Births, deaths, and marriages

On your ceremony day

When to arrive

If your ceremony is taking place at an approved venue the registrar will arrive 30 minutes before your ceremony to speak to you both separately, this is to check that all your personal details are correct and to run through the details of the ceremony with you, so that you know exactly what to expect. If you do not want to see your partner before the ceremony, one of you will need to arrive 20 minutes before the ceremony, and the other 10 minutes before the ceremony, so that the registrar can confirm the details of the day separately. If you're happy to come together, please arrive 20 minutes before the start of your ceremony.

This will include information such as the order of ceremony, if anyone will be given away, who stands where, who has the rings and the names of your witnesses.

A women sat with her legs outside a car door holding out her hand to her husband
A table laid out with flowers and plates with glasses

During the ceremony

Your ceremony will start at your allocated time. Please be on time because if you arrive late, it may not be possible to conduct your ceremony that day. Your guests should arrive half an hour before the ceremony.

Please do not forget your witnesses. The registration service is not able to provide them for you. Your ceremony must be witnessed by two people over the age of 16, who can speak and understand English and are fully aware of the nature and meaning of the ceremony.

You do not need to learn or remember anything, as everything is said in small bite-sized chunks and repeated after the Registrar. Please do not be offended if you are asked to repeat anything, everything must be said correctly to ensure that you are legally married; and if you forget what was said, or get the words mixed up, your registrar will just ask you to repeat it.

For a civil partnership, you may either read the legal wording aloud or just read the legal wording to yourself.

Following the ceremony

After the ceremony, you will be invited to join the registrar for the signing of the schedule. You will both be asked to check all your personal details carefully and then sign along with your witnesses and the registrars. Please take a few minutes to check the information to ensure it is correct, as any amendment corrections will incur a £90 fee.

The registrar in attendance at your ceremony will take your completed schedule on to the registration office to be recorded on the national system.

Please do not forget that our experienced staff are here to help. We are always happy to answer any questions and support you through the entire process.

A green car with a sign on it saying just married

Marriage schedules, documents and certificates

You no longer sign a marriage register or are given a marriage certificate during your ceremony, following a change in the law. Instead, you will sign a marriage schedule, or marriage document if marrying in a church, and you will be able to order your marriage certificate after you're married.

The marriage schedule is a one-page document which contains the details of both people getting married which are needed to register a marriage. This applies to all marriages; both civil and religious marriages.