Book your ceremony

This section will guide you on your journey to create your perfect celebration.  Information includes what to do when, legal information, ceremony costs, FAQs and wedding fayres.

With so much to think about, planning a wedding can be stressful. We've put together this easy 5 step guide to plan your hassle-free day. 

Step 1 – Choose Your Venue

There is a variety of options to choose from in Nottinghamshire with 9 ceremony rooms across 5 registration offices and 70 licensed venues to suit all styles and budgets.

Step 2 – Book Your Ceremony and Registrars 

In order to book your ceremony you must:  

Step 3 – Notice of Marriage or Civil Partnership

As part of the legal formalities, you must each give notice of intention to marry/form a civil partnership: 

  • if you live in Nottinghamshire, you can do this at one of our registration offices
  • if you live outside of Nottinghamshire, you will need to make an appointment with your local registration office
  • you can give notice up to one year in advance of your ceremony date (we recommend at least three months before)
  • once you have given notice, there is a minimum waiting period of 28 consecutive days before the ceremony can take place (this can be longer, dependent on your circumstances)

Step 4 – Plan Your Ceremony 

Use our supplier page to browse a list of wedding suppliers and visit our book your ceremony page for more information on: 

Step 5 – Final checks

Approximately 2 months before your ceremony is the time to finalise and check all arrangements:

Why not book a ceremony rehearsal discussion to agree any personalisation e.g. personal vows, readings, music and finalise all the details?

Your final preferences for ceremony content should be decided before attending this rehearsal discussion as it may not be possible to accommodate late requests. 

If attending a ceremony rehearsal discussion please bring your completed ceremony choices sheet, which will either have been given to you at your notice appointment (if you live in Nottinghamshire) or sent to you if notice was given elsewhere. 

Choosing the right ceremony for you

The popular enhanced ceremony allows you to plan your wedding ceremony with the opportunity to include music, readings and your own vows.  These ceremonies can be held in our registration offices or other registered venues in Nottinghamshire.

The standard ceremony contains the necessary legal requirements without any personalisation.  These ceremonies are held in registration offices only.

Personalising your wedding ceremony

There are various options for personalising your ceremony: your own choice of music, poems and readings, exchanging personal promises to each other (in addition to the legal declaration and contract words). There is a wealth of material to choose from, with few restrictions, but please remember that your civil ceremony cannot have any religious content and that your requests must be agreed by the Registration team organising your ceremony, to ensure that it will be appropriate for the occasion.

Once you have chosen your reading, please send a copy to the Registration team that is organising your ceremony, along with your completed choices sheet, at least 28 days before your wedding day.

Reduce your worries and book a ceremony rehearsal discussion to take place before your wedding.

This is an ideal opportunity to go over the finer details involved in making your ceremony the very special and personal occasion you want it to be.  Timings, music, readings, wording, who stands where and who says what and when are all covered. 

This discussion covers:

  • the pre-marriage interview
  • arrival timings of the couple
  • seating arrangements
  • entrance of the wedding party, escorts and general formation when entering the room
  • music
  • legal wording (declaration and contracting words)
  • readings 
  • witnesses 
  • signing of the schedule
  • photographs and filming
  • exit from the room.

Call us to book your ceremony rehearsal discussion appointment on 0300 500 80 80, or use the Contact Form

Fee £25

Please note that these meetings take place in our registration offices only.

The introduction of the Marriage (Same-Sex-Couples) Act 2013 legalised same-sex marriage in England and Wales. Civil partnership ceremonies can still be performed for same-sex couples but carry different legal rights and obligations. More information can be found on the UK Government website.

If you wish to have a civil partnership ceremony, the process is similar to a civil marriage, but you will need to mention you want a civil partnership ceremony when you book Registrars and at your legal notice appointment.

Couples in a civil partnership can have it converted to a marriage (retrospectively) with or without a ceremony.

Timing is crucial

Your ceremony should start at the appointed time unless there are exceptional circumstances where we have been informed of the change and it has been agreed by us.

Should you arrive late it may not be possible to conduct your ceremony that day, since your registrars will most likely have to attend subsequent ceremonies.

You and your guests should arrive 20 minutes before the start time.

In order to register your marriage accurately, you must both be interviewed immediately before the ceremony so that the registrar can check your details with you in person. It is important that you also check this information carefully when asked to do so, since mistakes found later may incur a considerable cost to correct. If you wish to see the registrar separately, one of you will be seen 20 minutes, and the other 10 minutes, before the ceremony is due to start.

It is your responsibility to ensure that all guests are aware of our expectations and have prior knowledge of where the venue is situated.

Witnesses

Your civil ceremony must be witnessed throughout by two people who can speak and understand English and who are fully aware of the nature and meaning of the ceremony.

Conventionally, a witness should be over the age of 16. The registration service is not able to provide witnesses for you - they must be your witnesses and should be known to you.

Recording your special day

We are happy for you to video record your special day. Please discuss this in advance with your registration office and with the registrar on the day.

Signing your schedule

At the end of the ceremony the registrar will ask each of you to check your own personal details very carefully in the marriage register before you sign it to say that the information is correct. You will probably be nervous and excited on your special day, but it is important, and in your best interests, that you check the information very closely. Any details found to be incorrect at a later date will require a formal and lengthy correction procedure, as well as a fee of £90 for the Registrar General to consider your application.

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 queries, give support throughout the whole process and guide you through all you say and do.

We want to do everything we can to ensure your celebration is all you would wish for.

Share this page?