Have your say on government e-petitions

Extend the 12month 'giving notice' period for weddings postponed due to COVID-19

Submitted by Sarah Godsell on Monday 30th March 2020

Published on Thursday 14th May 2020

Current status: Open

Open until: Saturday 14th November 2020

Current Signatures: 17,137
(count is updated approximately hourly)

Relevant Departments

Tagged with

Ceremony ~ Covid ~ Covid-19 ~ month

Petition Action

Extend the 12month 'giving notice' period for weddings postponed due to COVID-19

Petition Details

Currently, you must hold your wedding ceremony within 12 months of ‘giving notice’.

Due to these unprecedented times, this period should be extended to take into account the impact COVID-19 has had on time frames.

Additional Information

In line with the Governments COVID-19 action plan, all weddings have now had to be cancelled or postponed. For those who have chosen to postpone, many have been left with no option but to reschedule to a new date outside of their 12 month 'give notice' period.

This now means many couples who have planned a legal wedding at their choice of venue, may not be able to get legally married as planned. The reason for this being purely because of the restrictive 12 month time frame of the 'giving notice' process.


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Government Response

The Government responded to this petition on Friday 24th July 2020

We are delighted couples can now marry but understand frustration about expired notices. We are exploring opportunities for amending the law; in the meantime local authorities may help with fees.

The Government shares couples’ joy that marriages and civil partnerships have been able to resume from 4 July. We have published guidance on how they may be conducted safely on gov.uk [https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships].

We do, of course, understand the frustration couples who have had to postpone their marriage or civil partnership must be feeling.

The requirement to solemnize a marriage or register a civil partnership within twelve months of giving notice to the local authority is set out in primary legislation, which does not provide for extending this period. It would require primary legislation to change this.

The fees charged by local authorities for giving notice can be reduced, waived or refunded on compassionate grounds or in cases of hardship. It is for each local authority to determine when this can be applied.

Ministry of Justice

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