Monday, 1 December 2008

Look what I've got

I collected this today:


No, don't worry, we haven't eloped, that's a certificate "for" not "of". Effectively a marriage licence. That means we've given notice, and nobody objected in the period allowed, so we are good to go.

It is valid for a year, but actually you can only use it on the specified date at the specified venue (with the specified people, obviously). I think we are allowed to shift the time without getting a new one, but that's about it.

If that seems inflexible, try getting the thing - the registrar's office is only open for truncated office hours, closing at 4pm, on weekdays, at the town hall. And no, they won't post it, and no, of course they won't take the next step of actually sending it to the place where we're getting married - that's our job. I feel a rant growing with phrases such as "despite all the council tax we pay" and "how much did we pay for this certificate".  At least I'm the sort of person who likes admin, and, well, seeing it and sending it off myself appeals to my control freakishness in that at least I'll know it's done.

However it does seem rather unfair that, to get married in this country, the absolute minimum seems to be the ability to take at least two afternoons off work to do the admin (once to apply for the certificate and once to collect it) and at least £400 of fees for the legal niceties in our home and wedding districts. Surely if "they" wanted to promote marriage, and generally when people say that they mean to people on lower incomes (and that probably goes hand in hand with less flexible jobs than mine), they should make it a damn sight cheaper and possibly ask registrars to keep more sensible hours - even one person there to hand out certificates that are ready until, ooh, 5.30pm? Bloody local government, defining bureaucracy since the Domesday Book...

2 comments:

purl pirate said...

Heh, I had to travel to the area that the wedding was held in to collect ours, which was a lovely 600 mile round trip!

After a morning spent in Hackney Town Hall, naturally.

Denise said...

Yay! Congratulations!
So when is the big day - set a date yet (been lax on my blog-reading :( )