A civil ceremony is a legal, non-religious marriage or civil partnership ceremony. They are conducted by registrars employed by the council, who also provide the legal certificate and keep the official record of the marriage or civil partnership.
Registry office weddings have become increasingly popular and more common nowadays. It’s a great option if you are after a wedding that is close and very intimate. Its also great if you are on a wedding budget.
Registry office wedding 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.
If you’re thinking of planning a registry office wedding in the UK then you’re in the right place.
Below are all the information you need to plan an intimate registry office wedding.
Choose a registry office:
With 1000 registry offices everywhere. Make sure you choose wisely. Whether you want it local and somewhere near home or you might have a sentimental area in mind, pick whichever one feels right for you two.
Giving 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.
No matter what registry office you get married in; you will need proof. You will need to book with the registry office you have chosen to marry at to make an appointment where the process you need to go through to get married.
Once you have given notice, you have 12 months to get married from the day you gave notice and at least 28 days are required before your decided marriage date.
When you visit the registry office, the documentation you will need to bring along includes:
- Proof of your name, age and nationality. (eg. valid passport, birth certificate, national identity card, etc)
- If you’ve changed your name, you will need to bring proof along to support that.
- Proof of address (eg. valid UK or EEA driving licence, recent gas or electricity bill, recent bank statement, etc)
Register Office wedding Attire: When it comes to your wedding attire, it is completely up to you. You can wear whatever colour and style you like. You may decide on a full length, mid-calf length, or mini dress. You may choose a traditional dress too, it don’t matter if your marry at the registry office.
Cost to marry in the registry office: The main cost involved in choosing to marry at a registry office is the room hire. But there’s many small costs involved too.
- 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.
How long a registry office wedding takes: 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.
You and your partner will also have to each be interviewed separately before the ceremony can take place. After the ceremony, you are normally given about 10 minutes for confetti and photographs on the steps.
Registry Office Rules:
- 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.
After the ceremony, the marriage register is signed by you both and the registrar. Your witnesses also sign at the time of the marriage and you may celebrate.
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