Civil marriages

You can have a civil marriage at any registration office in England or Wales or at any of the premises approved by the relevant local authority for civil marriage.

In Lancashire, you can have a civil marriage ceremony at any of the Lancashire County Council registration offices and approved premises. Civil Ceremonies are not available on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

Your marriage registration will be subject to marriage registration fees.

If both of you are legally free to marry and wish to marry by civil ceremony you will need to contact the ceremonies officer for the area where you wish to marry.

The ceremonies officer will help you to arrange a ceremony at any registration office in England or Wales. However, if you want to marry in any of the approved premises, you will also need to make arrangements with the venue.

You can book a ceremony up to 3 years in advance. Please note the fee for your ceremony, plus a £30 non-refundable administration fee, will be payable in full, at the time of the booking.

There are exceptional circumstances where it may be possible to reduce this minimum period of 29 days. These circumstances include:

  • The serious illness of either party from which they are not expected to recover
  • The posting to a war zone of either party as part of their duties of being a serving member of the armed forces

If you think that your circumstances could warrant a waiver please contact your local registration office.

Giving notice of marriage or civil partnership

You need to book your ceremony before you can give notice of a marriage or civil partnership

By law, you must give 28 days' notice at a registration office in the district in which you live.

We have recently changed our policy on giving notice of your intention to marry or form a civil partnership.  You can only currently give notice three months prior to the date that your marriage or civil partnership ceremony is due to take place.

On the day

On the day of the ceremony, the registrar will see you both in private before the ceremony to check the details to be entered on the marriage schedule.

You will each be asked for your full name, age, occupation, the address of your residence on the day of your marriage. You will also be invited to provide the full names and occupations of up to four parents/step-parents and whether they are retired or deceased.

It is your responsibility to provide two witnesses to the marriage. They must be able to understand what is taking place and be able to give evidence of what they have seen and heard.

If you are being married in a register office or approved premises you may video and photograph your ceremony.