Organising your wedding day can be a daunting process, with lots of decisions to make and information to find out. We can help you through the legal processes of marriage, providing you with information and advice every step of the way.
Same sex couples can marry in England and Wales.
The first decision you will need to make is the type of ceremony you would like - a religious ceremony in a church or chapel, which must hold a licence for marriage or same sex marriage, or a civil ceremony, at the Register Office, or in one of the many approved premises around the county.
If you are having a civil ceremony in Somerset or North Somerset please contact Somerset Registration Service on 01823 282251 to check availability and book the registrars for your ceremony. In certain cases you will need to book a registrar for your religious ceremony, your minister will be able to advise you about this.
In most cases you must give at least twenty eight clear days notice before you can get married. You can find details of 'special procedures' for people in extreme circumstances on the General Register Office website or by contacting your local Register Office.
You can book an appointment to give notice of marriage here
Everyone must provide evidence of their name, age, nationality and address. A current passport or full birth certificate is essential. If you were born after 1982 and do not have a current passport, you must bring your mother's birth certificate to prove British nationality. One other form of identification showing your name and current address is also required, for example a recent bank statement less than one month old, or a utility bill less than three months old.
If you have changed your name for reasons other than marriage you must bring along documentary evidence of the name change.
If you have been married before or have previously formed a civil partnership you must provide evidence that you are now legally free to form a marriage or civil partnership. Types of evidence could include:
- A divorce decree absolute (you can get copies of these by contacting the court where the divorce proceedings took place).
- Final order of dissolution of a civil partnership
- Death certificate from a former wife, husband or civil partner. (if you are not the 'informant' on the death certificate, you will also need to bring the marriage or civil partnership certificate)
Please note that all documents provided must be originals. Any documents which are not in English must be supplied with a translation.
Please note that with effect from 1 November 2017 consideration of foreign divorce documents will be subject to a fee of £50.00, in certain circumstances this may increase to £75.00 if the document needs to be referred to the General Register Office. The fee is payable at the time of the notice of marriage appointment, is non-refundable and does not guarantee approval of the documents.
In some instances it may be necessary for the General Register Office to approve the validity of the documents. Please contact your local office if you have any questions.
These are the key steps you need to take to book your ceremony.
Decide on your venue and arrange the date and time for your ceremony with them.
You can have a marriage ceremony at any approved premises, or you can hold it at a Register Office. For more information about approved premises please see our Approved premises in Somerset page.
Contact the Register Office for the district the venue is situated in to check the availability of the registrars. You can only make a provisional booking at this point, which will be confirmed when you 'give notice'. Full location and contact details for each office are available in the contacts section at the bottom of this page.
Both you and your partner need to contact the Register Office for the district you live in to arrange an appointment to 'give notice'. Somerset is now a 'unified district, which means that if you live in Somerset you can give notice in any Registration Office in Somerset. If you and your partner live in different districts you will each need to go separately to your local Register Office. If you live in the same district you will usually be asked to attend together.
In most cases you will need to make an appointment to 'give notice' at your local Register Office and attend with your partner - if you both live in the same district. Giving notice of marriage costs £35 each.
Notice cannot be given more than 12 months before the ceremony and you should have lived in the district for at least 7 days before giving notice.
If you are not a member of a European Economic Area (EEA) country, and subject to immigration control, please contact your local Register Office for more advice.
You will be offered a private appointment with the Registration Officer and asked for details of the time, date and venue of the ceremony, as well as your name, age, nationality, address, occupation and marital status, along with proof as necessary.
These details are then put on public display at the Somerset Register Office in Taunton for 28 days, after which the 'Authority for Marriage' may be issued. If your wedding is taking place in a place of worship, you will need to make arrangements for the 'Authority' to be forwarded to the minister conducting your ceremony as soon as possible.
Each Register Office marriage is given a 45 minute appointment. The ceremony lasts between 15 and 20 minutes.
A marriage ceremony at the Old Municipal Buildings - Taunton
Vivary Room seats up to 40 people - £150 including certificate (from 1 April 2018 - £200)
Tudor Hall seats up to 100 people - £300 including certificate (from 1 April 2018 - £350)
A marriage ceremony at Abbey Manor Conference Centre - Yeovil
Seats up to 40 people - £150 including certificate Saturdays only (from 1 April 2018 - £200)
A standard marriage ceremony
The couple plus two witnesses, including certificate - £50 at the following locations, Monday to Friday in a working office environment.
- Bridgwater Registration Office
- Mendip Registration Office
- Williton Registration Office
- South Somerset Registration Office
- Somerset Register Office (Taunton)
A marriage ceremony at an approved premises
Marriage ceremony including certificate:
Monday to Thursday - £420
Friday and Saturday - £450
Sunday - £500
Bank Holidays - £600
Contact details and opening times of our Register Office and all our Registration Offices