Giving notice of marriage
By law you have to give a notice of marriage, which is a formal declaration of your intention to marry. You are both required to give a notice of marriage and there is a standard fee for this. If you live in Manchester you must give notice to the Manchester Registration Service. If either or both of you live in another district, then you must give your notice(s) at your local register office(s) (unless advised otherwise for example, if either of you is a non-EEA National - see information for non-EEA Nationals at the bottom of the page).
Prior to giving notice you must have lived in the district where you are giving notice for a minimum of 7 clear days.
Please note that the marriage can only take place at the venue you name on the notice of marriage. If you were to change the venue it would be necessary to give, and pay for, fresh notices of marriage; so, you need to have chosen your venue before you give notice. More information about the ceremonies and venues available in Manchester can be found using the links on the left of this page.
To make an appointment to give a notice of marriage at Manchester Register Office, you can:
- make an appointment online.
- telephone us on 0161 234 5005 (please note that this is a very busy line. If you have difficulty getting through, you can send us an email with your daytime telephone number and we will phone you back as soon as we can: firstname.lastname@example.org)
How much notice do we need to give?
You cannot give a notice of marriage more than 12 months before the date of marriage. A marriage cannot take place until 16 days after you have given the notice.
(You can provisionally book your ceremony up to two years in advance, if it is taking place in an approved premises in Manchester, or in the Pankhurst Suite - please see the links to the left for more information)
Please note that at some point early in 2015, possibly April, the notice period will be increasing from 15 clear days to 28 clear days. There will be a referral scheme in place, whereby all non-EEA nationals without settled status, a marriage or civil partnership visa or evidence of immigration status will be referred to the Home Office Immigration for further investigation. Those within scope of the referral scheme may have this waiting period extended from 28 days to 70 days if their case is still being considered.
Couples wishing to marry in the Church of England or Church in Wales where one or both are non-EEA national(s) will be required to give their notice of marriage at a designated register office.
What do we need to produce?
You will need to make an appointment online, by phone or by calling in to the office.
At your appointment you will need to bring:
The current fee (see the ceremonies and fees information link on the left of this page)
Proof of current address, this can be a utility bill, bank statement or driving licence.
Evidence of nationality - A valid passport
If you do not have a valid passport please contact the Register Office for advice.
If you have previously been married or in a Civil Partnership in this or any other country and it ended in divorce, dissolution or annulment you will be required to produce the original court document. If in this country you will require the decree absolute, dissolution certificate or annulment all of which can be obtained from the court where the divorce, dissolution or annulment was granted. If your divorce, dissolution or annulment was in a different country you will need to produce the original document from the court and full translation if applicable.
If you are a widow, widower or surviving civil partner you will need to provide the death certificate of your former husband, wife or civil partner. If you are not mentioned on the death certificate as the widow, widower or surviving civil partner you will also need to produce your marriage or civil partnership certificate.
If you have changed your name by deed poll or statutory declaration you will need to provide those documents.
Please note: All documentation must be original. We cannot accept photocopied documentation.
If either you or your partner are subject to immigration control, you must both give notice, together, at a Designated Register Office. Manchester Register Office has been given the status of Designated Register Office by the Home Office.
A full list of Designated Register Offices in England and Wales can be found on the Gov.uk website.
Prior to giving notice you must have lived in a district within England or Wales for a minimum of 7 clear days.
Please note: if you are entering the UK for the purpose of marrying or entering into civil partnership you must check with the UKBA that you have the correct visa to do so; this would usually be a marriage or civil partnership visa. Officers at Manchester Registration Service are unable to offer any advice regarding immigration matters.
What will happen after I have given notice?
After you have given notice, the notice has to be displayed for 15 clear days, not including the day on which you gave notice. The only exception to this is where one party is a foreign national and the ceremony is taking place abroad - the notice must then be displayed for 21 clear days. In Manchester, the notices are displayed on a screen in the Register Office.
On the 16th day, we can then issue your certificate for marriage, or in the case of a marriage where one party is a foreign national and the ceremony is taking place abroad, the certificate of no impediment would be issued on the 22nd day. This will either be posted to you or, if your marriage is taking place on the date your certificate is due to be issued, or close to that date, you can arrange to come into the Register Office to collect it.
Please note that if your marriage is to take place in The Pankhurst Suite or at an approved premises in Manchester the certificates for marriage will be printed on the 16th day and filed securely here until the date of your ceremony.
Abuse of immigration laws
We are working with the UK Border Agency to identify marriages and civil partnerships which seek to abuse UK immigration laws.
Anybody found to be arranging, facilitating or entering into a marriage or civil partnership solely to gain permission to stay in the UK risks arrest or prosecution. Foreign nationals may also face deportation and be barred from re-entering the UK for up to 14 years.