Wanting to marry quickly and simply but not sure how? Don’t want to wait any longer but still have a beautiful micro wedding anywhere in the UK? Here’s how to plan a simple wedding quickly in the UK.

Table of contents

  1. What’s the quickest way to get married in the UK?
  2. Getting married in the UK quickly isn’t for everyone
  3. Planning a quick wedding in the UK
  4. Wedding planning on a budget
  5. Find the right venue for your quick and simple wedding plans
  6. Invite your guests to your simple wedding
  7. Plan what to do on your simple wedding day
  8. How to plan a simple wedding quickly in the UK

1. What’s the quickest way to get married in the UK?

Getting married quickly in the UK involves a straightforward but mandatory process, and the minimum time frame is determined by legal requirements. Here’s what you need to do to get married in the UK quickly.

Give Notice of Marriage

Earliest Step: You must give notice of your marriage at your local register office. This is the first and mandatory step.

Minimum Waiting Period: There’s a legal waiting period of 28 days from the date of giving notice before the marriage can take place. In some cases involving foreign nationals, this may be extended to 70 days.

Requirements: You need to provide certain documents, including proof of identity, age, and nationality.

Choose Your Type of Ceremony

Civil Ceremony: Usually the quickest option, which can be done at a register office or an approved venue.

Religious Ceremony: This depends on the availability of the venue and the person officiating.

Find an Available Venue

Register Office: They often have more flexibility and availability for short-notice weddings. It’s a total myth that registry office weddings are not romantic; relaxed registry office weddings in Wales are pretty epic!

Approved Venues: Check for last-minute cancellations or weekday availability, as weekends tend to book up far in advance.

Flexible Planning

Being flexible with your date and time can help you find earlier availability. Weekdays are often less in demand than weekends; Tuesdays are the cheapest days to get married and if you’re not superstitious – there always seems to be availability on Friday 13th’s.

Legal Witnesses

You only need two witnesses, which can be anyone over the age of 16. If your witnesses are under 18, I’d suggest you check if your officiant judges that they’re old enough to understand the ceremony. If you don’t want to bring your own witnesses – I’ve had couples ask for witnesses in local Facebook groups or on the street right outside the registry office. It’s a somewhat risky but exciting option that usually works out well. 

Avoid Busy Periods

Avoid popular times like weekends in summer or around major holidays, as venues and registrars are busier.


If you’re open to a more intimate affair, eloping can be a quick way to get married, often only requiring the couple and witnesses. To find out how you can do this in Wales, follow the link to my post about how to elope in Wales.

Important Considerations:

Legalities: Ensure all your legal documents are in order.

Back-up Plan: Have alternatives in case your preferred date or venue is unavailable.

Notice Period: The 28-day notice period is statutory and cannot be shortened.

While you can arrange a wedding quickly, the 28-day notice period is a legal requirement and cannot be expedited. Therefore, the fastest possible timeline from deciding to marry to getting legally married is a little over a month, assuming you’ve met all legal requirements and venue availability.

5 Top Tips for making the most of your elopement day if it rains | Wales Wedding Photography

Relaxed registry office wedding in Wales

2. Getting married in the UK quickly isn’t for everyone

And that’s totally fine! To plan a wedding in less than 3 months and be really happy with the outcome of your wedding day takes a certain type of bride. You need to be quite decisive! There’s simply no time to sit back and deliberate your options. You need to know what you want and quickly decide on your wedding must-haves. And make sure your partner is on the same page as you when it comes to planning a wedding quickly. It definitely helps with short-notice wedding planning or planning an adventurous elopement with dogs and a wedding ceremony at Penarth Fawr

Are you considering planning a cheap wedding in 30 days? It only takes 28 days to give notice to the Register Office before marriage can take place in England and Wales; different rules apply to Scotland and Ireland where you can get legally married anywhere you like. As for England and Wales, you’ll both need to reside in one of those countries for at least 7 days prior to giving notice. Your notice is valid for 12 months and is really just a signed legal statement. It must include where the wedding will take place. So pick your wedding location first and bear in mind that your civil ceremony can be at a register office or any venue approved by the local council. Next, check that your date is available. Then give notice which involves a small fee of £46 per person at a register office, costs at other approved premises may vary. Et voila – you’re good to go!

how to elope anywhere in the UK | Wales Elopement Planning

Dog-friendly Penarth Fawr elopement | UK Elopement Photography

3. Planning a quick wedding in the UK

Think about what you’d really like to do on your simple but meaningful wedding or elopement day. If you don’t fancy booking a venue – a quick registry office ceremony followed by an adventure around the coast could be perfect for you! Read my Ultimate Snowdonia Elopement Guide for more info on how to elope anywhere in the UK. Elopements are perfect for those looking for wedding packages under £5000 in Wales for instance. Or for those worrying that they may not be able to book their dream wedding venue at such short notice. If you’re wondering how to plan a simple wedding quickly in the UK or want to plan a wedding in a month, consider having your wedding on a weekday for more flexibility with dates. And if it’s important to you that friends and family members can join you on your short-notice wedding day – make sure that everyone can get the time off before you set a date.

4. Wedding planning on a budget

Set a budget for your simple wedding plans and try to stick to it! You could look into last-minute wedding packages if you want to get married quickly and simply and if you do so in Wales – epic scenery guaranteed! Keeping the guest list small is one of the cheapest ways to get married in the UK. To keep costs down even further maybe consider a Just Us Wedding. It’s basically a weekend getaway package just for the couple getting married. Say yes to the bargain dress if you’re wondering how to plan a wedding on a £3,000 budget. Etsy and the likes are perfect for finding a bargain! Not sure which one’s right for you – here’s how to pick an elopement wedding dress that’s perfect for you! Support a local bakery by ordering an inexpensive wedding cake. And contact a local florist to make you a super pretty wedding bouquet. Your budget may even stretch to a flower crown as pretty as the one Alice wore on their beautiful Snowdonia Elopement day!

5. Find the right venue for your quick and simple wedding plans

Picking a wedding venue that looks stunning as it is with no need to dress it up could be an inexpensive wedding option. Check out ceremony-only venues such as Penarth Fawr. Located in a beautiful spot in Wales it has a romantic feel and is deeply steeped in history. Getting married in a registry office should also enable you to keep costs down. And there’s absolutely no reason whatsoever why a civil ceremony cannot be romantic, just take a look at Gwydir Castle!

Spend some time personalising your wedding vows. Book one of my elopement photography or half-day wedding photography packages to go with your registry office wedding ceremony in Wales. Spend the afternoon in gorgeous surroundings. Other cheap wedding venue options perfect for weddings on a budget in the UK include your favourite restaurant, a family member’s home, or a stunning Air BnB. Check the official list of approved premises for civil marriages and partnerships in England and Wales and see if one of them takes your fancy.

Ruthin Register Office Wedding


6. Invite your guests to your simple wedding

Use customisable evites as an environmentally-friendly and inexpensive option for effortless online wedding invitations and RSVP tracking. With designs ranging from elegant and traditional to modern and contemporary, there’s something for everyone. Or spend a couple of hours getting inspired by Pinterest if you fancy printing your own. How about going a bit old school with handwritten invitations? Brilliant for those who love calligraphy or have beautiful handwriting skills. Let people know that for quickly planning a wedding it is important that guests respond within 24 hours after receiving their invitation.

Romantic Llyn Peninsula Coastal Elopement | UK Wedding & Elopement Photographer

7. Plan what to do on your simple wedding day

Don’t feel pressured into spending a whole lot of money on your wedding day just to please others! Do what makes YOU happy! Book one of these perfect love shacks in North Wales for a beautiful weekend getaway. Sip on champagne in your outdoor hot tub when you arrive. Spend the morning leisurely getting ready together. Book an appointment at a local hair & beauty salon. Or go for a relaxing mini-hike together and do your own make-up – a great way to save some pennies on your inexpensive wedding day! Exchange your personal vows at the registry office or in your ceremony-only venue.

Bring two witnesses with you or find two random strangers. Doesn’t really matter as it’s not about them, it’s all about you! Spend the afternoon on a mini adventure exploring beautiful surroundings. Or head back to your romantic cottage or cabin for some quality time together ;) Take the dogs for a walk and a picnic on the beach. Or head to ZipWorld for an adrenaline rush, anything goes! Book a romantic table for two and go out in your wedding gear for dinner at night. Or have a takeaway delivered and get naked with more champagne in the hot tub! The great thing about planning a simple wedding quickly in the UK is that you have the total freedom to do exactly what YOU like on your wedding day. So go for it!!

8. How to plan a simple wedding quickly in the UK

Ready to take the next step? Want to book a super relaxed wedding & elopement photographer based in Wales for your quick & simple wedding day? Contact me! I’m always happy to help couples plan their dream day and cover weddings & elopements in Wales & beyond!


How to elope anywhere in the UK;

Romantic elopement-style wedding around castle ruins;

Relaxed registry office weddings in Wales;

Can you legally marry outside in England & Wales?

INSTAGRAM @babsboardwellphotography