The couple wishing to have a civil marriage ceremony must give notice of their marriage to their local register office before it can proceed. You must give at least 28 days' notice at your local register office which should include details of where you intend to get married or form a civil partnership. You can contact your local register office to make an appointment. This notice of intention to marry will be publicly displayed, during which time anyone with strong grounds for objecting to the marriage is able to do so. Proof of name, age, nationality and address will be required in order to be able to effectively submit notice. In the case of parties who are divorced or widowed, proof of divorce (eg decree absolute) or death certificate are needed.
Once the 28 days have passed and there are no objections, the civil marriage ceremony can take place which will be in the local register office or local authority approved premises. The marriage will be conducted by someone who is legally authorised to register marriages and vows will be exchanged, although they will not contain any religious references. Once completed, both partners will need to sign the marriage register and witnessed by two witnesses over the age of 16.