Steps Involved in Getting Married in Court

Ms. Shilpi Saha, a resident of Baghbazar, Kolkata did court marriage recently. Initially, she was confused and was thinking of the hassles. But with a few clicks on the mouse, she came to know that court marriage in India is not as complex as we perceive. Like Ms. Saha, many of you want to know how a court marriage is done. 

Here, we will let you know about all these.

The getting married in court is common across India. It can be solemnised between two parties who are interested to get married by the Special Marriage Act, 1954. Moreover, the Act provisions for marriage by civil ceremony between parties belonging to the same or different religions. 

If you choose getting married in court as the way of getting married, you will be free of high charges, rituals, big ceremonies. Above all, court marriages are done simpler, better, and in the most cost-effective way. Therefore, you can save this money for your future life or can do any favour for people in need. Let us look into the detailed six steps! 

Conditions for getting married in court

Chapter II, Section 4, states that certain conditions are required for entering into such a marriage. They are:

  1. Previous marriage validation: Neither party should have a living husband or wife. Therefore, any previous marriage should no longer be valid.
  2. Valid consent: Both parties should be competent to give valid consent. Moreover, the parties should be capable of speaking their mind and entering into a marriage of their own will.
  3. Age: The male must have completed 21 years and the female 18 years of age.
  4. Fit for procreation: Neither of the party should be unfit for the procreation of children.
  5. Prohibited relationship: Parties should not be within degrees of the prohibited relationship as provided in Schedule I. However, if the customs and traditions of the religion of any one of the parties permit so, then it shall be valid.

Read more about the Purpose of Marriage Registration

Steps for Getting Married in Court

  • 1st step: Notice of Intended Marriage
  • 2nd step: Publication of Notice
  • 3rd step: Objections to Marriage
  • 4th step: Signing of Declaration
  • 5th step: Place of Marriage
  • 6th step: Certificate of Marriage

STEP 1: Notice/Application of Intended Marriage

Accordingly, to be married in court, the marriage officer of the district must first be informed of the intention to marry.

Who must give notice?

A notice in writing is to be given by parties to the marriage.

To whom should the notice be given?

The notice is given to the marriage officer of the district in which at least one party must have stayed for 30 days immediately before the date when the notice is served. For example, if a bride and groom are in Delhi but wish to register their marriage in Mumbai, then at least one of them must travel to Mumbai, 30 days before the intended date and live there until the date of the marriage. The marriage registration will take place in Mumbai if the condition is fulfilled.

Likewise, you can register your marriage in Maharashtra, Bihar, Chandigarh, Thane or any other city in India, through Vakilsearch. Further, Vakilsearch helps you to clearly fetch your marriage certificate with hassle-free moves.

What is the format of the notice?

The notice must be as per the format provided in Schedule II of the act with documents attached as proof of age and residence. Additionally, see below or click here for downloadable format.


To the Marriage Officer of the __________ District.

We hereby give you notice that a marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, is intended to be solemnised between us within three calendar months from the date hereof.

Name: ____________

Condition: _____________

Occupation: ___________

Age: ________________

Dwelling place: ___________________________________________________________________

Length of residence: _______________________________________

Permanent place of residence: _____________________________________________________

Groom’s Name (Choose One):

  1. Unmarried
  2. Widower
  3. Divorcee

Bride’s Name (Choose One):

  1. Unmarried
  2. Widow
  3. Divorcee

Witness our hands this ____________ day of 20__

(Signed) Groom

(Signed) Bride

STEP 2: Publication of Notice

Who publishes the notice?

The marriage officer of the district to whom the notice has been served publishes the notice.

Where is the notice published?

At a conspicuous place in the office and one copy in the office of the district where the other party permanently resides (if any).

STEP 3: Objections to Marriage

Who can object?

Any person, of course! Any person can raise objections to the marriage based on the grounds listed in Chapter II, Section 4 of the Act (see above). Likewise, if the objections have little to do with any of the factors mentioned above, then the objection will be of no consequence. However, in most cases, the marriage officer would need to examine the objection.

To whom the objection is raised?

To the marriage officer of the concerned district.

What are the grounds of objection?

Any one of the conditions stated above and specified in Chapter II, Section 4 of the act.

What are the consequences, if objection(s) are accepted?

The marriage officer must, within 30 days from the date of the objection, make inquiries and if the objections are found to be true, the marriage cannot be solemnised.

What is the remedy in case objection(s) have been accepted?

An appeal can be filed by either party.

To whom is the appeal filed?

The district court is within the local limits under the jurisdiction of the marriage officer.

When can an appeal be filed?

Any time within 30 days from the date of refusal to solemnise a marriage.

STEP 4: Signing of the Declaration

Who has to sign the declaration?

Both parties and three witnesses (in the presence of the marriage officer). It will also be countersigned by the marriage officer.

What is the content and format of the declaration?

It is as provided in Schedule III of the act. Find the format below.


I, Name Here, hereby declare as follows:

  1. I am, at present, ________ (unmarried, widowed or divorcee, as the case may be).
  2. Have completed ___ years of age.
  3. I am not related to _____, the bride, within the degrees of prohibited relationship.
  4. I am aware that if any statement in this declaration is false and if in making such statement I either know or believe it to be false or do not believe it to be true, I am liable to imprisonment and also to a fine.




I, Name Here, hereby declare as follows:

  1. I am, at present, ________ (unmarried, widowed or divorcee, as the case may be).
  2. Have completed ___ years of age.
  3. I am not related to _____, the bridegroom, within the degrees of prohibited relationship.
  4. I am aware that if any statement in this declaration is false and if in making such statement I either know or believe it to be false or do not believe it to be true, I am liable to imprisonment and also to a fine.



Signed in our presence by the above-named Groom Name and Bride Name. So far as we are aware, there is no lawful impediment to marriage.

(Three witnesses)

(Countersigned Marriage Officer)

Dated: The ______ day of ______ 20__

STEP 5: Place of Marriage

Place of Marriage: Either the office of a marriage officer or any other place within a reasonable distance can be the place of marriage.

Form of Marriage: Any form as the parties to the marriage choose but each party in presence of the marriage officer will have to say:

“I, _______, take thee, ________, to be my lawful wife/husband.”

STEP 6: Certificate of Marriage

Meanwhile, the marriage officer enters a certificate in the form specified in Schedule IV of the act in the marriage certificate book. If signed by both parties and three witnesses, such a certificate is conclusive evidence of the marriage. Hence, the certificate of marriage is as follows:


I, Marriage Officer, hereby certify that on the ___ day of ____ 20__, groom and bride appeared before me and that each of them, in my presence and in the presence of three witnesses who have signed hereunder, made the declarations required by Section 11 and that a marriage under this Act was solemnised between them in my presence.


Marriage Officer for __________ District

(Signed Groom)

(Signed Bride)

Therefore, this is a procedure for 6 Easy Steps. Let us know if you have any further questions in the comments.

Getting married in court requires a six-step procedure that has to be completed physically and not online. They are the application of intended marriage, publication of the notice, objections to the wedding, place of marriage, signing of the declaration by bride and groom and finally, issuance of the certificate of marriage.

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