Weddings and Civil Partnerships Abroad

The procedures for getting married are different in every country as there are laws concerning immigration and residency status. Whether it is a beautiful castle in Scotland or English stately home that appeals most this year, this article lists some of the documentations needed for a successfully legal marriage in the UK.

Weddings and Civil Partnerships Abroad
[image: pexels by dogukan benli]

Giving Notice of Marriage or Civil Partnership

Couples wishing to get married need to ‘give notice’ of Marriage and supply some personal information to the local Register Office – a local government office that registers births, deaths, marriages and adoptions records. This is a legal requirement and must be done in person. The notice is valid for one year and is normally publicly displayed for 15 days before it can be approved.

Couples getting married in an Anglican Church or a church in Wales do not need to give notice as marriage ceremonies held in these churches are legally sufficient. For civil weddings and partnerships, both parties to the marriage need to be present when giving their notice.

Visa Requirements and Residency Status

Before giving a Notice of Marriage or civil partnership, all non-UK nationals must be able to satisfy UK laws regarding immigration and residency status. Usually, the couple needs to have lived in the district in which they wish to be married for seven consecutive days before they can give notice. However, there are some exemptions. For instance, Commonwealth citizens are able to give notice in their country of residence, as long as that country has signed up to the 'British Subjects Facilities Acts of 1915 and 1916'.

Visit the local British embassy for specific visa requirements. Canadians and U.S. nationals can visit the UK for up to six months without a UK visa; however, the actual period of stay will be determined on arrival by the immigration officer. Visitors entering the UK for the purpose of marriage generally need an entry clearance to be admitted in the country. London Elegance has some more specific information on UK visas and some more can be accessed from Fibonacci roulette system website.

Certificate of No Impediment (CNI)

This is a certificate which confirms that there are no objections to a marriage. This document is required by some foreign authorities to enable a non-national to marry in their country.

Note that not all countries issue CNIs as a standard certificate. Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade supplies a ‘Statement In-Lieu of Certificate of Non- Impediment to Marry Abroad’; while in the USA citizens have to make a sworn Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry, which is accepted in the UK. 

Writing Your Own Wedding Vows

For some couples, the traditional marriage vows don't seem all that meaningful. While many couples don't think twice about using the traditional set of wedding promises in their ceremony, others feel they have a generic "fill-in-the-blanks" quality (as in "I, ______, take thee, _______, to be your lawfully wedded wife...."). To some couples, wedding vows feel more meaningful if they are personalized and unique.

If you're looking for a less traditional way to pledge your love, here are some ideas about what to include in your personalized wedding vows.

1) Figure out what you want to promise to each other. As you write your vows, think of the promises that are important for you and your partner. You will probably want to include some of the traditional concepts, but also take the time to think of values that are important to you that aren't included in the typical vows.

Here are some of the traditional promises that couples make to one another:





Loyalty (" sickness and in health...)

Lifetime commitment ("...'til death do us part...")

Obedience (a bit controversial in this era, to say the least)

However, these are not the only things that are important in a marriage. Here are some less traditional promises to make to one another:



Mutual respect



Kindness to one another



Shared workload


Valuing each other's families

Being a good parent

Challenging each other to be the best people you can be

Acceptance of each other's differing opinions

Acceptance of each other's imperfections

Willingness to change diapers, weed the garden, put the seat down, etc.

2) What specific things do you want to promise to give your partner? What are your strengths as a person that you want to share with your spouse? What special things does your spouse need from you? When writing your vows, discuss with your partner what you think spouses should give to one another, and keep this in mind as your write your vows.

3) What qualities of yours do you want to promise to avoid? Are you impatient? Unforgiving? Picky? Indulgent? Promise to be the best person you can be and to try to keep your imperfections in check.

4) Incorporate special circumstances. If a couple faces difficult or special challenges that will impact the marriage, find a way to include these in the vows. If the couple has children, either together or from a previous relationship, incorporate the kids into your vows. Other special circumstances and challenges you might address include:

A serious illness

A disability

Military obligations (overseas service, frequent moves, etc.)

Interfaith marriage

A past history of addiction

5) Religious considerations. How do you want religion to fit into your life, and how do you want this to fit into your marriage vows? To many, marital vows are a promise to God as much as they are a promise to each other, so make this clear as you write your vows. Couples might also promise to help each other in their relationship with God.

Use your imagination! Don't worry about making your vows sound like everybody else's. This is your unique relationship and your personalized promises to one another. Take the time to write your vows together and your wedding will be all the more meaningful.

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