Getting Married in a Register Office
In the UK, getting married is a special occasion that involves legal and cultural significance. Marriage can be conducted in several ways, including religious ceremonies, civil ceremonies at a registry office or licensed venue. The register office is an official place for registering births, deaths and marriages in the UK.
Anyone who meets the legal requirements can get married in a register office in the UK. This means that both parties must be over 18 years old and not already married or in a civil partnership.
The law does not restrict marriage based on nationality or immigration status; however, there are specific requirements for non-UK citizens planning to marry in the country.
What is the process of getting married in a register office?
Planning a wedding day is a special event for most couples getting ready to start their life together. If you have a smaller wedding party or are working with a limited budget, opting for a register office ceremony is excellent option.
If it’s your first time getting married, you may be unsure of the process. Well, the first step is actually booking a provisional date with your chosen venue and receiving confirmation of your booking. From here, you can arrange to give notice of your intention to marry. This means that you must inform the registrar of your local council at least 28 days before your desired wedding date. You will then need to book an appointment with the registrar at the register office in your county (even if you will be getting married outside the county) and provide them with all required documents such as proof of identity, nationality, residency status, and proof of the ceremony booking.
What documents do you need to give notice to get married in a register office?
Getting married in the UK can be a simple process as long as you have the necessary documents. If you’re planning to get married at a register office, it’s important that you know what documents are required before applying for a marriage license.
Firstly, both parties must provide proof of their name, age and nationality by showing their passport or national identity card. If one of the parties is not from the UK or Europe they may need to provide additional documentation such as visas or residency permits. Secondly, you’ll need to provide evidence of your address such as recent utility bills or bank statements. If one of the parties is from outside the UK, they will need to have written conformation from the owner of the property that they have been residing at the same address for 7 full days and nights. Thirdly, if either party has been previously married they will need to show evidence of divorce or annulment papers.
Other documents that may be required include birth certificates and change-of-name deeds (if applicable). It’s important to note that all documents provided should be original copies and not photocopies.
What to expect during the ceremony?
In the UK, these ceremonies typically take place in local government buildings such as town halls or civic centers. They are conducted by registrars who are authorised to perform civil marriages.
The ceremony itself is usually short and sweet, lasting around 20 – 30 minutes. It often involves the exchange of vows, rings, and the signing of the marriage register. Couples may choose to include readings or music during the ceremony, but this is entirely optional and at the discretion of the register office.
On the day of your wedding ceremony, you and your partner will be required to sign the marriage register along with two witnesses.
One thing to note is that register office weddings tend to be more formal than other types of weddings. While there may not be a strict dress code, it’s still advisable for both partners to dress smartly for the occasion.
Can you personalise a register office ceremony?
Personalising a register office ceremony in the UK may seem daunting at first, but it is entirely possible. The traditional registry office wedding ceremony is often seen as generic and devoid of personal touches, but with a little creativity and effort, you can make your big day truly unique. You don’t have to settle for a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to getting married – there are plenty of ways to put your own stamp on the proceedings.
You may be able to personalise your register office ceremony by writing or selecting your own ring vows. This can be an incredibly meaningful way to express your love and commitment to one another in words that are truly your own. Legally, you will be required to say specific contracting and declaration vows which cannot be changed.
Many couples also choose to incorporate their favourite music into the ceremony – this is usually played during the signing of the register.
Register office ceremonies cannot include any religious conotations, so you will need to review your vow and song choices carefully or they may not be approved by the venue.
Do you walk down the aisle at a register Office?
Usually the register office will give you the option of walking down the aisle or entering together with your guests. This will be confirmed as part of your personalisation options.
Do I need flowers at a register office wedding?
As register offices perform several wedding ceremonies each day, they are usually decorated with a variety of neutral coloured flowers. You should be able to view your chosen room on the register office website and it should mention when flowers will be included.
Some register offices will allow you to add your own flowers, however, as they are working of strict timescales, you will need to set up and remove them as quickly as possible before and after the ceremony.
What vows do you say in a register office?
By law, you are required to say and confirm the following:
“I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impedement why I … (your full name) may not be joined in matrimony to … (the full name of your partner)”.
“I call upon these persons here present to witness that I … (your full name) do take thee … (your partners full name) to be my lawful wedded (wife/husband)”
You may choose to say optional ring vows. The register office will usually provide a selection of options to choose from.
How much does it cost to get married in a register office?
It is important to know what your budget should be before you start planning your wedding. The first thing to consider is how much it costs to get married in a register office.
The cost of getting married in a UK register office can vary depending on where you live and the time of year. In England and Wales, the fee for giving notice is £35 per person, while in Scotland it’s only £30. If one or both of you are subject to immigration control, the cost to give notice is £47 per person.
You must give notice at least 28 full days before your ceremony date.
The cost of hiring a registrar will also depend on where you live and when you want to get married. In England and Wales, hiring a registrar for a weekday wedding will cost around £50-£100, while weekend weddings are more expensive, costing between £150-£250. You may need to pay for 2 registrars at your ceremony.
By law, each county must have a register office with a room available where legal ceremonies can be held at a fee set by the UK Government.
Register Offices are an excellent choice for Small & Budget Weddings
Getting married in a UK register office is an ideal choice for those who are looking to have a small or budget wedding. Not only does it offer a simple and affordable option for couples, but it also provides the necessary legal requirements for a marriage to be recognised. Furthermore, with the ability to personalise the ceremony, you can still make it special and memorable for you and your partner. If you are planning on tying the knot soon, consider exploring this option as it may be the perfect fit for your