Some couples will need to apply for a Superintendent Registrar’s Marriage Schedule before their wedding instead of having banns. Read on for an outline of when you might need this, and what to expect when applying for one.
The vicar who is taking your wedding should be able to let you know if you need a Superintendent Registrar’s Marriage Schedule (SRMS) before your wedding can take place, but the list below summarises the main circumstances.
If you do need one, you’ll need to allow enough time ahead of the wedding for the application and approval process, (the timings are explained below).
For weddings taking place before July 1st 2021 you will need an SRMS if:
- You’re not a national of the UK, the European Economic Area or Switzerland.
- You are a national of one of the above countries, but wish to marry in a church with which you have no pre-existing legally-recognised connection, but are able to live in the parish for at least seven days in order to qualify to be married in that parish church (see below).
For weddings taking place after July 1st you will need an SRMS if:-
- Either of you is not a national of the UK or Ireland and doesn’t hold Settled or Pre-Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
- You are a national of the above countries (or has Settled or Pre-settled Status), but wish to marry in a church with which you have no pre-existing legally-recognised connection, but are able to live in the parish for at least seven days in order to qualify to be married in the parish church (see below).
How do we apply for an SRMS?
- For UK and Irish nationals and those with Settled or Pre-settled status, before applying, the bride and/or groom must have been resident for the seven clear days within the registration district where they wish to marry immediately before they give Notice at the Register Office of that district. There must not be any gap between the period of residence and giving Notice on the eighth day.
- For nationals of any other countries who don’t have Settled or Pre-settled status, they will need to have been resident for seven clear days in any registration district in England and can give Notice at the Register Office there.
- You will need to make an appointment in advance to give Notice at a Register Office, but you may be able to obtain the paperwork you’ll need for the SRMS application beforehand. To find the contact details of the relevant Register Office, visit this Government web page. Each Register Office will usually have its own website explaining the procedures in greater detail.
- After receiving your application, the Registrar enters the details in a book which is open to public inspection and also displays a notice for 28 days* at the Register Office. If no legal reasons to delay or prevent the marriage going ahead are shown within that time, an SRMS can be issued. (If there is a reason to extend that notice, the Registrar would contact you).
- Once issued, an SRMS permits you to be married in the church named on the SRMS at any time up to 12 months from the date on which you gave Notice.
Important note: The vicar of the church where you want to marry has discretion on whether or not to accept an SRMS. If you think that this route is necessary for you, and you haven’t yet contacted a vicar about your wedding, you should do this first before applying for an SRMS.
*Depending on your current Immigration Status, Registrars have the right to extend the Notice period up to 70 days while they investigate the circumstances of an intended marriage. This extension allows the Home Office time to investigate whether a couple may be attempting to enter a sham marriage.