Births, marriages, deaths and nationality Marriage and Civil Partnership ceremonies

Ceremonies outside England and Wales

Different rules apply for ceremonies outside of England and Wales.  

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’ll also need to consult with the authorities in the country that you‘re planning to hold your ceremony in, to check the legal paperwork that they will need beforehand. Your local register office can sometimes issue these certificates, but they cannot be issued for all countries due to the various legislation and treaty agreements that exist. 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 need to check whether you’re 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  

We’ll then let you know if you need an appointment and / or if we can issue a certificate to you.  We’ll use the number you gave us to call and book the appointment if you’re eligible (these appointments can’t be booked online.) 

When you attend to give notice, you must be able to confirm 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      

The recognition under English Law of most marriages abroad can only be determined by a court.  Most marriages will generally be recognised as valid here, providing 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. 

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