Arranging a marriage

Making the arrangements – who do I contact?

Firstly you must decide what sort of marriage ceremony you wish to have. In England and Wales you may marry either by civil ceremony or religious ceremony.

A civil ceremony can take place at a Register Office or other building which has been approved by the Local Authority for Marriages and Civil Partnerships, these buildings are called Approved Premises.

A religious ceremony can take place at a Church or Chapel of the Church of England or at any other place of worship which has been registered for marriages by the Registrar General.

Civil Marriage at a Register Office

If you wish to marry by civil ceremony at a Register Office, you should first contact the Superintendent Registrar of the District where you wish to marry. Register Offices can make a booking for a date and time for your marriage up to 12 months in advance, it will then be necessary for you to confirm your arrangements by giving formal notices of marriage to the Superintendent Registrar(s) of the District(s) where you live. It may be possible to put a provisional booking in the diary more than 12 months prior to the date of your marriage.

Church of England

If you wish to marry in the Church of England you should contact the Vicar of the Church in which you wish to marry with whom you will generally make all the arrangements.

Other places of religious worship

If you are getting married in any other building which has been registered for marriages (e.g. Methodist, Muslim, Roman Catholic, Sikh) you should first contact the minister or other person in charge of the building to make provisional arrangements with him/her. It is only possible to marry in a Religious Building in the Registration District where one or both of you live or in a building outside your district(s) of residence providing it is where either of you usually worship. You may also marry in another district if there is no building of your religion in the district(s) in which you or your partner resides. Register Office staff will be happy to offer advice in these cases.

It will be necessary to give formal notices of marriage to the Superintendent Registrar(s) of the District(s) where you live.

If the Church or Religious Building requires the presence of a registrar to register your marriage you can make a booking with the Register Office up to 12 months in advance.

Civil Marriage at Approved Premises

Civil marriages can take place in buildings which have been approved by Local Authorities. You can choose to have your civil ceremony at any Approved Premises throughout England and Wales, these premises include hotels, civic and historic buildings etc. Marriages may not take place outdoors or in moveable structures such as marquees or hot air balloons.

If you wish to marry by civil ceremony at Approved Premises you should first contact the venue of your choice to make provisional arrangements and then contact the Register Office in the district where the venue is located to ensure that registration officers are available for your choice of date and time.

A maximum of 12 months before the date of your ceremony it will be necessary to confirm your arrangements with the Register Office by giving formal notices of marriage to the Superintendent Registrar(s) of the District(s) where you live.

The fees for marrying in Approved Premises are set by each Local Authority and vary throughout the country. We have a list of the Approved Premises for Bradford and Keighley Registration District.

The legal formalities

Unless you are marrying in the Church of England by Banns or Common Licence you must give notice of your intention to marry. Each party to the marriage must give their own notice of marriage in person to the Superintendent Registrar in the district in which he/she lives. A notice is valid for 12 months and therefore you cannot give your notice until you are within 12 months of the date of your marriage. You must each have lived in any District in England or Wales for seven clear days before the date you give notice of marriage (this means the notice is given on the ninth day). If you choose to marry outside the area of your residence you should contact the Register Office where you want the marriage to take place to ensure you can be married on the date that you would like. You must then give notice of marriage to the Superintendent Registrar of the district(s) where you live.

After you have both given your notices of marriages you must wait at least 28 clear days whilst the notices are displayed in the Register Office(s) before the Superintendent Registrar's certificate(s) can be issued, this is the authority for your marriage to take place, if you are marrying outside your district(s) of residence you must give the certificate(s) to the Superintendent Registrar of the district where your marriage is to take place or to the person officiating at your marriage.

Each of you will pay a fee for giving notice of marriage, please check the current amount by contacting the Register Office who you should telephone to make an appointment to give your notice(s) of marriage.

You can only give notice of marriage at the Bradford and Keighley Register office if you are either:

  • A British Citizen 
  • A national of EEA countries or Switzerland 
  • Have been granted permanent right of abode in the United Kingdom 
  • A member of visiting forces or certain international organisations.

People subject to immigration control must give a notice of marriage to the Superintendent Registrar at a specified office. The nearest one to Bradford and Keighley is Leeds.

Documents you need to show

When you give a notice of marriage you will be required to produce certain documents, these include:

Evidence of name, date of birth and nationality

  • A valid passport 
  • A valid national ID card issued by an EEA state or Switzerland 
  • Certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British Citizen granted by the Secretary of State together with one of the following: 
    • Utility bill (dated within with 3 months) 
    • Bank, building society statement or passbook (dated with 1 month) 
    • Council tax bill dated within 1 year 
    • Mortgage statement dated within 1 year 
    • Current tenancy agreement 
    • Valid driving licence
  • UK birth certificate (born before 1st January 1983) together with one of the following: 
    • Utility bill (dated within with 3 months) 
    • Bank, building society statement or passbook (dated with 1 month) 
    • Council tax bill dated within 1 year 
    • Mortgage statement dated within 1 year 
    • Current tenancy agreement 
    • Valid driving licence
  • Full UK birth certificate (born after 1st January 1983) together with one of the following: 
    • Utility bill (dated within with 3 months) 
    • Bank, building society statement or passbook (dated with 1 month) 
    • Council tax bill dated within 1 year 
    • Mortgage statement dated within 1 year 
    • Current tenancy agreement 
    • Valid driving licence 
    • Evidence of either parents British citizenship or settled status at the time of birth (this can be birth certificate, passport or a registration/naturalisation certificate). If the evidence relates to the father, the parents marriage certificate must also be produced 
    • A deed poll or statutory declaration if you have changed your name by formal means

Evidence of address

One of the following must be produced showing the name of the person giving notice:

  • Utility bill (dated within with 3 months) 
  • Bank, building society statement or passbook (dated with 1 month) 
  • Council tax bill dated within 1 year 
  • Mortgage statement dated within 1 year 
  • Current tenancy agreement 
  • Valid driving licence 
  • A letter from the owner/proprietor of the address where the person giving notice has been resident for the seven days immediately prior to giving the notice. This must state that they are the owner or proprietor, their name and address, be signed and dated

Evidence of ending of previous marriage/civil partnership

  • Decree of divorce or nullity or dissolution of civil partnership granted in England, Wales or any court of civil jurisdiction in any part of the British Islands. If you were divorced abroad or your marriage was annulled abroad it will need to be the original divorce document issued by that country together with a translation if the document is in a foreign language. If the dissolution of civil partnership took place outside England or Wales we would need to see a certified copy of the final dissolution order together with a translation of the document is in a foreign language. 
  • Death certificate of late spouse or civil partner

Any supporting evidence to link the person giving notice to the evidence document produced (eg marriage certificate)

All documents must be original as photocopies are not acceptable.

Contact details

Bradford and Keighley Register Office
City Hall
Centenary Square
Bradford
BD1 1HY

Phone : 01274 432151
Fax : 01274 305139


Please note: Birth, death and still-birth registrations, and Notices of Marriage and Civil Partnership are by appointment only.

Monday to Friday:

9am to 4.30pm

Saturday:

By appointment only

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