Notice of intent for marriage or civil partnership

By law you have to make a formal and public declaration of your intention to marry.  In the Church of England/Wales this is by ecclesiastical banns.  For all other ceremonies in England or Wales this is by giving notice of marriage.

The marriage can only take place at the venue you name on the notice of marriage.  If you change the venue you will have to give new notices and pay again, so you need to have chosen your venue and made a provisional booking before you can give notice.

Cumbria Registration Service takes provisional bookings for up to 2 years in advance.

Giving notice of your intent involves declaring that you are who you say you are and that you are both legally free to be married or in a civil partnership with each other.  

The Officer who conducts the interview will make you feel as relaxed as possible and ask you a few questions about you and your partner. 

You can book an appointment to give notice of intent to marry or form a civil partnership:

  • If both parties are British Citizens or Irish Citizens
  • If you are having a civil ceremony within England or Wales
  • If you have been resident in Cumbria for a minimum of 8 nights (unbroken)
  • You are both over the age of 18
  • You are both legally free to marry 
  • You have never been related to each other by blood, marriage, adoption, civil partnership or surrogacy
  • You have a provisional ceremony booked.  

If you do not meet the above conditions you need to speak with our team for some guidance.  Please contact us with your names, the date and venue of your ceremony and any other relevant information and we will help make an appointment for you   

Please note it is your responsibility to have the correct documents with you at your appointment.  If you fail to bring these with you we will be unable to take your notice of intent and you will need to book a further appointment. 

Your appointment should be in the district where you live within England or Wales.   If you live in different districts you should attend separately in your own district.  If you both live in the same district please attend together. The appointment will take around 20 minutes each.

Notice can only be given within 12 months of your planned ceremony, as it is only valid for 12 months.  We recommend you give notice no more than 3 months before the date of your ceremony 

After giving notice of intent there is a period of 28 days to allow for the publication of your notice of intent and for objections to be raised.  This can however take longer if there are any foreign papers to consider such as a divorce or if you are subject to Immigration Control.

We will require proof of your status before we can undertake your appointment if you are a relevant national who has:

  • EUSS settled status
  • EUSS pre-settled status
  • a pending application to the EUSS

Please check the full list of documents required for your appointment.  

You can book an appointment online or call us on 0300 303 2472

Once you have an appointment booked you will need to obtain proof of your status.

Once you have received the share code please forward this to Cumbria Registration Service at least 2 days before your appointment.  It should be sent to sharecode@cumbria.gov.uk 

Please note the share code is only valid for 30 days.

If one of you is from outside the UK and you're giving notice from 1 July 2021, you and your partner must give notice together, unless you both have one of the following:

  • British or Irish citizenship
  • settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • an application to the EU Settlement Scheme that you made before 30 June 2021, which you're waiting for a decision on

You must give your notice together at a register office in the district where at least one of you lives.

From 1 July 2021, you will need a visa.  The visa or permit you need depends on where your partner is from and whether you want to live in the UK after your ceremony.

You can apply for:

  • a marriage visitor visa - if you're not going to live in the UK and will stay less than 6 months
  • a family visa - to live permanently in the UK if your partner is a British citizen, settled in the UK, has refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK
  • a family permit - to join your family member from the EU, EEA or Switzerland in the UK

If you do not have a marriage visitor visa or family visa you can still give notice of your intention to get married or form a civil partnership but the immigration authorities at the Home Office will be told.

The Home Office might:

  • ask questions about you and your relationship - if this happens you may need to wait up to 70 days before getting married or forming a civil partnership
  • decide not to approve your notice - if this happens you cannot get married or form a civil partnership in the UK

If your partner has already given notice separately before 1 July 2021, they will need to give notice again with you.

To make an appointment please contact our Registration Team for guidance

Where one party is seriously ill and not expected to recover, a ceremony can take place using a Registrar General's License from the Registration district where the person is located.  

Where possible please contact the registration service during office hours so the necessary arrangements can be made.  If the ill person is in a hospital or hospice in Cumbria staff there may be able to assist you.

Ceremonies under Registrar General's License can take place at any location including people's homes, hospitals and hospices.

A letter from the Doctor in medical attendance is required.  We have sample letters which will be provided upon request.

To arrange a Registrar General's License please contact us as follows:

  • Email: registration.service@cumbria.gov.uk (please mark your email as URGENT)
  • Telephone 0300 303 2472  (outside office hours this will forward to a registrar who can assist in emergency situations)

If the emergency does not fit this criteria but you still feel there is a critical need for a ceremony in less than the usual 29 days minimum period please email us at registration.service@cumbria.gov.uk explaining your situation.  If you can provide a day time telephone number we will contact you to discuss your circumstances and establish if we can assist.

If you wish to marry in the Church of England normally banns will be read in church and you will be married by ecclesiastical banns.  In such cases Cumbria Registration Service will not be involved in your ceremony.

If you have checked with your church and you are not having banns read you will be required to obtain a Marriage Schedule from the Registration Service.  

This is the legal paperwork which shows that you have proven that you are who you say you are, that you are legally free to be married to each other, and that all conditions of marriage have been satisfied.  It is a legal document and is issued 29 days after an interview with a Registration Officer.  The information you provide must be displayed for this period in the Register Office as the public have the right to raise any legitimate objections to the marriage.

Whilst a notice of marriage must be given at least twenty eight clear days before the intended date of marriage this does not include the day of giving notice and therefore it is actually on the 29th day that any documents are produced or the next business day if this falls on a weekend.  Giving notice to marry involves an interview at the register office and this should be booked as early as possible to ensure availability in the diary. 

A notice of marriage can be valid for up to twelve months from the day it is taken out, but many vicars prefer you to do it a maximum of three months in advance of the marriage date. 

Before you give notice please check which of the following circumstances apply to you:

1. Both of you live within the boundaries of the parish covered by the church in which you wish to marry, and you are not having banns read, you will need to make an appointment with the Superintendent Registrar of the registration district (Cumbria) in which the parish is situated, to give notice that you intend to marry.  You should check with the local Clergy if your residency falls within the Parish.

2. One of you lives within the parish boundaries of the said church, and the other party resides within the registration district (Cumbria) in which the parish is situated, and you are not having banns read, you will need to make an appointment with the Superintendent Registrar of the registration district (Cumbria) in which the parish is situated, to give notice that you intend to marry.  You should check with the local Clergy if your residency falls within the Parish.

3. One of you lives within the parish boundaries of the said church, and the other party resides outside the registration district (Cumbria) in which the parish is situated but still within England or Wales, and you are not having banns read, the party residing within the parish will give notice at the register office in which the parish is situated (any office in Cumbria), and the other will need to give notice at his or her own local register office.

4. Neither of you live within the parish, one or both of you will need to reside at an address within the parish boundaries for a period of 7 clear days. The first and last day do not count and therefore it is in effect 8 nights and you can give notice on the 9th consecutive day.  Whilst you can leave the parish during the day the nights must be spent in the parish.  You can give notice of intent after the 9th day provided you haven't broken the residency.  So you may decide to spend 14 nights but as long as it is a minimum of 8 nights and that the residency however long is unbroken they are then deemed resident. If the last day of your residency falls on a day when the Register Office is closed you must stay at the address until you have had an appointment with a Registrar and had an interview to give notice of intent to marry.

5. If only one party is undertaking residency, the other person must give notice on the same day in their home district anywhere in England or Wales (or Scotland - see note below).  The reason being if you give notice before the 9th day you cannot say one party is resident and give their address as within the parish, thereby losing the qualification to marry.  If you wait until after and the residency has been broken the person is then no longer resident and no longer qualifies.  Both notices must be the same and one party must be resident in the parish of the church in which you wish to marry.

6. If a couple are normally resident in Scotland, for example, their paperwork is only valid for 3 months.  It is important therefore that either both do full residency as above, or if one party is to do so then they can only give notice of intent within 3 months of the wedding, one in Scotland and one in the Parish boundary of the said church.

7. If either party is subject to immigration control or has EUSS settled status, pre-settled status or a pending application please read the additional conditions that may apply.

It is your responsibility to confirm with the incumbent that where you are staying is within the Parish of the said church and that your appointment is immediately after an unbroken residency period of at least 8 nights and that you bring the correct documents with you.

To book an appointment to give notice of intent to marry in a Church of England or Church in Wales please contact the registration.service@cumbria.gov.uk and include your name, date and place of your ceremony and daytime contact number and we will contact you to provide guidance and book an appointment.  

Alternatively you can call us on 0300 303 2472

If you wish to marry or form a civil partnership in a religious venue other than Church of England or Wales you will be required to obtain a Marriage Schedule.  This is the legal paperwork which shows that you have proven that you are who you say you are, that you are legally free to be married/form the partnership and that all conditions have been satisfied.  It is a legal document and is issued 29 days after an interview with a Registration Officer.  The information you provide must be displayed for this period in the Register Office as the public have the right to raise any legitimate objections to the marriage/civil partnership. 

Whilst a notice of marriage/civil partnership must be given at least twenty eight clear days before the intended date of ceremony this does not include the day of giving notice and therefore it is actually on the 29th day that any documents are produced or the next business day if this falls on a weekend.  Giving notice to marry/form a partnership involves an interview at the register office and this should be booked as early as possible to ensure availability in the diary. 

A notice of marriage/civil partnership is valid for up to twelve months from the day it is taken out.

By law in England and Wales you must qualify to marry/form a civil partnership. In general this is by becoming resident in England or Wales.  Parties from Scotland for instance have to fulfil residency requirements to qualify.  

Before you give notice please check which of the following circumstances apply to you:

1. You both live within the Registration district of the church (Cumbria)

If both of you live within the boundaries of the district (Cumbria) covered by the church in which you wish to marry, you will need to make an appointment with the Superintendent Registrar of the registration district (any office in Cumbria) in which the church is situated, to give notice that you intend to marry.

2. One party is resident within the Registration district of the church (Cumbria)

If only one of you lives within the district boundaries of the said church, and the other party resides outside the registration district (Cumbria) in which the church is situated, the party residing within the district will give notice at the register office in which the church is situated (any office in Cumbria), and the other will need to give notice at his or her own local register office.  

If either party are normally resident in Scotland, their paperwork is only valid for 3 months.  It is important therefore that either both do full residency as noted below or if one party is to do so then they can only give notice of intent within 3 months of the ceremony, one in Scotland and one in the registration district of the said church 

3. Neither party lives within the Registration district of the church (Cumbria) but it is the Usual Place of Worship of one or both parties and you live within England or Wales then you still qualify to marry/form the partnership without residency.  In this case a letter would be required from the incumbent to confirm that this is your usual place of worship.  You would then attend and give notice at your own local register office in the district(s) where you live.  

4. If one party is normally resident in Scotland, but the other is normally resident in England/Wales then you still qualify to marry/form the civil partnership without residency however the Scottish paperwork is only valid for 3 months.  It is important therefore that both parties can only give notice of intent within 3 months of the ceremony, one in Scotland and one in the registration district of the said church 

5. If both parties are normally resident in Scotland, their paperwork is only valid for 3 months.  It is important therefore that either both do full residency as below, or if one party is to do so then they can only give notice of intent within 3 months of the ceremony, one in Scotland and one in the district (Cumbria) of the said church 

6. Neither party lives within the Registration district of the church (Cumbria) and it is NOT the Usual Place of Worship of one or both parties, one or both of you will need to reside at an address within the district boundaries (Cumbria) for a period of seven clear days. 

7. If either party is subject to immigration control or has EUSS settled status, pre-settled status or a pending application please read the additional conditions that may apply.
 

In all cases where Residency is required (Other Religious Buildings)

The first and last day do not count and therefore it is in effect 8 nights and you can give notice on the 9th consecutive day.  Whilst you can leave the district during the day the nights must be spent in the district.  You can give notice of intent after the 9th day provided you haven't broken the residency.  So you may decide to spend 14 nights but as long as it is a minimum of 8 nights and that the residency however long is unbroken they are then deemed resident. If the last day of your residency falls on a day when the Register Office is closed you must stay at the address until paperwork is completed.

If only one party is undertaking residency, the other person must give notice on the same day in their home district anywhere in England or Wales (or Scotland - see notes).  The reason being if you give notice before the 9th day you cannot say one party is resident and give their address as within the parish, thereby losing the qualification to marry/form the partnership.  If you wait until after and the residency has been broken the person is then no longer resident and no longer qualifies.  Both notices must be the same and one party must be resident in the parish of the church in which you wish to have your ceremony.

The other consideration is that if a couple are normally resident in Scotland, for example, their paperwork is only valid for 3 months.  It is important therefore that either both do full residency as above, or if one party is to do so then they can only give notice of intent within 3 months of the ceremony, one in Scotland and one in the registration district of the said church 

It is your responsibility to confirm with the incumbent that where you are staying is within the district of the said church and that your appointment is immediately after an unbroken residency period of at least 8 nights and that you bring the correct documents with you.

Book an appointment to give notice of intent to marry in a religious building other than Church of England/Wales 

If you are unable to use the online booking service please contact the registration.service@cumbria.gov.uk and include your name, date and place of your ceremony and daytime contact number and we will contact you to provide guidance and book an appointment.  

Alternatively, you can call us on 0300 303 2472

Find out what you need to do if you're coming to the UK to get married by following the guidance on gov.uk 

Once you have gained the appropriate visa, please contact us at ceremonies@cumbria.gov.uk to book your ceremony and make arrangements to give notice of intent to marry or form a civil partnership.

We need your name, the place you wish to marry, and proposed date as well as the nationality of both partners and the best email address to communicate with you.  

If you are a British National getting a marriage or civil partnership abroad, you might need certain documents from the UK government, for example a certificate or no impediment (CNI)

Please follow the guidance on the gov.uk website

You'll need to contact the local authorities where you want to get married to find out what you need to do.

Your marriage or civil partnership will be recognised in the UK if both of the following apply:

  • you followed the correct process in the country where you got married
  • it would be allowed under UK law 

If you have followed the guidance and you need to book an appointment to give notice of intent to marry overseas please contact the registration.service@cumbria.gov.uk and include your name, date and place of your ceremony and daytime contact number and we will contact you to provide guidance and book an appointment.  

Alternatively, you can call us on 0300 303 2472

Cumbria Registration Service takes the welfare of you and our team very seriously.  We need your help to make sure we can provide you with the services you need as safely as possible.  Please read the following notes very carefully.

What you need to know or do before the appointment:

  • Do not attend your appointment if you or anyone in your household has COVID or displayed symptoms of COVID in the last 14 days.  In these circumstances, please contact our office
  • Make sure you allow enough time for parking and confirmation of your arrival at our office 
  • Please wear a facemask or face covering to offer protection in public areas. 
  • In your appointment, the officer will have a screen around the desk.  You may also want to wear gloves or bring sanitiser for your own protection
  • Please bring your own pen with you to reduce any risk of cross infection.  Blue or black biro is fine
  • Prepare any documents you need to bring with you carefully.

Arriving and leaving:

  • When you arrive, you will be asked to use hand sanitiser before moving through the building.  We would recommend doing this again as you leave for your personal protection
  • For the time you are in our building, please observe social distancing at all times of 2 metres

During the appointment:

  • It is important that the registration is completed accurately.  Take care to have all the correct information and spelling available.  When you come to sign the paperwork, it is your responsibility to make sure you have given the information correctly and that it has been recorded correctly.  If there are any mistakes it may necessitate fresh notices of intent to be undertaken.  This would involve a full appointment and payment of a further fee.
  • Payment is by card is preferred