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; it must be of a strictly non-religious nature;
- A religious ceremony can take place in a church, chapel or other building of religious worship which has 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 the fees for marriage arrangements and ceremonies, see Fees .
Approved premises for marriages
Since 1st April 1995, the Marriage Act 1994 has allowed suitable premises to be licensed for marriage ceremonies, offering a wide choice. You may 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 Approved Premises, contact the proprietor of the building. You will also need to book Registration Officers from the local Register Office to conduct the ceremony.
Church of England or Church in Wales
If you wish to be married in a Church of England or Wales, you or your partner would generally have to live within the parish of the church, or be a regular worshipper. If the vicar is able to marry you, he / she will arrange for the Banns to be called or for a Common Licence to be issued. The marriage will also be registered by the vicar, and there is generally 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 in question must normally be located within the registration district where you or your partner live, or, if outside the district, be a place of regular worship for either or both of you. The service will be conducted by the Minister, but occasionally a Registrar is required to register the marriage.
To book a marriage at any of these venues, contact the Minister of the Church, and the local Superintendent Registrar, where necessary.
This information is a general guide only. For marriages outside England or Wales, or marriages of people where the circumstances are not straightforward, contact the Superintendent Registrar for advice.
Further information can be found at GOV.UK Marriages and Civil Partnerships .
The legal formalities
Unless you are marrying in the Church of England or Church in Wales by Banns or Common Licence, notice of marriage has to be given by each of you personally to your local Superintendent Registrar(s).
Both of you must have lived in a registration district in England or Wales for at least seven days immediately before giving notice at the register office. If you both live in the same district, you will each give notice at the same office. If you live in different registration districts, you will each give notice separately in your own area. However, if one or both of the couple are subject to immigration control, both must attend together at a designated Register Office, irrespective of the district where they live. The nearest offices to Calderdale are Leeds and Manchester.
- A notice of marriage is valid for twelve months.
You may therefore not give notice of marriage to the Superintendent Registrar more than twelve months before the date of your wedding.
- A notice of marriage is valid only for the venue named on the notice.
Whereas it may be possible to alter the date of your marriage (provided it is before the expiry date), a change of location would require a fresh notice and fee.
After giving notice you must wait a further 28 clear days before the marriage can take place (for example, if notice is given on 1 July, the marriage may take place on or after 28 July). Book an appointment to give notice .
Both authorities must have been issued on or before the day of the marriage.
Marriage notices are taken by appointment only at Calderdale Register Office .
Documents required by law
When you attend before a Superintendent Registrar to make formal arrangements, you will need to produce certain documents to confirm your name, age, marital status and nationality.
Evidence of Name, Surname, Date of Birth and Nationality
- a current valid passport;
- 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 1 January 1983 you will also need your mother's birth certificate (or other proof of her nationality at the time).
Evidence of Place of Residence
- Utility bill dated no more than 3 months before the appointment (gas/electric/water/landline/broadband/cable - not a mobile phone bill);
- Bank statement dated no more than one month before the appointment;
- Council tax bill dated no more than one year before the appointment;
- Mortgage statement dated no more than one year before the appointment;
- 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 of age, a completed consent form;