How to Register Your Wedding in Essex
Updated: Apr 22
Planning your wedding is one of the most exciting journeys you will ever undertake, but do bare in mind there are legal requirements for your wedding also.
If you are getting married in a Church of England, then your vicar, priest or father will go through and sort all this out with you.
Otherwise, you must give notice of your intention to marry at your local registry office, this is local to where you currently live. So if you live in Colchester, but are getting married in Chelmsford for example, you will need to give notice in Colchester.
For your wedding you will need to:
1. Choose & book your venue. There are around 150 licensed venues in Essex.
2. Book a registrar to perform your wedding ceremony, this can be done up to two years before your wedding date. We would advise booking your registrar as soon as possible to ensure they can attend on the date and at the time you wish. If you are getting married at a Registry Office the registrar will be included as part of your booking.
3. Give notice at least 29 days before your wedding ceremony, but up to one year in advance. Make sure this is high on your priority list as if left to the last minute it can all too easily be forgotten. You can use the Register Office finder tool to find your local office, all you need is your home post code.
Once you have made an appointment with your register office, make sure you take with you:
1. Proof of Identity & Nationality, this can be
- a valid passport
- your full birth certificate
- national identity card that states your nationality (if you're from the EEA or Switzerland - this may well change after Brexit)
2. Proof of address, this can be
- a valid UK driving licence
- gas, water or electric bill dated within 3 months of your appointment date
- bank or building society statement dated within 1 month of your appointment date
- your current tenancy agreement
- council tax bill for the current year
3. If you have been divorced or widowed, you will need
- a decree absolute or final order (if you have a foreign divorce then fees will apply for the consideration of this)
- your former partner's death certificate
If you're not named on your former partner's death certificate, you will also have to bring your former marriage or civil partnership certificate.
Plan your ceremony
There are certain legal things that need to happen on your wedding day, to help you plan your ceremony you can download the forms on this webpage and email the completed forms to your registry office. Don't forget if you are planning an outdoor ceremony there is an additional form to complete. All these forms must be submitted at least 10 weeks before your wedding date. Remember that if you plan an outdoor ceremony, you must also have a plan for an indoor ceremony in case of inclement weather.
All of the above information is meant to serve as a guide and is subject to change at any time as laws are updated, so do check with your local registry office for the most up to date information.