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Weddings

Weddings

A couple can marry in England and Wales if they are:

  • over 16 years of age (if they are under 18 they must have written parental consent to marry);
  • free to marry either single, divorced or widowed;
  • not closely related.

In England and Wales, a civil wedding can take place at a register office or any venue approved by the local council, for example a stately home or hotel. A wedding can only legally take place in a venue that is licensed and must be in a permanent structure with a roof. 

Whilst you are not legally able to marry outdoors at present, North Lincolnshire Registration Service now offers a celebratory ceremony which can take place prior to a legal marriage. These can take place outdoors at any of our approved venues from 1 April to 30 September.

A religious wedding can take place in a church, chapel or other religious building, for example in a temple or synagogue that is registered for worship and marriages.

There are legal preliminaries to complete before weddings can take place in civil or religious buildings. These must be done within a specified timescale, otherwise the wedding cannot proceed.

Please note that different rules apply if you wish to marry in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Firstly you must decide where you wish to marry, either in a civil venue or a religious building.

Getting married in the Register Office or a civil approved venue

If you have decided to marry in the Register Office or a civil approved venue you will need to:

  • Provisionally book a date and ceremony time with the venue
  • Contact the Register Office to confirm registrars are available to officiate at the ceremony
  • Pay the Register Office a booking fee of £25 to reserve a date and time 
  • Confirm the booking with the venue
  • Make an appointment so you can each give a legal notice of your intention to marry. This notice has to be given in the district in which you live. If you live in different areas, you will have to attend different register offices. You have to attend in person and provide original documents proving your nationality, marital status and address. A fee is payable to give a notice.

The notices cannot be given more than 12 months before your wedding date and must be given at least 28 days before. 

We now offer people booking weddings in approved venues, the option of an outdoor 'celebratory ceremony'. The legal part of the marriage must take place in a licensed room and will follow the celebratory ceremony. Please contact us for more details. 

We will always try to accommodate your preferred ceremony date and time but if someone else has already booked your preferred time, you will have to choose a different one. 

We carry out ceremonies across all of North Lincolnshire and have a wide range of venues to attend. Please book as soon as you can.

Getting married in a religious building that is not Church of England

If you are getting married in a religious building that is not Church of England you must make the arrangements with the minister or Register Office before giving a legal notice. 

A registrar of marriages from the district register office where the building is situated must be present to register the marriage unless the church has their own registrar (authorised person).

The legal notice of marriage must be given by each of you in the registration district where you normally live.

Examples of religious buildings that are not Church of England include:

  • Catholic Church
  • Methodist Church
  • Sikh Temple 

Getting married in a Church of England or Church of Wales building

If you wish to marry in a Church of England or Church in Wales building then you should contact the minister for that church to discuss the legal requirements. 

The legal preliminaries for the Church of England or Church in Wales are separate from those for civil venues or non-conformist churches.

Immigration Act 2014

The minimum notice of marriage period is 28 days. This is extended to 70 days for those who come into the scope of referral under the Immigration Act 2014. 

If you are a non-EEA national with neither a visa nor appropriate immigration status, you will be referred to Immigration Enforcement and will not be able to book a wedding date until your marriage authorities have been issued. 

The nearest designated offices are at:

You must make an appointment to give notice of marriage.

Each person is legally required to attend in person and give notice at their local register office. This takes the form of a private, individual interview. You must have lived in that district for at least seven full days.

This is a legal process and you will be asked to prove that you are able to marry and sign declarations to that effect.

You must each pay the statutory notice fee when you attend the register office to give notice. This is £35 each.

The legal notice asks you to clearly state the name of the venue for your marriage. If you are marrying in another district, please make sure you tell us the correct name as a marriage can only take place in the venue shown on the notice. 

Documents are needed to give a notice of marriage

When you go to the register office, you are legally required to provide proof of your name, age, nationality and address. You must take:

  • A valid UK/EEA passport or valid EEA National Identity Card plus one of the following:
    • utility bill dated no more than three months before the date of notice;
    • bank statement dated no more than one month before the date of notice;
    • council tax bill dated no more than one year before the date of notice;
    • current residential tenancy agreement;
    • valid Driving Licence. 

If you do not have a valid passport or National Identity card and were born in the UK before 1 January 1983 you must provide:  

  • A full UK Birth certificate plus one of the following:
    • utility bill dated no more than three months before the date of notice;
    • bank statement dated no more than one month before the date of notice;
    • council tax bill dated no more than one year before the date of notice;
    • mortgage statement dated no more than one year before the date of notice;
    • current residential tenancy agreement;
    • valid Driving Licence.

If you do not have a valid passport or valid National Identity card and were born after 1 January 1983 you must provide:

  • A Full UK Birth certificate showing details of parents names, evidence of parent's nationality (Passport or Birth certificate), plus one of the following:
    • utility bill dated no more than three months before the date of notice;
    • bank statement dated no more than one month before the date of notice;
    • council tax bill dated no more than one year before the date of notice;
    • mortgage statement dated no more than one year before the date of notice;current residential tenancy agreement;
    • valid Driving Licence.

If you have been married before

If you have been married or in a civil partnership before, you need to take either the death certificate of your former partner, a decree absolute or final order of divorce.

If you are divorced and the divorce was granted in a different country, we will check your overseas divorce documents and may have to get in touch with the General Register Office to confirm whether your marriage can go ahead. Please make sure you allow plenty of time for these checks to be made.

After giving the notice there is a minimum period of 28 full days before the authority for the marriage can be issued and the marriage can take place. If the notices are given on different dates the marriage cannot take place until after 28 full days from the date when the later of the two notices was given.

Immigration Act 2014

The minimum notice of marriage period is 28 days. This is extended to 70 days for those who come into the scope of referral under the Immigration Act 2014. 

If you are a non-EEA national with neither a visa nor appropriate immigration status, you will be referred to Immigration Enforcement and will not be able to book a wedding date until your marriage authorities have been issued. 

The nearest designated offices are at:

We have a selection of ceremonies for you to choose from. Civil ceremonies can include readings, songs or music. They must not include anything that is religious, for example parts of religious services, hymns or readings from the Bible or other religious books.

There are some legal words which must be said but you can add other words if you wish. Discuss any other wording you want in the ceremony with us before the day.

You will both be interviewed before the ceremony. This is to check that all the legal information which is written in the marriage register is correct. If you don't want to see each other we will interview you separately.

Your guests will be seated awaiting the entrance of the bride. You may choose to have music played as the bride makes her entrance and also during the signing of the register. We have a selection to choose from or you may provide your own in CD format or as a playlist on your own iPod or MP3 player.

You will need to have at least two witnesses at the ceremony. Witnesses are a personal choice, the only criteria is that they speak and understand English. Where there may be any language difficulties an interpreter should be arranged by the couple. The interpreter must act as one of the witnesses to the marriage. A person under 18 years can sign as a witness provided two other adult witnesses also sign.

Rings may be exchanged but are not a legal requirement of the wedding.

Photographs may be taken by a professional photographer or friend whilst the rings are being exchanged and after the ceremony. Video may be used with discretion.

If you are getting married at the Register Office, there is a small paved area available at the rear of the building where photographs can be taken and confetti thrown after the ceremony.

There are also a wide range of areas to choose from in Central Park. The gardens provide a stunning backdrop for your photographs.

Please note: If you are bringing an iPhone 5 (or later model) or new iPad, you will need to bring an adaptor with you.

All ceremony fees include one certificate and are payable three months in advance. Payments can be made by credit or debit card by calling the Register Office on 01724 298555 or in person.

Notice of Marriage fees

A fee of £35 per person is payable when giving a Notice of Marriage. Please contact the Register Office to make an appointment. We will tell you which documents to bring with you.

North Lincolnshire Register Office ceremony fees

Ceremony fees depend on the room chosen. There is a choice of four ceremony rooms at the Register Office in Scunthorpe. 

Standard Register Office ceremony room

  • Seats four (couple plus two witnesses) 
  • £50
  • Ceremony times available on Monday to Thursday between 9am and 11am 

Ceremony Room 1 - (maximum capacity 20 people)

  • Monday to Thursday £94
  • Friday £104
  • Saturday £129 

Ceremony Room 2 - (maximum capacity 60 people)

  • Monday to Thursday £164
  • Friday £204
  • Saturday £229  

Council Chamber (maximum capacity 120 people)

  • Ceremonies available on Saturdays only between 10am and 4pm
  • Saturday £254 

Approved premises ceremony fees

  • Monday to Thursday £304
  • Friday £324
  • Saturday £354
  • Sunday and bank holidays £434 

Celebratory ceremony (outdoors at approved premises only)

You can arrange to have an outdoor celebratory ceremony at an approved venue, if they can accommodate this. The legal part of the wedding will follow the celebratory element. It will take place in the venue itself, attended by the bride and groom.

Religious building ceremony fees (registrar in attendance)

Monday to Sunday £90

Our rehearsal service is a great way to make sure the arrangements for your ceremony go exactly as planned. It gives you both an opportunity to discuss all of your personal requirements and ensure that your ceremony goes without a hitch.

A rehearsal gives you the opportunity to:

  • Discuss your personal wedding requirements in detail before the day
  • Agree the order of service and wording to be used
  • Discuss how the bride and attendants will make an entrance
  • Plan seating arrangements for the ceremony
  • Pay your fee
  • Discuss your music choices
  • Provide reassurance

Rehearsals cost only £20. Call now to book your date.

If you would like to discuss this in more detail, please email us on registrars@northlincs.gov.uk with your contact details. We will be pleased to assist you.

North Lincolnshire Council Licensing Department deal with all applications for buildings to be licensed for weddings and civil partnerships. Please see our Approved Premises licensing page for further information and to apply.

Other sites of interest

Contact details

registrars@northlincs.gov.uk

01724 298555

Fax: 01724 296020

North Lincolnshire Registration Service
Civic Centre
Ashby Road
Scunthorpe
North Lincolnshire
DN16 1AB

Opening hours

Monday to Friday: 9am to 4pm

Saturday: 10am to 4pm

Last updated: 08/02/2017
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