TopTips On Planning Your Civil Ceremony

Which comes first the chicken or the egg?  You could apply this rule to booking your wedding venue and registar…….you have found your dream venue and picked your wedding date, now you need to contact your local Register Office to make sure they are available to conduct your ceremony on that date.

The Legal Stuff

  • You must give ‘notice to marry’ (a legal declaration that you are both free to marry each other) to the registrar in the district where you live. If you both live in different districts then you each need to give a separate notice to the registrar in your own district.
  • The notice will be displayed publicly in the register office where you live.
  • A notice is valid for 12 months and you cannot give notice until your ceremony venue is booked.
  • The registrar will need written evidence of your full name, age and address, and if you were previously married, proof that your marriage ended and that you are free to remarry.

On The Day

  • Ensure you and your guests arrive for the ceremony on time. The registrar may have other ceremonies to conduct on the same day and may have to leave and not be able to conduct yours if it is delayed.
  • Registrars will arrive at the venue approx 30 minutes before the ceremony start time. They will introduce themselves and see you both separately to the check the details to go onto the marriage certificate
  • They will begin the ceremony with a welcome and you will be asked, in turn, to repeat your legal vows. (The ceremony will follow the order you have chosen).
  • At the end of the ceremony you will each sign the register, and then be presented with your wedding certificate. Two witnesses must also sign the register and they must speak English and be old enough to understand the role they are playing. 






Getting Married Outdoors

  • There a number of licensed venues in the UK with outside structures where you can get married outdoors.
  • Unfortunately UK laws do not allow you to be legally married on a beach (although you can have blessing).

Change Your Passport

  • Book your honeymoon travel tickets in the name you will have on your passport at the time of travelling.
  • Some countries may not accept a passport that has not been changed even if you take your marriage certificate with you. Check with your travel agent or the country’s consulate before you go.
  • You can change the name on your passport up to 3 months before your ceremony but you cannot use your passport until after you are married.