Office of the Chief Rabbi

Notes to the Bride and Groom

As soon as possible after you have fixed the date of your wedding, you should contact the Office of the Chief Rabbi on 0208 343 6314 to book an appointment to obtain The Chief Rabbi’s authorisation for your marriage. We suggest a meeting should be arranged to take place approximately six months prior to the wedding date.

However, where your circumstances may not be straightforward, there is an absence of documentation issued abroad, applicants were born or are living abroad, or your own circumstances may require further investigation, you should seek our advice immediately.

Up to twelve months before your wedding, each of you must visit your local Register Office to give notice of your intended marriage. The registrar will issue each of you with a certificate at the conclusion of the notice period (29 days). (Note that if either one or both of the parties are NOT an EEA national the 28 clear days may increase to 70 clear days). For further information please check with your local Registrar authority. Couples are no longer able to collect their own certificates so please ask, at your meeting, the process for obtaining the certificates as The Office of the Chief Rabbi will require the original certificates before issuing a marriage authorisation.

 


If you are getting married for the first time, each of you should provide the following:

  • The Jewish marriage lines (ketubah) of your parents or, (if these are not available) the date and place of their marriage, assuming that this took place in the UK, under orthodox auspices
  • A full birth certificate (i.e. the version showing the names of your parents)
  • The Registrar’s certificates (See Note above)
  • A letter from a parent or other close relative living in the UK stating that you have never been married before
  • Where there has been a change of name since your parents’ marriage, documentary evidence to that effect, (e.g. copy of deed poll)
  • Ascertain your Hebrew names, where known, and those of your fathers and whether your fathers are “Cohen”, “Levi” or “Israelite”.

If you have been married before, you should bring with you the following:

  • Your previous ketubah or the date and place of your previous marriage (in the UK)
  • The death certificate of your late spouse; or – where applicable – your Get certificate (Jewish divorce) and civil decree absolute
  • The Registrar’s certificates (See Note above)
  • A letter from a close relative resident in the UK stating that you have not remarried since becoming widowed/divorced

If you are uncertain about any aspect of your previous marriage, please telephone this office for guidance and advice

There is a charge of £100 to cover the administration costs of the marriage authorisation process. Please click here to make your payment.

All couples marrying through the Office of the Chief Rabbi are encouraged to sign a Pre-Nuptial Agreement. For more information about this document, please click here.

 

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