Civil Marriage
Getting married

Congratulations on deciding to get married! Within these pages, you will find the information you need to plan your wedding with regard to the area, the venues available.

In Redcar & Cleveland we recognise that your wedding day is very special to you and whether you wish to have a small quiet ceremony or a large elaborate celebration we are here to help you to achieve the ceremony you desire.

If you choose a civil marriage, the most important decision is where you would like to marry. You may marry at any Register Office or venue approved for civil marriage. Your local Superintendent Registrar will have an up to date list of venues available or you can obtain a full hardcopy list of venues in England and Wales from the General Register Office.

What are the legal preliminaries to getting married?

Before you can marry, there are certain formalities that are required by law. Both parties need to attend the Register Office, in person, in the district where you have lived for the preceding seven days, to inform them of your intention to marry. This procedure is called 'giving notice' and is the legal way in which you declare your freedom to marry each other. You need to make an appointment with the Superintendent Registrar for this in advance.

Once you have both given your notice the Superintendent Registrar will enter the notices in the marriage notice book but 15 clear days must elapse before your marriage can take place.

You can give your notice of marriage up to one year in advance of your marriage date but not less than 16 days.

What documents will I need?
  • Evidence of Identity
    You will both need to produce two official identity documents. One of which must be a full birth certificate along with a current valid passport or other official document such as a medical card or driving licence.
  • Confirmation of Residence
    Recently dated utility bill, bank statement or something showing your current name and current address
  • Decree Absolute
    If your last marriage ended in divorce you must produce the original Decree Absolute stamped by a court in England or Wales, or the original divorce documents from another country with an English translation. If you have been in a Civil Partnership and the Civil Partnership has been annulled then you must produce the official court documents showing the annulment.
  • Death Certificate of Previous Spouse
    If you are widowed you will need to produce the death certificate of your previous spouse. Your marriage certificate may also be needed in some cases. If you were in a Civil Partnership and your Civil Partner has died you will need to produce the death certificate and possibly your Civil Parntership Certificate.
  • Deed Poll or Statutory Declaration
    To confirm any changes of name if you have formally changed your name
  • Fee
    The current fee for giving notice

The ceremony

The marriage law now allows you more choice of the style of your marriage ceremony. You may wish to have a small intimate ceremony carried out as quickly and as quietly as possible, or perhaps you are planning ahead for a larger celebration to include your families and friends. Whatever your arrangements and choice, our staff are committed to providing a very high standard of service tailored to meet your needs.Facebook icon

We will guide you through the legal formalities and will be on hand to ensure your day runs as smoothly as possible, leaving you with memories to treasure.
You may wish to play music before, during and after the marriage ceremony. If you are marrying at one of our approved venues you may even wish to have live music. You would need to arrange your music choice with the venue. Religious music is not permitted. The register office staff will be available to discuss your specific requirements and choices.

You will need to ask two people, who may be friends or relatives, to act as credible witnesses to your marriage. They should be preferably over the age of 18 years and able to understand the ceremony. The bridesmaid and best man could fulfil these roles, or you may choose from other guests.


As well as the fee for the notice, a fee is payable for each certificate of marriage and for the attendance of the registrars on the day of your marriage. Current fees are available from the register office. Fees for marriages in the register office are normally paid on the day. Fees for marriages in an approved venue are normally paid a month before the ceremony. A provisional booking fee of £26.00 is taken when booking any ceremony.

What are the legal preliminaries to getting married?
Different rules apply to foreign (i.e. non EU) nationals who are subject to immigration restrictions and who wish to marry in England and Wales. You should seek the advice of the Register Office if this applies to you.

If you intend to get married abroad, you must check with the authorities of the country or the British Consul in which you are doing this as to what legal preliminaries are required for marriage. Some countries require you to give notice in England or Wales.

Converting a civil partnership into marriage - Your Questions Answered

Will I need to go through a marriage ceremony?
The conversion process will not be a marriage ceremony. It is changing an existing legal relationship rather than forming a new one.

You will need to attend in person at any local authority register office for an appointment with a superintendent registrar in their office.

  • You will be required to provide evidence of your identity and your original civil partnership registration.
  • You will be required to sign a declaration to confirm that you have not dissolved your civil partnership, and that you both wish to convert the civil partnership into a marriage.
  • The conversion will be registered and a certificate issued.
  • Following the signing of the declaration, if you wish to, you will be able to have a non-statutory ceremony/celebration in a location of your choice. Please contact the Register Office for further information on the current fees and approved premise venues.

How much will it cost to convert?
The following fees will apply for the conversion process:
  • No fee is payable if you registered your civil partnership before you had the opportunity to marry prior to 29th March 2014. This will apply from 10 December 2014 to 9 December 2015.
  • If you registered your civil partnership after 29 March 2014, or register one in the future and subsequently want to convert to a marriage, the full fee of £45.00* will be required (and ceremony fee if requested).
  • From 10 December 2015, all same sex couples will be required to pay the full fee for the conversion (and ceremony fee if requested), including those who registered civil partnerships before 29 March 2014.

*The full fee for the conversion at a register office is £45. Please note the fee of £45 only applies to the register office conversion. Separate fees will apply to conversions in exceptional circumstances.

For further information or if you wish to book a date please contact the Register Office.

Births, Deaths & Marriages

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