Giving notice to marry - HELP

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  • Posted: 12 Jun 2018 17:16

    Giving notice to marry - HELP

    Bit of a predicament, hoping someone can advise...


    We're getting married in Southwark, London, on 1st September this year and I just tried to make an appointment online at Lambeth Register office today to give notice, having read that this must be done at least 28 days before the wedding. Little did I know, there is a massive backlog at Lambeth Town Hall and there isn't an appointment until 9th August, which is too late! 

    All the lady could advise was that I call back every day checking for a cancellation. If this doesn't work i'm left with no alternative but to cancel the registrar, losing nearly £500, and getting an unofficial 'officiant' to marry us, then follow up with the real thing when we can. 

    My only other thought was I could swap appointments with a couple who don't absolutely HAVE to give their notice in June or July, and give them my appointment, but I really don't think Lambeth Register will let me do this, given the backlog and bureaucracy.


  • Posted: 13 Jun 2018 13:58

    Re: Giving notice to marry - HELP

    Hmmm.. I don't know if you would be able to swap, but if you could find a couple willing to cancel their appointment and rearrange it, then there would be a cancellation for you to jump into. I'm not sure how you would do that though, as the council won't be allowed to give out details.

    I'd speak to the registrar you've booked and the local authority that they work for as well - we have provisionally booked our registrar, but they won't confirm, or allow us to pay anything until they have confirmation that we have given notice. I'm surprised that the council providing your registrar don't have a similar thing in place, maybe you could complain and get them to waive the fee if you need to cancel? 

    I know you have to give notice in the area where you live, but maybe you could see if there is any grounds for requesting permission to give notice in a neighbouring LA? 

    Good luck! x

  • Posted: 13 Jun 2018 20:55

    Re: Giving notice to marry - HELP

    Oh no! This sounds like an awful situation to be put in! 

    I don’t know if this helps, but we are getting married about 45mins away from where we live (still in the same county), so will be having a registrar attend from the registry office local to the venue. However, when we gave notice we were able to do it at the registry office in our local town (not the one which would technically be officiating the wedding). If you ask for the avialiablity of other nearby registry offices, hopefully they’ll have a slot elsewhere which you can give notice at.

    Also, when have you asked for an appointment? As far as I know, weekend slots are more sought after and get booked up more quickly. It might be worth checking for slots during the week and book leave/pull a sickie on that day.

  • Posted: 14 Jun 2018 11:25

    Re: Giving notice to marry - HELP

    As the comment above me says - if either of your parents live somewhere else you could perhaps try and pretend you live there and give notice in your parents' local registry office. They'd need proof of address, so if it would be easier if you still get any mail sent there, but if not, technically according to the gov website you only have to have lived in the district for 7 full days to give notice there. When I gave notice, I'm getting married in a Catholic church that's not in the place where either of us live, so there are slightly different rules for giving notice, so we had to go and stay with a relative who lives near the church for 7 days, and all they required as proof was a signed letter from her stating that we'd been living in her house for 7 full days. But then again that's a slightly different situation so I don't know if that would work for you, but it's worth ringing them to ask!

    That said, I've just thought, on my bank account it doesn't take 5 minutes to log on and change your address, and they usually accept letters from your bank as proof of address, so if you both did that you could pretend you live at a relative for a bit...

    Also I don't know how it works in Lambeth but when I gave notice they offered me a choice of 4 different registry offices in the same county, so maybe see if there's another office in your area you could go to?

  • Posted: 14 Jun 2018 22:16

    Re: Giving notice to marry - HELP

    You could go stay with a friend or relative in a neighbouring district for 7 days and 7 nights.

    I wouldn't pretend that you live there though. The document is signed under the perjury act. 

    When you booked your registrar did you not have a date to give notice by?

    That's what my local register office did.


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