You must give notice by law.
Giving notice means you'll sign a legal statement at your local register office to say you intend to marry or form a civil partnership. You must have a date and venue booked for your ceremony before you can give notice.
Giving notice costs £35 per person. The total for a couple giving notice is £70.
When to give notice
You can give notice up to 12 months, or at least 29 days, before your ceremony.
Your notice of marriage is valid for 12 months.
Where to give notice
If you're planning a civil or religious ceremony and both live in Medway (and have done for at least 7 days), you'll give notice at Medway Register Office.
If you or your partner do not live in Medway
You'll need to visit the register office that is local to where you live.
You must have lived in that district for at least 7 days before giving notice.
Church of England (CofE) ceremonies
For CofE ceremonies, you'll need to arrange a reading of banns with your church instead of giving notice.
Reading of banns is where your church will announce your intention to marry.
If you're subject to the Home Office Referral and Investigation Scheme, you'll need to request a giving notice appointment. This costs £47 per person.
Find out more about CofE wedding ceremonies.
Request an appointment to give notice
To give notice, you'll need to request an appointment online.
You'll need to tell us:
- the name of your ceremony venue
- your ceremony date
- your contact details
- when you would like to be contacted (morning or afternoon)
- how you would like to be contacted.
The request will be sent to Medway Register Office, who will contact you within 5 working days to book your giving notice appointment.
Before your giving notice appointment
When Medway Register Office contact you to book your giving notice appointment, they'll tell you what you need to bring. For example, you'll need proof of ID, such as a valid passport.
If you've ever been married or in a civil partnership, we'll need proof of your marital status at your giving notice appointment.
For example, if you've:
- divorced - we'll need your decree absolute
- annulled your marriage - we'll need the decree of nullity
- dissolved your civil partnership - we'll need the final order of dissolution
- been widowed - we'll need your late spouse’s original death certificate (if the death certificate does not name you as the husband or wife, we'll also need the marriage certificate).
Divorce, nullity and dissolution documents must have an original court seal. We cannot accept photocopies.
If you need to get a decree absolute, decree nullity or final order of civil partnership dissolution, you can contact the Principal Registry of the Family Division by:
- post: Principal Registry of the Family Division, First Avenue House, 42-49 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6NP
- phone: 0207 947 6000.
If you got divorced outside the British Isles
You may need to have your divorce documents reviewed by a Superintendent Registrar. This costs between £50 and £75.
To find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What happens at your giving notice appointment
The appointment will take up to 45 minutes.
The registrar will review any documents you were asked to bring and make copies if needed.
Each person will then have an interview on their own where they'll answer questions about themselves and their partner.
The interview answers are used to create your notice. You'll be asked to check your notice for any mistakes and sign it.
Your notice will then be displayed at the register office for 28 days.
If the marriage or civil partnership is taking place in Medway, you'll pay your giving notice fees and any outstanding ceremony fees.
You'll be given a Choices booklet if you're getting married at a Medway venue.
In this, you'll need to tell us your ceremony details, including:
- who is giving the bride away (if applicable)
- what readings you would like (if any)
- your ceremony music choices.
You'll need to return this one month before your ceremony. Make sure you complete your Choices booklet fully as there are no rehearsals.
After your giving notice appointment
If your notice periods end at different times, your wedding schedule will not be made until the final notice period ends.
If there are no objections during your 28 day notice periods, your wedding schedule is made. This is what you'll sign at your ceremony.
If your ceremony is being run by a registrar, they'll keep this and bring it to your ceremony with them.
If you're having a religious ceremony, you’ll need to collect your schedule and take it to your venue.