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A guide to your wedding day

Before the ceremony

Please make sure your guests arrive at least 30 minutes before the start time of your ceremony so that the day runs smoothly. The registrars will normally attend several ceremonies in one day, so if you are late, we may not be able to proceed with the ceremony. Remember to make allowances for traffic delays, parking and any pre-wedding photographs and inform your guests of this.

Before the ceremony, the registrar who will be registering the marriage or civil partnership will see both partners privately to check that the details for the marriage register are correct. The registrar can see you individually or together. This is also an opportunity for you to ask any last minute questions.

After these checks have been made we can then proceed with your ceremony.

The ceremony

The registrars will be there to help you every step of the way. Their role is to guide you through everything you need to say and do so there is no need to worry about forgetting the format or lines of the ceremony.

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

Once you, your guests and witnesses are seated the ceremony will begin with a welcome by the registrar. The couple will be asked, in turn, to repeat a number of declarations. These will include the choices you have made for your declaratory and contracting words and your ring promises.

If you would like extra copies of your certificate you may order these from the register office after the day.


Some wedding venues restrict the use of confetti, so please discuss this with the staff at the venue.

The format of the ceremony

  1. Arrival of the couple
  2. Welcome and introduction
  3. Reading*
  4. Declaratory words
  5. Reading*
  6. Contracting words
  7. Exchange of rings and promises (optional)
  8. Reading*
  9. Conclusion
  10. Signing of the register
  11. Presentation of certificate followed by photographs
  12. Exit of the couple

*Readings are optional and they can be placed anywhere into the order of ceremony

Remember our friendly and committed staff are here to guide you through the planning and legalities of your big day. We are always happy to answer questions and support you throughout the ceremony registration process.