Information and links relating to all aspects of marriage.
Before you can marry in a register office, approved premise, church or chapel in England or Wales, you must give notice of your intention to marry. A civil ceremony can take place in a Register Office or other building licensed for marriage ceremonies. The ceremony is conducted by a Registration Officer; it must be of a strictly none religious nature.
A religious ceremony can take place in a church, chapel or other building of religious worship which has been formally registered for marriage ceremonies. The service is conducted by the minister in accordance with the religious rites and ceremonies of the premises.
If you are considering getting civil marriage in , then you will need to make an appointment at the Registrars Office located at The Gatehouse, 1 Victoria Square, Victoria Street, Hertfordshire, AL1 3TF. Visits are strictly by appointment only and the opening times are:
Monday to Thursday - 9.00am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 5.00pm
Friday - 9.00am to 12.30pm and 1.00pm to 4.00pm
There is a choice of ceremonies, and if you would like to view the room before deciding on the venue for your marriage, please contact the Registrar.
Alternately, you may marry at any other Register Office in England or Wales. Contact Register Office who will be happy to supply addresses/telephone numbers of other offices. You may also wish to view other Registrar Offices in Hertfordshire.
If you are not a British subject you will need to contact the Register Office.
Housebound or detained persons may, under certain circumstances, request a home visit to give notice of their intent to marry. The parameters for this service are set by law, and the nature of the procedure is of such a sensitive nature, it should only be arranged by direct contact with Registrars staff.
Since 1 April 1995, the Marriage Act 1994 has allowed suitable privately owned premises to be licensed for marriage ceremonies, offering a vast choice of type, location and cost. You may marry at any approved premises in England or Wales.
To book a marriage at an Approved Premises, contact the proprietor of the building. You will also need to book Registration Officers to conduct the ceremony.
If you wish to be married in either of the above you or your partner would generally have to live within the parish of the church, or be a regular worshipper. If the minister is able to marry you, he/she will arrange for a Common Licence to be issued. The marriage will also be registered by the minister, and there is generally no need to involve the local Superintendent Registrar. If the Register Office needs to be contacted, the vicar will advise you.
A list of Religious buildings in the Hertfordshire area provided below for your ease.
Other Places of Religious Worship
The church or religious building in question must normally be located within the registration district where you or your partner live, or, if outside the district, be a place of regular worship for either or both of you. The service will be conducted by the Minister of the venue, but occasionally a Registrar is required to register the marriage.
To book a marriage at any of the above venues, contact the Minister of the Church, and the local Superintendent Registrar, where necessary.
The above information is a general guide only. For marriages outside England or Wales, or marriages of people with special needs or requirements, contact the Superintendent Registrar for advice.
Hertfordshire County Council has a number of Wedding Reception Venues available for hire on its website.
Planning the Big Day!
When you are planning your big day there are quite a few things you need to arrange. View the wedding day checklist to help you along with arranging everything you may need to think of for your big day!
The Legal Formalities
Unless you are marrying in the Church of England or Common License, notice of marriage has to be given by each of you personally to your local Superintendent Registrar.
Both of you must have lived in a registration district in England or Wales for at least seven days immediately before giving notice at the register office. If you both live in the same district, you will each give notice at the same office. If you live in different registration districts, you will each give notice separately in your own area.
A notice of marriage is valid for twelve months. You may therefore not give notice of marriage to the Superintendent Registrar more than twelve months before the date of your wedding.
A notice of marriage is valid only for the venue named on the notice. Whereas it may be possible to alter the date of your marriage (provided it is before the expiry date), a change of location would require a fresh notice and fee.
After giving notice you must wait a further fifteen clear days before the marriage can take place (for example, if notice is given on 1st July, the marriage may take place on or after 17th July).
Both authorities must have been issued on or before the day of the marriage.
The marriage will be authorised by Superintendent Registrars Certificate.
Documents Required by Law
When you attend before a Superintendent Registrar to make formal arrangements, you will need to produce certain documents to confirm your name, age, marital status and nationality.
Preferred Documents are:
A current valid full passport (or, where appropriate, a Home Office Travel Document, a Standard Acknowledgment letter, or a national identity card) or, if unavailable, a birth certificate including parents' names, and some form of picture ID e.g. Driving Licence, workplace ID, Student Card.
Proof of address such as a bank book/statement, Council Tax or utility bill. All must be dated within the last three months and be original documents.
If you have been widowed, the death certificate of your former spouse.
If you are divorced, a decree absolute bearing the court's original stamp.
Deed Poll documents if you have changed your name.
A completed parental consent form if you are under 18 years of age.
You will each be charged a fee of £33.50 when you give notice.
A marriage at the Register Office will be £40.00 payable on the day.
A marriage at approved premises will incur a fee to the proprietors of the premises, and a fee for the attendance of the Registration Officers, which is variable depending on the day on which the ceremony takes place.
A marriage at a Place of Religious Worship will incur a fee to the Minister of the Building (variable); in addition, if a Registrar is required to register the marriage, a fee of £80.00 is payable on the day.
A marriage at a Church of England does not generally involve the Register Office; enquiries regarding fees must be directed to the Minister of the church.
All fees are subject to annual review.
Changing Your Name and/or Address
If you are a resident of St Albans City and District please contact us to notify a change of name and/or address. We will circulate the details around the council to ensure you only need tell us once.
Another thing to remember:
If you have been living on your own and claiming Single Person Discount on Council Tax, and are now going to be living with your spouse, then please ensure you notify us – residents can notify us using the same change of name/address form.
Date of last review: 24 August 2011
Searching the Marriage Indexes
The Marriage Index Archive is located in Hatfield.
Further information can be found by calling 0300 123 40 45, or at the Herts. County Council website.