If you are marrying abroad, you must check what the legalities are for that country. Some may ask for a 'Certificate of No Impediment'. If this is the case, you will need to make an appointment to give a legal notice at the register office for the area where you live.
The rules governing marriages abroad are complex and different for each country. You should always check with the relevant consul that you know exactly what documents you need to provide before your marriage can take place.
From 1 January 2014 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) discontinued its service of depositing foreign marriage and civil partnership certificates with the General Register Offices in the UK. British nationals overseas now need to make their own arrangements for the safekeeping of these certificates, as they do for other important documents.
We would advise that you buy extra copies of your marriage certificates at the time of your marriage abroad. You will need them in the future for legal reasons, for example, mortgage applications, pensions, wills and inheritance reasons. It can be difficult to apply for a copy certificate from a foreign country at a later date.
There is no legal provision for your marriage or civil partnership to be recorded in the UK.
Please check with the British Consul or on the GOV.UK website before you travel.
Renewal of vows ceremony
If you have just returned from an intimate wedding abroad or have had a secret wedding, you may want to renew your vows in front of your family and friends. If you wish to arrange a renewal of vows ceremony please visit our renewal of vows ceremonies page for more information.