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19 April 2023

Getting married abroad: do I need a notary public?

Destination weddings can be romantic and exotic, but it is important to consider the legalities of getting married abroad.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

getting married abroad

Are you planning on getting married abroad? An important part of planning your big day is to ensure that your marriage is legal, and that it will be recognised in the UK.

Where do I start?

It is important to contact the local authorities in the country where you wish to marry to understand what you need to do for it to be legal and valid.

This can easily be checked on

You could also call or email us – we are experienced in assisting clients get the necessary documents to marry abroad.

Get professional advice

As a notary public, we often assist with documents needed for getting married abroad. Here are some common documents you may require. 

If you are planning on getting married in another country, it is likely that you will need 

Certificate of No Impediment for getting married abroad

A Certificate of No Impediment (CNI/CONI) is a document that states that a person is legally allowed to get married or get a civil partnership abroad. Some countries require that certificates be no older than two or three months at the time of the wedding and may need to be translated – it is important to follow the particular rules of the country where the wedding is to take place.

Certificates can be obtained at a local registry office in the UK. Once the registry office has received notice of the marriage, it will be publicly displayed for 28 days. After this period, provided that no objections have been put forward, the CNI will be available for collection.

You and your partner will both need a CNI – this document is for each person, not per couple. 

Statutory Declaration

You may need to provide a statutory declaration instead of, or alongside your Certificate of No Impediment. This is to provide more information and confirm that there are no legal reasons why you should not be married.

This may also be called a Declaration of Civil Status.

Statutory declarations need to be witnessed and signed in front of a notary public.


You may need a certified translation of your documents for getting married abroad, especially your Certificate of No Impediment and statutory declaration. 

It is important that you use an approved translator. We can assist with our trusted translators, and ensure that your translated documents are accepted by the authorities in your destination country.


You may need to get your CNI and statutory declaration legalised with an apostille from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Depending on the location of your destination wedding, your documents may require further consular legalisation. 

How much will it cost?

We understand that you need to budget for your wedding. Please contact us for our notarial pricing as it will depend on your individual needs..

As of April 2024, a CNI generally costs £35 from the registry office. 

How we can help

Several of the documents previously mentioned, such as the statutory declaration and the CNI, need to be notarised and then given an apostille or legalised for you to be able to use them abroad. 

Our Notary Public of England and Wales, Nathan Woodcock, can help you. He can notarise your documents, and our team can even help you with drafting. 

You can arrange your notary appointment to take place at one of our offices in London, Manchester, or Sheffield. Alternatively, you can use our mobile notary service to book your appointment at a reasonable time and place that suits you. 

Additionally, we work closely with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to get your documents issued with an apostille. We offer a standard service that takes 10 to 15 to get an apostille from the FCDO, and a fast-track option that takes 5 to 7 days

For countries that do not accept apostilles, we can instead assist you with embassy legalisation. This process usually takes longer than the apostille process. 

Our fees can be found elsewhere on our website if you would like to see how much you may have to pay. 

Get in touch with us today to discuss your needs with a member of our team. 


If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services,
contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0800 049 2471 (free to call) or email

If you have any questions about our notary, apostille or consular services, contact Woodcock Notary Public today.

Call us on 0800 049 2471 (free to call) or email