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Legal requirements to marry

There are certain things that must be done before any marriage or civil partnership ceremony can take place.

Find out everything you need to know on how to legally marry on GOV.UK.

I have been married or in a civil partnership before

If you have ever been married or ever entered into a civil partnership, you will need proof of your marital status. If divorced, you will need to produce your decree absolute. If the marriage has been annulled you will need to produce the decree of nullity. These documents must bear an original court seal. A photocopy will not be acceptable unless it bears an original, non-photocopied court seal.

If you have previously formed a civil partnership, evidence will be needed to show how that civil partnership ended. If the civil partner has died, a death certificate will be required. If the civil partnership was dissolved, it will be necessary to produce the final order of dissolution bearing an original seal.

If you need to get a decree absolute or final order of civil partnership dissolution, these can be obtained from the court in which the divorce or dissolution was granted or from:

The Principal Registry of the Family Division
First Avenue House
42-49 High Holborn
London WC1V 6NP
Phone: 020 7947 6000 (main number) or 020 7947 7017 to request a search for a decree absolute or dissolution order.

I am widowed

If widowed, you will need to produce an original death certificate. If your late spouse's death certificate does not name you as the husband or wife, then it will also be necessary to produce the marriage certificate.