Hello all !
In the past week I have spent hours trawling message boards and google researching what happens when you give notice to marry. As a complete newbie I had no idea how anything worked, what I had to book first, the venue or the notice and I worked myself into a complete tizz about being interviewed by the registrar, particularly as my partner is Australian and non EU and therefore they are more likely to check it isn't a sham marriage.
Well, we did it yesterday is Islington Town Hall and it was PAINLESS!! So I thought i would write a little summary that may give future brides some comfort !
1: We gave notice at Islington Town Hall. If your partner is Non Eu you can give notice in any designated registry office listed on the Gov website for Non Eu citizens - it doesn't have to be in the borough you live in.
2: We didn't need to have a date booked, we just needed to have decided where. For us? Because our wedding is very small and having checked how booked up my chosen venue was, we decided not to pay up front for the venue until we had clearance from the home office.
3. If you or partner are Non EU and you do not have a marriage visa, you will be automatically referred to the Home Office. We were told that our paperwork is sent off and we will get a letter in the next two weeks with a decision on whether or not our case will be investigated. The Registrar informed us that if they did not investigate, then our notice period is the standard 28 days from today. If they do, it is extended to 70. Fingers crossed it's not as I really want to get married around bonfire night!
4. I was so paranoid about being grilled as a sham marriage I was quizzing my partner for a few days before hand! I prepared him for the fact we may be interviewed in different rooms. We were called in and it felt quite formal at first. I desperately wanted to crack jokes. He interviewed my partner first, in the same room as me. He asked him to confirm his own details, then mine, which were
date of birth
how long had lived there
whether I had been married before
that was it! No "what's her dads favourite colour" or any of the questions I was worried they would ask and we could maybe get wrong! But you know what happened? I have two middle names and he forgot one! And the registrar finally laughed and said "she won't let you forget that one" and it felt more relaxed after that.
We signed out notices, he checked our ID and that was that. We were so relieved and full of adrenaline ! So we celebrated with some frozen margaritas and nachos!