Wedding FAQs

How much does the ceremony cost and when do we need to pay?

On booking your civil marriage/partnership you will be required to pay a deposit, the amount will depend on your choice of your ceremony and venue. The full balance will be due at least two months before the ceremony date.

For all ceremony related costs please see the ceremony fees page.

Can we pay in instalments?

No.  We will take a deposit at the time of booking and the balance is payable in full 2 months before your ceremony.

Do we need to run through things in advance of our ceremony?

Many couples choose to book a ceremony rehearsal discussion. This will take you through your ceremony step by step, helping to put you at ease and ask any last minute questions.

Do we have to have our banns read?

No, that is only for marriages in the Church of England.

For all other marriages, you must both attend your local register office to ‘give notice’ of your intention to marry.

Can we write our own vows?

Your civil ceremony gives you a choice of legal words (declaration and contract) required to be spoken by each of you. Our enhanced ceremony allows you to add your own personal promises and readings. These must not have any religious content or connotation and should be agreed with us in advance.

Can we film the ceremony?

Yes. Please discuss this with the registrars on the day.

How quickly can we get married?

Legal notice of intention to marry must be given at least 28 days in advance of your ceremony. First of all, you must have lived in a registration district in England or Wales for at least seven full, clear days immediately before notice is given. In exceptional circumstances, for example a terminally ill partner, it can sometimes be possible to have this shortened. Please contact us for guidance. 

Can we choose our own music?

Only our enhanced ceremony, either at one of our offices or at a licensed venue, allows for personalisation. Please bear in mind that your civil ceremony must be free of religious content.

Can we get married outside?

If you are considering having an outdoor ceremony (existing licenced venues only), please be aware that your venue will need to carry out the following processes before this can take place:

  1. A copy of the venue site plan detailing property boundaries and outlining the area/s within which the proposed ceremony will take place
  2. A copy of the venue’s risk assessment for an outdoor ceremony
  3. A suitability visit from one of our Area Managers to agree practicalities and processes for the ceremony.

The above requirements must be met before ceremonies of this nature can take place.  Please contact your venue.

When do we have to pay?

A deposit is payable at the time of booking.  The full balance is due at least two months before the ceremony date.

Can we change the date or time of our ceremony?

In some circumstances yes, please contact us to discuss. There is an administration fee to do this, please see our ceremony fees page.

Can we change the venue for our existing booking without penalty?

To change your venue to another one within Nottinghamshire County Council Registration District there will be a small administration fee. To change your venue to one outside of the Nottinghamshire County Council Registration District will count as a cancellation and therefore relevant charges will apply. However, if you have already given notice of marriage, you will both have to give fresh notice in order to change the venue. Please refer to our fees page and ceremony terms and conditions.

Do we need to bring anything on the day?

You don’t need to bring any documents.

What do we need to do in order to get married?

Please see Five Easy Steps to Planning Your Wedding Ceremony.

What if we are running late on the day?

Your ceremony should start at the appointed time unless there are exceptional circumstances where we have been informed in advance 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.

We don’t wish to see each other before the ceremony, can this be arranged?

Yes. In order to accurately record your personal details in the marriage schedule, you must both see the registrar before the start of the ceremony. You can arrange to do this separately.  Please advise in advance by indicating on your choices sheet.

Who can escort me into the ceremony room?

It is entirely optional whether or not you are escorted into the ceremony room. If you wish to do so, it can be anyone you choose.

What happens if I forget what to say?

You don’t have to memorise your marriage vows. The registrar will ask you to repeat the words phrase by phrase.

Can a family member or friend do a reading?

Only in an enhanced ceremony, a copy of your chosen reading must be supplied to us in advance for approval.

Who can be a witness?

Your whole 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.

A witness should be over the age of 16.

Registration Service staff cannot act as witnesses.

Are we allowed to take photographs?

Yes, but please discuss this with the registrars on the day.

Do I sign in the schedule in my new married name?

No. You sign the marriage schedule using your existing signature.

Can I change my name in my passport?

Yes.  If you have booked your honeymoon abroad in your new name, Form PD2 (completed by us) allows you to obtain a fresh passport, in your new married name, in advance of your honeymoon travel. Contact us for more information.

Can we have a marriage ceremony anywhere?

For civil ceremonies, you can be married in any register office in England and Wales, or in any approved premises licensed by the local authority.

May we use our pet as ring bearer?

Please submit your request to us as far in advance as possible, but there is no guarantee.

Can the 28 day waiting period be reduced?

This is done only in exceptional circumstances. For example, if the bride, groom or a close relative is seriously ill, it is possible for the 28 days to be reduced on the authority of the Registrar General.

You will need to contact us as soon as possible and the decision lies at the discretion of the Registrar General.  Additional fees are payable.

How long will the ceremony take?

It depends on what type of ceremony you are having and whether you are adding in any extra readings or music. We allocate 45 minutes for an enhanced ceremony in a Registration office which includes the pre-ceremony interviews.

Are we allowed to throw confetti?

It depends on where you are getting married. Please contact your local office to check.

What if I make a mistake in my vows?

The Registrar will ask you to repeat all vows after them. If you make a mistake, they will simply repeat what you need to say. Please don’t be embarrassed, your guests are there to celebrate your big day and will understand if you make a mistake – you are only human!

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