11 Aug Marrying Here, Living Abroad?
We’ve caught up with some amended legislation recently as it has caused some of our couples a huge problem so we thought we would pass it on. First, some background information. The notice of marriage has to be given by all couples wanting to marry in England & Wales, other than if you are marrying by Banns in the Church of England. To give your notice of marriage involves you making an appointment to have an interview at the Register Office. This should be the Register Office which covers the address where you have been living for the previous 7 full days before the appointment. You will have to produce various documents to the Registrar who is taking the notice and pay a fee of £35 each. There is then a waiting period before the certificates which allow the ceremony to take place can be issued – this is the bit that has changed. The period of waiting from giving your formal civil notice of marriage has been extended to 28 days. Previously it was 15 so this is quite a difference. This period can also be increased to 70 days should one of you be subject to immigration control. The effect of this is that if you who live abroad and wish to come home to marry you will either have to make two trips back to England, one trip of at least 9 days in one Registration district to give your legal notice of marriage, and the second to have the actual marriage ceremony. Both of these have to fall within a calendar year. The alternative option is to come back for one period of a total of 38 days – over a month. This is potentially expensive, time consuming and stressful, as can pose problems at work! If this situation is affecting you we can offer a solution. We would advise you to legally marry in the country where you live – then come home for a celebratory wedding ceremony. We can write a bespoke ceremony, which incorporates all the elements of a traditional wedding ceremony if you would like them. So you can have a best man, bridesmaids, father of the bride traditions, exchange of vows and rings, as well as any other customs you would like to add. If you have any questions or concerns about how this could affect you please get in touch and we will do our best to advise you.