Marriage

Congratulations!

Organising an occasion as big as this, is very exciting. Every wedding ceremony is individual and special. Wakefield Registration and Celebratory Services hope that this information will give you all you need to start planning your special day, whether it is to take place in one of our Ceremony Rooms or at an Approved Venue.

Marriages are available for same sex and opposite sex couples.  The following webpage provides information about the similarities and differences between civil partnership and marriage. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/marriage-and-civil-partnership-in-england-and-wales

Choosing a venue

Your first decision is choosing a venue for your wedding and it will be one of the most important decisions you will have to make. In the Wakefield district your wedding can take place at one of 'Our Venues’ or at a venue approved by the Local Authority. Please click on the links for further information.

Outdoor Structures

If your chosen venue has an approved outdoor structure and you would like your wedding ceremony to take place in there, the venue should provide you with a copy of an outdoor structure agreement form which must be completed and returned to us at least 8 weeks prior to your ceremony. If you require a copy please contact us immediately.

Please note that you should make additional plans with the venue to hold your ceremony in one of their approved ceremony rooms in case the weather is inclement on the day. The indoor ceremony room should be able to accommodate all of your invited guests.

Inclement weather is defined as rain (or the high likelihood of showers), wind, cold conditions (under 16 degrees), extremely hot and sunny and any other extreme conditions. Your guests need to be comfortable and be able to hear the ceremony, especially if you are under cover and they are not!

Celebrate... your way

If you have your heart set on a wedding in a barn with hay bales, a tipi in the woods, a lakeside or in a private house or garden then choose to celebrate your way with us, by having your legal ceremony at one of ‘Our Venues’ or another venue approved by the local authority followed by a celebration ceremony at the venue of your choice (subject to a satisfactory risk assessment). More information is available at https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/births-marriages-deaths/ceremonies/celebrate-your-way


The cost of getting married

The fees associated with getting married in Wakefield are provided in our Ceremony Fees 2021 document. A brief outline of the fees are below;

  • Non-refundable booking fee – a fee to secure your ceremony date and time
  • Notice of marriage fee – a statutory fee for each person to give their notice of intention to marry
  • Ceremony fee – is subject to the venue, day and time of your ceremony
  • Certificate fee – statutory fee of £11 for each certificate you require
  • Postage fee – fee to send certificates purchased, by first class signed for post after the ceremony

All other fees contained in the document are for additional non-essential services.

Your ceremony fee, certificate fee and postage fee should be paid full 8-10 weeks in advance of your ceremony. Payment can be made online when completing your ceremony choices.


Book your ceremony or reschedule

Once you have chosen your venue you need to book a ceremony date and time. The booking form is not linked to a diary system, therefore we will need to check the date and time you have requested is available before confirming your ceremony. Before you book please read the information contained on the ceremonies page.

If you choose to make a booking for a ceremony you will need to book online. Bookings are not taken by telephone. We are currently experiencing a high volume of contact from customers. Whilst we work hard to support our customers whose ceremonies are taking place in the coming months your request for a new ceremony booking will be confirmed in 30 days rather than 2 days.

Ceremonies cannot be arranged in less than 12 weeks. This is to ensure you can give notice of your intention to marry or form a civil partnership within the statutory time frame. If you live within the Wakefield District and wish to arrange a ceremony due to exceptional circumstances please contact us by email ceremonies@wakefield.gov.uk.

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Reschedule your ceremony

If you wish to change the date, time or location of your ceremony please complete the booking form above. Please note any change to your ceremony is subject to a ceremony amendment fee.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION - In the 'Relevant Information' section on the form you MUST type 'We would like to reschedule our ceremony booking from DD/MM/YYYY or time to the requested date or time above.

If you wish to change the location of your ceremony, after your notice has been given please contact us to discuss on 0345 4 852 888.


Give notice of marriage

There is a legal requirement for you to each give a notice of your intention to marry. Immigration laws changed on 1st July 2021 changing the process for giving notice and the documentation required. There are two types of nationality defined by the Immigration Service: a relevant national and a foreign national.

A relevant national is a British Citizen, an Irish Citizen or a person who has been granted EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) status (either settled or pre-settled or has a pending application for that status (submitted before 30th June 2021).

A foreign national is an EEA national without EUSS settled status, EUSS pre- settled or pending application to the EUSS OR any other person from any other country.

Relevant Nationals

If you are a relevant national then before you can be married or form a civil partnership in England or Wales you must give notice of your intention to the Superintendent Registrar in the District where you live. Please note this does not apply to the Church of England or Church of Wales.

If you are unsure where to give your notice, it is the register office in the local authority area to which you pay your Council Tax.

If you and your partner are relevant nationals a notice appointment will not be booked until you have booked a date, time and venue for your ceremony with the Registrar in the District where the venue is located.

Foreign Nationals

If you are a foreign national before you can be married or form a civil partnership in England or Wales you and your partner must give notice together of your intention to the Superintendent Registrar in the District where one of you lives. If you are unsure where to give your notice, it is the register office in the local authority area to which you pay your Council Tax.

We highly recommend you only book a ceremony once you have a confirmed notice appointment with your local register office. We would also recommend that the ceremony date you choose is more than 70 days after the date of your notice appointment.

If you plan to marry in a Church of England or Wales and are a foreign national you will be required to give notice at the Register Office as outlined above. Banns cannot be read.

If you are within 20 weeks of your ceremony date and live in the Wakefield area please contact us to arrange an appointment to give notice on 03454852888 or for more information please visit our page here.


Your wedding ceremony

Your provisional ceremony booking is confirmed when you have both given your notice of marriage.

The Registrar will provide you with a marriage guide for your ceremony in our venues or for your ceremony at an approved venue at your appointment to give notice. If you live outside Wakefield and give notice in another District we will send a marriage guide to you in the post when we receive confirmation that you have given notice of marriage at your local Register Office. The guide provides all the information you need in respect of your wedding.

We provide you with many opportunities to enhance and personalise your ceremony so that it is unique to you. You can include personal vows, readings and music. You can share your story, how you met, your shared hopes and aspirations. You can also choose to combine sands, which symbolizes the two of you and your families joining together as one. If there is anything additional to this that you would like to include in your ceremony please contact our Ceremonies Co-ordinator by email at ceremonies@wakefield.gov.uk.

If at this point you would like to meet a dedicated member of our ceremonies team to discuss all aspects of your marriage ceremony you can book a bespoke ceremony meeting.

Your ceremony will be delivered by a qualified, experienced and dedicated Registrar.

Return your ceremony arrangement form and pay

You have been provided with a copy of a ceremony guide which outlines the choices you need to make in advance of your ceremony. If you cannot locate your original a copy is available to download on this page.

Your ceremony choices and fee should be completed and paid in full 8-10 weeks in advance of your ceremony.

If your ceremony was scheduled to take place in 2020/21 but due to Covid-19 lockdown or government restrictions has been rescheduled to a date in 2021/22 after April you will not incur the revised fees and charges effective of 1 April 2021. Please telephone us to make payment and arrange to return your form by email.

It is important that before you start the process of completing the online form you have the following information to hand;

  • The form cannot be completed more than 10 weeks in advance of your ceremony.
  • The form cannot be saved part way through, therefore you will need to have made decisions about your choices and have accompanying information to hand to attach, for example own vows or readings can be attached as a file document. It would be helpful to have your guide with you when completing the form. A copy of the guide is available above.
  • You will need your card details ready to make payment at the end of the process
  • If you have any problems completing your form please contact the Ceremonies Co-ordinator by email at ceremonies@wakefield.gov.uk providing your contact number and we will call you to provide guidance.
  • You will receive an email confirming its receipt with a copy of the information you have completed and an email confirming payment.

Complete the form and make payment online


Re-registration of the birth of your child after marriage

If you and your partner are natural parents and have married each other or formed an opposite sex civil partnership since your baby's birth and want the birth record to show your son or daughter as a child of your marriage/civil partnership then you need to:

  • Download and complete the application LA1 form here
  • Return the form by email to wakefieldregistrars@wakefield.gov.uk or post to Wakefield Register Office, Wood Street, Wakefield, WF1 2HQ
  • On receipt of a satisfactorily completed form we will contact you for an appointment – only one parent needs to attend the appointment and bring the completed LA1 form which has been signed by both parents along with the documents as outlined on the form.
  • Please note that if your marriage took place outside of the UK then your application will need to be referred to the General Register Office, therefore you should advise us of this before booking an appointment, as the appointment cannot go ahead without the approval of the GRO.
  • At the appointment to re-register you can purchase a new birth certificate.

It is free to re-register a birth. However, if you wish to purchase a copy of the new birth certificate, it costs £11 per copy.


Correct a marriage registration

If you notice a mistake on your certificate after your ceremony you can apply for a correction. The correction will need approval and be undertaken by the General Register Office before the Registrar can issue new certificates.

You need to;

  • Contact us in the first instance as it is possible that the mistake is only on the marriage certificate. We can check if the details on the marriage schedule are correct, and the mistake was made when inputting the details into the electronic register.
  • If the mistake is in the electronic register you will need to complete an application form stating what the error is and how it was made. Documentary evidence showing the correct information will need to be produced in order for the correction to be authorised and you will need to return any certificates you previously purchased for destruction.

It costs £90 to apply for a correction. If you wish to purchase a copy of the certificate after correction it costs £11 per copy.


Your marriage in a religious Building

If you are planning to be married in the Church of England you will need to speak to the person in charge at the church.

If you are planning to marry in any other church or religious building you will need to:

  • Make arrangements with the Minister or person in charge at the building
  • Live in the registration district where the church or religious building is situated, unless it is your usual place of worship (this applies to one or both of you)
  • Give notice of marriage to the Superintendent Registrar of the District in which you live
  • Some churches (not the Church of England) need the attendance of a registrar at the marriage, whilst some have their own registrar (an authorised person). Please speak to the Minister or person in charge to establish whether you will require a registrar to attend.

If you do need a registrar to attend your marriage ceremony at a religious building, you should contact us to check our availability as far in advance as possible.


Getting married abroad

It is important that you consult with the local authorities in the country where you are planning to be married to find out what you need to do.

Some countries may require you to give notice of marriage to the Superintendent Registrar of the District in which you live please contact us by telephone for further information.

More online information can be found here https://www.gov.uk/marriage-abroad/y


Urgent marriage(death bed wedding)

The Registrar General can authorise marriages to take place at short notice in circumstances where one of the parties is seriously ill, not expected to recover and cannot be moved to a place where a marriage could normally take place. This is known as a marriage by Registrar Generals Licence.

A twenty-four hour service is available every day of the year to provide for arrangements to be made for marriages by Registrar General's Licence. The service can be accessed by contacting us or, if outside of normal opening hours, by telephoning Wakefield Council Contact Centre on 0345 8 506 506.

Contact us

Wakefield Registration and Celebratory Services
0345 4 852 888