What You Need to Get Married in England and Wales

Wedding in England chapel


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Before you marry in the United Kingdom consider the requirements and make sure you can fulfill them. This article will help guide you to help you to get your marriage license and other documents in order for your big day. You don't want your wedding delayed simply because you left an item off your checklist!

ID Requirement and Residency Requirements

You will need a passport or another identity document. If either of you is under 18, a birth certificate is required. The UK prefers to have everyone bring a birth certificate. They will want proof of your name, age, marital status, and nationality. Visitors need to satisfy both the residential qualification of 7 days and the 15 waiting days before they can marry in the UK.

Previous Marriages

If you are divorced or widowed, you need to show evidence such as an original death certificate or divorce absolute certificate with the original court seal. The UK will not accept photocopies.

Fees and Waiting Period

Fees and waiting periods can change at any time—always make sure you check in advance, so as not to be unprepared.

Other Forms of Marriage

You cannot arrange for a proxy marriage, covenant marriage, or common-law marriage. Cousins may marry, and same-sex marriages are allowed. 


Your Certificate of Marriage is valid for one year. This is not the Marriage Certificate, which is given after the wedding. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you can marry only with written consent from a parent or legal guardian. Blood tests are not required. 

For Further Information

Make sure you plan ahead for your wedding and check the latest guidelines, to make sure everything runs smoothly on the big day.