).

If you are a relevant national with EUSS (settled status, pre-settled status or has a pending application for settled status submitted before 30 June 2021) you will need to prove your status. You do this by creating a unique 6 digit “share” code which you will bring to your appointment. You create your code online.

Your unique 6 digit “share” code is only valid for 30 days, but you can always re-create a new one if the time expires. Please make sure that you have your “share” code ready before you attend your appointment.

In all cases, you will need to provide original documents as photocopies are not acceptable. You may need to have your documents translated ready for your notice of marriage or civil partnership appointment.

What happens after we have given notice?

After the notice of marriage or civil partnership appointment, your details will be displayed for 28 clear days. These include the details you gave to the registrar, but do not worry, the date and time are personal to you and will not be publicised. Once the 28-day notice waiting period has expired, your details will be removed from public display, and your Marriage or Civil Partnership Schedule are usually then produced (unless the Home Office have extended their investigations to 70 days, because you have been referred).

If your ceremony is with Southampton Registration Services, we will send you a link to our website which guides you through the details of the day. This will allow you to complete your notes for ceremony online ready for the big day. The notes for ceremony tells us exactly what details are important to you, so that we can get it right.

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Our venues

Westgate Hall

This 15th century building is a unique venue for your ceremony
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Welcoming, spacious and with a beautiful stained glass window
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The Mayor's Parlour

A spectacular venue
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Southampton Art Gallery

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Tudor House & Garden

A beautiful historic location only minutes away from the city walls
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Ideal for a ceremony
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The Magnolia Room

Bright, modern and perfect for an intimate ceremony
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Statutory Office

Ideal for a simple low-key ceremony
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