Getting married abroad

Where two British subjects, or one British subject and one foreign national, wish to marry abroad under the local law of that country, the Register Office can issue a ‘certificate of no impediment’ under special arrangements agreed with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. However you will need to find out from the Consul of the foreign country, or the British Consul for where the marriage is to take place, what must be done to comply with the law of that country and what documents it will be necessary to produce there.

A foreign country does not include a Commonwealth country or the Irish Republic and the person giving notice must have resided in Swindon for at least 7 days immediately before the giving of the notice.

Once you have given Notice the information you have supplied is displayed on our public notice board for a period of 15 days.  The certificate of no impediment is issued on the 16th day and as far as we are concerned has no expiry date.  However you should check the latest issue date and for how long the certificate will be valid in the country concerned.

Important: Please note that the law will be changing from Monday 2nd March 2015. From that date, the notice period will be increasing to either 28 days. For more information, please see the Gov.uk website.

Different arrangements are in place for those wishing to form a civil partnership abroad. Please contact the Registration Service for more information.

Relevant documentation

The page outlining documentation required for Marriages and Civil Partnerships, will tell you what documents you will need in order to give legal notice.

Last updated: 15 February 2016. Was this information helpful?

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