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The registry office ceremony
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The registry office ceremony


Though the civil ceremony is now available in any premises with a marriage licence, having your marriage ceremony performed in a registry office is still a good option for many couples.

Civil ceremonies are strictly non-religious affairs so you won't be allowed any hymns or religious references but you can have your own music and readings and say your own vows in addition to the official ones.

Registry offices are usually in large council buildings and these can be beautiful. Councils often have a few options depending on the size of your party.

The ceremony takes from 20 minutes and you'll need two witnesses.

If you're planning on a civil ceremony in a registry office, you and your future husband (or wife) will need to attend a meeting with the council so they can check your legitimate.

You have to give notice your intention to wed at least two weeks before your wedding. Take your passport and proof of address (utility bills, bank statements). After 15 days you'll be free to wed anytime within a year of that date.

Questions to ask:

  • Can I have my own music, vows, readings?
  • Can we decorate the room?
  • How much does the room cost?
See the full list of legal requirements for civil marriages and partnerships




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