Getting married or forming a civil partnership outside England and Wales

If you are a UK national living in Lancashire and you wish to get married or form a civil partnership in a foreign country (excluding commonwealth countries and the Irish Republic) you might need to provide certain documents from the UK. 

You can establish whether you need a Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) for the country you wish to marry or enter a civil partnership in and how to get the documents you need on the GOV.UK Getting married abroad website.  The site provides a guide only and you should always consult with the marriage authorities in the country where the marriage/civil partnership is to take place. You should check whether the ‘Certificate of No Impediment’ (CNI) issued by the superintendent registrar in England and Wales is required, and acceptable. In some countries a “Marital status document” will be sufficient, this is an affidavit sworn by the UK national in the British Embassy of the country concerned.

We cannot give any advice on getting married or forming a civil partnership taking place outside England and Wales.

Your marriage or civil partnership will be recognised in the UK if both of the following apply:

  • you followed the correct process in the country where you got married or formed your civil partnership
  • it would be allowed under UK law

For same sex marriages you will need to enquire with the High Commission or Consulate if a same sex marriage will be legal in the country concerned.

Where both of the parties to the marriage or civil partnership reside in a foreign country you may be able to attend your nearest British Consul to give notice under the Consular Marriage and Marriages under Foreign Law Order 2014

If you need a Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) you must give notice at your local Register Office and produce all relevant documents.

If you need to give your notice in Lancashire please contact us on 0300 123 6705 to arrange an appointment.

We will need to know:

  • The location and country of your ceremony (as advised by the British Consul in the country you wish to marry or form your civil partnership).
  • how long before your ceremony you must give your notices
  • the length of time the CNI will be valid for in your chosen country

Please note that different countries will impose different validity periods and may require you to give notice within a specific time frame. 

Alternatively you may wish to have your legal ceremony here and have a celebratory ceremony abroad.

Already had your ceremony abroad?

If you have already had a legal ceremony abroad and wish to include your friends and family who could not be there with you, why not hold a celebratory renewal of vows ceremony in Lancashire.