Marriage in Britain

What makes a Marriage Valid?

The following requirements must be met for any marriage in England and Wales to be valid: 

  • You must be eighteen or over, or have your parents’ consent if you are sixteen or seventeen years old.

  • Before the marriage, you must give the priest, minister or registrar official documentary evidence –such as a birth certificate or passport – of your name, age and nationality, the decree absolute if your divorced, or the death certificate of your former spouse if you are a widow or widower. 

  • The marriage must be conducted by or in the presence of a person who is authorised to register marriages in the district.
  • The marriage must be entered in the marriage register and signed by each spouse, two witnesses, the person who conducted the ceremony and the person who registers the marriage.

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For more information on:

  • Giving Notice
  • When and When You can Marry?
  • If you get Married Abroad
  • Prohibited Marriages
  • Further Information