There are two forms of marriage:
- a civil ceremony can take place in a Register Office or other building licensed for marriage ceremonies. The ceremony is conducted by a Registration Officer and must be of a strictly non-religious nature;
- a religious ceremony can take place in a church, chapel or other building of religious worship. These must have been formally registered for marriage ceremonies. The service is conducted by the minister in accordance with the religious rites and ceremonies of the premises.
For details of charges for marriage arrangements and ceremonies, please see: Fees .
Approved premises for marriages
Since 1st April 1995, the Marriage Act 1994 has allowed suitable premises to be licensed for marriage ceremonies. You can marry at any approved premises in England or Wales, irrespective of the district where you live. For a list of approved premises in Calderdale, see: Approved venues for ceremonies .
To book a marriage at an approved venue, you must contact them.
Please note: You must book Registration Officers from the local register office, to conduct the ceremony.
Bespoke Wedding Package
Would you like a wedding ceremony which is slightly unusual, more personal and bespoke?
Many couples are choosing to have their ceremony in an alternative venue which is of special significance for them. This can be in premises that are not licensed for marriages or even at an outside location. However this marriage ceremony is not legally recognised.
Our bespoke package consists of a short legal marriage ceremony in the Calderdale Register Office, which can take place from Monday to Friday. This is followed at a later date by a celebratory ceremony in any suitable venue of your choice (subject to approval).
You can personalise your ceremony and add alternative things to the format. You can write your own vows, have special poems, readings or music. You can also include something symbolic, such as a unity candle or sand ceremony.
Church of England or Church in Wales
To marry at a Church of England or Wales, you or your partner normally need to live within churches' parish. Although, you can often marry at a church if you are a regular worshipper there.
If the vicar will marry you, they will arrange for 'Banns' being read or a Common Licence issuing. The vicar will also register the marriage. Generally, there is no need to involve the local Superintendent Registrar. If the Register Office needs to be contacted, the vicar will advise you.
Other places of religious worship
The church or religious building, must normally be in the registration district where you or your partner live. If outside the district, it should be a place of regular worship for either or both of you. The service will be conducted by the Minister, but at times a Registrar is required to register the marriage.
To book marriages at these venues, contact the Church Minister and the local Superintendent Registrar, where necessary.
Note: This information is a general guide only. For marriages outside England or Wales, or where the circumstances are not straightforward, contact the Superintendent Registrar for advice.
For more details, visit: Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Gov.uk).
The legal formalities
Notice of marriage must be given by each of you personally to your local Superintendent Registrar(s). Unless, you are marrying in the Church of England or Church in Wales by Banns or Common Licence.
Both of you must have lived in a registration district in England or Wales for at least seven days. This is directly before giving notice at the register office. If you both live in the same district, you will give notice at the same office. If you live in different registration districts, you will give notice separately, in your own district.
Note: If one or both of you are subject to immigration control, both must attend the designated Register Office, together. This is irrespective of the district where you live. The nearest offices to Calderdale are Leeds and Manchester.
A notice of marriage is valid for twelve months.
You cannot give notice of marriage more than twelve months before the date of your wedding.
A notice of marriage is valid only for the venue named on the notice.
You can alter the date of your marriage, provided it is before the expiry date. To change the location you need a new notice and fee.
After giving notice, you must wait 28 days before the marriage can take place. For example, notice is given on 1st July, the marriage may take place on, or after, 28th July.
To give notice: Book an appointment . Note: Both authorities must have been issued on, or before, the day of the marriage, for it to take place.
Marriage notices are taken by appointment only at Calderdale Register Office .
Documents required by law
To make formal arrangements with Superintendent Registrars, you must produce documents that confirm your name, age, marital status and nationality.
Evidence of Name, Surname, Date of Birth and Nationality
- A current valid passport;
- or a valid national identity card, issued by an European Economic Area (EEA) state, or Switzerland;
- or for people born in the UK only, a full UK birth certificate. If you were born after 1st January 1983, you need your mother's birth certificate. If you do not have this, you will need other proof of her nationality at the time.
Evidence of Place of Residence
- A utility bill, dated no more than 3 months before the appointment. This can be for gas, electric, water, landline, broadband, cable, but not a mobile phone bill);
- or a bank statement, dated no more than one month before the appointment;
- or a Council tax bill dated, no more than one year before the appointment;
- or a mortgage statement dated, no more than one year before the appointment;
- or a valid driving licence, showing the expiry date.
Other required evidence
- If you have been widowed, the death certificate of your former spouse / civil partner.
- If you are divorced or your previous civil partnership has been dissolved, the decree absolute / dissolution certificate.*
- If you have changed your name, Deed Poll documents.
- If you are under 18 years old, a completed consent form.
* For divorces granted outside the British Isles, you must send a copy of your paperwork to the Register Office. They can then check this before your appointment. If the paperwork is not in English, you must provide a certified translation.
There is a fee to process a foreign divorce (from 1st November 2017). The fee depends on where your divorce was granted. You will be advised of this when you submit your paperwork.
Note: This fee is to be paid at your appointment, as well as your notice fee.
It is recommended that you book your venue, before booking a notice appointment.