When we first began to plan our wedding, the thing I found most daunting was definitely the legal part. Where do you even begin? It’s like when you leave home and suddenly have to start paying water and electricity bills, and register for council tax. You’ve never done it before, so you have no clue what to do.
Obviously, I turned to Google. And after a few quick searches I found out that Sean and I both have to turn up, in person to declare our intent to marry at the town hall. So far, so simple.
But, because we’re tying the knot in a borough we don’t live in (in fact, a good few hundred miles away), it’s a bit trickier. Basically, we had to call the borough where we’re getting married and book a registrar for a set time slot on our wedding date. They then provisionally reserve that booking for a month while they wait to hear confirmation from our local borough that we’ve been there in person to say we want to get married, and that there are no problems with the wedding going ahead. Ok……
“But make sure you go in to see your local borough tomorrow,” the lovely lady in our wedding borough told me, when I’d finally got my head around all this and called her to book a registrar to marry us. (We chose the 2pm slot, as it happens. A good time to get married, I think!) “We only hold the booking for a month and they need to post the notice in public for 15 days before we can do anything, so be quick.”
No problem. I am an organised bride! I got on the phone to our local borough straight away. But when I announced that we’d like to come in the following day, the woman laughed at me. (Not in a horrible way, I must add. She was very helpful.) She informed me that actually, we live in one of the busiest boroughs in the country for weddings, and that the next appointment wasn’t for six whole weeks.
Six whole weeks! But our wedding borough would only hold our spot for one month! And we couldn’t lose that slot. We’d already paid a hefty deposit on the venue!
Luckily, after another phone call back to the wedding borough, they agreed they’d hold it for a bit longer as it was a ‘London waiting time’, as they called it, and that was that.
Those six weeks went alarmingly quickly. (Actually, I suspect that maybe time goes in fast-forward when you’re engaged.) When the day rolled around, we were so excited. We’d both taken an afternoon off work and met in a bar for a quick celebratory bucks fizz before heading to the town hall.
Once there, it was all pretty straightforward – mainly showing them our passports and our proofs of address. And apart from the fact that Sean had a moment of panic and forgot my birthday when he was interviewed about me (and this was after I’d made him revise it beforehand!), it all went smoothly. We signed and dated the documents, and that was that. All official. We are definitely, definitely getting married, and all the legal requirements will be met.
Well. Unless someone posts an objection while our notice is public. Does this ever happen, I wonder? We can pick up our “blues” (the official documents we then need to hand to our wedding borough are nicknamed this, and from what I can gather it’s because they’re printed on blue paper) next week, so I will report back. Fingers crossed…!