Last updated:

19th July 2023

Choosing a marriage or civil partnership

Check if you can marry or form a civil partnership

You can get married or form a civil partnership in England or Wales if you are:

  • 18 or over
  • Not already married or in a civil partnership
  • Not closely related     

Same-sex couples can convert a civil partnership into a marriage in England or Wales. 

There are different rules if you want to marry/form a civil partnership in Scotland, Northern Ireland or abroad.

If you or your partner is a foreign national

You may need a visa or permit depending on where your partner is from and whether you want to live in the UK after your ceremony.  You can:

Choose the type of ceremony

You must decide where you are going to have your ceremony before you give notice.

If you're getting married you can choose to have either a religious ceremony or a civil ceremony.

If you’re forming a civil partnership you cannot have a religious ceremony.

Religious ceremonies

A religious wedding can take place at any registered religious building.

Contact the venue of your choice about whether or not you can get married there.

Same-sex couples can get married in a religious building if it has been registered for the marriage of same-sex couples. 

Civil ceremonies

You can have a civil ceremony at:

  • A Register Office
  • The Wokingham Ceremony Room
  • Any council - approved venue - please see our Book a civil ceremony page

Registrars must carry out your ceremony.  You will need to book your registrars with the Register Office of the district in which you are marrying.

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