The dreaded moment had arrived – giving notice. Of course I was terrified: if I fluffed up, that could be it for marrying the love of my life.
And fluff up I did.
Luckily, however, fluffing up the spelling of your fiance’s middle name doesn’t carry the kind of implications I was afraid of! They put an ‘inconsistency mark’ on the record, and that, thank god, was that.
We gave notice in Oxford, which was where we lived at the time and where we were getting married, but before we were married, we moved to Birmingham. Had we already been living in Birmingham, Birmingham would have been where we gave notice, although Oxford registry office would still have been the one we dealt with when it came to the planning!
It was a remarkably simple procedure, although made to feel scarier than it was by separating us and going through what wasn’t allowed in the ceremony… not that they told us everything, as you will find out later. And at this juncture, we had barely set the date!
Here are some of the things you will be asked to state:
– Your name, date of birth, address and job title.
– Your fiance’s name (and it’s spelling), date of birth, address and job title.
– That you and your fiance are free to marry, whether either of you have been married before, and that you are not related.
– Your wedding date, time and location. You can change the wedding date but not the location – if you need to do this, you have to pay to give notice again.
Also worthy of note is the registrar’s good intentions: they do want you to be able to marry, and do expect a degree of nervousness. They are there to help.
As for ID, if you are a UK citizen with a valid UK passport, bringing your passport is enough proof of ID (you do not need a driving license as well). You will also need proof of address: we brought our polling cards – a good trick if the bills are in only one name, or your landlord has started redirecting them and paying them for you… (!)
Our appointment took around 40 minutes, and that because we were asking lots of questions. It was very formal and formulaic, but that didn’t prevent me from becoming emotional the moment we stepped outside the offices, whereupon I threw my arms around Guy and started – yet again – to shake! But not quite so debilitatingly on this occasion. It was an exciting moment, and though I am sure many brides will feel that giving notice is just another bit of admin to work though, the act of making it legal was important to me and marked a new step in the journey. From now on in, what we were planning was a real wedding: it was going to happen.