Where to start - Tie the Knot

Where to start

Where to start

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Planning a ceremony can be an exhilarating proposition. Tailoring your special day, to your own distinct personalities, is one of the most exciting steps in the build up to your ceremony.

However, it can also be a daunting, sometimes stressful experience. You may find yourself struggling to know where even to begin. 

This section of our website is designed to take you through the administrative steps, in as simple terms as possible. 

Before you begin the process of getting married / forming a civil partnership, you must first make sure you are free to do so. Please follow this link on GOV.UK for more information. 

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For some people, the whole process of planning a wedding can seem overwhelming. At Camden we want to try our best to make that process as smooth as possible for our couples.

Take a look a wedding timeline you can use to help you keep on top of your preparations. By no means is it essential to follow this format, but feel free to utilise this timeline as a guide, in case you’re ever left at a loose end during the planning process

Please bear in mind this a guide for civil ceremonies. For religious ceremonies please check with your minister of religion.

Do you want a civil partnership or a marriage ceremony?

What’s the difference? (PDF)

Are you looking for a religious or civil ceremony?

Both ceremonies are legally binding, as long as the civil preliminaries (such as Notice of Marriage) have carried out, however a civil ceremony can not have any reference to religion. 

What type of ceremony are you looking for?

Extravagant, low key, great value?

There are all sorts of venues in Camden. We have great value in-house options at Camden Town Hall, and a host of varied licenced venues in our borough, from Hampstead Heath to Covent Garden. Check out our venues page to see the full list.

Are you getting married here in England and Wales, or abroad?

The process for getting married abroad is different. 

Now that you’ve answered some preliminary questions, let’s get started on the basic steps you need to take to get married or form your civil partnership. 

First we’ll start with the most common process. This will be relevant if both of you are:

  • British
  • Irish
  • EEA (European economic area) nationals with either settled or pre-settled or has a pending application for that status submitted before the end of July 2021.
  • Holding the relevant visas to get married. (Indefinite leave to remain, marriage, spouse or civil partnership visas.)

The steps

  1. Choose your licenced venue or registered church / religious building
  2. Contact the venue / minister / religious person for availability
  3. Book your registrars / minister / religious person
  4. Give notice (If Church of England speak to your vicar)
  5. Wait 28 days
  6. Get married within twelve months of giving notice

Next we’ll look at the steps you need to take if one or both of you are non-British or Irish nationals or do not have the relevant visas. 

Before you follow these steps, make sure to read all the relevant information at gov.uk. Bear in mind the process of getting married or entering a civil partnership when one or neither of you are not relevant nationals is different to the standard process. 

An important part of this process is the notice appointment. You will need to bring extra things if you are in the above category.

A handy list of those things can be found below, though you should always read the guidance on gov.uk first.

The steps

  1. Check if you can get married or form a civil partnership on gov.uk
  2. Choose your licenced venue or registered church
  3. Contact the venue / minister / religious person for availability
  4. Give Notice as soon as possible (If Church of England speak to your vicar)
  5. Wait up to 70 days (dependent on Home Office regulations)
  6. If approved by Home Office, book your registrars / minister / religious person  
  7. Get married within twelve months of giving notice.