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:
- Check if you can marry/form a civil partnership on the Gov.uk website.
- Getting married abroad
- Marriage Visitor visa
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.
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.
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.