I hereby give notice…

by clumsylawyer

Yesterday, A Man and I gave notice of marriage at the Registration Office in Chippenham.  This is one of the legal steps to take if you’re planning a civil marriage ceremony in England or Wales and a similar process exists if you’d like to have a civil partnership.

Your notice of intent to marry has to be publicly displayed for 15 days before the certificate is issued and it is valid for a year after notice has been given.  It cost us £35 each to give notice.  Of course, the Registry Office is only open during office hours, so A Man had to take a couple of hours off.  Luckily, he managed to arrange an appointment for us before I started the new job, so we could go in together.

At our meeting, we had to confirm our names, nationalities, dates of birth, residential status and that we’re not related (seriously, the woman asked me FOUR TIMES!).  We took along our passports and each brought a bank statement to prove that we live here and have done so for at least a week.  We confirmed our date and place of marriage and were then separated to essentially give the same information again.  I had to give A Man’s full name and date of birth (though apparently he wasn’t asked for my birthday…) and the registrar also checked twice that I’m not under 18.  I know you need parental consent to marry between the ages of 16 and 18 but jeez, do I really look so young?!  We also gave our dads’ occupations, as they’re traditionally included on the marriage certificate.  Apparently there was a certain amount of amusement and confusion when they were trying to work out how to describe A Man’s dad’s job (he’s self-employed and owns a motorcycle training school) but it was worked out in the end.  It was all over fairly quickly and with little hassle, so we went off for a drink and a slice of cake to celebrate before A Man headed off to work (incidentally, here’s my review of Scoffs Café if you’re interested!).

So there we have it – the authorities now know we’re officially getting married.  Huzzah!  I’m glad we got to go together, even though it’s not strictly necessary.  Here’s a photo of us standing outside the Registry Office just before we went to discover cake.

Christ, that’s not a good photo! I was stupidly grinny because it was something else to tick off of the list (and, let’s face it, one of the very very important things which had to be done!) and squinty because the sun was out.  Please ignore my helmet hair!

What legal bumph have you had to go through before getting married?  Did you manage to fit it around work or did you have to take time off?