Getting married abroad?
You need to make sure it is recognised in England & Wales.
Nowadays getting married abroad is much more common. The romance, excitement and intimacy are only a few of the reasons!
It is very easy to get lost in the excitement and the wedding preparations, and then overlook the necessity to check that all formalities are complied with.
Each country has its own set of laws and procedural regulations that must be complied with to ensure that the marriage is valid and will be recognised in this country.
If you are planning to get married abroad, you need to fully understand what you must do in plenty of time before your wedding.
We recommend that you research what’s needed and contact the local authorities in the relevant country to be sure you don’t miss anything. There may be official documents needed from the UK prior to your departure.
You need to make sure you follow the correct procedure according to local law, so that your marriage is recognised in the UK.
English law recognises foreign marriages as long as:
- The ceremony complies with the law in the country where the marriage takes place
- Each party must have the capacity to enter into the marriage according to the law of the country in which they lived before the marriage
- Any previous marriage of either party must firstly have been validly terminated
To get married in England or Wales you must:
- Give notice at your local register office
- Have a religious or civil ceremony, usually at least 28 days after giving notice, although there are some instances when the notice period can be reduced
- Sign the marriage register or civil partnership document in the presence of two witnesses
- Register the marriage or civil partnership
Read more about Reshma, our matrimonial solicitor here.