Understanding the rules
28 clear days
Once you have both given notice, you must wait at least 28 clear statutory waiting days before the marriage can take place.
'Statutory waiting days' are the 28 consecutive days between the giving of the notice and the issue of the authority.
So a person giving notice on the 2 January, would then have to wait 28 clear days, that is from the 3 January to the 30 January, before the authority was issued on the 31 January.
The 31 January would be the first day that that person was able to legally get married.
7 full days
The residency period is for a minimum seven full (24-hour) days. e.g. if it begins on Tuesday 3 February Day 1 would be Wednesday 4 February and the following Tuesday 10 February would be Day 7, so notice could be given on or after Wednesday 11 February.
It is your responsibility to make sure that your marriage authorities, when due, arrive at the appropriate Hampshire registration office i.e. the one dealing with your wedding arrangements.
Most other registration districts will send these authorities straight to the relevant Hampshire office when they are due.
Alternatively you may prefer to collect them yourselves and deliver them by hand.
These should be delivered as soon as possible after the due date – your marriage authorities are vital and if they are not received in the appropriate office your wedding may not be able to go ahead as planned.
If you are planning to get married or form a civil partnership while in the UK and are subject to immigration control1 the following conditions will apply.
You will need to give notice to a registration officer at a Designated Register Office having completed the required 7 x 24 hour days' residence. The residence can be set up anywhere in England and Wales, either in the same district or in different districts. You can go to any Designated Office regardless of where the residency/residencies were set up, however you do have to attend together. Winchester is the designated Register Office for Hampshire although you may attend any other Designated Register Office to give notice. Details of all Designated Register Offices in England and Wales are on the General Register Office web site.
For further information regarding immigration status please telephone the Home Office on 0870 606 7766 or visit the Home Office web site.
1 If you are a British Citizen, a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or you have a certificate of entitlement giving you right of abode in the UK in your passport you are not subject to immigration control.
European Economic Area
An (EEA) national is a national of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus2 Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden or Switzerland.
2 This means a person who can produce documentation showing that they are entitled to citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus. Those solely holding documentation from “The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” are subject to immigration control.
A ‘housebound’ person is one about whom a statement has been made by a registered medical practitioner stating that, due to illness or disability, they ought not to move or be moved from their home, hospital or any other place that they are at the time and that their illness or disability is likely to immobilise them for at least 3 months from the date that the statement is made.
You must give your notice immediately after the residency period has been completed, and before you return home.The residency period is for a minimum seven full (24-hour) days. e.g. if you arrive Tuesday 3 February Day 1 would be Wednesday 4 February and the following Tuesday 10 February would be Day 7, so notice could be given on or after Wednesday 11 February
If both parties are setting up a residency they will need to give Notice of Marriage in their residing district on the same day so the 7 day period starts and ends on the same dates. Equally if both parties live abroad, they must both set up a residence in this country at the same time and give notice on the same day, either in the same or different districts, in order to be able to sign the legal paperwork.
A ‘detained’ person is one who is detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 or who is in prison.