Emma's answers to Travelling to the UK for the wedding
My (English) fiancé and I live in Australia (I'm Australian) but we have decided to get married in England next year because we want his family to have the opportunity to share in the occasion. We don't live in England, and don't plan to do so. From what I have read on the confetti website, we will have to be in England for seven days prior to giving notice of our intention to marry and then for 15 days afterwards, a total of 22 days - is this correct? I am also wondering about invitation etiquette in such circumstances. We have told everyone we want to be there when it will be so they can plan (and save - for those coming from Australia) but I am not sure how far in advance we should send out actual invitations and information packs (re: flights, accommodation, attractions in the local area etc).
You're certainly right about residency requirements in England. If you are a visitor to England or Wales and have specifically come for the purpose of marriage, you will need to satisfy the residential qualification of seven days and then wait a further 15 clear days before you will be eligible to marry. Even as a British citizen, you will still need to be resident in the country
(or parish for a church wedding) before the wedding can go ahead.
Although we refer to the residency requirement in days, the registrar general for England and Wales interprets a 'day' as spending a night in the
registration district in which you give formal notice of your marriage. Furthermore, a 'night' means a 'big sleep', that is, spending the whole
night and not just part of it in the registration district in which you intend qualifying for the residency requirement.
Once you are reasonably certain about your itinerary, you should write to the register office where you will be giving notice of your marriage, giving details of your travel arrangements and intended marriage date. The
superintendent registrar will then confirm that your arrangements are satisfactory (from a timing point of view) and will make an appointment for
you to give formal notice and also a provisional booking for your marriage ceremony. When you arrive in England or Wales, you should immediately
arrange to meet with the registrar to confirm your booking and to discuss any other arrangements that need to be made.
When you give formal notice of your marriage, you will be required to sign a declaration that you have met the residency requirement. Each party to the marriage is required to declare their nationality. This is to enable the Superintendent Registrar to advise you whether any further administrative procedures or legal requirements are needed to ensure the recognition of the marriage in the country of which you are a national. The preferred document as evidence of nationality will always be a passport, however for people born abroad an ID card, or a Home Office travel document or acknowledgement showing nationality will also be acceptable. In the absence of such a document, advice should be sought from the Superintendent Registrar in the
district where the notice is to be given.
With regard to sending out your invitations, It is usually recommended that you send your invitations three months before your wedding. This should ensure that your guests have adequate time to make arrangements to attend. However, as your wedding is taking place overseas, your guests might be pleased to receive their invitations slightly earlier to allow them to make the necessary arrangements. There are no rules of etiquette regarding sending out invitations too early, so I would suggest you let people know as soon as practically possible.
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