Births, marriages, deaths and nationality Organise a marriage

Ceremonies outside England and Wales

If you are getting married or entering into a civil partnership outside of England and Wales, different rules apply depending on the country where your ceremony will be held.

You may have been asked to provide a 'Certificate of No Impediment'. This is a formal certificate that confirms there are no objections to a proposed marriage or civil partnership, and is sometimes required if you are planning a ceremony abroad.

You will need to consult with the authorities in the country where you are planning to hold your ceremony to check the legal paperwork that they will require before your ceremony can take place. Your local register office can sometimes issue these certificates, however, they cannot be issued for all countries / nationalities due to the various legislation / treaty agreements between relevant countries. You may also need to complete legal paperwork in the country where your ceremony is to take place.

If at least one of you is a resident of Manchester and you are unsure whether you are eligible to give notice of marriage, please call us on 0161 234 5005 or e-mail us at with the following information about both of you:

  • Nationality
  • Place of residence
  • Country where ceremony will take place
  • Date of ceremony
  • Daytime contact number

Once we have this information you will be advised if you need an appointment and / or if we can issue a certificate to you.  If you are eligible to book an appointment and you include your phone number in your email we will contact you to book the appointment. You cannot book these appointments online.

When you attend to give notice, you must be able to state the town, locality and country where your ceremony will take place.

You should also check if the certificate needs to be legalised, with an apostille certificate, or translated. Further information about legalisation of the certificate can be found on the website.

After a marriage or civil partnership abroad

If you have entered into a marriage or civil partnership abroad, and you need more information as to whether your marriage or civil partnership is recognised by English Law, or if your marriage or civil partnership needs to be registered in the UK, please e-mail stating where you entered into marriage or civil partnership (which country) and your nationalities.  

The recognition under English Law of most marriages abroad can only be determined by a court.  However, most marriages will generally be recognised as valid here, provided that you complied with the law of the country where the ceremony took place.  For the majority of marriages / civil partnerships that have taken place abroad there is no facility to register the event in the UK.

If you have any concerns about the validity of your marriage, you should seek legal advice.  In such circumstances it may be possible to petition the courts for a declaration of status under section 55 of the Family Law Act 1986.


Was this page helpful?

Was this page helpful?

Fields marked * cannot be left blank

Feedback submitted to us on this form is monitored but you won’t receive a reply. In an emergency, visit our emergency contact details page. Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.