Walsall Council has agreed to waive notice of marriage fees for couples who have had to reschedule their wedding plans as a result of COVID-19.
The law states that any couple intending to marry or form a civil partnership in England or Wales must give formal notice at their local Register Office. The statutory fee for giving notice is £35 per person, meaning each couple pays £70. Couples have 12 months from the date they give notice to get married.
At the start of the pandemic the Government announced that all marriages and civil partnerships were to be suspended until further notice. This advice was revised on 23 June 2020 when small gatherings were permitted again.
Approximately 150 couples from Walsall have had to reschedule their wedding plans.
Other couples, who were due to get married later in the year, have chosen to reschedule their ceremonies because of the uncertainty surrounding the length of the suspension or the restrictions on the number of people who can attend.
Councillor Garry Perry, Cabinet Lead for Leisure, Culture and Communities, said:
“The last few months have been filled with uncertainty for everyone. Those who were planning to get married have been unable to do so and this must have been very upsetting.”
“We don’t think it’s fair for couples who have already given their notice of intent to pay again due to circumstances outside of their control. For this reason we have decided to waive the notice fee for all those directly affected by the suspension. This is our way of helping those couples who have had to cancel or rearrange their plans due to the pandemic.”
The council acknowledges that not every couple who has rearranged their ceremony will need to give notice again.
Councillor Perry added:
“Couples whose notice has expired will have to attend the Register Office to give notice again but they will not be charged for doing so.”
A number of other local authorities across the UK are understood to have adopted similar provisions.
Couples who have rearranged their ceremonies and have a new confirmed date, which is after their Authorities for Marriage have expired, should send an email to email@example.com. A Registrar will then be in contact to arrange a new notice appointment.
Couples who are giving notice for the first time will be eligible to pay the statutory notice fee.
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