Post # 1
My fiance and I are both English but met and live in New Zealand. We decided to get married in UK as we both have elderly relatives and he has young nephews who can’t travel. We have booked a venue for next July and have invited 120 people from NZ, UK and US (where I lived for 6 years).
The problem is that they are changing English law so that we will have to arrive almost 6 weeks before the wedding to fulfil residency requirements. It was 3 when we booked. 6 weeks is a looong time to take off work – I think we could do it if we really had to though.
The other option is that we do the legal stuff in NZ and then have a commitment ceremony in England. If people have paid heaps of money to travel thousands of miles is that enough though? I know that’s normal in some cultures, but my family especially are very traditional and I think would be disappointed if they knew that we were already married legally. Does anyone have any experience of this sort of situation or any advice?
Post # 2
I don’t know, I feel like for legal purposes it’s not inherently deceitful. What if you did the paperwork after you got back- you you wouldn’t be “legally” married yet?
Post # 3
I think it’s highly improbable the UK will bend the rules for you soooo I chose to have a small ceremony. If that’s the case most people would understand.
Post # 4
If your boss will LET you take 6 weeks off for work… well I guess do that if you can swing it financially – but I really don’t think they will, so I voted “screw it, elope to Fiji!” But I think that you should still have a reception in England. Basically take your “do the legal stuff in NZ” plan and swap that part out for eloping to Fiji (maybe on a Monday?) and then honeymoon there until Thursday, then catch a flight out to England, and have a reception (with or without a marriage blessing ceremony) and celebrate your marriage with family.
I think even the most traditional family would understand that you’re making a sacrifice for their convience, and therefore must get legally married first. OOOOR reverse that. Fly to England on Thursday, have your commitment ceremony (non-legal), then fly to Fiji and get hitched legally there. I say Fiji because, well, who WOULDN’T want to get married in Fiji?! (Haha, okay not everyone, but I would have had I been given the chance!)
Post # 5
volcanolady: you have family in the UK, you guys are British, be “residents” at your relatives place while living in NZ how would anyone know? This seems ridiculous. Glad I got married in the UK when there were no residency laws.
Post # 6
Atalanta: The fact that their passports would have been scanned when they left the UK would kind of tip the government off that they aren’t currently residing in the country.
Post # 7
Hi Volcanolady, I am a wedding planner specialising in destination weddings in the UK. I have never heard of this changing law, and have even followed up with the Registrar’s office. They have confirmed that the requirement is not changing. You must be resident for 8 days and 8 nights before you can register your marriage and then you have to wait 16 days between registering and the ceremony. This is 24 days, just over 3 weeks.
However, this is still a long time to have take off, especially if you do also want to have a honeymoon after. Many people do take care of the legalities beforehand, but still consider the wedding date to be the date of their special ceremony and reception. Not having to adhere to strict guidelines and rules about what has to be said and included can make your wedding ceremony even more special, you can really personalise it, have friends or other important people in your life officiate, include so much more in terms of poetry, music, personalised vows, etc and even have it outside in an unofficial venue.
I wish you the best of luck and hope you find the best solution for you and your fiance. 🙂
Post # 8
volcanolady: Uh, I don’t know where you heard about that, but you don’t need to be living in the UK for 6 weeks before you get married. You need to give notice and to do that you need to have lived in the borough for 7 days, wait 15 days whilst the notice is displayed and then give the certificates to the council of the borough you’re getting married in. You can even give notice in the country in which you live.
Check the official govt website for details: https://www.gov.uk/marriages-civil-partnerships/overview
Post # 9
My friends did that, went to the UK for the main wedding and did the registry wedding here but didn’t tell family over there so everyone presumed that was their wedding and that is the one they will be celebrating.
Post # 10
Thanks so much for your comments. Just thought I would give an update. I spoke to the general registry office and they confirmed the law is changing on 2 March this year https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/377482/Marriage_notice.pdf. But because we booked things before the law changed they will let us do 14 days instead of 28. So we are back to our original plan of having a long holiday (? wedding prep time!) in England before the wedding and getting married there. Fiji still sounds appealing though 🙂
Post # 11
volcanolady: that’s great news!