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Your ceremony at an approved venue

Find out more about what happens on the day of your wedding or civil partnership ceremony.

Our standard ceremonies last approximately 25 minutes.

If your ceremony is at an approved venue at least one of you must arrive 30 minutes before the ceremony starts. If your ceremony is at the register office you must arrive 15 minutes before the ceremony starts.

You will see the registrar and confirm the details for your marriage certificate.

If you don't want to see each other before the ceremony you can speak to the registrar alone. You don't need to tell us about this in advance, just arrive at different times.

If you arrive late your ceremony may be postponed to a later time or date so other ceremonies are not disrupted.


You will need 2 witnesses at the ceremony. They must be over the age of 16, and able to speak and understand English.

We cannot act as witnesses or supply witnesses.

The ceremony

Once your guests are seated the registrar will say a few words of welcome and then conducts the vows.

After you have made your marriage contract, the registrar records the marriage in the marriage schedule. You both sign the marriage schedule, followed by your witnesses. Both the registrars then sign the marriage schedule and give you your marriage certificate.

Unlike a marriage, a civil partnership ceremony is not a legal requirement however many couples choose to have a ceremony. This will be tailored to suit your requirements. You will then sign the schedule along with your 2 witnesses and the registrar.


Your guests are welcome to take photos. If you want to video your ceremony, please tell the registrar.

Contact Registrars