Registry office weddings are a non-religious alternative to Church of England marriages for people of other faiths, or who are of no religion. Also many couples are just not comfortable and don’t want a traditional white wedding so they opt out and keep it casual.
Registry office weddings are a great way to save money on your wedding budget. If thoughts of a religious ceremony or a large wedding don’t satisfy you, you should consider getting married in a registry office.
Below are all the information you need to plan a registry office wedding in London.
Registry office ceremony in London spaces vary in size. Within each building, there will usually be spaces for couples with larger guest lists as well as an intimate room that works for small weddings.
Registry office weddings are very quick, and normally take about 20-30 minutes long. They of the except you and your guests to be at the registry office at least 30 minutes before.
Who Can Get Married in a Registry Office: To be legally married in the UK, you and your partner must be at least 16 years old and if either of you are under 18 your parents must give their consent, and you must not be closely related.
Choosing a registry office: You’ll first need to choose which one. It could be the closest one to where you live, or simply somewhere that’s special to you both. You can use this registry office finder to help you find somewhere near you.
Notice Of Marriage: When you find the register office you want to get married it then, it is necessary and required to give notice at your local registry office. It’s the same as if you were getting married at a venue; they need to know when and what time.
You have 12 months from the date you give notice to marry and you can give notice no less than 28 days before the date of your proposed marriage. You’ll still need to give notice if the registry offices are near you.
You’ll then need to call the registry office you want to marry at to book a 15 minute appointment. At this appointment, you’ll have an interview, fill in forms and have your identity checked.
Documents: When you first go to the registry office, you need to take proof of your name, age and nationality. This could be a valid passport, birth certificate, national identity card, certificate of registration, certificate of naturalisation, biometric residence card or permit, or a travel document. If you’ve changed your name, you must also bring proof of that.
You will also need to bring proof of address, for example a valid UK or EEA driving licence, gas or electricity bill from the last three months, a bank statement from the last month, or a council tax bill or mortgage settlement from the last 12 months.
Cost: The main cost involved in choosing to marry at a registry office is the room hire. But there’s many other small costs involved too. These include
- The cost of hiring a room in a registry office starts from around £57+ for a standard ceremony.
- There is also a fee involved for giving notice which is around £35-£50 per person.
- Your marriage certificate will cost around £4 on the day or £10 should you arrange to fetch it afterwards.
- Additional costs you can incur include: paying for a ceremony room not just a registry office room, extra charges for Saturday appointments to give notice, and fees paid for approving divorce documents from outside the UK or making changes to your application.
Rules for London registry offices:
- No type of food or drinks are allowed in the rooms.
- hymns or passages from the Bible are not permitted. Music and readings with religious connotations are not allowed at registry offices.
- A friend or family member may only conduct your ceremony if they are legally authorised by a registrar
- You are required to have at least two witnesses present.
London Registry Offices & Town Halls
- Old Marylebone Town Hall, London
- Hackney Town Hall, London
- Islington Town Hall, London
- The Old Finsbury Town Hall, London
- Chelsea Old Town Hall, London
- Merton Register Office, London
- Shoreditch Town Hall, London
- Wandsworth Town Hall, London
- Lambeth Town Hall, London
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