Getting Married in the UK (outside the United Synagogue)

We wish you Mazel Tov on your forthcoming marriage, such an exciting time for you all!

Getting married through the Office of the Chief Rabbi

Welcome to the Marriage Section, if you are visiting this page, you may be recently engaged, looking for information on next steps for your marriage authorisation through the Office of the Chief Rabbi, or maybe you know someone marrying who needs assistance. We hope, once you have read the information below that everything becomes clear, however should you have further queries, we are here to help. Please feel free to contact us using the emails and contact numbers below.

There are three steps needed for the marriage authorisation process:

1. Marriage and Membership: Secure the marrying Rabbi, date of the wedding and location AND notify the chosen synagogue with these details

You will need to secure the participation of an orthodox Rabbi who is authorised to solemnise weddings. Your chosen synagogue administrator will be able to help with your wedding booking, arranging the registrar and paperwork required by the synagogue together with various membership forms to be completed. It is a requirement of English and Welsh law that either the bride or the groom needs to be a member of the officiating synagogue responsible for the marriage (regardless of whether the chuppah is in a synagogue or a venue). Your chosen synagogue is the synagogue providing the registrar for the day of the wedding. After the marriage, if you are based near a United Synagogue community, please contact the membership department 020 8343 5687 regarding membership. A list of our communities can be found here: Communities

Please note:
When choosing a venue for the chuppah and function the wedding reception must be catered under the supervision of a recognised kashrut authority. Since some venues will not permit an outside caterer to work on their premises, it is important to bear this in mind before the venue is booked. The Kashrut Division may be able to suggest suitable venues where our caterers are permitted to work, so call 020 8343 5664 for advice.

2. Contact the Office of the Chief Rabbi: Register your forthcoming marriage

For every marriage, through the Office of the Chief Rabbi, a marriage authorisation application needs to be submitted, followed by a personal marriage authorisation meeting.

Before the wedding can take place under orthodox auspices, you will both need to provide documentary evidence that you are Jewish and eligible to marry. To register your marriage and find out more call Marriage Liaison 020 8343 6314.

Once your application has been submitted and reviewed, you will be contacted by a Rabbi to arrange a meeting with you both. This meeting forms part of the process and you will be asked to bring all original copies, from the scanned application documents to the meeting for the Rabbi to verify.

Please be aware there is a fee of £150 for the marriage authorisation process, payable online.

3. Arrange your marriage schedule

Although you are marrying through the Office of the Chief Rabbi, you both still need to register your marriage with the local authorities to obtain your marriage schedule for your wedding. This can be arranged up to twelve months before your wedding, providing both the date and venue are confirmed.

The registrar will issue you with a marriage schedule certificate at the conclusion of the notice period (29 days). (Note: if either one or both of the parties are NOT an EEA national, the 29 clear days may increase to 70 clear days). For further information please check with your local Registrar Authority for guidance. Please ask at your local authority meeting the process for collecting the original certificates.

Please ensure you send a scanned copy of your marriage schedule to Rabbi Birnbaum at providing the original certificate to your marrying registrar for the day of the wedding.

Note: if you are holding your wedding at a venue i.e. hotel or non-synagogue venue please make it known to the Registrar that you are marrying under the auspices of The Office of the Chief Rabbi and United Synagogue.

Useful Contacts

Director of Marriage Authorisation
Rabbi Birnbaum
020 8343 6313

Marriage Liaison – Registration
Dinah Herman
020 8343 6314

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