I am visiting My fiance in the UK (who is a UK citizen) very soon and was wondering if we could have just a wedding ceremony in the UK, and then register back in my homeland.

  • You should get a specific visa: gov.uk/marriage-visa Commented Mar 29, 2019 at 8:00
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    @GiacomoCatenazzi This is why answers in comments are not allowed, because your comment is completely wrong. The marriage visitor visa is only appropriate for people who want to legally get married in the UK. Since OP will "register" at home, there is no need for this visa, and indeed, an application would likely be denied.
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Mar 29, 2019 at 10:14
  • @MJeffryes: I'm not sure about completely wrong (and initial question were more confusing). And I wrote "should" not "must", because it should not be more complex to get such visa then visitor visa, and you know, it is much easier to register if you do all thing officially. In any case fiance is a UK citizen, so she should legally register the wedding in UK, in any case. Commented Mar 29, 2019 at 10:49
  • @Giacomo Catenazzi A MVV is more complex than a SVV because of the documentation requirements, and (IMHO) possibly more onerous to prove intention to leave afterwards. But I agree with you that it’s not 100% clear from the OPs question whether she is looking to marry legally in the U.K. or just have a wedding celebration as chx describes in his answer.
    – Traveller
    Commented Mar 29, 2019 at 10:56
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    @GiacomoCatenazzi I'm not insulting you. Comments are indeed a venue for asking for clarifications. Your first comment does not seek clarification, it is an answer. Whether it is wrong or not, it can't be properly voted, which is why posting answers as comments is against the rules.
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Mar 29, 2019 at 12:45

2 Answers 2


If you want to participate in a party as a visitor, that is absolutely allowed. Even if you call that party a "wedding ceremony" -- that has no legal meaning really. But, you can not enter into a legal relationship on a visitor visa. According to Part V4 of Immigration Rules for visitors

V 4.10 The applicant must not intend to marry or form a civil partnership, or to give notice of this, in the UK, except where they have a visit visa endorsed for marriage or civil partnership.

If asked at the border, answer truthfully that you intend to celebrate your forthcoming marriage in a foreign country with the friends & family of your fiancé(e) in the UK and then leave with your fiancé(e) to get married somewhere else. Emphasize you do not intend to marry in the UK and you do not intend to live in the UK.

I wish you lot of happiness with your marriage.

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    Although, thinking more about the OP’s use of the term ‘wedding ceremony’, it might be possible to have a humanist ceremony in England since such a ceremony is not legally binding there humanism.org.uk/ceremonies/non-religious-weddings/faqs But personally I wouldn’t do it as a visitor (I am very risk-averse!).
    – Traveller
    Commented Mar 29, 2019 at 10:46
  • Just be aware that the odds of being denied entry to the country under a situation like this are very, very real if the immigration staff understand what you are there for. The claim you are not planning to legally get married, whilst still having a marriage ceremony, is likely not to be believed by immigration staff.
    – Doc
    Commented Mar 29, 2019 at 16:07
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    @Doc Why? I agree that adequate preparation is necessary, but actually, it would be practically impossible for someone to enter the UK as a visitor, and then get married against immigration regulations. When giving notice as a non-EEA national, you have to prove that you are either resident in the UK or as a marriage visitor. OP should be careful to be clear that they are simply celebrating their marriage rather than completing the legal process, but I don't think this situation is unbelievable nor particularly uncommon.
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Mar 29, 2019 at 16:31

Other answers or comments have explained immigration regulations with respect to marriage. Assuming you decide to have a "wedding ceremony" that is not legally binding, you will have to ask yourself "who is going to conduct this ceremony?" I'm allowed to conduct official wedding ceremonies in my state in the US, and if someone asked me to conduct an unofficial ceremony, I would refuse for fear it would be confused with an official ceremony. Those authorized to conduct official ceremonies in the UK might have similar feelings.

For religious weddings, the rules of the particular religion probably dictate whether a priest, minister, rabbi, deacon, mullah, etc. is allowed to conduct an unofficial ceremony

  • I don't think this actually answers the question, it seems quite tangential.
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Mar 29, 2019 at 16:32

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