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Planning your marriage or civil partnership ceremony

If you want to get married or register a civil partnership, you must declare you are free legally and lawfully to do so.

To request a digital copy of our ceremonies brochure email

Before you give notice

Couples must:

  • be over 18
  • not be closely related to each other
  • not be in an existing marriage or civil partnership

Before you give notice, you will need to decide which venue you want to hold your ceremony at, as your notice is valid for 12 months but is restricted to the venue for which it has been issued. If the notice expires before your ceremony takes place or you wish to change the venue then new notices will have to be given and another statutory fee paid.

Ceremonies in Stockton

Visit our Stockton Register Office ceremonies page and approved premises for your ceremony page for information on having your ceremony in Stockton.


Giving notice 

You must sign a legal statement at your local register office to say you intend to get married. This is called 'giving notice'. 

Where do I give notice?

You must give notice to the Superintendent Registrar in the district you live in. This does not have to be the same district where your ceremony is. If you and your partner live in different districts, you must each give a separate notice to the Superintendent Registrar of your own district, unless one of you is from outside the UK.

To make an appointment to give notice at Stockton Register Office or for further advice contact our team on 01642 527720 or

What documents do I need to bring to give notice?

You will be required to provide certain documents and pay a statutory fee.

Read the government guidance on the documents you'll need to give notice.

When do I need to give notice?

You can do this up to one year before your ceremony and at least 29 days before the date of the ceremony and it must be done in person.

If one of you is from outside the UK

You and your partner must give notice together, unless you both have one of the following:

  • British or Irish citizenship
  • settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • an application to the EU Settlement Scheme that you made before 30 June 2021, which you're waiting for a decision on

You must give your notice together at a register office in the district where at least one of you lives.

If your partner gave notice separately before 1 July 2021, they will need to give notice again with you.

If you one or both of you are subject to immigration control you should arrange to give notice at your local Register Office before booking a date for your ceremony as the notice period of 28 days may be extended to 70 days in some cases.

What happens next?

The notice will be displayed the day following your appointment and will remain on display for 28 days before your ceremony. Anyone who knows of a legal reason to object to the proposed marriage or civil partnership can do so within this timescale.


Non-statutory ceremonies 

Couples may choose to celebrate at a second ceremony as well as at their legal marriage ceremony. The couple and their guests should understand that any other ceremony is not the formal marriage ceremony and does not have any legal standing.


Civil partnership ceremonies 

There is no legal requirement for you to hold a ceremony. If preferred, your relationship may be registered simply by you, your partner and your witnesses signing the Civil Partnership Schedule in the presence of the Civil Partnership Registrar.

Civil Partnerships are registered online after your schedule has been signed and witnessed. Your Civil Partnership Certificate cannot be issued until the registration is complete, so we may not be able to present it to you at the time. If this is the case, your certificates will be available for you to collect from our Register Office.


Religious marriages - Church of England

If you want to get married in the Church of England, you should seek advice from the relevant clergy at the church. They will arrange for the Banns to be called, or a Common Licence to be issued. We are not involved with these marriages apart from issuing your marriage certificate after your wedding.


Same-sex couples

The Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013 obtained Royal Assent in July 2013. If you are a couple not already in a civil partnership and would like a marriage ceremony, we can now conduct and register your marriage. 

If you already have a civil partnership, you can convert it to a marriage. 

To get started refer to the Giving Notice section.



Personal information collected from you to register an event is required by law.

Further information on data held by the registration service and a full list of the organisations with the registration data is shared with and the purpose and the lawful basis for sharing the data can be found on our privacy notices page.

For further help regarding your personal information contact officers at the Register Office on 01642 527720.