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Can We Get Married in England, Scotland or Wales?

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Question: Can We Get Married in England, Scotland or Wales?
We think it would be romantic to get married in an English castle, or maybe in Scotland or Wales. As visitors from overseas, will we be allowed to marry in the UK and what are the requirements?
Answer: If you are legally free to marry, you can get married in England, Scotland or Wales, but there are special rules that apply to citizens of other countries who want to marry in the UK.

Unless you are, or are marrying, a UK citizen, there are a number of requirements you must fulfill before you can marry in England or Wales. This may include waiting and residency periods of at least 22 days before the wedding in England or Wales:

  • 7 days in a registration district before filing notice of your intention to marry (what used to be called "posting the banns"). If you are not UK citizens, you may both need to be present for this.
  • 15 days after notice has been filed before the wedding can take place.
These rules, along with the documentation and visa requirements for getting married in England and Wales can be found at the UK General Register Office Website.

Different Rules in Scotland

The rules for getting married in Scotland are slightly different. For one thing, there is no residency requirement. You do need to file notice of your intention to marry but you don't have to be present at the registrar's office to do it. And, in Scotland, couples who are 16 years old can be married without parental consent - making eloping young lovers a romantic - if increasingly rare - option. Find the rules and requirements for getting married in Scotland at the General Register Office for Scotland website.

More about Destination Weddings

There's more to planning a wedding abroad then knowing the local laws and finding a nice venue. Susan Breslow Sardone's, book Destination Weddings for Dummies, guides couples through the process, with a chapter on getting married in the UK.
Buy Destination Weddings for Dummies Direct

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