Here's what to expect from your ceremony when your big day arrives.

Before your ceremony

The registrar will arrive 30 minutes before your ceremony to speak to you both, separately if you prefer. 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. This will include information such as the order of ceremony, if anyone will be given away, who stands where and who has the rings. You do not need to bring any identification documents with you as these were checked at your notice of marriage or civil partnership appointment.

During your 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, as the registrars may have other ceremonies to attend. Your guests should arrive half an hour before the ceremony is due to start and will be shown to their seats in the ceremony room.

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. 

For a marriage, 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 forgot 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 aloud the legal wording or just read the legal wording without speaking them.

After your ceremony

After the ceremony you will be invited to join the register for the signing or checking of the register or schedule. You will both be asked to check all your personal details carefully and then sign along with your witnesses and the registrars. We appreciate that you will be excited but please take a few minutes to check the information to ensure it is correct. If you're having an outside ceremony then you will sign the register in the licensed room inside the venue.

Your photographer will have time to take their photographs first and then if you are happy to do so, you can invite your guests to come forward and take their own photos.

If you are having a marriage ceremony, the registrar will then invite you to the front of the ceremony room and present you with your certificate. If you are having a civil partnership ceremony, we will send your certificate on to you.

You and your partner will then make your exit out of the ceremony room to your chosen music and begin life together!

Please do not forget that our friendly staff are here to help. We are always happy to answer any questions and support you through the entire process. We want to ensure that your ceremony is personal to you and just how you always imagined it would be!