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Planning Wedding procedures Legal Requirements

Legal Requirements

A bride signing a marriage register

If you wish to marry in England and Wales you may do so either by civil or religious ceremony. A civil ceremony can take place at a register office or other premises approved by the local authority for marriages (e.g. hotel, stately home etc.). A religious ceremony can take place at a Church or Chapel of the Church of England or Church of Wales or any other place of worship which has been formally registered by the Registrar General for marriages.

Legal Requirements to getting married in England and Wales

● Minimum age: The minimum legal age for getting married is 16 years old for both bride and groom. In England and Wales the written consent of the parents or Guardians is required for persons who have not reached 18 years old and have not been previously married. If either of the persons is below 18 a birth certificate must be produced. It is preferred that all persons produce such evidence.

● Both partners must be acting by their own consent. Both partners to be married must be of sufficiently sound mind to understand the nature of the marriage contract.

● Civil partnerships became available to same-sex couples in December 2005 and grant rights and responsibilities identical to civil marriage.In the United Kingdom, certain marriages between close family or blood relatives are prohibited.There are residency conditions that have to be met before people can be married. If one of the people wanting to marry is subject to immigration control, notice of marriage can only be done at a designated register office, which both parties must attend together.

● Second and subsequent marriages. There is no limit to the number of marriages you can enter into providing you are free to do so. That is you are widowed or have been divorced and granted a decree absolute. Evidence will be required to be produced i.e. original death certificate or divorce absolute certificate with the original court seal. (photocopies are not acceptable).