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Registry office weddings are a great affordable alternative to a large or religious ceremony. Throughout the United Kingdom, registry offices offer a variety of accommodations for your wedding day at a considerably lower cost.
For some couples, a wedding is more like a formality than something that needs a lot of time, effort and planning. They’d rather save the money they’d spend on living expenses or a honeymoon. If you and your partner are one of these couples, here’s what you need to know.
Who Can Get Married?
To get married in a registry office, you’ll need to be over sixteen and either part of the European Economic Area, Switzerland or have a marriage or civil partnership visa.
It’s important to know that in England and Wales, parental consent is required by age 18.
The Cost of a Registry Office Wedding
In the UK, you must give notice that you intend to marry your partner. This should be done at your local registry office and must be done at least 29 days before your ceremony.
Once you’ve signed the notice, you’ll have a year to get married under it. The cost of providing notice is £35 per person if you’re in the EEA or Switzerland or £47 if you’re from outside that area.
Note that in order to register at your local office, you must live in the district for seven days. If you and your fiancé are from different districts, you’ll each need to file separately in your current districts.
If you or your partner is from outside the UK, you’ll need to give notice together in the citizen’s district unless you both have:
- British Citizenship
- Irish Citizenship
- Settled or pre-settled under the EU Settlement Scheme
Giving notice is an important first step to getting married in the UK.
The room hire typically starts at around £57, but offices tend to have different ceremony options, with fees that can reach over £1,000 depending on how large or luxurious you want your room to be.
Every registry office wedding needs to have at least two witnesses who have to stay for the ceremony and sign afterward. There are no general witness criteria but you’ll want to check with your registry office on any specifics. The ceremony also needs officiating or attended by someone authorized to register the marriage.
Most registry office weddings will have flower decorations, but you are allowed to customize the room to your liking. Reserve money for any special or meaningful pictures or decorations you want for the ceremony. Keep in mind that elaborate decorations may not be manageable, as the ceremony will only last around 10 minutes and others may be using the room before or after you.
Once married, you’ll need to have a marriage license, which will cost £4 the day of the ceremony or £10 afterward.
Your marriage license is what makes you officially married, so it’s best to get it signed and submitted as soon as possible.
Enjoying a Registry Office Wedding
A registry office wedding is a low cost and simple alternative to an extravagant ceremony. It’s a short and intimate moment between you, your partner and the people you choose to share it with.
You can find your local registry office online to learn more about your wedding options. A wedding there may be the perfect solution for you and your partner.
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