North Lincolnshire Council

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.

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.

You will need to decide where you wish to marry, either in a civil venue or a religious building, before you can complete the legal preliminaries. Below is some guidance on how to make the arrangements for your wedding ceremony.

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 £30 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.  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.

If you would like to view the ceremony rooms at the Civic Centre, please contact us to book an appointment.

At approved venues, we offer the option of an outdoor ‘celebratory ceremony’ where you can have part of your ceremony outdoors. The legal part of the marriage must take place in a licensed room as it is not legal in England or Wales to be marred outdoors unless the approved venue has a permanent structure licensed for this purpose. The legal part of the ceremony will follow the celebratory ceremony. Please contact our ceremonies team for more details.

We will always try to accommodate your preferred ceremony date and time. Registration staff carry out ceremonies across all of North Lincolnshire and have a wide range of venues to attend. Please contact us to secure the date and time you want as soon as you are able to; we cannot gurantee availability.

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 minister can advise you if an authorised person is available at their church, or if you need to arrange a registrar to attend. There is a fee of £90 if registration staff are to attend the wedding.

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.

You must make an appointment to give notice of marriage. This is the legal preliminaries required to enable you to get married.

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 will be asked to prove that you are able to marry and sign declarations to that effect.  You must have lived in that district for at least seven full days.

You must each pay the statutory notice fee when you attend the register office to give notice. This is £35 each. Payment can be made by debit or credit card or by cheque. Please note that we do not take cash payments.

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 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 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 have been divorced outside of the United Kingdom, you must provide evidence of the ending of any previous marriages or civil partnerships, with a translation if it is not in English. Advice regarding the translation can be given by registration staff.
There is also a fee to pay for the consideration of a divorce document that was granted outside the British Isles. Some documents can be considered locally by the Superintendent Registrar, but others must be sent to the Registrar General for consideration. The relevant documents (plus translations) must be brought in at the time a Notice of Marriage is given and the relevant fee paid at that time.

The fees are:

  • £50 for consideration by the Superintendent Registrar
  • £75 for consideration by the Registrar General

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:

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. Please note that we do not take cash payments.

Notice of Marriage fees

A statutory fee of £35 per person is payable when giving a Notice of Marriage.

Ceremony fees

Ceremony fees depend on the room chosen. There is a choice of four ceremony rooms at the Register Office in Scunthorpe. All the fees shown include one £4 certified copy of the register entry

Standard Register Office ceremony room – (Seats four – couple plus two witnesses only)

  • Ceremony times available on the first Wednesday of each month between 9am-12pm –  £50

Ceremony Room 1 – (maximum capacity 20 people)

  • Monday to Thursday  – £114
  • Friday  – £134
  • Saturday  – £154

Ceremony Room 2 – (maximum capacity 60 people)

  • Monday to Thursday – £234
  • Friday – £274
  • Saturday –  £309

Council Chamber (maximum capacity 120 people)

  • Ceremonies available on Saturdays only between 10am and 4pm
  • Saturday – £334

Approved premises ceremony fees

  • Monday to Thursday – £324
  • Friday – £339
  • Saturday before 1pm or after 3pm – £409
  • Saturday between 1pm and 3pm  – £459
  • Sunday and bank holidays – £464

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.

Additional fee of £46 payable. This fee is non refundable.

Religious building ceremony fees (registrar in attendance)

Monday to Sunday – £90

On the day of your ceremony, both parties will speak to the registrar before the ceremony. You will have a short interview during which the registrar will check all the legal information which is going to be written in the marriage register is correct. This interview can be done separately if you do not wish to see each other before the ceremony.

Getting married at the Civic Centre

Prior to your ceremony, we will provide 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.

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, and when the couple exit the room. The songs cannot be music which has been written specifically for religious purposes. You can bring the music on a CD, USB or a phone to connect to AUX cable or by Bluetooth

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 and videos may be taken during the ceremony at the discretion of the registrar. There will be an photographic opportunity at the end of the ceremony.

If you are getting married at the Civic Centre, 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.

Ceremony rehearsal service

If you are getting married at the Civic Centre, 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 £25. Please contact us to make an appointment.

Getting married at an approved venue

The staff at the approved venue will guide you through what will happen on the day of your ceremony. You will need to speak to the registrar prior to the ceremony, and the venue staff will arrange where this will happen.

Prior to your ceremony, you will be asked to complete a ceremony plan and choose a ceremony. 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 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.

Getting married in a church (not Church of England)

The content of your ceremony will be arranged with the minister. If a registrar will be attending to register your marriage, they will need to speak to you before the ceremony.

The Register Office is open

Monday to Friday 9am-4pm

Saturday 10am to 4pm

You can contact us

In person – Civic Centre, Ashby Road, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire DN16 1AB

By email – registrars@northlincs.gov.uk

By telephone – 01724 298555

If you need to contact a registrar in an emergency outside office hours, please call the CCTV Centre on 01724 276444

They will contact us on your behalf and arrange for you to be called back.