If you are getting married or entering into a civil partnership outside of England and Wales, different rules apply depending on the country where your ceremony will be held.

You should first check with the authorities of the country in which you are getting married or forming a civil partnership to establish what exactly their requirements are.

You can use the Getting Married Abroad tool on the GOV.UK website to find out what documents you need and how to apply for them.

Certificate of No Impediment

Some countries will require you to give notice of marriage or civil partnership in this country and to produce a Certificate of No Impediment in order for the ceremony to go ahead. This is a certificate which confirms there are no objections to a proposed marriage or civil partnership.

Your notice of marriage or civil partnership must be completed in person at your local registration office. If you reside in Ceredigion, please contact us to arrange a notice appointment.

We will discuss with you when you call to arrange your appointment what documents you will be required to show the registration officer and the applicable fee.

Please note that a notice of marriage or civil partnership can only be entered if:

  • you are a UK national, and
  • your marriage or civil partnership is taking place in a foreign country but not a Commonwealth country or the Irish Republic, and
  • you have lived in Ceredigion for the preceding eight nights immediately prior to giving your notice of marriage or civil partnership, and
  • the overseas authorities have asked you to obtain a Certificate of No Impediment, and
  • we are able to take notice for the country concerned, and
  • you are able to state the town, locality and country where your ceremony will take place.

Following the expiry of the 28 day statutory waiting period after entering notice, the Certificate of No Impediment can be issued provided no objection or impediment to the marriage or civil partnership has been given.

Important information

It is important to note that any Certificate of No Impediment issued, on its own, may not be sufficient to allow the marriage or civil partnership to take place. You must ensure that you complete any other legal requirements of the country you have chosen for your ceremony.

In addition, the local authorities in some countries will not accept the Certificate of No Impediment if it is dated more than three months prior to the date of the ceremony. It is your responsibility to check for any date restrictions and ensure your documents will be acceptable.

Apostille or legalisation stamp

The country where your marriage or civil partnership is taking place may require your Certificate of No Impediment to have an 'apostille' or legalisation stamp. This stamp is put on the document by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and it acts as confirmation that the document is genuine. You will need to establish whether this is required and allow time for this to be completed. Further information regarding legalisation of the certificate can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.

Returning to the United Kingdom

On your return, you do not need to register your marriage or civil partnership with the registration service of England and Wales. There is no legal requirement or facility to deposit a copy of your marriage or civil partnership certificate with the General Register Office in the United Kingdom. You should therefore make your own arrangements for the safekeeping of certificates.

As a general rule, as long as your marriage or civil partnership is valid and legal in the country in which it took place, it should be recognised in the United Kingdom. If you are in doubt as to the legality of your ceremony, please consult a solicitor.